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Iran Extends Detention of Washington Post Journalist

  • VOA News

FILE - Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran.

FILE - Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran.

The family of Washington Post Tehran correspondent Jason Rezaian says Iran has extended his detention by two months.

Rezaian is being held in Iran's Evin Prison, where Thursday is his 135th day in custody since being arrested without explanation in late July. No charges against him have been filed and he has not been able to meet with his lawyer.

His brother, Ali, said Wednesday that a new document dated November 18 orders at least two months to be added to his detention.

Ali Rezaian also said his family is concerned about the journalist's health, which has been deteriorating since October.

Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said there is still no clear idea of why Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, is being held, and that "he never should have been arrested and imprisoned in the first place."

His detention is believed to be the longest of any western journalist in Iran.

The Post's Baron urged Iranian authorities to release Rezaian.

The head of the Middle East and North Africa division for Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson, also called Wednesday for the journalist to be released. She said if there was evidence Rezaian committed a crime, "they should have charged him shortly after his arrest."

Rezaian's wife, Yeganeh Salehi, is a correspondent for the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National and was also taken into custody on July 22. She was freed on bail in early October. Iran did not publicly explain the circumstances of her detention or release.

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