Lawyer Says Jason Rezaian Not Allowed Legal Representation
Prominent Iranian lawyer Mohammad Saleh Nikbakht told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that his request to represent Jason Rezaian, the imprisoned Washington Post correspondent, has not been accepted. Nikbakht said that he had asked for permission to represent Rezaian a few weeks ago, but that “They did not accept my request to represent him as a lawyer.”
Nikbakht told the Campaign that Rezaian’s case is a security case and as such legal representation is not allowed before the case is transferred to court for trial. The lawyer told the Campaign that he has no knowledge about the specific charges leveled against Rezaian, and that he does not know whether the interrogations of Rezaian are complete or still ongoing.
When Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in New York in September, he responded to a National Public Radio question regarding the charges against Rezaian by stating that Iran’s judiciary had “no obligation to explain” any charges to the United States, and that “His lawyers know [his charge]. He knows his charge.” Evidently, not only are the charges not known by any lawyer, but Rezaian has no lawyer as well.
Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, were arrested in Tehran on July 22, 2014. Since their arrest, Iranian Judiciary officials have refused to announce their charges.
In an email to the Washington Post, Jason Rezaian’s brother, Ali Rezaian, announced on October 6 that Yeganeh Salehi had been released on bail.
Ali Rezaian said in the email that Salehi had been able to visit with her husband prior to her release, and that Jason’s physical condition was good, despite 2.5 months of imprisonment. The family continues to be concerned about Rezaian’s health, however, as he suffers from high blood pressure and is in need of prescription medicine for the ailment. On September 22, 2014, the Campaign learned that family members were shocked with the couple’s weight loss, after they were finally allowed to visit with them.