Jason Rezaian, the Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post in Tehran, today was charged with espionage and collaboration with “hostile governments,” and will face a so-called trial in a revolutionary court. The Washington Post branded the decision to charge Rezaian absurd.
The 39-year old journalist has been held for 9 months in solidarity confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison. The charges against Rezaian reportedly include espionage, gathering classified information, and disseminating propaganda against the Islamic Republic.
Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ashan, said the file against her client contains “no jurifiable proof,” and that she has seen no legal reason to continue his detention.
“(Rezaian) is a journalist and the nature of his work to have access to information and to publish it,” Ashan said. “He had no access to confidential information, directly or indirectly.” (AFP, 20 April)
“The grave charges against Rezaian that Iran has now disclosed could not be more lucicrous,” said Washington Post’s executive editor Martin Baron. “It’s absurd and despicable to asset, as Iran’s judiciary is now claiming, that Jason’s work first as freelance reporter and then as The Post’s Tehran correspondence amounted to espionage.”
File photo: Jason Rezaian (AFP)