News executives urge Kerry to push Iran to release reporter

Executives from 25 news organizations, including The Associated Press, have sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging him to press Iran to release jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

The letter says Iran should recognize that independent journalism is “a fundamental human right.” It says the U.S. “has considerable leverage with Iran right now to press that point,” and urges Kerry to continue to do just that.

Rezaian was detained by Iranian authorities in June 2014. Last year he was convicted in closed proceedings after being charged with espionage and related allegations. The length of his sentence has not been disclosed publicly.

The letter to Kerry says “Iran has never offered any evidence that even makes a pretense of justifying this imprisonment.”

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