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17 January 2016

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Jason Rezaian Released From Iranian Prison After 544 Days

Jason Rezaian Released From Iranian Prison After 544 Days (PRNewsFoto/National Press Club)
[Good news are, and will always be, our favourite kind of news, here at LoupDargent.info... Enjoy!]
Members of the National Press Club and journalist around the world are overjoyed at the news our colleague Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian who has been in prison for 544 days for simply doing his job has been released, and will now be reunited with his family and friends.

The Iranian government announced Rezaian has been released along with three other Iranian-American prisoners in a prisoner swap and student Matthew Trevithick in a separate deal. While the news is very encouraging, Rezaian should never have been incarcerated in the first place and tried on trumped up charges.

"Journalists everywhere are celebrating this day but they also know this day should never have had to happen. Jason should have been reporting for the last 544 days not stuck in an Iranian cell," said NPC PresidentThomas Burr. "While we don't know the details of the negotiations here, I want to stress that journalists should never be pawns in a political game."
"This is about the courage of Jason's family, especially his brother Ali and The Washington Post who have been tireless in their efforts to free Jason," added Burr.
Since Rezaian was arrested by Iranian authorities the NPC has hosted multiple press conferences with Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron and Ali Rezaian, promoted an online campaign collecting signatures demanding his release and held a 24-hour readathon of Rezaian's articles. Journalists around the world have joined us in condemning the baseless charges of espionage that was levied against Rezaian and demanded his freedom.
"The news today is extremely encouraging and his release is long overdue," said John Donnelly, chair of the NPC Press Freedom Committee. "We are all excited at the prospect of being able to see him with our own eyes, safe and sound."
The other prisoners who have reportedly been released are former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, Pastor Saeed Abedini and businessman Siamak Namazi.
NATIONAL PRESS CLUB LOGO. (PRNewsFoto/NATIONAL PRESS CLUB)
(SOURCE: National Press Club)
On behalf of the family, Jason's brother, Ali Rezaian, gave his reaction:
"I am incredibly relieved that Jason is on his way home. He is a talented journalist, who was simply doing his job fairly, accurately and lawfully. Jason is a loving brother, son and devoted husband, whose life was unfairly interrupted when he was arrested for crimes he did not commit. After nearly a year and a half of arbitrary delays, and an unfair, opaque judicial process, Jason's release has brought indescribable relief and joy to our family – this nightmare is approaching an end. We are also overjoyed to hear that other Americans being held in Iran also will soon be reunited with their families. Today is an incredible day for all of us."  
"We offer our heartfelt thanks to The Washington Post, its leadership, editors and reporters, who were there with us from day one, providing incredible support and working tirelessly to bring Jason home. We also want to convey our sincere gratitude to the Obama Administration, Congress, Secretary Kerry and the U.S. Department of State, and the thousands of journalists and individuals around the world who raised their voices to bring awareness of Jason's plight and to call for his release. This encouragement gave us the strength to keep fighting for Jason every day, and your support helped sustain Jason through this terrible ordeal."  
"As we begin the process of reuniting and healing as a family, we ask that you respect our privacy, and again, we truly appreciate every single person involved in this effort."

(SOURCE: Ali Rezaian)

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