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Detained journalist is victim of US-Iran negotiations

first_imgNews to go further News Help by sharing this information Iran: Press freedom violations recounted in real time January 2020 His family reported that his detention was extended for another 60 days and that he still has not been allowed to meet with the lawyer they hired for him. The Iranian authorities have not announced the charges. Rezaian is the Tehran correspondent of the Washington Post, which reported that, after five months of arbitrary detention, his appearance before a judge on 6 December lasted ten hours.Commenting officially for the first time on Rezaian’s detention, US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “The United States is deeply disappointed and concerned by reports that the Iranian judiciary has charged Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian with unspecified charges, and that the judge denied his request to be released on bail.”Reza Moini, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Iran/Afghanistan desk, said: “Westerners, especially journalists, have for years been the victims of the Iranian regime’s security paranoia and its tendency to use them as bargaining chips in diplomatic negotiations – all this amid a complicit silence from the international community.”Moini added: “Rezaian did nothing wrong. He is the victim of infighting among Iran’s leadership factions and tension between the international community and Iran. The international community, and the US in particular, must condemn this practice, which is tantamount to hostage-taking, and must make human rights and the release of journalists a priority in their talks with Iran.”Revolutionary Guards in plain clothes arrested Rezaian at his Tehran home on 22 July along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi – an Iranian journalist working for The National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates – and two other US citizens.Their apartment was searched and ransacked, and all computers and electronic devices were seized. The two other US citizens were released provisionally a month later. After payment of a large sum in bail, Salehi was freed provisionally on 4 October pending trial.After his utterly illegal arrest, Rezaian “disappeared” into the arcane machinery of the Revolutionary Guard security apparatus. For weeks, his name did not appear in any official prison register and his place of detention is still unknown. He was denied the most basic rights, including the services of a lawyer and regular family visits.He has been subjected to long periods of solitary confinement and other forms or pressure with the aim of extracting a confession for use in a trial. The ordeal has reportedly affected him physically and psychologically, and he is said to have lost 30 kilos. The right to adequate medical treatment is one of the many rights denied to detainees in Iran.According to article 168 of the constitution, defendants prosecuted on political charges, including media charges, should be given public, jury trials but most of these trials are held behind closed doors. Defence lawyers are often sidelined and denied access to the case files and in some cases defendants are not even told they have been tried and condemned.Rezaian’s family, which launched a petition this week, told Reporters Without Borders: “Our family urges Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to show the international community that Iran is indeed a country that respects its laws, and order the immediate and unconditional release of Jason and Yeganeh.” Reporters Without Borders is very worried to learn that Jason Rezaian, a journalist with US and Iranian dual citizenship who has been held since 22 July, was charged before a Tehran judge on 6 December and was refused bail. News After Hengameh Shahidi’s pardon, RSF asks Supreme Leader to free all imprisoned journalists June 9, 2021 Find out more Receive email alerts IranMiddle East – North Africa Follow the news on Iran Call for Iranian New Year pardons for Iran’s 21 imprisoned journalists RSF_en IranMiddle East – North Africa March 18, 2021 Find out more News Organisation December 11, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Detained journalist is victim of US-Iran negotiations February 25, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more