To the Iranian authorities:

We, the undersigned, are compelled to express our outrage at the arrest and conviction of the Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian, who has been detained since July 2014 by the Islamic Republic of Iran. He was accused of espionage and, following a closed trial, was convicted. He now faces a sentence of ten to twenty years in prison.

Mr. Rezaian, a reporter for The Washington Post, is known as a man of peace. The possibility that he had any direct or indirect access to classified information has been refuted by his defense attorney, who has also reported that, in a clear denial of due process, she was not permitted to respond orally to the prosecution in court.

Jason Rezaian’s detention is a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of a journalist who is a victim—arrested without cause, held for months in solitary confinement and without access to a lawyer, subjected to physical mistreatment and psychological abuse, and now convicted without basis. He has already spent more than fifteen months in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, more than three times as long as any other Western journalist.

We strongly deplore and condemn the detention, persecution, and conviction of Jason Rezaian, and call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to strongly protest and condemn this arbitrary verdict, to call for his immediate and unconditional release, and to urge the officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights as specified in international conventions and treaties to which Iran has long been a signatory. For more information on Mr. Rezaian, we ask you to visit the New School’s Endangered Scholars Worldwide website at

Noam Chomsky, Jerome Cohen, Juan Cole, Simon Critchley, Wendy Doniger, Rebecca Goldstein, Eva Hoffman, Ira Katznelson, Baroness Helena Kennedy, Bob Kerrey, Arien Mack, Avishai Margalit, Victor Navasky, Aryeh Neier, Steven Pinker, Robert Pinsky, Ken Roth, Gayatri Spivak, Michael Walzer, and Marina Warner