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Iranian Human Rights
Remembering the American Prisoners in Iran

The Washington Post reminds us that, as of today, its reporter Jason Rezaian has been imprisoned in Iran on manufactured charges for a full year—a detention that is the “longest, by far, for a Western journalist in Iran since the 1979 revolution that brought Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to power.”

Rezaian’s incarceration, which has reportedly included torture and solitary confinement, has been covered extensively in the American press. There are also two other American hostages behind bars in Iran who have received less coverage: Amir Hekmati, a U.S. Marine, and Saeed Abedini, a Christian pastor. Hekmati, most likely targeted because of his U.S. military service (he served in Iraq before being honorably discharged in 2005), was thrown in jail in the summer of 2011 on trumped-up espionage charges. Abedini, apparently targeted for his religious convictions, has been incarcerated since 2012 for the crime of “undermining Iran’s national security” by participating in a Christian evangelical movement.

Last month, Mark Donig and Gabriel Kohan told the stories of these two men, noting their families’ concerns that, after the nuclear deal with Iran was signed, a large source of the leverage that might have been used to secure their release would evaporate. On the other hand, as Gary Samore, President Obama’s former counter-proliferation czar in charge of the Iran portfolio, explains in the piece, the Administration has reasons for not linking the negotiations to the fate of the Americans imprisoned in Iran, as it apparently did in the case of the Cuba opening.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • Fred

    Hard to believe there was a time when savages didn’t dare touch an American because we sent in the Marines and laid waste to their hovels when they did.

  • rheddles

    WaPo thinks Rezaian’s a CIA stooge otherwise they’d be getting the whole MSM behind his liberation; Midnight TV shows, WAPO held hostage day 4-4-1. But no; crickets. Wouldn’t want to embarrass His Excellency. Besides Rezaian is one of them.

    • adk

      Washington Post petitions U.N. to help free journalist held in Iran

      The news organization provided new details of Rezaian’s treatment as it appealed formally to the United Nations for help in pressuring Iran’s government to release the 39-year-old American citizen, who on Wednesday began a second year of incarceration. A petition filed with the U.N. Human Rights Council decried the handling of Rezaian’s case by an Iranian judiciary system that one company official called “a poster child for bad behavior.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/washington-post-seeks-un-help-in-freeing-journalist-held-by-iran/2015/07/21/524081c4-2f20-11e5-8f36-18d1d501920d_story.html?hpid=z4

      That tells you everything you need to know — WaPo went to UN, not to the Obama administration. This, of course, is perfectly futile, and they know it, but just can’t bring themselves to take a step that would highlight the failings of the deal even though it’s their own reporter.

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