When he wakes, Wang often does not immediately remember where he is, his wife, Hua Qu, said in her first extensive interview since his arrest in Iran about 13 months ago while doing doctoral research. The 36-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, who was born in China, was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
“Sometimes I can’t even remember what he looks like,” she said on Saturday in the Princeton, New Jersey, apartment that she shares with their 4-year-old son, whose drawings adorn the walls. “It has been too long for me.”
The interview, along with a candlelight vigil on Friday night organized by Princeton students, marks a shift in strategy for those closest to Wang, whom colleagues described as a dedicated scholar, a selfless friend and a caring father with a gift for cooking.
For nearly a year Qu, Princeton and the Obama and Trump administrations kept Wang’s detention confidential in hopes of brokering a release on humanitarian grounds. The case became public when the Iran judiciary announced his sentence in July, three months after he was convicted at trial.
But Qu, 35, is speaking out to encourage Iran and the United States to resolve her husband’s case diplomatically. Wang lost his appeal in August.
Qu said the United States should engage with Iran beyond quarterly meetings dedicated to a 2015 nuclear deal between the Middle East country and world powers.
She pointed to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York as a prime opportunity for the two countries to discuss the fate of American prisoners in Iran.
“STAND UP FOR HIM”
At the vigil, Qu called on the U.S. government to “help defend the values” of academic freedom that drew Wang to study here.
“Will his country stand up for him the same way he stood up for American values?” she asked. “I hope the answer is a resounding yes.”
Asked about Wang’s case, a State Department spokeswoman said: “This administration is redoubling efforts to bring home all Americans unjustly detained abroad.”
Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment.
Wang is one of three American citizens known to be imprisoned in Evin. The others are Iranian-Americans Baquer and Siamak Namazi, an elderly father and his businessman son, on spying charges.
A fourth American, Robin Reza Shahini, was released on bail in April after undertaking a hunger strike but still faces 18 years’ imprisonment on charges of threatening national security, according to human rights activists.
In July, U.S. President Donald Trump promised “new and serious consequences” unless Iran released the Americans but did not offer details.
The Obama administration resolved several previous detentions through a January 2016 prisoner swap that Republicans criticized as setting a precedent that would encourage Iran to imprison more Americans.
Wang was in Iran between January and March 2016 and returned in May of that year. Two months later, Iranian police seized his passport and eventually arrested him. He was charged with espionage in February and convicted in April, according to a timeline released by Princeton, which hired a lawyer for him in Iran.
When Wang was first arrested, his son would talk about him frequently but now shows less interest in even speaking with him when he is able to call from prison, Qu said.
“Now he mentions him less and less,” she said. “He’s just not very interested in talking to his dad.”
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
Sep 28, 2018 Comments Off on Fourth Women’s Rights Activist Arrested in Iran in Less Than a Month
Sep 23, 2018 Comments Off on Children Of Detained Human Rights Lawyer Harassed By Intelligence Agents
Sep 11, 2018 Comments Off on U.N. Presses Iran to Free Princeton Scholar
Aug 30, 2018 Comments Off on HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS SLAM IRAN FOR PRISON TERMS OF CHRISTIANS AND DERVISHES
Feb 16, 2019 Comments Off on Mike Pence claims Iran is planning a ‘new Holocaust’ to destroy Israel
Feb 16, 2019 Comments Off on IRAN’S ‘TOXIC MONEY’ PREVENTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE- BAHRAINI FM
Feb 15, 2019 Comments Off on Netanyahu on Reported Attack: Israel ‘Constantly Operating’ Against Iran in Syria
Feb 15, 2019 Comments Off on Warsaw summit: Why Iran is the elephant in the room
Feb 16, 2019 Comments Off on Mike Pence claims Iran is planning a ‘new Holocaust’ to destroy IsraelMike Pence claims Iran is planning a ‘new Holocaust’ to destroy Israel Mike Pence claims Iran is planning a ‘new Holocaust’ to destroy Israel Iran is planning a “new Holocaust” to destroy Israel, US vice...
Feb 16, 2019 Comments Off on IRAN’S ‘TOXIC MONEY’ PREVENTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE- BAHRAINI FMIRAN’S ‘TOXIC MONEY’ PREVENTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE- BAHRAINI FM IRAN’S ‘TOXIC MONEY’ PREVENTING ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN PEACE- BAHRAINI FM Iran’s “toxic” funding of violence in the region...
Jul 14, 2016 Comments Off on Corps’ one hundred thousand of triggered missiles in Lebanon:An official Israel-threatening by CorpsIran Briefing: Since August 7, 1979, when Ayatollah Khomeini declared the last Friday of Ramadhan as “Quds Day”, the Islamic Republic has always tried to hold an imposing ceremony by using state resources as well as requiring people’s involvement. This year’s Quds march had fundamental...