Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been held in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison since he was seized from his home in July 2014, was found guilty Oct. 11 following a secret trial that ended in August and included charges of espionage. He is awaiting sentencing.
Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron called the verdict “an outrageous injustice” and said the newspaper plans to appeal.
“Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret with no evidence of wrongdoing,” Baron said.
Rezaian, the Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, has endured harsh conditions in prison, including long periods of solitary confinement. The American-born journalist is a dual American and Iranian national, though Iran does not recognize dual nationality.
Two weeks ago, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani suggested that Iran would work to free Rezaian and two other jailed Americans if the United States released 19 Iranians jailed for violating economic sanctions. His comments came two months after a landmark deal in which Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The State Department condemned Rezaian’s conviction and said it would continue to call for the journalist’s immediate release and drop all charges.
Iran has the second-largest number of jailed journalists in the world, after China, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.