Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other journalists — one of whom is Rezaian’s wife — were arrested and detained Tuesday in Iran, the Post reported.
The 38-year-old Rezaian holds both U.S. and Iranian citizenship and has been reporting in Iran since 2012.
It’s not clear why the journalists were arrested.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Rezaian, His Wife & 2 Freelance Photographers Were Arrested
Rezaian’s wife, Yeganeh Salehi (pictured above) was arrested along with Rezaian and two American freelance photographers.
Salehi, an Iranian citizen, is a journalist writing for The National, a news publication in the United Arab Emirates. According to the Washington Post, she has applied for permanent residency in the United States.
The two photojournalists have not been identified by name yet. The Post reported their arrests.
2. The Washington Post’s Foreign Editor Called For Rezaian’s Release
The Washington Post’s foreign editor, Douglas Jehl, said in a statement that, “We are deeply troubled by this news and are concerned for the welfare of Jason, Yeganeh and two others said to have been detained with them.”
Sherif Mansour, the coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists in North Africa and the Middle East, also released a statement saying, “We call on Iranian authorities to immediately explain why Jason Rezaian, Yeganeh Salehi, and two other journalists have been detained, and we call for their immediate release. Iran has a dismal record with regard to its treatment of imprisoned journalists. We hold the Iranian government responsible for the safety of these four.”
3. The Iranian Government Said Rezaian Has Been ‘Detained for Some Questions’
On Friday July 25, the Washington Post reported that Iran confirmed the arrest of the three Americans. Gholam-Hossein Esmali, the director general of the Tehran Province Justice Department said, “Washington Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue.” Without elaborating it also said, “Iranian security forces are vigilant towards all kind of enemies.”
4. Rezaian Recently Reported on Iranian Youth’s Interest in Baseball
Rezaian’s last report filed before his arrest was published on July 8 and chronicled the popularity of baseball amongst Iranian youth.
5. Iran Is One of the Worst Countries for Journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that 4 reporters in the country have been killed in the country since 1992. The regime is also associated with fierce crackdowns the the freedom of the press, including the arrest of 9 journalists on election day in 2009. Iran ranks in the world’s top three countries for the jailing of journalists.