10 months after he was detained by Iranian authorities, The Washington Post‘s Jason Rezaian finally has a trial date scheduled for next week — this according to Leila Ahsan, Rezaian’s lawyer.
Among the charges that have been leveled against the Post’s bureau chief are “espionage,” “collaborating with hostile governments” and “propaganda against the establishment.”
The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, labelled Rezaian’s trial “contemptible prosecution,” releasing a statement on the news Tuesday morning:
The serious criminal charges that Jason now faces in Iran’s Revolutionary Court are not supported by a single fact. The proceedings against him have been anything but fair and open – if they had been, Jason would never have been subjected to outrageous prison conditions, obstacles to selecting a lawyer, limited time to prepare a defense, and an inadequate window on the case that Iran plans to bring against him. The absence of evidence against him should have led to dismissal of the case long ago.
Iran has already held Jason unjustly for 300 days that have included long periods of solitary confinement and severe interrogation. He has been permitted to meet only once with his lawyer, Leila Ahsan, to prepare for the trial, and only in the presence of official translators.
Despite Baron’s pleas for Iran to make the proceedings “public and transparent,” Iran’s Fars news agency reports that Rezaian will appear before a Revolutionary court on May 26, but remains uncertain whether the trial will be open to the public.
Watch President Obama and fellow journalists call for the release of Rezaian during the White House Correspondents’ Diner, courtesy of The Washington Post.