The brother of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post journalist convicted in Iran for allegedly being an America spy, has decried what he called his "cruel and inhumane" detention. Friends of the American-Iranian journalist have also spoken out about their "total shock" at his conviction.
Ali Rezaian told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his brother, who has been detained for 14 months on the charges of espionage, needs urgent help from the U.S. government to win his freedom. The journalist faces up to 20 years in prison, unless the ruling is overturned.
"I would call it unjust, I would call it cruel and inhumane, I would say Jason's lost 14 months of his life, half of his marriage, to being held without any evidence on charges that are completely trumped up," Rezaian said. more >>
In what several outlets call an "outrageous" move by the Iranian government, a Washington Post correspondent has been reportedly convicted of four crimes that have not yet been disclosed.
According to The Washington Post, Jason Rezaian has been convicted after months of trial for four charges, including espionage. He has been imprisoned four more than a year and 2 months, and while the other charges have not been detailed yet, the U.S. government has reportedly condemned the conviction.
The reports state that Rezaian was found guilty by the Tehran Revolutionary Court in August. State-run television and the Iranian Students' News Agency have both confirmed the news, stating that spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei said, "He has been convicted, but I don't have the verdict's detail." more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, has revealed that many of the updates from Iran on her husband's condition over the past three years have been coming from the pastor's parents. Naghmeh said that the trauma Abedini is going through is taking a toll on them.
"Though I am always looking forward to visitation days as my lone connection to Saeed, it pains me to know what my in-laws have lived through with their son. They live for these 15-minute visitations each week with their son, but watching your son endure the trauma of unjust imprisonment is brutal," Naghmeh said in an update earlier this week posted on the American Center for Law and Justice website.
"Increasingly, my updates from Iran come with many tears. The pain of seeing your son shackled, describing the pains in his body or the beatings he endures has at times been too much for his elderly parents. Today's update was told through uncontrollable tears. Having seen the pain of my own children, I can only imagine the pain Saeed's parents have endured the last three years," she continued. more >>
Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned American Pastor Saeed Abedini, has slammed the apparent offer by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to free her husband in exchange for releasing Iranian prisoners being held in the United States. Naghmeh argued that her husband is not "collateral" to be treated as such.
"My husband is not collateral. He is a father and a man who broke no law. Yet Iran is treating him like a pawn in a game of chess. President Rouhani's demand that America release 19 criminals in exchange for his consideration of releasing individuals like my husband, imprisoned solely for his faith, demonstrates that the Iran of today is no different than the Iran who took Americans hostage during the Iranian revolution," Naghmeh Abedini said.
"The environment is ripe for Iran to demonstrate it is ready to re-enter the global market and international scene of diplomats; it is time to show its good will, to change its image from one of a pariah to a member of the global society who will protect fundamental rights," she added. more >>
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has fired back against Republican members of Congress who've criticized the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and several Western states, calling them "laughable" and suggesting that they don't even know where Iran is located.
"Sometimes when I would have time — some of it was broadcast live and I would watch it — some of it was quite laughable. It was very strange, the things that they spoke of," Rouhani told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in an interview on Sunday, talking about ongoing Republican criticism of the deal.
"Some of them wouldn't even know where Tehran was in relation to Iran. Some of them didn't know where Iran was geographically, not distinguishing that one is the capital of the other," Rouhani added. more >>
After a new round of verbal and physical attacks from Iranian intelligence officers Wednesday, American Pastor Saeed Abedini was threatened with additional charges and more time in prison as his faithful wife, Naghmeh, pleaded for his release.
A report from the American Center for Law and Justice said shortly after a family visit at the Rajaei Shahr prison in Iran Nagmeh heard news that her husband could face added time for possible new charges on top of the eight-year sentence he's already facing for his faith.
"Yesterday (Tuesday) in Iran, Iranian intelligence officers summoned Pastor Saeed for an intense round of interrogation. Saeed reported to his family that the interrogators were abusive both verbally and physically. During the course of interrogation, the officers repeatedly used a taser gun on Saeed. This new assault is concerning as Saeed is still being denied needed medical care for injuries sustained as a result of beatings in the past," said an ACLJ report shared with The Christian Post. more >>