New York, April 20, 2015--CPJ is alarmed by reports of official charges levied against Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian. The charges included espionage, "collaborating with hostile governments," "propaganda against the establishment," and allegations that he gathered information "about internal and foreign policy," the Post reported today. His case file presents no evidence to justify the charges, according to a statement from Rezaian's lawyer Leila Ahsan, the Post reported.
"The fact that Iran has no evidence to back up these grave charges proves the political nature of Jason Rezaian's prolonged and cruel detention," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. "We call on Iranian authorities to drop the charges immediately and set the journalist free."
The Revolutionary Court, where national security cases are held, has not officially provided details of the charges against Rezaian, who was not allowed to consult with a lawyer since his arrest last July until today, according to the Post. Rezaian was kept in solitary confinement and denied a lawyer of his choosing, according to his family and employer.
- For more on imprisoned journalists, visit CPJ's Press Uncuffed campaign.