Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian Found Guilty in Iran Espionage Case

Iran Bureau Chief’s sentence is unknown; paper’s editor Marty Baron calls conviction “an outrageous injustice” and “contemptible”

Washington Post Journalist Jason Rezaian

Washington Post Iran correspondent Jason Rezaian was found guilty of espionage and propaganda charges, Iranian State TV reported on Sunday.

The sentence for the American-Iranian reporter is unknown at this time. He’s been imprisoned for over 14 months on charges of espionage, which he and the Post have vehemently denied.

The newspaper’s editor, Marty Baron, called the guilty verdict “an outrageous injustice” and “contemptible.”

“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 said.

Baron said there will be an immediate appeal to the conviction; Rezaian’s lawyer has 20 days to file.

“The contemptible end to this ‘judicial process’ leaves Iran’s senior leaders with an obligation to right this grievous wrong,” Baron continued.

“Jason is a victim — arrested without cause, held for months in isolation, without access to a lawyer, subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and now convicted without basis. He has spent nearly 15 months locked up in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, more than three times as long than any other Western journalists.”

Foreign editor Douglas Jehl said the United States government needs to step up its demands for the immediate release of Rezaian.

“We think they can do more,” he told “Morning Joe” on Monday. Rezaian has been held in Evin prison, which is known for its interrogations of political prisoners. As his trial went on, details were kept secret while Rezaian’s mother and wife weren’t permitted to attend.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhan has raised the prospect that Rezaian could be released as part of a prisoner swap that would see Iranians held by the U.S. because of violation sanctions released.

As in the case of three Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in 2013, media have expressed outrage at Rezaian’s conviction, calling it part of a larger threat against journalists who are simply doing their jobs around the world.