By Jahnvi Upreti
Jason Rezaian, the American-Iranian bureau chief in Tehran for the Washington Post, was found guilty of espionage, alleged propaganda against the government, as well as two other charges, on Monday, Oct. 12, in an Iranian court, reported the Atlantic. Rezaian was arrested by the Iranian government in July 2014 and has been held in Iranian prison for over one year, reported the New York Daily News.
“He has been convicted, but I don’t have the verdict’s details,” said Iran’s judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, reported New York Daily News.
It was two months after the secret trial when Iran informed the United States that they had reached the guilty verdict in the case that stands between Rezaian and his freedom, reported New York Daily News.
The details about the evidence held against him and the sentencing remain as suppressed information by the Iranian government. However, Krishnadev Calamur, a journalist for the Washington Post, noted in August that Rezaian may face up to a 20 year sentence depending on the severity of the conviction.
Currently housed in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison among legitimate convicted political prisoners, Rezaian’s captivity has sparked an international outrage according to the Washington Post.
Last year, Iranian police invaded the home of Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, taking both into custody while failing to provide substantial cause. While Salehi was released from custody on Oct. 6, 2014, Rezaian remains in the hold of Iranian authorities to this day, reported the Atlantic.
According to the Washington Post, the Iranian government is holding Rezaian accountable based on two pieces of evidence: an American visa application for his wife, as well as a letter sent to President Obama’s 2008 transition team presenting his help in ameliorating relations between Iran and the United States.
These accusations have evoked unlawful behavior from the Iranians. “Though Iranian law limits such treatment to 20 consecutive days, Mr. Rezaian was held in solitary for 90 days or more,” reported the Washington Post.
According to the Atlantic, current speculation is that Iran may potentially be seeking a prisoner exchange. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani added plausibility to this theory during his interview with 60 Minutes in September 2015 when he stated, “I don’t particularly like the word ‘exchange,’ but from a humanitarian perspective, if we can take a step, we must do it.”
Rezaian remains housed in Evin Prison, where he will stay until a verdict is reached on his appeal, the date of which is currently unknown, according to the Atlantic.