Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian Convicted in Iran

by Cassandra Vinograd /  / Updated 

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Jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian has been convicted in Iran, according to the country's judiciary and his newspaper.

Rezaian, a dual American-Iranian citizen, was detained for more than 445 days — longer than the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. His family and the newspaper insist the espionage and other charges he faced were bogus.

Image: Jason Rezaian in 2013
Jason Rezaian in 2013.AFP - Getty Images

Iran's judiciary said Sunday that a "ruling" had been reached in the trial. It gave no details on the contents of the ruling, noting that it could still be appealed — indicating a conviction had been reached.

It was not immediately clear what Rezaian had been convicted of.

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron called the guilty verdict an "outrageous injustice" and said the newspaper was working with Rezaian's family and lawyer to pursue an immediate appeal.

“Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing," he said in a statement Monday. "For now, no sentence has been announced."

Rezaian was arrested in his home in Tehran in July 2014 along with his wife. While she was later released, Rezaian — the Washington Post's Tehran bureau chief since 2012 — was charged with espionage and other crimes.

Related: Iran Charges Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian

The State Department said Monday it had seen news reports of the conviction but had yet to see any official confirmation of a verdict on specific charges or further information.

"Unfortunately, this is not surprising given that this process has been opaque and incomprehensible from the start," spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. "Regardless of whether there has been a conviction or not, we continue to call for the government of Iran to drop all charges against Jason and release him immediately."

There was no immediate comment from Rezaian's family, who on Sunday criticized the "vague" statement about a ruling. The journalist's brother, Ali Rezaian, called it "disappointing" but "not surprising."

"It follows an unconscionable pattern by Iranian authorities of silence, obfuscation, delay and a total lack of adherence to international law, as well as Iranian law," he said in a statement Sunday. "The Iranian government has never provided any proof of the trumped up espionage and other charges against Jason."

Rezaian was held for months in extreme isolation without access to a lawyer, according to his family and the Washington Post.

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