The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned that the journalists Jason Rezaian and Yeganeh Salehi, who were detained in Tehran on July 22, 2014, are being held in an unknown location. Except for a phone call to their families the day after their detention, the two journalists have not been allowed any contact with the outside world.
The Campaign reported earlier that the detainees’ names are not registered in any of the Tehran prisons or in any official records of the Judiciary. In addition to Rezaian and his wife, a photographer and her husband were also arrested on the same night. The photographer’s husband was released on the night of July 28.
The Campaign has learned that the released individual is in a very poor psychological state and he has isolated himself from others since his release. Over the past few days, the photographer also contacted her family; she was reportedly in great distress and did not provide any information about which organization arrested her, her detention location, or the charges she is facing.
Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi are both correspondents who work for the Washington Post and the UAE-based National newspaper respectively, and they have licenses from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for their journalistic activities in Iran.
Sources told the Campaign that top-ranking officials in the Iranian Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches were uninformed regarding the details of the arrests. Iran’s Prosecutor General and Spokesperson for the Iranian Judiciary, Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, told reporters on July 25 that he has not been informed about the detentions. “I have no information about this case. You must allow time to clarify everything,” he stated, as reported by the Fars News Agency.
In a video clip released yesterday, Jason Rezaian’s mother, Mary Rezaian, asked Iranian authorities to release her son and daughter-in-law. She said in the video clip that Jason Rezaian suffers from high blood pressure and that his arrest and detention could endanger his health.
Over the past few years, whenever Iranian authorities have disapproved of the news coverage of Iran by correspondents of foreign media living in Tehran, they have revoked their licenses and asked them to leave the country within a short period of time. Arrests and detentions of foreign correspondents who work in Iran with licenses issued by the Culture Ministry and who have been vetted by security organizations, though not unprecedented, has been rare.