News : Human rights
- Published: Wednesday, 14 January 2015
The Tower - After having been arrested nearly half a year ago, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian still has neither been informed of the specific charges against him nor been allowed to see a lawyer, the Post reported Saturday.
"In what appears to be the longest imprisonment for a Western journalist in Iran, Rezaian, who has been the newspaper’s Iran bureau chief since 2012, has been held at Tehran’s Evin prison for more than 170 days. Weeks after an initial court date, he is aware only that the five separate charges against him relate to alleged “activities outside the bounds of journalism,” said his mother, Mary Breme Rezaian, and his brother, Ali Rezaian.
His family called on Iran’s government to permit Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, access to a lawyer and to make the allegations against him public."
Rezaian’s brother said after visiting the reporter last month that the Iranian government has “bent or broken their rules, and ignored the constitutional requirements that they have, in how they handle a detainee.”
The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, released a statement saying, “We feel outrage at the severe injustice endured by Jason Rezaian, our cherished correspondent, who has been imprisoned for many months in Iran on unspecified charges.”
Rezaian was arrested in July. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have both justified the arrest. “Whatever he has done, and I’m not in a position, nor do I have information to share with you about what his charges are, but whatever he has done, he has done as an Iranian citizen, not as an American citizen. And he is facing interrogation in Iran for what he has done as an Iranian citizen,” Zarif told the San Francisco Chronicle in September.
Last month an editorial in the Post asked, “If Iranian officials are unresponsive in the case of Mr. Rezaian, how can they be expected to deliver on commitments they make with respect to the nuclear program?”
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