Washington Post, UN increase efforts to free US reporter in Iran
Rezaian’s incarceration is the longest for a Western journalist in Iran since the 1979 revolution. (AFP/File)
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The brother of an Iranian-American journalist in an Iranian prison made a public plea Wednesday for his brother's release on the first anniversary of his detention.
Ali Rezaian described his brother Jason's time spent inside the prison as "months of interrogation, isolation and threat".
He said his brother was deprived of a minimum level of medical attention and was frequently threatened to confess crimes he did not commit.
The family had hopes of Iran ending “their illegal and inhumane detention" of Jason after world powers and Tehran reached a deal last week concerning Iran’s nuclear deal, but that has not been the case, he said.
"Instead what we see is repeated extensions of deadlines, arbitrary extensions of Jason's detention and a secret trial which started 10 months after Jason was imprisoned and has consisted of only three days of hearings."
US officials raised the issue of captive Americans with Iran persistently during the nuclear deliberations, according to Secretary of State John Kerry.
Along with a United Nations working group, a petition focusing on Rezaian’s detention and a push for the journalist's release was also kicked off Wednesday.
The Washington Post newspaper filed the petition with the UN, requesting "urgent action" on Rezaian’s release.
More than 445,000 supporters have signed the petition.
Rezaian was arrested July 22, 2014, while working as the newspaper’s Iran correspondent. He was held for months in Iran's notorious Evin Prison before being changed with espionage and three other crimes.
The Washington Post’s Executive Editor Martin Baron said in a statement, "every aspect of this case - his incarceration, his trial, the conditions of his imprisonment — has been a disgraceful violation of human rights."
Rezaian’s incarceration is the longest for a Western journalist in Iran since the 1979 revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power, according to the newspaper's calculations.
Along with Rezaian, the US has acknowledged that three other Americans of Iranian background are detained in Iran.
A fourth American, who was a CIA contractor, remains missing after visiting the country.
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