WASHINGTON, DC – Following is a statement by John Hughes, president of the National Press Club, on the announced conviction by an Iranian court of Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian.
“Now it is time for the community of nations to step forward as one and demand the release of Jason Rezaian from prison in Iran. This has been a sham trial from the beginning. The process was closed to the press. There were no witnesses. There was no evidence. Jason is guilty of nothing. He was taken from his home without charges and held without charges for months. This is absurd. No nation should be allowed to behave in this manner.
“These sham trials must stop. Jason Rezaian is a hero to the journalism community and to his family. He must be set free. Iran has tried to make its point with this conviction that it can do whatever it wants in its legal system. Now he must be released and retuned to his family. He has done nothing wrong. Iran knows this. Shame on them.”
The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. Founded in 1908, the Press Club has 3,100 members worldwide. In July of this year the Club honored Jason Rezaian as a recipient of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.