Middle East News

“Sickening:” Iranian Court Convicts Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian

Jason Rezaian

A verdict has been reached in the trial of Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian by an Iranian revolutionary court, Tabnak News announced Sunday, citing judiciary official Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei.

Ejei did not initially announce the verdict, but later said on state television Sunday night that Rezaian had been convicted. It was on state TV that Rezaian was informed of his conviction, his brother said Tuesday. Ali Rezaian said his brother is “depressed” and “angry” about the way his case has been handled.

Rezaian was arrested in July 2014. He was later charged with espionage and other crimes in a trial that ended two months ago without an announced verdict. He has denied any wrongdoing.

His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, was arrested with him and later released on bail. She has not been charged.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said in a statement, “Jason is a victim – arrested without cause, held for months in isolation, without access to a lawyer, subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and now convicted without basis. The only thing that has ever been clear in this case is Jason’s innocence.”

The U.S. State Department called for Rezaian’s immediate release.

Iranian law grants Rezaian a 20-day period to appeal a verdict but his lawyer, Leila Ahsan, said Sunday she has not been notified of the verdict. “I do not know what I am appealing against,” she told the New York Times.

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