An Iranian journalist detained in Iran since July along with her husband, The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tehran, has been released from custody, a family member said Sunday.
While Yeganeh Salehi was freed on bail in the middle of last week, her husband, Jason Rezaian, remains imprisoned, his brother, Ali, wrote in an e-mail.
Salehi succeeded in visiting Rezaian over the weekend and said that she and her husband are “physically healthy” despite being in custody for 21 / 2 months, Ali Rezaian said. There have been concerns about Rezaian’s health because he has high blood pressure and must take medication daily.
As first disclosed to the National, an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper for which Salehi was working in Iran, she now does not have accreditation to work as a journalist in Iran. Neither she nor her family in Tehran will be speaking to the media about their detentions, Ali Rezaian said, and he asked for their privacy to be respected.
“We are thankful Yeganeh has been released on bail,” said a statement by her family. “We remain confident that Jason has committed no crime. We pray that the Iranian government will conclude that Jason should be released as well.”
Rezaian and Salehi were arrested July 22 amid murky circumstances. A photojournalist and her husband also were arrested, but they have been released.
Iran has never stated why Rezaian, 38, a dual American and Iranian citizen, and his wife were arrested or what charges they are facing, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told NPR last month that Rezaian was being interrogated “for what he has done as an Iranian citizen.” Neither their families nor the Post have been given any further explanation.
The State Department has called for the release of Rezaian and the others, and also asked about their condition through Switzerland, which acts as an intermediary since Washington does not have diplomatic relations with Tehran. But Iran does not recognize dual nationality and maintains that the United States has no right to weigh in on the arrest of people holding U.S. and Iranian passports.
Douglas Jehl, the foreign editor of The Post, urged Iran to release Rezaian soon.
“We’re relieved that Yeganeh Salehi is home with her family in Tehran after more than 10 weeks in government detention,” Jehl said in a statement. “But Jason Rezaian, The Post’s Tehran correspondent, is still being held without explanation, as he has been since July 22. It is long past time for the Iranian authorities to release Jason and to permit him and Yegi to leave the country.”
In a letter to the editor last month, Salehi’s mother, Fatemeh Talaei, said neither her daughter nor her son-in-law knew why they were being held.
Rezaian’s mother, Mary Breme Rezaian, wrote in a separate letter published along with the one from Talaei that her son had been writing about Iran for a decade to promote more understanding between the United States and Iran.
“Jason did it because he loves Iran and wanted to walk in his ancestors’ footsteps,” she wrote. “His goal as a journalist is to dispel myths each country has about the other, first as a freelancer and now as The Post’s correspondent in Tehran.”