A Washington Post journalist imprisoned for over a year in Iran on espionage and three other charges was found guilty late Sunday, according to reports.
News of the conviction for Jason Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran who has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Iran, was announced by court spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei on State TV Sunday, according to the Washington Post. Exactly what he was found guilty of though was unclear.
In this photo April 11, 2013 file photo, Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for the Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Iran. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported that the verdict against Rezaian has been issued. Rezaian, the Post's Tehran bureau chief, is accused of charges including espionage in a closed-door trial that has been widely criticized by the U.S. government and press freedom organizations. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Here's more from the Post:
But many details remained unknown. Rezaian faced four charges, the most of serious of which was espionage, and it's unclear if he was convicted of all charges or just some. It also is not known what sentence has been imposed. The judge who heard the case is known for handing down harsh sentences, and he potentially faces a sentence of 10 to 20 years. It is not even known if Rezaian himself has been informed of the conviction.
Reflecting the murky nature of the trial that was held behind closed doors, Iranian TV quoted Ejei saying, "He has been convicted, but I don't have the verdict's details."
State TV aired selected video of the press conference and called Rezaian an "American spy."
Ejehi said Rezaian is eligible to appeal the conviction within 20 days.
Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, wrote in a statement that the guilty verdict "represents an outrageous injustice."
Ali Rezaian, brother of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post's Tehran Bureau Chief who is currently in Evin Prison in Iran, arrives at a news conference at the National Press Club to give an update on the case in Washington, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. The Washington Post, stymied in its efforts to win the release of journalist Rezaian from Iran, has filed an urgent petition asking help from a United Nations agency. Rezaian was arrested over a year ago and has been held for months without charges in Iran's Evin Prison. (AP/Molly Riley)
"Iran has behaved unconscionably throughout this case, but never more so than with this indefensible decision by a Revolutionary Court to convict an innocent journalist of serious crimes after a proceeding that unfolded in secret, with no evidence whatsoever of any wrongdoing. For now, no sentence has been announced," he said, adding that the Post was working with Rezaian's family and Iranian counsel on an appeal.
Leila Ahsan, Rezaian's lawyer told The Associated Press on Sunday "there are no new developments" and said she had not yet received the verdict. Ahsan was not reachable for comment on Monday.
Rezaian was detained with his wife, who is a journalist for The National newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, and two photojournalists on July 22, 2014. All were later released except Rezaian.
Mary Rezaian, mother of detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, right, and Jason's wife Yeganeh leave a Revolutionary Court building in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Rezaian, the Post's Tehran bureau chief since 2012, has dual Iranian-American nationality. Iran does not recognize dual nationality for its citizens.
Rezaian faced multiple charges including espionage in a closed-door trial that has been widely criticized by the U.S. government and press freedom organizations.
In his statement, Baron said that Rezaian was "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." His nearly 15-month imprisonment at Tehran's Evin Prison is "more than three times as long than any other Western journalists," Baron continued.
"The only thing that has ever been clear about this case is Jason’s innocence," Baron wrote. "Any fair and just review would quickly overturn this unfounded verdict. Jason should be exonerated and released; he and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who has been out on bail, should both be granted, without delay, the full freedom that is their right."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.