This Year Casey Led Bipartisan Resolution Supporting Press Freedom / In Letter to Secretary Kerry, Casey, Member of National Security Working Group, Expresses Concern for Jason Rezaian / Rezaian’s Reporting Has Helped World Gain Insight Into Oppressive Iranian Regime
Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Secretary John Kerry urging the State Department to work to secure the release of detained American journalist Jason Rezaian, who is being held by Iranian authorities. This year Casey led the Senate’s passage of a bipartisan resolution supporting press freedom throughout the world and marking it as a priority for the U.S. government. Rezaian, who Iranian authorities confirmed has been detained, has provided critical insight into one of the world’s more repressive regimes. Of the three others detained along with Rezaian, two are believed to be American.
“There’s no reason that independent journalists should be subjected to detention for doing their jobs,” Senator Casey said. “The Iranian regime must afford Rezaian and his colleagues due process, and if their only ‘crime’ is speaking truth to power, they should be released immediately without charge. The Iranian regime’s record of squashing dissent and press freedoms is long, but a free press is critical to informing Americans and the world.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Dear Secretary Kerry:
I am alarmed by reports that an American journalist, Jason Rezaian, was detained in Tehran last week with his wife and two others. Of the three others detained, two are also believed to be American. The Iranian government has confirmed their arrest. While Iran’s violations of press freedom are well-documented, this move clearly demonstrates that the Iranian regime’s efforts to stifle dissent are not limited to local publications.
Rezaian’s reporting for the Washington Post has helped many of us gain insight into one of the most repressive governments in the world. Recently, he has filed reports from Vienna on the nuclear negotiations and from Tehran on topics ranging from baseball to the conflict in Iraq. Many of us value his reporting.
My resolution on global press freedom, S. Res. 447, highlights the risks that journalists face around the world. As cited in the resolution, Iran ranks among the top five countries with the highest numbers of journalists in prison, according to Reporters Without Borders. The resolution passed the Senate unanimously earlier this month, sending a clear signal of the importance we place on press freedom and the safety of journalists worldwide.
I understand that details about Rezaian’s detention are still emerging. I respectfully request that you provide my office with updates on Rezaian’s case as they become available and that you undertake every diplomatic effort to ensure that the Iranian regime does not unjustly punish him and his colleagues for their reporting.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator