(CAVNA’S CANVAS 2015)

 

THE DRUMBEAT for justice only grows louder.

And every day, the world’s recognition of this outrage increases. I focused on that thought Friday when talking with a wise, well-traveled Iranian gentleman I know. He spoke of the political power-play within his home country. He talked of the influential perch of Christiane Amanpour, as another journalist who moves so knowledgeably between the West and Iran. And when he spoke of Washington Post bureau chief Jason Rezaian‘s long-term detention, his current term for my colleague was that of “a hostage.”

Then, as the press and the president gathered Saturday to share mild ribbing and wild mushroom ragout, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner did turn serious when talk turned to Rezaian, especially with his brother and vocal champion Ali Rezaian on hand. Some attendees wore “Free Jason” pins, and President Obama vowed that “we will not rest until we bring him home to his family, safe and sound.” Politicians on both the right (including Sen. Marco Rubio) and the left (including Secretary of State John Kerry) have been vocal amid the latest #FreeJason campaign push, and nearly 400,000 supporters have signed the change.org petition.

Then, on Sunday, Post Executive Editor Martin Baron appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” and spoke of exploring every possible avenue for his Tehran bureau chief’s release. “There has been no evidence provided by the Iranian government,” Baron said, “that he engaged in espionage or did anything other than report on what was happening in that country.”

And today, the drumbeat for freedom — that rising percussion for justice — grows with a sense of international mission and purpose.

Jason Rezaian has been in custody, arrested and held in Evin Prison, for 279 days. And so, as we have for each of the past two months, The Post’s Comic Riffs sketchbook marks our colleague’s unjust detention on a prison wall, line by tally-marking line.

It’s time to return him to journalism, and end his status as a political hostage.

It’s beyond time to Free Jason.

[March Sketchbook: Marking 236 days of unjust custody for Post reporter Jason Rezaian]

[February sketchbook: Facing the injustice of Jason Rezaian’s long detention]