NEW: Family of correspondent detained by Iran calls on Iran to respect its laws
Jason Rezaian holds dual American and Iranian citizenship
Iran has not given a reason for his arrest or specific charges
He has been the Washington Post bureau chief in Iran since 2012
Jason Rezaian has sat in jail in Iran for nearly nine months. The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran was arrested in July on unspecified allegations. It took more than four months for a judge to hear charges against him.
Jason Rezaian, who holds dual American and Iranian citizenship, has been officially charged with unspecified crimes, the newspaper reported.
His family released a statement on Sunday saying that “in its ongoing disregard of Iran’s own laws, the Iranian judiciary has continued to deny Jason access to legal representation, denied his request for bail, and prevented access to review of his case file.”
Rezaian has been the paper’s bureau chief in Tehran since 2012.
He attended a 10-hour court session in Tehran on Saturday, during which a judge revisited his case and Rezaian signed paperwork to acknowledge he understood he was being charged, the Post said.
“We’re appalled by the injustice of it all,” Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron said in an email message on Sunday morning.
“It’s disgraceful treatment of a good and decent man. There is no justification for his continued imprisonment, just as there was no justification for his arrest in the first place,” Baron wrote.
“The Iranian government has never explained why Jason was detained or why he has been held for more than four months without access to a lawyer,” Baron said earlier. “Jason is an American citizen who was acting as a fully accredited journalist. … Any fair legal proceeding would quickly determine that any allegations against him are baseless.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Iran to free Rezaian.
“We call on (the) Iranian government to drop any charges against Jason Rezaian and release him so he can be reunited with his family,” the State Department tweeted on Kerry’s behalf.
Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi, was arrested with him, but she was released on bail in October, according to the Post.
His family is asking for his “immediate and unconditional release.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter reported on this story from New York and Faith Karimi and Mark Morgenstein wrote it in Atlanta.