New York, November 22, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Iranian authorities to release Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been sentenced to an unspecified prison term, according to state media reports that provided no additional details. Last month, state media reported that Rezaian, a U.S. citizen who faces espionage and other charges, had been convicted, but did not say on which charges or whether he had been sentenced.
“By withholding information about the verdict and sentence, the Iranian government shows that its pursuit of Jason Rezaian on bogus espionage charges is nothing but a facade to prolong his unjust imprisonment,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “The authorities should immediately drop all charges against Jason Rezaian and release him, along with all journalists imprisoned in Iran in relation to their work.”
With 30 journalists behind bars, Iran was the second worst jailer of journalists in the world in 2014, after only China, according to CPJ’s most recent prison census. Iran has ranked among the world’s three worst jailers of the press every year since 2009, according to CPJ research.
In a statement today, the Post called Rezaian’s trial and sentence “a sham.”