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Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian Sentenced To Prison In Iran

The newspaper says the journalist's trial and sentence are a sham.

Posted on November 22, 2015, at 10:01 a.m. ET


Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter detained in Iran for more than 15 months on espionage charges has been sentenced to a prison term, an Iranian judiciary spokesperson has announced.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told reporters in Tehran on Sunday that a court has issued a sentencing verdict in Rezaian's case that included a "prison term," but he refused to elaborate. He said the verdict has not been officially acknowledged to Rezaian, according to the official IRNA news agency.

After being arrested in July 2014 while he was working as the newspaper's Tehran bureau chief, Rezain was convicted last month on charges of espionage, collecting classified information, collaborating with hostile governments, and propaganda against the establishment. Supporters say the charges are baseless.

Rezaian's conviction last month was announced in a similarly confusing manner, with the same judiciary spokesperson telling reporters the journalist had been convicted, but providing no further details.

His supporters and human rights advocates have repeatedly complained of the shadowy, secretive nature of the Iranian judicial process.

In a statement released Sunday, Douglas Jehl, foreign editor for the Washington Post, said the newspaper was aware of the Iranian media reports of the prison sentence but had "no further information at this time."

"Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice," Jehl said. "He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 487 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing. His trial and sentence are a sham, and he should be released immediately.”