National Press Club

Statement By Muhammad Ali on Jason Rezaian, Washington Post Reporter Held in Iran

March 12, 2015 | By Muhammad Ali

The following statement by Muhammad Ali was released today by the National Press Club. Ali, who visited the Club during his career for speeches and events, was last here attending a news conference for U.S. hikers held captive in Iran. His statements made on their behalf were credited with contributing to their safe release from Iran. On March 12 the Club is organizing a news conference at 2 p.m. to discuss the case of Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter currently held in an Iranian prison.

With the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

"I am sorry that I cannot be physically present to lend my support in person but I pray my words will provide relief to the efforts to secure the release of Jason Rezaian.

Insha'Allah. It is my great hope that the government and judiciary of Iran will end the prolonged detention of journalist Jason Rezaian and provide him with access to all his legal options. During his time as the Washington Post bureau chief in Tehran, Jason used his gift of writing and intimate knowledge of the country to share the stories of the people and culture of Iran to the world.

To my knowledge Jason is a man of peace and great faith, a man whose dedication and respect for the Iranian people is evident in his work.

I support his family, friends and colleagues in their efforts to obtain his release"

Muhammad Ali

Jason Rezaian was arrested at his home in Tehran by Iranian Security Forces on July 22, 2014. He has been held in prison since then. No other western journalist has been held captive this long in Iran. Until recently Jason was denied access to medical care and to a lawyer. Charges against Jason have never been disclosed to him and have never been made public. Jason has dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship. He has lived in Iran since 2008 and has been the Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief since 2012.