After Indictment, Washington Post Reporter Likely To Be Tried by Iran

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been indicted by Iran and may face a trial, the Post reported Wednesday.

Iranian judiciary authorities have referred the case of a detained Washington Post journalist to Tehran’s Revolutionary Court, a news agency reported Wednesday, in a move that appears to set the stage for a review before a possible trial.

A statement by Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, cited by the semiofficial Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA), said the court file on Jason Rezaian has moved to the Revolutionary Court for “processing.” …

Dolatabadi’s brief statement said, “After the issuance of indictment, the case against Jason Rezaian has been referred for processing to Tehran’s Revolutionary Court.”

Margin Baron, the Post’s executive editor released a statement:

“We still do not know what charges the Iranian authorities have brought against our correspondent Jason Rezaian, but we hope the referral of his case to a Revolutionary Court represents a step forward toward Jason’s prompt release.

“This step gives Iran’s judiciary an opportunity to demonstrate its fairness and independence by determining that the charges are baseless. We call on Iran to make these charges public, to allow Jason access to a lawyer and to bring a swift and just resolution of a six-month-long nightmare that has been extremely difficult for Jason and his family.”

The report, however, is unclear whether the referral to a Revolutionary Court for “processing” indicates that the case will move toward a trial or remain “in a holding pattern.”

Dolatabadi, the prosecutor in the case, has been subject to sanctions by the European Union for human rights violations. In 2010, Dolatabadi held up the release of an American hiker until a $500,000 bail was paid.

Since Rezaian was arrested nearly six months ago, he has been denied access to a lawyer and has not been informed of the charges against him. The charges have not been made public.

After meeting with Rezaian in December, his brother stated that the government has “bent or broken their rules, and ignored the constitutional requirements that they have, in how they handle a detainee.”

Rezaian’s treatment by the Iranian authorities, according to a Washington Post editorial last month, raises questions if they can “be expected to deliver on commitments they make with respect to the nuclear program.”

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