The Washington Post's executive editor has clarified an article published by The Associated Press regarding the legal situation of detained journalist Jason Rezaian.
Rezaian has been imprisoned in Iran since July 2014, most of that time without any charge or access to family or legal counseling. AP reported Sunday that Rezaian was being charged with "espionage" and "acting against national security," according to the Fars News Agency. The article quoted his lawyer Leila Ahsan as saying she is in close contact with Rezaian's family and that she can "see him anytime."
The Washington Post's Martin Baron wrote Tuesday that Ahsan's quote was "misunderstood" in the piece.
"Jason has still not held a substantive discussion with Leila," Baron wrote.
He said that since Rezaian was arrested almost nine months ago, he and Ahsan have only had one actual meeting -- before she was even officially assigned to be his lawyer -- during which they could not talk about the details of his case. They are to meet for the second time next week, but Baron said that Rezaian's family was told that the meeting will be just one hour long and is the only one allowed to occur before his trial.
The family was also told that the trial could happen as soon as early May.
"The idea that Jason -- or anyone -- could be allowed only one hour with a lawyer before standing trial on serious charges is simply appalling," Baron wrote. "These kinds of Kafkaesque restrictions reflect the abject unfairness that Iran has shown at every turn in its handling of Jason’s case."
Baron reiterated that Rezaian has "done nothing wrong" and called for his immediate release.
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