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On New Year’s Eve, Xiyue Wang spent his 38th birthday in an Iranian prison.

The American citizen and doctoral student from Princeton is serving a 10-year sentence for espionage following his arrest in 2016 for allegedly stealing thousands of secret digital documents.

According to Princeton, Wang was in Iran to study Farsi and to do scholarly research.

“He has no connection to any government or intelligence agencies, and the charge that he was engaged in espionage is completely false,” the university said in a statement.

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