State Department Calls for Immediate Release of Rezaian
It has now been six days since Rezaian and Salehi were detained. Reporters Without Border says an unnamed freelance photojournalist along with her non-journalist husband was also detained.
So far the only official confirmation of the arrests came from Qolam Hossein Esmaili, the head of the Justice Department in Tehran Province, who told the state-run news agency IRNA on Friday that the judiciary would provide information on the arrests after the completion of “technical investigations.”
In April, the very same Esmaili was removed from his previous post as head of Iran's state prisons after dozens of detainees in Evin prison, including at least seven journalists, were severely beaten during a raid. He is now promoted to the position of Tehran's prosecutor general, and has ordered the arrests of Rezaian and his colleagues.
CPJ said it holds the entire government in Iran responsible for the well being of all imprisoned journalists.
Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department today urged Iran to release Rezaian. Jen Psaki, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said Washington had asked the Swiss government, which is in charge of U.S. interest section in Iran, for assistance in resolving the issue of Rezaian’s detention.
“We call on the Iranian government to immediately release Mr. Rezaian and the other three individuals,” Psaki said Monday afternoon during a State Department news briefing. (Washington Post, 28 July)
The Washington Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, said last week that the newspaper was “mystified” and “deeply concerned” by the arrest.
Rezaian, 38, who holds American and Iranian citizenship, has been The Post’s correspondent in Tehran since 2012. His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, 30, is a correspondent for UAE-based National newspaper.
To read today's Washington Post editorial on Rezaian and his colleagues, please click here.
File photo: A recent picture of Jason Rezaian and His wife, Yeganeh Salehi. (Washington Post)