Tags: Iran | Jason Rezaian | journalist | iran | prisoner

Jailed Journalist Imprisoned Longer Than 1979 Hostages

Jailed Journalist Imprisoned Longer Than 1979 Hostages
 Mary Rezaian, left, the mother of detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, right, leave the Revolutionary Court after a hearing on August 10, 2015 in the capital Tehran. (Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 09 October 2015 06:03 PM

Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been jailed in Iran longer than Americans from the U.S. Embassy who were part of the infamous 1979 hostage crisis — a "horribly depressing" milestone that "crushes his spirits," his brother said Friday.

In an interview with CNN's "The Lead" host Jake Tapper, Ali Rezaian said his jailed brother was expected to speak with his mother from Iran, where it was already Saturday, the 445th day of the reporter's incarceration after being charged and tried for espionage and other crimes.

A closed trial ended two months ago, but a verdict has yet to be announced, the Washington Times notes

Rezaian, an American of Iranian descent, is one of three Americans being held prisoner in Iran; he has denied the charges against him. 

"These kind of milestones are just horribly depressing for him … it just crushes his spirits," Ali Rezaian tells CNN.  "I just want my brother home … This is just a situation that's been horrible for all of us."

Ali Rezaian said the family has been kept in the dark "both here and in Iran" about his brother's fate.

"They have't been giving us any updates," he said, adding pleas for information have been "completely ignored."

Though Ali Rezaian says it was "shocking" the release of his brother was not made part of the Obama administration's deal for a nuclear pact with Iran, he notes U.S. officials "always kept them separate."

"I was always concerned there wouldn't be a deal and that would have backfired," he said. "Jason shouldn't be tied to any external factors… its' inhumane and illegal to hold Jason in prison for … [something] he's had nothing to do with."

He also dismissed the suggestion his brother's release might have been part of a deal that would include easing sanctions on Iran.

"Jason is innocent…. I don't see why the U.S. should have to do anything," he said.

In a statement, the Washington Post called Rezaian's prolonged jailing a "milestone significant in its injustice."

"Jason has been subjected to a secret, sham trial, solitary confinement, relentless interrogations, physical mistreatment and psychological abuse,” Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post, said, the Washington Times reports.

"Iran continues to tell the world it has changed, but how can they expect the international community to believe that if Iran continues to treat Jason the way they treated the U.S. hostages more than 35 years ago," added Post publisher Frederick Ryan Jr., the Washington Times reports.

"It is hard to understand how the United States government or any nation can place the slightest confidence in the words of an oppressive regime that has consistently denied Jason's basic human rights and is violating their own laws regarding the rights of the accused."

Earlier Friday, Ali Rezaian criticized Iran for using his brother as "political pawn."

"It is unconscionable that he has been imprisoned for nearly 15 months—three times longer than any Western journalist ever held in Iran," he said in a statement. "His unlawful detention has continued for far too long. Jason deserves to be vindicated and we again call on Iran to set him free without further delay."

Ali Rezaian recently appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, and a petition was for his brother's release has been submitted to the United Nation's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

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Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been jailed in Iran longer than Americans from the U.S. Embassy who were part of the infamous 1979 hostage crisis - a "horribly depressing" milestone that "crushes his spirits," his brother said Friday.
Jason Rezaian, journalist, iran, prisoner
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2015-03-09
Friday, 09 October 2015 06:03 PM
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