Iran must respect transparency in Jason Rezaian trial

New York, May 22, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Iran to ensure a fair and transparent trial for Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, and to allow the reporter’s defense team and employer access to court proceedings. Rezaian, who has been held in jail since July 2014, is due to appear in court in Tehran on May 26, according to reports.

“Iran must end this travesty of justice immediately,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, from Washington, D. C. “After more than 300 days of unwarranted detention, the least Iran could do is to release Rezaian on bail and grant his employer entry to the country and access to the legal proceedings.”

Rezaian is facing several charges, including espionage, according to reports. His case file presents no evidence to justify the charges, according to a statement from his lawyer Leila Ahsan, which was published in the Post. Rezaian, his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who is a journalist for UAE newspaper The National, and two others, who have not been named, were arrested in July 2014 but, with the exception of Rezaian, the others were released on bail, reports said. Salehi and one of the others are also due to appear in court on May 26, according to reports. A statement from the Washington Post said the paper has applied for a visa for one of its senior editors, who it wants to be present throughout the trial.