January 15, 2015, Washington, D.C. – Jason Rezaian, an Iranian American journalist who has been detained in Iran since July 2014, is reported to have been indicted this week, and will stand trial for crimes which are still unknown.
News of Rezaian’s indictment came on the same day that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in Geneva during the official talks between Iran and the world powers concerning Iran’s nuclear program.
“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,” said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. “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.”
Rezaian is the Washington Post’s correspondent in Iran. He has been based in Iran since 2008 and was accredited by the Iranian government to work for the Washington Post in 2012.
On July 24th, the Washington Post reported that Rezaian had been detained along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi for undetermined reasons. Salehi was released on bail in October.
“If authorities had evidence that Rezaian had committed a real crime, they should have charged him shortly after his arrest,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “At this point they should simply release him.”
U.S. officials, including U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, have reiterated their request for the release of Rezaian and other American citizens detained in Iran. Iranian Americans Amir Hekmati and Pastor Saeed Abedini continue to be detained in Iran.
As an organization that represents the interests of Iranian Americans, PAAIA seeks to protect Iranian Americans’ right to immunity from harassment and unlawful detention when traveling outside the United States, including Iran. PAAIA will continue to urge the United States government to make the repatriation of Jason Rezaian and all Americans who are unjustly being detained in Iran a priority.