Saturday, April 20, 2019

Washington Post's Jason Rezaian to Stand Trial in Iran, but No Charges Specified...

Jason Thompson
January 14, 2015

This just in from the AP, to be filed under very disconcerting news that just passed the 6 month mark before ANY sort of actual news, and today's report doesn't add much to what we already know. "A Washington Post journalist detained in Iran for months has been indicted and will stand trial, Iran's state news agency reported Wednesday, without elaborating on what charges he faced."

"The report by the official IRNA news agency came the same day as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif before talks with world powers resume over the Islamic Republic's contested nuclear program. Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists initially were detained July 22 in Iran's capital, Tehran. All later were released except Rezaian."

His last story for The Washington Post appeared back in June of 2014, and his previous coverage is worth a look back at The Post's web site, here.

On the night of July 22, Iranian government security forces raided the Tehran home of Rezaian and his wife Salehi and arrested them. The agents reportedly confiscated laptops, books, and notes. In a separate raid that night, security forces also arrested a female photojournalist and her husband, both American citizens.

Here's what John Kerry had to say on December 7, 2014 as the US Government's official response:

The United States is deeply disappointed and concerned by reports that the Iranian judiciary has charged Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian with unspecified charges, and that the judge denied his request to be released on bail. We are also distressed by reports that Jason was not allowed access to an attorney, which is a clear violation of Iran's own laws and international norms. I am personally dismayed and disturbed at these reports as I have repeatedly raised Jason's case, and the other cases of detained or missing U.S. citizens, directly with Iranian officials.

We share the concerns of Mr. Rezaian's family regarding reports that he is under physical and psychological distress, and is not receiving proper medical care. The Iranian government continues to deny our repeated requests for Consular Access to Jason by our Protecting Power, the Swiss, so we are unable to check on his condition or ensure adequate legal representation.

Jason poses no threat to the Iranian government or to Iran's national security. We call on the Iranian government to drop any and all charges against Jason and release him immediately so that he can be reunited with his family.

Likewise, we again call for the release of U.S. citizens Amir Hekmati and Saeed Abedini, and ask for the Iranian government's cooperation in locating Robert Levinson, so that all may be returned to their families.

We will follow this story as it develops.

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