Iran begins third session in trial of detained Washington Post reporter

Published July 13th, 2015 - 07:58 GMT

A third closed-door session began Monday in the heavily-criticized trial of the Washington Post's Iran correspondent Jason Rezaian, accused of espionage and distribution of propaganda, AP reported

Two previous sessions for the dual Iranian-American citizen were held in late May and early June.

Rezaian, 39, has been held in detention 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, he 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 his 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 his employer the Washington Post have heavily criticized Rezaian’s detainment and have called for his release. 

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

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