Iran sentences journalist Jason Rezaian to prison

Posted at 8:23 AM, Nov 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-22 10:23:33-05
By Schams Elwazer


(CNN) — An Iranian court has sentenced Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to prison for spying, the semiofficial news agency Tasnim reported Sunday.

The length of the sentence was not specified, Tasnim reported.

“The verdict has been issued but has not been officially handed down to the accused or his lawyer. … Given the fact that the verdict has not been officially handed down, I cannot reveal the details but what I can say is that the accused has been sentenced to prison,” judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei said, accordng to Tasnim.

No details were provided on the exact nature of the verdict.

Rezaian, The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, was detained in Iran in July 2014.

Douglas Jehl, the foreign editor for the newspaper, released a statement calling Rezaian’s trial and sentence “a sham” and demanding his release.

“We’re aware of the reports in the Iranian media, but have no further information at this time. Every day that Jason is in prison is an injustice. He has done nothing wrong. Even after keeping Jason in prison 488 days so far, Iran has produced no evidence of wrongdoing,” it said.

The U.S. State Department also called for Rezaian’s release.

“We’ve seen the reports of a sentence in the case of U.S. citizen Jason Rezaian in Iran, but cannot confirm the details ourselves at this time. If true, we call on the Iranian authorities to vacate this sentence and ‎immediately free Jason so that he can be returned to his family. We also call for the immediate release of Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati and for Iran to work cooperatively with us to locate Robert Levinson,” a State Department spokesperson told CNN.

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