WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 24 hour read-a-thon of the work of Washington Post Reporter Jason Rezaian is in full swing now and approaching the halfway point. Starting at 7 a.m., National Press Club members and other journalists started reading the newspaper stories of Rezaian, who has been held in prison in Tehran for 501 days.
"In reading stories Jason Rezaian wrote, we want to make crystal clear that he is a journalist who is being unjustly detained," said National Press Club President John Hughes, who began the reading and will wrap up the event at 7 a.m. on Saturday. "Twenty-four hours is a long time, but it is just one day; Jason has been held in prison for 501 days. He must be released.''
Among the highlights of the event so far:
- Jason's brother and chief advocate, Ali Rezaian, arrived at mid-day from New York. He is expected to read some of his brother's stories during the overnight.
- Douglas Jehl, Jason's boss and the Foreign Editor of the Washington Post, gave moving remarks about getting the call when Jason was first taken from his home in Iran.
- Broadcasting legend Gordon Peterson brought Rezaian's copy to life with his dynamic and inspirational reading. Peterson also read a powerful statement by Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan.
- Mohamed Fahmy, the former Al-Jazeera journalist who was jailed in Egypt for 438 days, spoke movingly of Jason and what he thought Jason must be going through.
- Sam Stein of the Huffington Post showed his spirit in reading Jason's copy, but also in wearing a Jason T-shirt with art work by Michael Cavna of the Washington Post.
- In all, 40 journalists and free-press advocates from a range of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, Salt Lake Tribune, Bloomberg, and US News and World Report, among many others, participated in the readings.
Contact: Bill McCarren, 202-662-7534
SOURCE National Press Club