Washington Post reporter Rezaian ‘convicted’ in Tehran
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A court in Iran has convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, Iran’s ISNA news agency said on Sunday, in a ruling the US newspaper blasted as “an outrageous injustice”.
ISNA quoted judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei as saying the California-born Rezaian, the paper’s Tehran bureau chief, had 20 days to appeal the verdict.
Rezaian was arrested in July 2014. He was accused of espionage. “He has been convicted. ... But I don’t have the details of his verdict,” the news agency quoted Ejei as saying.
The case has been a sensitive issue for Washington and Iran, and Sunday’s announcement did little to resolve it. State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was monitoring the case closely.
“We continue to call for all charges against Jason to be dropped and for him to be immediately released,” Kirby said earlier.
Iran has accused Rezaian, 39, of collecting confidential information and giving it to hostile governments, writing a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama and acting against national security. The Post has dismissed the charges as absurd.
The final hearing in his trial was on Aug. 10.
Earlier, Ejei told a televised news conference that a ruling had been issued but did not say that Rezaian was convicted.
Post vows to appeal
In a statement on Monday, Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said the newspaper was working with Rezaian’s family and lawyer to prepare a quick appeal, describing the verdict as “an outrageous injustice”.
The newspaper’s foreign editor, Douglas Jehl, said the vague nature of Tehran’s announcement showed Rezaian’s case was not just about espionage but that the reporter was a bargaining chip in a “larger game.”
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)
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