‘Espionage’ trial resumes in Iran for detained American journalist

Published June 8th, 2015 - 12:58 GMT
Detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, photojournalist Yeganeh Salehi.  Both were arrested for espionage last July while working in Iran, but Salehi was later released. (AFP/File)
Detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife, photojournalist Yeganeh Salehi. Both were arrested for espionage last July while working in Iran, but Salehi was later released. (AFP/File)

An Iranian court on Monday resumed the trial of detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian on a number of charges, including espionage, reported the Washington Post.  

The first hearing of the Iranian-American dual citizen was held in Tehran on May 26.  Rezaian has been detained since July 2014, when he was arrested along with his wife, photojournalist Yeganeh Salehi, and two other photojournalists.  All were eventually released except for Rezaian, who has been held in Tehran’s Evin prison. 

Rezaian, who became the Washington Post’s Iran correspondent in 2012, is accused of activity against Iran and spying for the US government, the Post reported. 

However, Rezaian has denied the accusations. “I am a journalist, and all of my activities have been conducted as a journalist, and all were legal,” Iran’s semiofficial Mehr News Agency quoted him as saying in the May 26 hearing. 

Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ahsan, told AFP reporters in April there was “no justifiable proof” to support the charges against her client. 

US President Obama, as well as relatives, rights watchdogs, and the Washington Post have called for Rezaian’s release and have denounced the espionage charges against him.

The charges Rezaian faces carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 


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