A Christmas miracle: Jailed reporter in Iran allowed visit from family over holidays

Published December 27th, 2015 - 08:00 GMT
The visit from his family was the longest of its kind in a little over a year.
The visit from his family was the longest of its kind in a little over a year.

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been imprisoned in Iran for over a year, was allowed to share a home-cooked meal with his wife and mother on Christmas day.

Rezaian's wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and his mother, Mary Rezaian, visited the jailed reporter in Evin Prison in Tehran.

"It was the longest meeting with him since she arrived last December," Rezaian's brother Ali told The New York Times in an email, referring to his mother.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron issued a statement Friday calling the apparent show of clemency from Iranian officials a "happy occasion" but continued to call for Rezaian's release.

"We are enormously pleased that our colleague Jason was permitted to spend extended time with his mother, Mary, and his wife, Yegi. It is a happy occasion for them and for all of us. And yet, we have to note, this visit is a rare exception in the 522 days of tragic, unjust imprisonment of a good, honorable and innocent man.

We welcome this act of basic humanity, and we encourage his jailers in Iran to follow up by doing all that justice and decency require: Release Jason from prison and allow him a return to life as a free man who can spend time with his family where and whenever he pleases."

Rezaian serves as the Post's Tehran correspondent, and was jailed in July 2014 with his wife upon suspicion of espionage. Rezaian's wife was released, but he went on to stand trial. USA Today reported he was charged with gathering classified information to undermine the Islamic Republic. His Post colleagues have repeatedly condemned the conviction as unfounded and have called for his release.

Rezaian holds dual United States and Iranian citizenship, and has covered Tehran for the Post since 2012. He grew up in Northern California.

By Ann Marie Awad

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