Washington Post seeks United Nations agency help in freeing reporter
The petition goes on to say Rezaian “has not been spared such treatment”, and then lists several medical ailments he has suffered from during his 365 days behind bars.
Although Salehi was freed, her husband Rezaian was charged with espionage and distributing anti-government propaganda and has been held ever since.
“For the past several months he has been subjected to a sham trial on trumped-up charges of espionage and other supposed offenses”, Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said during a news conference announcing the petition. Rezaian has appeared in an Iranian courtroom a number of occasions, and his lawyer stated this week the subsequent courtroom listening to could possibly be the final one in the case earlier than a verdict is introduced.
The torn-up brother made a similar plea to members of Congress last month, along with family members of three other Americans held hostage in Iran.
“It’s always been our beliefs that tying Jason’s release to the deal could have been problematic”, Ali Rezaian said Wednesday during a news conference in Washington. “And it violates common decency”.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the negotiations with Iran to curb its disputed nuclear program, told MSNBC he had raised the issue with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif every time they met. But despite this, Rezaian remains in jail without another trial date publicly scheduled.
The USA daily said it hopes the petition filed with the UN Human Rights Council’s working group on arbitrary detention will help secure the release of the reporter, who has been accused of espionage. The newspaper’s lawyers said that Iran has been responsive to about a third of the cases filed with the working group in the past decade. Jay Kennedy, the newspaper’s general counsel, said the tactic hadn’t been tried sooner because “we never expected his detention to last this long”. He said “humanitarian” reasons had motivated the discussion but did not elaborate.
Rezaian is a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who was born and spent most of his life in the United States.
His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, a journalist for The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi, and two photographers were detained along with Rezaian on July 22, 2014, in Tehran. There began a blatant abuse of human rights and Iranian and worldwide law that continues until this day.
Rezaian’s release not being a part of the nuclear agreement has been a sore point for some Americans.