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Washington Post Reporter’s Trial Begins In Iran

The Iranian trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, held for 10 months on charges of espionage, began Tuesday behind closed doors.

Rezaian’s attorney, Leila Ahsan, says he’s been charged with “espionage, collaboration with hostile governments, gathering classified information and disseminating propaganda,” according to BBC News. He faces up to 20 years if convicted.

“It is difficult to know exactly what the case against Rezaian is based upon, because the proceedings have been secretive,” reports to The Washington Post. He was only given 90 minutes to meet with Ahsan prior to the trial.

Rezaian began working as a freelance journalist in Iran 2008 and later joined the Post in 2012, writes The New Yorker. As a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, Rezaian is in an especially vulnerable position. He is subject to Iranian law, while also viewed suspiciously as an American citizen.

Rezaian was arrested last July along with his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, an Iranian national. Salehi was released on bail.

The issue of U.S. citizens detained in Iran has been a flashpoint during nuclear negotiations. Former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati and Pastor Saeed Abedini remain imprisoned. FBI agent Robert Levinson went missing after visiting the Iranian island of Kish in 2007.

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