Iran Should Release Jason Rezaian

Last week Jasmin reported on the case of American-Iranian journalist Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief who has been detained in Iran since July 22, 2014. Jason turned 39 in Tehran’s Evin prison on Mar. 15. Citing both his birthday and the upcoming Persian New Year (Nowruz), when the government traditionally offers gestures of goodwill, his lawyer has submitted a furlough request. You can learn about the details of his case in Jasmin’s article, or by visiting this website, which was set up for Jason and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who was also detained along with Jason but released on bail in October.

Jason covered Iran for IPS and LobeLog periodically until 2012 when the Washington Post, for which he had also acted as a stringer, promoted him to its Tehran correspondent. I consider Jason a friend who has strived consistently to provide his readers with a deeper understanding of contemporary Iran, in all its social and cultural, as well as political complexity, and I’ve joined other U.S. journalists, as well as celebrities, in calling for his release.

Jasmin informed me that Rezaian’s brother, Ali, told her during an interview that Jason’s mother is an avid reader of LobeLog (as was Jason). Mary, if you’re reading this, we at LobeLog support you and hope that Jason is returned home safe and sound soon.

Please watch the video above and sign the petition for Jason’s release, which already has more than 240,000 signatories. Jason loved Iran and his life there and repeatedly demonstrated that in his reporting. I sincerely hope that the authorities with responsibility for his case will take that record fully into account in considering his attorney’s appeal and, as a humanitarian and merciful gesture, permit Jason to be reunited with his family and friends on the occasion of the New Year.

Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.


One Comment

  1. Watched the video and signed the petition. This is a travesty. Rezaian should be released since he has not been given the due process of law. So should all political prisoners. If the foolish dictators who run Iran had a brain they’d know how self-destructive these moves are. If people like Rezaian have broken any laws, then prosecute them at a public court. If that doesn’t happen that leaves no question these imprisonments are politically motivated and not legally based. These are the moves consistent with a dictatorship and not a democracy as the mullahs want us to believe, and that’s how with their own hands the dictators paint the worst possible pictures of themselves before the eyes of the world.

    The other travesty is every move against the Iranian regime is justified by fighting terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and Iran’s ambitions, all of which are quite dubious to most people. Only token lip service is paid to human rights of Iranian citizens. Yet, the sanctions, as well as other other measures against Iran are primarily hurting the same beleaguered Iranian population that tried to rid itself of the regime. Furthermore, the hostilities against Iran is by and large encouraged by the likes of Arab countries and Israel, neither one of which is any better than the clerical regime of Iran when it comes to human rights.

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