US senators condemn reported charges of espionage against 'Washington Post' journalist

April 21, 2015 05:40

United States Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Marco Rubio of Florida said on Monday that reported charges against a Washington Post journalist by Iranian authorities are "just the latest example of the true nature" of this "brutal regime."

Iran is charging the Post's Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian with espionage and three other serious crimes, the newspaper said earlier. Rezaian was arrested nine months ago in Iran and is accused of "collaborating with hostile governments" and "propaganda against the establishment," according to a statement from his attorney.

"It appears that Mr. Rezaian is being persecuted because of his profession as a reporter and his American citizenship," a statement issued by Kirk's office said. "Freedom of press is a right that should be guaranteed to all individuals regardless of their nationality."

The statement called for the immediate and unconditional release of the journalist by the Iranian government. It also urged President Barack Obama's administration to demand the man's release "along with all other Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Iran" before a nuclear deal is reached with "this brutal regime."

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