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Jailed US reporter in Iran allowed family Christmas visit

Published 26/12/2015

Jason Rezaian has been held in an Iranian prison for more than 500 days, and the length of his sentence has been kept secret (AP)
Jason Rezaian has been held in an Iranian prison for more than 500 days, and the length of his sentence has been kept secret (AP)

The US journalist who has been held by the Iranian government for more than 500 days has been allowed a Christmas Day visit from his wife and mother.

The mother of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian told the newspaper that the visit lasted several hours.

Mary Rezaian, and Mr Rezaian's wife, Yeganeh Salehi, received permission for the visit from an Iranian court.

"This is the first time in the year that I have been visiting him in Evin Prison that I could spend an extended time there and bring him his first home-cooked meal in months," Mary Rezaian said.

"We had a wonderful time together reminiscing of holidays past."

Mr Rezaian, 39, was born in California and holds both US and Iranian citizenships. He was convicted in closed proceedings earlier this year after being charged with espionage and related allegations. The length of his sentence has been kept secret.

Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said he and Mr Rezaian's colleagues were pleased that an extended visit had been allowed.

But he described Mr Rezaian's captivity as "522 days of tragic, unjust imprisonment of a good, honourable and innocent man.

"We welcome this act of basic humanity, and we encourage his jailers in Iran to follow up by doing all that justice and decency require - release Jason from prison and allow him a return to life as a free man who can spend time with his family where and whenever he pleases."

Ms Salehi, an Iranian citizen, is a correspondent for The National, a newspaper based in the United Arab Emirates.

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