• Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Send to Kindle

Washington Post Asks UN to Help Free Jason Rezaian from Iran on One-Year Anniversary of Arrest

The Washington Post has turned to the United Nations for help in freeing its reporter Jason Rezaian, who was arrested by authorities a year ago today.

CNN reported:

The Washington Post is petitioning the United Nations to help secure the release of Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, one year after he was detained and imprisoned in Tehran. …

“In a year’s time, no evidence has been produced of espionage or any other offense,” Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron told reporters at a press conference Wednesday. “It is clear, as it has been all along, that Jason did nothing wrong. All he did was work diligently and fairly as a journalist.” …

According to Washington Post General Counsel Jay Kennedy, who also spoke at Wednesday’s press event, the petition “makes clear that Jason’s detention is arbitrary and unlawful under both Iranian and international law.”

The Washington Post added:

The newspaper’s filings before the council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention paint a portrait of sustained physical and psychological abuse of The Post’s Tehran correspondent, including months of solitary confinement, grueling interrogations and inadequate medical treatment for Rezaian’s deteriorating health.

His Iranian captors committed gross violations of international norms by refusing to publicly explain the reasons for Rezaian’s arrest or to allow him to review any evidence to support vague accusations of espionage against him, company officials said in papers filed Wednesday in New York.

The UN Security Council unanimously approved the Iranian nuclear deal on Monday, effectively legalizing Iran’s ongoing defiance of international law with its uranium enrichment program.

Rezaian’s plight contradicted claims made earlier this year by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that Iran allows free speech.

Rezaian was held for nine months after his arrest without charges being announced. Iranian authorities accused the reporter of “collaborating with hostile governments as well as writing a letter to President Obama.” They also restricted Rezaian’s access to legal counsel and prohibited his family from attending the trial or speaking with him. Abolghassem Salavati, the judge presiding over Rezaian’s case, has been sanctioned by the European Union for his human rights record, especially for actions taken against journalists. Salavati also presided over the case of three American hikers who were arrested after they inadvertently entered Iran. The hikers were released after paying $1.5 million in bail.

A Post editorial late last year asked, “If Iranian officials are unresponsive in the case of Mr. Rezaian, how can they be expected to deliver on commitments they make with respect to the nuclear program?”

[Photo: CNN / YouTube ]