Washington Post reporter detained in Iran has hearing Monday

Jun 3, 2015, 1:18 PM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian will face the second day of his closed-door espionage trial on Monday, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported Wednesday.

The ISNA report quoted Rezaian’s lawyer, Leila Ahsan, as giving the hearing’s date. Rezaian’s brother, Ali, later told The Associated Press by email that the judge told Ahsan that Monday would be the next hearing.

Rezaian, the Post’s 39-year-old bureau chief, had his first closed-door hearing in May 26 in a Revolutionary Court on charges including espionage and propaganda against the Islamic Republic. U.S. officials, the Post and rights groups have criticized his trial, which comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over its contested nuclear program.

The Post has said Rezaian, already held over 300 days, faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. Post spokeswoman Molly Gannon said the newspaper had no comment Wednesday.

Rezaian, his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, and two photojournalists were detained on July 22 in Tehran. All were later released except Rezaian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who was born and spent most of his life in the United States. Iran does not recognize other nationalities for its citizens.

Salehi, a reporter for The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, remains in Iran, barred from traveling abroad, the Post has said. She and one of the unnamed photojournalists reportedly also will face trial.

At his first hearing, the court alleged that Rezaian had written to U.S. President Barack Obama and also cited a trip he made to the U.S. Consulate in Dubai, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Martin Baron, the Post’s executive editor, later described Rezaian’s letter as an online job application for Obama’s administration after his 2008 election, though he was never hired. Three years later, Rezaian began reporting for the Post.

Ali Rezaian earlier said his brother visited the consulate to get a U.S. visa for his wife.

___

Associated Press writer Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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Washington Post reporter detained in Iran has hearing Monday