ONE YEAR AGO tomorrow, Iranian authorities crossed a line. So each month during this year, I cross four lines, mark by mark, to tally the days of injustice for Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.
The daily counting on this canvas has extended too long, because the legal travesty in Tehran has gone on for far too long.
It was last July 22 that Rezaian, The Post’s Tehran correspondent, was detained, as was his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian journalist who was released on bail.
But for the 39-year-old Post reporter, who has dual U.S.-Iranian citizenship, justice remains detained as he marks Day 364 behind bars, as well as behind the scrim of an opaque legal system.
Rezaian has been charged with espionage, and faces other claims related to spying, his lawyer has said, and he could face 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. Post Executive Editor Martin Baron has called the allegations “grave” but also “ludicrous.”
And so month by month, I cross these lines of stolen time, even as I talk with an Iranian American acquaintance who tells me that he fears Rezaian is a pawn amid larger geopolitics. A nuclear deal is freshly struck with Iran, and still Jason waits amid international calls for his release.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists seeks legal intervention and says that it’s time.
Baron calls the charges “manufactured” — the case, in his words, is a “sham” and a “tragic farce” — and says that it’s “long past time” for this process to end.
“Never before has an international journalist been held for so long in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the CPJ writes to the head of the Iranian judiciary.
Line by quoted line come the calls for speedy release.
“We are working every single day to try to get them out,” President Obama says last week of Rezaian and several other jailed Americans.
I first learned about justice while I was a schoolkid in the Bay Area community of Mill Valley. Today, that very place is the base where Rezaian’s family sits and waits for justice to be delivered, and for their dear relative to be finally delivered home.
Day by day, line by line, the travesty is tallied.
And the only apparent crime is robbing a man of his due freedom for yet one more day.
One year is here. Let this be the finish line.
A YEAR IN SKETCHES:
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