From CJR.org, November 10 2014, By Jared Malsin
Everywhere he traveled in the world, Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian invited people to visit Iran, where he has lived for nearly 10 years, and reported for the Post since 2012.
His brother, Ali Rezaian, said people would respond with caution to Jason’s invitation. “He’d say, ‘It’ll be fine, it’s great. People will be really nice to you. People are fantastic. It’s a great place to be. There’s good food. There’s fantastic sites.’”
Jason Rezaian has now spent more than 100 days in [notorious Evin] prison in Iran. His ongoing imprisonment, which the Iranian judiciary has failed to justify or explain, is a naked violation of press freedom. It is also a blow to efforts develop a complex, rich, and critical portrait of Iran in the media.
While he is sitting in prison, he is not reporting on Iran’s contentious politics, its troubled economy, its diplomacy, its citizens’ budding interest in baseball or American pop music. Nor, of course, is he reporting on the abuses of the Iranian state.
Those are all topics he wrote about for the Post before he was detained from his home in Tehran on June 22. “You go back and look at the stories that he’s done,” Ali said in a phone interview from New York. “They’re really representative of the kind of guy he is, the kind of reporter he wanted to be, which is one that showed people what Iran was like, one that really humanized people oftentimes not understood in the media.” His body of works makes clear that he was committed to reporting on Iran in all of its complexity, and while he sits in prison, the outside world has a duller, smaller understanding of Iran as a country.
The jailers, not the journalist, bear responsibility for painting a two-dimensional portrait of Iran, a simple storyline about repression. Rezaian, a dual Iranian-American citizen, was arrested along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, a journalist for the United Arab Emirates-based newspaper The National. Salehi was released on bail in October, although she was also not charged with any crime. Two Iranian-American photojournalists arrested along with them were also released less than a month later.
[Photo and emphases added]
IT’S TIME … PAST TIME … TO FREE ALL AMERICANS DETAINED IN IRAN!
NO MORE SANCTIONS RELIEF UNTIL IRAN FREES ALL AMERICANS!