Two Journalists, Two Regimes, Two Trumped-Up Arrests – Project Brazen

July 5, 2023

We recently released a podcast about Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent who was arrested by Russian authorities back in March. Evan was falsely accused of espionage, and he’s being held in a Moscow prison until his trial date in August.

In that episode, we explored questions around press freedom, journalist safety and security, and the future of foreign correspondence in an increasingly polarized and hostile world. For this bonus episode, I spoke to another journalist – one who probably can relate to Evan’s situation better than anyone.

Jason Rezaian moved to Tehran in 2009 and became the Washington Post correspondent and Tehran bureau chief there. In 2014, Jason and his wife – who is also a journalist – were arrested on charges of espionage. Jason was held for 544 days and convicted of espionage,  before finally being released and returning to the United States.

He has documented his experience in a book, as well as his podcast, 544 Days. It’s a gripping story that also includes Jason’s reflections on and analysis of the events – hyperlocal, regional, and global – that surrounded his arrest.