Iran puts U.S. reporter on trial behind closed doors
Closed trial. No family or independent transparency allowed. Couldn't be due to any lack of credible evidence could it?May 26, 2015
TEHRAN, Iran -- The closed trial of an American-Iranian reporter for the Washington Post detained in Iran for more than 10 months got underway Tuesday in a court used to hear security cases. Iran's official IRNA news agency said the trial of Jason Rezaian began in a Revolutionary Court, saying he had been charged with espionage and propaganda against the Islamic republic.
Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron told CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan the charges against Rezaian are "completely preposterous," and he fears the trial will not be fair. "He was put into solitary confinement for many months, under very harsh conditions in the worst prison in Iran," Baron told CBS News. "He's only been able to meet with his lawyer for an hour and a half." "While we still retain hope, we don't have a lot of confidence," Baron added.
Rezaian's mother Mary traveled to Tehran in the hope of being by her son's side for the trial, but the head of the Revolutionary Court -- a hardliner known within the country as the "judge of death" -- barred any members of the public from attending the proceedings. Ali Rezaian told CBS News that Rezaian's mother and wife, Salehi, went to the court and waited all day Tuesday, but were not allowed into the session.
Note: The trial judge - Abolghassem Salavati - has been linked to the Iranian intelligence apparatus and is well known for miscarriages of justice.
Six judges accused of leading role in Iranian crackdown on free speech"This group is among the most notorious judges in Iran," said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, an Iranian human rights activist in Norway. "They are known for their politicized verdicts, unfair trials [and] sentencing prisoners based on confessions made under duress."