06:58 - Source: CNN
Brother of American jailed in Iran speaks out

Story highlights

Jason Rezaian was arrested in July

His first court appearance will be next week

CNN —  

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who is charged with espionage, will make his first court appearance in Iran’s Revolution Court next week, the nation’s Fars news agency reported Tuesday.

The newspaper’s Tehran bureau chief was arrested in July on several charges, including spying.

The Washington Post has rejected the allegations.

“Any charges of that sort would be absurd, the product of fertile and twisted imaginations,” the paper said in a statement last month.

The U.S. State Department called the charges “absurd.”

Since officers picked up Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, on July 22 at their home, the Post, the State Department and Rezaian’s family have protested and called for his release. Salehi was released on bail in October.

Rezaian was denied bail. And for months, he was denied access to proper legal representation, his family has said.

Boxing great Muhammad Ali, also an American Muslim, appealed to Tehran last month to give Rezaian full access to legal representation and free him on bail.

“To my knowledge, Jason is a man of peace and great faith, a man whose dedication and respect for the Iranian people is evident in his work,” Ali said in a religiously worded statement.

The journalist has also not been allowed to see visitors aside from his wife and has endured long interrogations, family members have said.

In December, after a 10-hour hearing, Rezaian signed a paper to acknowledge that he understood the charges against him, the Post reported.

Iran’s human rights chief, Mohammad Javad Larijani, told news outlet France 24 last year that he hoped Rezaian’s case would come to a positive conclusion. He said, “Let us hope that this fiasco will end on good terms.”

Tehran to try Washington Post bureau chief on espionage charges

CNN’s Shirzad Bozorgmehr contributed to this report.