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Kerry: Iran Should Release US Reporter Immediately

  • 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.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" about the way Iran has handled the case of a U.S. journalist who has been detained in Iran since July without being formally charged with any offense.

Kerry called Sunday for the immediate release of The Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

The newspaper reported early Sunday that Rezaian was officially charged Saturday in a 10-hour proceeding in a Tehran courtroom nearly five months after his arrest.

The Post said "the nature of the charges" against Rezaian, who holds dual Iranian/American citizenship, was not immediately clear "to those present in the courtroom." Rezaian was accompanied by a translator because he does not speak Farsi.

The newspaper said Rezaian's court appearance came two days "after word arrived in the West" that his detention has been extended until mid-January because the investigation against him is ongoing.

Rezaian's family has hired a lawyer for him, but the lawyer has not been allowed to visit him. Kerry said denying access to a lawyer "is a clear violation of Iran's own laws and international norms."

The top U.S. diplomat said he has "repeatedly raised Jason's case" with Iranian officials.

The Washington Post said Rezaian's family was concerned about his health because he has high blood pressure, multiple infections, back issues and emotional stress from his detention in Tehran's Evin prison.

Rezaian was arrested on July 22 with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is also a journalist. She was released on bail in October and is the only one who has been allowed visits with him, though infrequently.

Some information for this report came from AP and AFP.

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