NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2015 / PRNewswire — Ali Rezaian, brother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian currently being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, today called on President Hassan Rouhani to release his brother in advance of the Iranian leader’s upcoming address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“For 427 days, Iran has unlawfully imprisoned my brother Jason without legal or moral justification,” stated Ali Rezaian. “When asked about my brother’s case in a recent 60 Minutes interview, President Rouhani said that ‘from a humanitarian perspective, if we can take a step, we must do it.’ He also said that one purpose of the nuclear deal for Iran is to ‘create more trust’ with the world. If Iran is serious, one obvious way to accomplish both objectives is to honor the rule of law and release my brother immediately. On September 28, President Rouhani will speak to the United Nations General Assembly. I call on him and his country to take advantage of this important platform to back up their words with actions and set my brother free, so he can be reunited with his family.”
“Jason was a law-abiding journalist simply doing his job and has been subjected to a long, spurious trial, charged with crimes he did not commit,” continued Mr. Rezaian. “He was arrested without legal basis, held for months in solitary confinement and aggressively interrogated for days and weeks on end. For nearly five months, Iran held Jason without charges, denied him due process and access to a lawyer. When he was finally charged, Iran denied him the lawyer of his choice and delayed their one and only pre-trial meeting for four months. The trial itself has been a farce; it has been closed to the public, lacking due process, devoid of evidence, repeatedly delayed, and profoundly unfair.”
Ali Rezaian and the Washington Post have petitioned the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to urgently call for Jason’s release. Last week, Mr. Rezaian delivered remarks before the plenary session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and also met with UN officials, country representatives and others regarding how Iran’s conduct violates fundamental rights and freedoms under both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Iran’s own constitution and laws.
“I will be in New York to listen to what President Rouhani says about my brother, make sure the other delegates, dignitaries, and media attending the UN General Assembly know the truth about Jason’s case and hopefully hear how Iran intends to honor its international and domestic legal commitments by releasing my brother,” added Mr. Rezaian. “I will continue to press for that outcome until Jason is granted the freedom he deserves.”
For more information about Jason Rezaian’s case, please visit: www.freejason.net.