Iran ordered to pay $180M to Washington Post reporter, family for hostage torture

By Sommer Brokaw

A federal judge awarded Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his family $180 million in damages Friday in lawsuit against Iran after he was held captive for 544 days. File Photo by EPA/STR

Nov. 23 (UPI) — A federal judge has awarded a Washington Post correspondent and his family $180 million in damages in lawsuit against Iran after he was held captive on spy charges in the country 544 days and tortured.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon entered the judgment Friday against Iran for assault, battery, false imprisonment of Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and emotional distress to him and his family.

“During the almost year-and-a-half long detention, Jason was physically and psychologically abused,” Leon wrote the memorandum opinion. “He was deprived of sleep. He was denied medical care. He was interrogated, threatened with execution, and charged with espionage.”

Rezaian was released in early 2016, along with three other U.S. prisoners, in a prisoner swap between the United States and Iran where the United States granted clemency to several Iranians convicted of sanction violations and agreed to pay Iran approximately $1.7 billion.

He had been detained since July 2014 after working for the Post for two years as a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, along with three other journalists, with his wife Salehi, who worked as a correspondent for a United Arab Emirates-based newspaper, being among them.

Rezaian’s wife was freed in October 2014 after the two others journalists were freed earlier that year.

The Rezaian family sued Iran under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, alleging “his detention amounted to hostage taking and torture,” and Iran did not appear to defend its conduct, the court filing shows.

Source: UPI

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.