Statement from Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron ahead of Jason Rezaian’s trial in Iran:
The shameful acts of injustice continue without end in the treatment of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian. Now we learn his trial will be closed to the world. And so it will be closed to the scrutiny it fully deserves.
It’s worth recalling what kind of system we’re dealing with. Jason was arrested without charges. He was imprisoned in Iran’s worst prison. He was placed in isolation for many months and denied medical care he needed. His case was assigned to a judge internationally notorious for human rights violations. He could not select the lawyer of his choosing. He was given only an hour and a half to meet with a lawyer approved by the court. No evidence has ever been produced by prosecutors or the court to support these absurd charges. The trial date was only disclosed to Jason’s lawyer last week. And now, unsurprisingly but unforgivably, it turns out the trial will be closed.
Jason’s mother, Mary, who has spent the last two weeks in Iran awaiting the trial, will not be permitted to attend. His wife, Yeganeh, who faces related charges, will also be barred; she is to be tried separately. Efforts by The Washington Post to secure a visa that would have allowed a senior editor to travel to Iran have gone unanswered by the authorities in Tehran.
There is no justice in this system, not an ounce of it, and yet the fate of a good, innocent man hangs in the balance. Iran is making a statement about its values in its disgraceful treatment of our colleague, and it can only horrify the world community.