Jason Rezaian: Author of Prisoner

11 JUN 2019 New York

Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian discusses his harrowing 544 days in Iran’s notorious Evin prison and his views on the rising tensions between the US and Iran, and the growing pressures on media freedom around the world. 

On reporting about the Iranian people: “They are not that different in terms of their aspirations than any of us. That for the past 40 years, for better or worse, they have been isolated in many ways from the rest of the world. In large part because of a revolution that was not very well thought out. But ultimately several generations of people are paying the price of that now. And they don’t want to. I mean they want to be reintegrated into whatever we consider as the community of nations. And, in my mind, that means more than anything reintegrated into the global economy.”

On his release from prison: “I honestly believe the best path is to always shine as bright a light on journalists and others who are being unjustly detained or threatened wherever they are in the world. Most governments respond to that kind of public pressure. And I realized – I wouldn’t say early in my detention, but not too far along – that the trial that I was going to be subjected to wasn’t going to be one that I could win…. And the only way or the best way to win that is to have as many people around the world talking about you as possible in as transparent and full detail as they can.… And I think it contributed measurably to my release, but ultimately I wasn't going to get released and a lot of these people – especially if they are US or European nationals – aren’t going to get released until their government gets involved.”

 

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