Iran Indicts Washington Post Reporter on Mystery Charges
A Washington Post reporter arrested by Iranian authorities in July and held without charge ever since was indicted Wednesday -- on unspecified charges.
Correspondent Jason Rezaian, a dual citizen through his father’s Iranian heritage, and his Iranian wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who works for The National newspaper out of the UAE, were both arrested, yet his wife was released in October. Officials have vaguely said Rezaian violated state security.
Because Iran hadn’t filed charges, the American hasn’t been able to consult with a lawyer. He’s been held in solitary confinement and reportedly needs blood-pressure medication as well as treatment for a severe eye infection.
The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi held a press conference Wednesday to say that after 170 days of “temporary detention” of the journalist his case has been forwarded to a Tehran Revolutionary Court.
“Contrary to what some human rights organizations claim about the violations of the rights of suspects in visiting with their families, Jason Rezaian’s mother, who recently traveled to Iran to visit with her son, met the aforementioned twice,” the prosecutor claimed.
The announcement came the same day that Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif sat down for the latest round of nuclear talks in Geneva. Iran seized Rezaian just after it received its first extension on the nuclear negotiations.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Wednesday they were "looking into those reports"of Rezaian's indictment.
"I don't have any independent confirmation of that. We obviously believe that all of the American citizens detained in Iran should be released," Harf said. "As I said, it's something we do raise when we meet for the nuclear negotiations, and I will check and see if we can confirm that."
Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post, said in a statement that "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," Baron said. "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."