Twenty-five media bosses are calling on the U.S. government to secure the release of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who has been jailed in Iran on spying charges.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday January 8, they write: “On behalf of our organizations and journalists around the world, we are writing to urge you to maintain your efforts to forge a path to that release.”
The letter is signed by Associated Press executive editor Kathleen Carroll, Reuters editor in chief Stephen Adler, CNN president Jeff Zucker, New York Times editor Dean Baquet, and Bloomberg editor John Micklethwait, among others.
The letter goes on to state: “Independent journalism is recognized as a fundamental human right. Iran should recognize this, too, and free Jason. The United States has considerable leverage with Iran right now to press that point, and we urge you to continue to do so.”
Rezaian, who holds both Iranian and U.S. citizenship, was jailed last year for “spying and hostile activities” against the Islamic Republic. He has been tried behind closed doors but no court decisions have been officially issued for him.
In September, 11 Iranian MPs wrote to the Minister of Justice to provide them with information regarding the “spying activities” of Rezaian.
The Washington Post has denied all charges brought against Rezaian and together with U.S. officials have called for his release.