THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JASON REZAIAN
Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American journalist, was wrongfully imprisoned in Iran. On January 17, 2017, Iran finally released Jason.
- •Jason had been in prison in Iran for 500 days as of December 3, 2015.
- •Jason is 39 years old. He was raised in Marin County, California.Jason Rezaian is one of a few Americans with official permission from Iranian authorities to be allowed to work as a journalist.
- •He moved to Tehran in 2008 to work as a journalist; he joined The Washington Post in 2012.His hope was to show the world a side of Iranian culture that wasn’t often seen.
- •In early 2014, Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist, were filmed for the Iran episode of Parts UnknownTimestamp 10:40 in https://vimeo.com/111380331
- •On July 22, 2014, Iranian authorities raided the Tehran residence of Rezaian and his wife Salehi.The two were taken into custody, along with two other photojournalists. Jason and his wife were arrested without legal basis and held for months in solitary confinement where they were aggressively interrogated for days on end.
- •October 6, 2014, Salehi was released on bail.Rezaian remained in custody at a detention center in Tehran called Evin Prison, which is known for housing political prisoners and intellectuals.
- •On April 20, 2015 Iranian authorities indicted Rezaian on four specious charges.The charges against Rezaian include “disseminating propaganda against the establishment” and “collaborating with hostile governments.” As an example of the latter, Iranian prosecutors cited Rezaian's letter to President Bararak Obama upon his election in 2008, offering to help improve bilateral relations between Iran and the US.
- •Trial began on May 26, 2015.It was closed-door.
- •October 11, 2015, Jason’s conviction was announced.Anthony Bordain tweeted “a sickening injustice against a man who loved Iran.”
- •Nov. 22, 2015, Iranian officials said he had been sentenced to a prison term.The length has not been disclosed.
- •Some experts believed that Jason was a pawn in nuclear negotiations with Tehran. Others think that Iranian officials wanted to swap Rezaian for 19 Iranian prisoners held in the U.S.Regardless of the political machinations going on, Iran acknowledges that it is bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yet, in this case, Iran has repeatedly – and to this date with impunity - violated those laws.
- •Jason was mistreated and psychologically abused.He has suffered serious untreated infections, lost 55 pounds, and struggled with respiratory and other complications. His mental health deteriorates daily in the face of prolonged isolation and intimidation. For nearly five months, Iran held him without charges, denied him due process and access to a lawyer. When he was charged, Iran denied him the lawyer of his choice and delayed their one and only pre-trial meeting for four months.
- •The trial itself was a farce.It was closed to the public, lacking due process, devoid of evidence, repeatedly delayed, and profoundly unfair.
- •UN human rights experts called for Rezaian to be released.the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded the same. The CPJ said 30 journalists were behind bars in Iran in 2014, more than in any other country except China.
- •Jason is freeHere he is reunited with his family