Washington Post journalist, Jason Rezaian, who was apprehended in July 2014 and charged with alleged espionage among other allegations, has been convicted today.
According to Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the announcement aired late Sunday evening on state TV, but remained vague about the punishment that Rezaian could face.
“He has been convicted, but I don’t have the details,” Ejehi said.
Douglas Jehl, foreign editor for the Washington Post, called the trial proceedings a sham, and he criticized the obscurity of the conviction.
“That’s the kind of secrecy and double-talk that has pervaded this entire case,” Jehl told CNN.
Rezaian reportedly faces up to 20 years in prison, but the court decision is eligible for appeal within 20 days.
Martin Baron, The Washington Post executive editor said that the guilty ruling is “an outrageous injustice.”
“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,” Baron told the Associated Press.
The Post continues to work diligently with Rezain’s lawyer and family to push for his swift release on bail pending a final verdict.
Talk of Jason Rezaian as an unfortunate pawn in a political faceoff between major world powers and Iran over the curb of its nuclear program seems to clarify questions surrounding his imprisonment.
President Hassan Rouhani raised the possibility of a prisoner swap with the U.S., but Iran’s judiciary rejected the idea, according to the Associated Press.
Iran’s state media indict that Rezaian is an American spy posing as a journalist, and because of his reports many have suffered U.S. infractions.
“The information Rezain provided to Americans led to many businessmen and Iranians as well as international companies being placed under U.S. sanctions.”
The Western journalist has now been incarcerated in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison for 444 days, longer than any American journalist in the past.