Iran Prolongs Detention of US Journalist

Iran has prolonged the detention of Jason Rezaian, Washington Post‘s bureau chief in Tehran for up to 60 days, without citing clear charges.

Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, also a journalist, were arrested in July but Salehi was released on bail in October.

According to the Washington Post newspaper, hopes for Rezaian’s release rose in late October when a senior Iranian official said possible charges under review by the judiciary might be thrown out.

It remains unclear why Rezaian and Salehi were arrested on July 22 or what charges they are facing. A lawyer hired by Rezaian’s family has not been allowed to meet with him, the Post said.

“If authorities had evidence that Rezaian had committed a real crime, they should have charged him shortly after his arrest,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

“At this point, they should simply release him,” she added. The Post quoted Ali Rezaian, Rezaian’s brother, as saying “there seems to be disconnection between elements of the Iranian government.”

“There have not been any charges against him, and there is no reason to think he is guilty of anything,” Ali Rezaian said.

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