Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter imprisoned in Iran spent his 444th day in captivity on Friday, the same length of time as the Americans held during the 1979-1981 Iranian hostage crisis.
The Post pointed out the grim comparison in a statement Tuesday, calling Mr. Rezaian’s incarceration a “milestone significant in its injustice.”
“We again call on Iran to release Jason without further delay. Jason has been subjected to a secret, sham trial, solitary confinement, relentless interrogations, physical mistreatment and psychological abuse,” said Martin Baron, executive editor of The Post.
Fellow reporters drew attention to the milestone on social media Friday.
“Today is 445th day @washingtonpost reporter Jason Rezaian has been held in Iran - longer than 444 days Americans were held in 1979-80,” CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer tweeted.
The Post pointed to Mr. Rezaian’s continued imprisonment as evidence that Iran cannot be trusted to follow through on its promises to the U.S. to uphold the new nuclear deal.
“Iran continues to tell the world it has changed, but how can they expect the international community to believe that if Iran continues to treat Jason the way they treated the U.S. hostages more than 35 years ago,” said Frederick J. Ryan Jr., The Post’s publisher. “It is hard to understand how the United States government or any nation can place the slightest confidence in the words of an oppressive regime that has consistently denied Jason’s basic human rights and is violating their own laws regarding the rights of the accused.”
Mr. Rezaian, an American of Iranian descent from Marin County, California, has been prosecuted on charges of espionage and other crimes in a closed trial, which ended nearly two months ago with no verdict yet announced.
Mr. Rezaian, one of three Americans being held prisoner in Iran, has denied the charges.
President Obama has said he is working to secure Mr. Rezaian’s release, but so far his efforts have been fruitless.