go to content

Washington Post's Jason Rezaian Convicted In Iran

State TV said he had been "convicted" late Sunday, but no further information was given. His editor Martin Baron said the decision was "indefensible."

Originally posted on
Updated on

Iranian state TV reported late Sunday that jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been convicted, AP reported.

Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said during a broadcast: "He has been convicted, but I don't have the verdict's details."

In a statement responding to the conviction Monday, Washington Post editor Martin Baron said:

"Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing. For now, no sentence has been announced."

Rezaian's brother Ali said in a statement issued Monday, "The Iranian government has never provided any proof of the trumped up espionage and other charges against Jason, so today's vague statement on a purported verdict, while certainly disappointing to our family, is not surprising."

"There is worldwide condemnation for the Iranian government's unlawful detention of Jason and calls from across the globe for his immediate release. We remain hopeful that Jason will soon be released and reunited with this family," he added.

Iran's judiciary on Sunday announced a ruling had been issued in the case. Rezaian has been jailed there for more than a year on espionage charges.

However, Iranian officials did not specify what the ruling was, leading to widespread confusion.

"The ruling on this case has been issued," Ejei told reporters Sunday at a press conference, Reuters reported. "There is still the possibility of this ruling being appealed and it is not final."

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said it was unclear whether the ruling included a verdict or a sentence, nor whether any information had been conveyed to Rezaian's lawyers.

"This vague and puzzling statement by the government of Iran only adds to the injustice that has surrounded Jason’s case since his arrest 15 months ago," Baron said in a statement.

Rezaian was working as the newspaper’s Tehran bureau chief when he was arrested in July 2014 by Iranian authorities.

He was held for months before being charged with espionage, collecting classified information, collaborating with hostile governments, and propaganda against the establishment.

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

In a statement, Rezaian's brother, Ali, called Sunday's news "another sad chapter in his 14-month illegal imprisonment and opaque trial process."

"It follows an unconscionable pattern by Iranian authorities of silence, obfuscation, delay, and a total lack of adherence to international law, as well as Iranian law," Ali Rezaian said.

"The Iranian government has never provided any proof of the trumped-up espionage and other charges against Jason, so today's vague statement on a purported verdict, while certainly disappointing to our family, is not surprising," he said.

State Department spokesman John Kirby told Reuters the U.S. was monitoring the case.

"We continue to call for all charges against Jason to be dropped and for him to be immediately released," Kirby said.

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.