A Washington Post reporter detained in Iran for more than four months will spend at least two more months in prison, despite not yet being charged with a crime.
Jason Rezaian, the Post's Tehran correspondent, was arrested on July 22 along with three other journalists, including his wife, Yeganeh (Yegi) Salehi. One has since been released, but the remaining three are still being held.
Rezaian was informed on Nov. 18 that investigations into him are continuing, and that he will be held in pretrial detention for another two months, according to Human Rights Watch.
The NGO also said it had been informed that the lawyer hired by Rezaian's family to defend the journalist has not been allowed to speak with him or review the case file.
Rezaian is said not to have had access to a translator during his interrogation, despite his inability to read or write Persian.
"If authorities had evidence that Rezaian had committed a real crime, they should have charged him shortly after his arrest," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa director, in a statement. "At this point, they should simply release him."
Salehi, a correspondent for the Dubai-based The National, was in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship when she was arrested.
Though Rezaian hasn't been formally charged, Iran's conservative media has accused him of working as a spy. One report accused him of using his Twitter account to follow "members of the neoliberal media lobby," while another accused him of directing a video inspired by Pharrell's song "Happy" that went viral and led to the arrests of six youths earlier this year.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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