STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Jason Rezaian will not get out of prison soon – that’s what Iranian authorities say. They’re holding the Washington Post correspondent without charge and yesterday his imprisonment, which has already gone on for months, was extended by at least 60 days with no explanation. Mr. Rezaian is a U.S. citizen. He’s also Iranian and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told us in September that that gives Iran the right to do as it wants.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
MOHAMMAD ZARIF: We have no obligation – the judiciary has no obligation to explain to the United States why it is detaining one of its citizens. His lawyers know. He knows his charge. I’m not supposed to know, but he knows his charge.
INSKEEP: Although, the foreign minister also expressed sympathy for Jason Rezaian. We reached Rezaian’s brother Ali in California and he described a younger brother who went to live in Iran because he was fascinated by it.
ALI REZAIAN: I think what he really loved about his job and being there was being able to kind of break down barriers and tell people about Iran, and give them a different view of it than they would probably hear about on TV or on the radio.
INSKEEP: Now, I want to mention to people who aren’t following this every day – his wife was also detained and later released. She of course has been able to talk with him. What, from his wife have you been able to learn about the conditions under which Jason Rezaian is being held and what, if anything, he is suspected of?
A. REZAIAN: Yes, we have been able to talk to Yeganeh, his wife, and she was detained for about two months before she was released on bail. What we know about Jason’s detention for the past 135 days is that he’s been in solitary confinement the whole time. Over that period of time, his health has gotten worse. Early on, or at least the first half of the time about, he was being interrogated five days a week and then that’s pretty much stopped over the last couple months. He’s just, you know, been waiting, hasn’t been charged.
In terms of your question about what we think the charges are, you know, we really don’t know. What they’ve said publicly is that he was acting outside the sphere of journalism. I’m not exactly sure what that means. I’m pretty sure that that’s not part of the Iranian civil code or criminal code, but that’s what they’re saying.
[Photos and emphases added]
From family’s website: freejasonandyegi.com
Jason Denied English Translator During Interrogations for Four Months
Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been detained in Iran since July 22, 2014. He has now been held longer than any previous Western journalist in Iran. No charges have been brought against him. Jason has not been allowed to have a lawyer defend him. Throughout this time he has been held in solitary confinement and suffered through many untreated health issues.
Please join Jason’s family and friends in demanding his release and spreading the word on social media using #FreeJason.
IT’S TIME … PAST TIME … TO FREE ALL AMERICANS DETAINED IN IRAN!
NO MORE SANCTIONS RELIEF UNTIL IRAN FREES ALL AMERICANS!