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Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian convicted as Iran contemplates prisoner exchange

The Washington Post said Monday that its correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been detained in Iran for more than a year on espionage charges, has been convicted.

Rezaian, who has been the Post’s correspondent in Tehran since 2012, was arrested in July 2014. He was taken to Evin Prison, where he has been subject to solitary confinement and brutal interrogations. He has been in jail longer than any other Western journalist in Iran since the 1979 revolution.

It remains unclear what Rezaian’s sentence will be, but he is potentially facing 10 to 20 years in jail. His arrest has been widely condemned, and with the news of his conviction many, including journalists, Speaker John Boehner and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, took to twitter to express their outrage at the verdict, using the hashtag #FreeJason.

Iran, in recent weeks, has raised the idea of a prisoner swap to free Rezaian. President Hassan Rouhani, among other Iranian officials, has suggested that Rezaian, along with two other Iranian Americans, could be exchanged for Iranians being held by the U.S. for violating sanctions against Tehran.

“I don’t particularly like the word ‘exchange,’ but from a humanitarian perspective, if we can take a step, we must do it. The American side must take its own steps,” Rouhani told 60 Minutes in September.

Iran accused Rezaian of spying on Iran’s nuclear programs and circumventing sanctions by passing information to the U.S. government. In a statement, Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Post, called the verdict an “outrageous injustice.”

“Jason is a victim — arrested without cause, held for months in isolation, without access to a lawyer, subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and now convicted without basis,” Baron said. “The only thing that has ever been clear about this case is Jason’s innocence. Any fair and just review would quickly overturn this unfounded verdict.”

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