Iran government ordered to pay $180M for detaining journalist

A federal judge has ruled that the Iranian government owes a journalist and his family hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of damages after detaining him for 18 months.

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The judge said Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who was held in the country during the 2014 nuclear talks, is owed $180 million, the Post reported on Friday. The decision is reportedly partly meant to deter similar situations from occurring in the future.

Rezaian was working as a correspondent for the publication in Tehran when he and his wife, an Iranian reporter for Bloomberg News, were detained in July 2014. Iranian authorities alleged he was a spy during tense negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. They were placed in solitary confinement.

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While his wife was held for two months, Rezaian was held for 544 days. He was threatened with execution and dismemberment countless times. He was not, however, physically harmed.

He was released in January 2016 as part of a prisoner swap, which was held on the same day the nuclear pact went into effect.

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He sued the Iranian government for his treatment.

Rezaian also penned a book about his experience, called “Prisoner – My 544 Days in an Iranian Prison.”

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