World: Federal judge awards journalist Jason Rezaian and family $180 million - - PressFrom - US
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World Federal judge awards journalist Jason Rezaian and family $180 million

00:50  23 november  2019
00:50  23 november  2019 Source:   cnn.com

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Jason Rezaian , former Washington Post Tehran bureau chief. A federal judge on Friday ordered the government of Iran to pay Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his family $ 180 million in damages for his 18-month detention during U.S.-Iran nuclear talks in 2014, saying it was justified to

Jason Rezaian was eventually tried and convicted on espionage and related charges, according to Iranian state media accounts, although the government did not officially disclose specifics of his trial or sentence. Rezaian , his family and their attorney, David Bowker, declined to comment for this article.

Jason Rezaian standing in front of a stage: Freed Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian speaks during the inauguration of the Washington Post Headquarters on January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.  Rezaian was released from Iran after 18 months behind bars on spying charges.   / AFP / Mandel Ngan        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)© MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images Freed Washington Post Tehran bureau chief Jason Rezaian speaks during the inauguration of the Washington Post Headquarters on January 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Rezaian was released from Iran after 18 months behind bars on spying charges. / AFP / Mandel Ngan (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Federal Judge Richard Leon in Washington, DC, on Friday ordered Iran to pay Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and his family $180 million for his 544 days in custody.

Iran did not respond to the lawsuit in court, and Leon therefore issued a default judgment in Rezaian's favor. Reznaian spent 18 months in an Iranian prison on alleged espionage charges before being released in January 2016.

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19, 2016 Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian sits at the Fisher House at the U.S. military Both Rezaian and Salehi were repeatedly subjected to psychological and physical abuse during lengthy The couple was awarded million in a default judgment after Iran failed to respond.

On Sunday, Jason Rezaian will spend his 39th birthday behind bars at one of Tehran’s most But as a trial looms, Rezaian ’s family is stepping up its efforts to raise awareness of the reporter’s Rezaian ’s case has been assigned to Abolghassem Salavati, a hardline judge known in Iran for

His family was awarded $150 million in punitive damages; Rezaian himself was awarded $23.8 million in compensatory damages for pain and suffering and economic losses; his brother Ali Rezaian was awarded $2.7 million; his mother Mary was awarded $3.1 million.

Leon's 30-page ruling details the account of Rezaian's 18 months in custody, torture, lack of legal representation and forced confession, as well as ongoing physical and psychological harm.

"Holding a man hostage and torturing him to gain leverage in negotiations with the United States is outrageous, deserving of punishment, and surely in need of deterrence," Leon wrote.

"There is no question that Iran detained and tortured Jason intentionally," the judge added. "And both hostage taking and torture have been deemed sufficiently outrageous to inflict severe emotional harm on family members who were not present."

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Ali Rezaian — the brother of Jason Rezaian , a reporter for The Washington Post — spoke on Tuesday as his brother’s trial on espionage charges began in Iran. Judge Salavati has a reputation for tough sentences that led the European Union to place him on a blacklist in 2011 for human rights abuses .

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The Post first reported the ruling. Rezaian is also a CNN contributor.

Rezaian, who was the Post's Tehran bureau chief, was detained by Iran in July 2014 and eventually charged with espionage and other crimes. The newspaper and the United States have called the charges "absurd," with supporters saying he was denied proper legal representation.

In 2016, Rezaian was among four US prisoners freed by Iran as part of a prisoner swap. Senior US administration officials told CNN at the time that the prisoners were released in exchange for clemency for seven Iranians indicted or imprisoned in the United States for sanctions violations, the officials confirmed.

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