The family of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, convicted in an Iranian court over the weekend of charges that included espionage, decried his trial and the verdict, as did journalists around the world.
"Today's announcement by the Iranian government that a ruling has been issued regarding the case of my brother, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, is unfortunately just another sad chapter in his 14-month illegal imprisonment and opaque trial process," Jason's brother, Ali Rezaian, said in a statement. "It follows an unconscionable pattern by Iranian authorities of silence, obfuscation, delay and a total lack of adherence to international law, as well as Iranian law. The Iranian government has never provided any proof of the trumped-up espionage and other charges against Jason, so today's vague statement on a purported verdict, while certainly disappointing to our family, is not surprising."
Rezaian was arrested along with his wife, Iranian journalist Yeganeh Salehi, when security forces raided their home last year. He went on trial in May. More from Ali Rezaian's statement:
"While the status of any verdict in his case remains unclear, there is much about Jason we know for certain. Jason was simply a journalist doing his job and following all the rules when he was wrongly arrested and imprisoned in Tehran's infamous Evin prison. He is an innocent man that has been kept under harsh conditions to the detriment of his health and well-being for nearly 450 days. There is worldwide condemnation for the Iranian government's unlawful detention of Jason and calls from across the globe for his immediate release. We remain hopeful that Jason will soon be released and reunited with this family."
Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, called the verdict an "outrageous injustice."
"Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing. For now, no sentence has been announced."
Edward Snowden, the U.S. contractor who fled to Russia after leaking documents on government surveillance programs, called the conviction shocking and said it "must not stand."
State Department spokesman John Kirby said that — although news reports on Rezaian's conviction were out — there was no "official confirmation of a verdict on specific charges or any further information."
Anthony Bourdain, host of CNN's "Parts Unknown," had Rezaian and Salehi on his show when he was in Tehran.
John Hughes, president of the National Press Club, called Rezaian's trial a sham and said he "must be set free."
"Iran has tried to make its point with this conviction that it can do whatever it wants in its legal system. Now he must be released and returned to his family. He has done nothing wrong. Iran knows this. Shame on them."
Journalists, many who tweeted using the hashtag #freejason, condemned the decision.
"Convicting Rezaian, testing missiles, troops into Syria," David Rothkopf of Foreign Policy tweeted. "Those who thought deal would change Iran ... well, not so much."
"@AP says that an Iranian court has convicted Jason Rezaian," Foreign Policy's Middle East editor David Kenner said. "Farce."
Some decried the murkiness of the conviction, about which few details were immediately available.
"Not even Jason's family know what the conviction is," Danielle Moylan, a former Australian diplomat and a Foreign Policy contributor, wrote.