Social Media Reacts to Jason Rezaian Conviction

The Tehran-based Washington Post reporter was arrested in July of last year, then tried for espionage.

The reaction to Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian‘s conviction in Iran has been streaming in throughout the early morning.

In what Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl calls “a sham,” Rezaian was convicted in an espionage trial after being held for 14 months.

Rezaian was arrested by Iranian authorities on July 22, 2014, and at the time was charged with an “unknown crime.” He was later indicted on four charges, including espionage. Rezaian’s trial, which began in May, took place “behind closed doors,” a fact that many people including The Post’s executive editor Martin Baron found disturbing. Rezaian and The Post have strongly denied all accusations.

Since Rezaian’s arrest, the hashtag #FreeJason has been used by supporters as a sign of solidarity with the imprisoned journalist, and Sunday’s conviction triggered an outpouring of dismay and frustration from Jason’s defenders.

 

In a statement following the verdict, Baron said, “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.”

There is not yet any news of what sentence will be imposed, though The Post reports Rezaian could face 10 to 20 years. Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ahsan, is expected to appeal the conviction immediately as well as ask that Rezaian be released on bail until “a final resolution is reached.”