Iran sentences US journalist to unspecified prison sentence

Iran sentences US journalist to unspecified prison sentence

[JURIST] The Iranian state news service on Sunday announced the sentencing [Washington Post report] of a Washington Post journalist to an unspecified prison term after he was convicted on charges that include espionage. Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for the Iranian judiciary, announced the sentence of journalist Jason Rezaian [advocacy website] in a statement on the Iranian state TV website, noting simply that a prison sentence has been issued but the verdict is not yet finalized. Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ashan, told reporters that she is also not aware of the final verdict, and that it was expected three months ago. Rezaian was detained on July 22, 2014 along with his wife and two other photojournalists. He then went on trial at Tehran’s Revolutionary Court [BBC report] in a series of four closed court hearings, in which he was convicted [JURIST report] on spying and other charges. The Washington Post has denied the accusations against Rezaian.

The human rights conditions of journalist and others in Iran have continued to be an matter of concern worldwide. Earlier this month UN rights experts stated that authorities in Iran [JURIST report] should cease arresting, prosecuting and harassing journalists and online activists and the country should provide a safe space for freedom of expression. In October the UN released a report stating that Iran’s human rights situation remains alarming despite the signing [JURIST reports] of the nuclear deal earlier in October. In May UN human rights experts condemned [JURIST report] the growing number of executions in Iran in recent years. According to the Special Rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Iran and on extrajudicial executions, Iran had executed approximately six people per day between April 9 and April 26 and 350 total up to that point.