Jason Rezaian’s trial due to begin in Tehran

Washington Post journalist’s trial for espionage and cooperation with hostile countries due to start Tuesday morning in the Iranian capital

Photo by: Facebook
Photo by: Facebook

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Jason Rezaian, an American-Iranian journalist working at the Washington Post’s office in Tehran faces charges of espionage and cooperating with hostile governments. Rezaian may be sentenced to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

The trial will be closed to the public. The trial’s judge has ignored pleas for transparency and no media or family members will be allowed to observe, even his mother and wife.

The Iranian government has not commented on the trial of Rezaian, but employees of the Washington Post have been vocal in their support for the detained journalist.

"The shameful acts of injustice continue without end in the treatment of Mr Rezaian," said Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron.

"Now we learn his trial will be closed to the world. And so it will be closed to the scrutiny it fully deserves. There is no justice in this system, not an ounce of it, and yet the fate of a good, innocent man hangs in the balance."

Jason Rezaian is being prosecuted along with his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who was arrested alongside him in July but later bailed. Rezaian has been the bureau chief of the Washington Post in Tehran since 2012.

Rezaian was detained for 10 months without information or a trial, and has allegedly been denied necessary medical attention.

The case is essentially controversial because it unfolded during nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West. According to the BBC, some analysts have suggested the arrest was related to internal power struggles in Iran over the outcome of the nuclear talks.

There is a June 30 deadline for a conclusive nuclear deal between Iran and the six world powers.

TRTWorld and agencies