American-Iranian journalist files lawsuit against Tehran

In 2014, Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was arrested along with his wife in Iran. Rezaian was held at Evin Prison for more than 500 days. Yesterday, Rezaian filed a lawsuit against Tehran for several crimes including terrorism, torture and hostage taking.
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Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian filed a suit yesterday (Monday) against the Iranian government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Rezaian was imprisoned at Evin Prison for over 500 days in 2014 on unspecified charges by the IRGC. Rezaian’s wife Yeganeh Salehi was also arrested and held at the same prison for over 70 days.

In the lawsuit, Rezaian states that he was held as a bargaining chip while Tehran was negotiating the nuclear deal with the West. The lawsuit accuses Tehran of taking Rezaian hostage, terrorism and torture. The 68-page lawsuit also revealed new details about Rezaian’s imprisonment. According to the lawsuit, the guards at Evin Prison threatened to dismember the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief and his wife.

“The Iranian Government targeted and arrested Jason Rezaian, subjected him to torture and other cruel treatment and held him hostage for the unlawful purpose of extorting concessions from the U.S. government and others,” read the lawsuit.

“Iran arrested and imprisoned Jason not because of anything he did but rather because of Iran’s perception of his ‘value’ as a dual citizen of the United States and Iran and a prominent journalist writing for a major U.S. news organization,” continued the lawsuit. “Iranian officials saw opportunity in Jason as a high-profile prisoner who would be valuable in a trade to the United States and could be exchanged for something of significance to Iran.”

Rezaian’s mother and brother, who suffered from anxiety and health problems due to their loved one’s imprisonment, are also listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, the injuries of Rezaian, his brother and his mother “extend well beyond the deep and lasting psychological impacts of Iran’s crimes.”

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