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Jailed Reporter Defends Himself Before Secret Iranian Court


The mother of detained Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian said on June 8 that Iran has charged her son for "reporting on a country that he loves," as he addressed the judge overseeing his closed-door espionage trial.

Details of Rezaian's second court hearing were vague in Iranian media accounts, although the semiofficial Tasnim news agency said the 39-year-old bureau chief defended himself in English.

The agency said a translator later handed the judge a transcript of his remarks in Persian.

Rezaian faces charges of espionage and propaganda against the Islamic republic, which carry 10 to 20 years in prison.

U.S. officials, the Washington Post, and rights groups have strongly criticized Rezaian's trial, demanding he be freed.

"He is being accused of being a master spy when all he was doing was reporting on a country that he loves. So it is very hard for him," Mary Rezaian said.

His wife, Yeganeh Salehi, declined to discuss the trial, only saying: "I am not in a good state."

Based on reporting by AP and Washington Post
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