What would you do after being held hostage in an Iranian dungeon for a year and a half on kangaroo-court charges of “espionage?” Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian said he wants to catch up on the new Star Wars movie and watch some basketball games.
“I want everyone to know that I’m feeling fine, and I feel lucky to be here at a place where I can get such terrific care,” Rezaian said in a statement from an American military hospital in Germany, as related by Fox News. “I’m staying with my family at a very comfortable guest house on the base, which has been a great place to begin my recovery.”
“I want to get back to writing the U.S.-Iran story at some point in the future,” he continued. “But I won’t be saying anything further for a while. I hope everyone will respect my need for privacy as I take some time for myself and for my family. For now, I want to catch up with what’s been going on in the world, watch a Warriors game or two, and see the Star Wars movie.”
“He continues to be in great spirits, his health is sound, he’s going through a process and it’s going to take a few more days, but Jason’s on track to get his life back,” said Rezaian’s congressman, Rep. Jaret Huffman (D-CA.)
“What amazed me about my time with him last night is his spirit — if the Republican Guard thought they’d break the spirit of this guy, they failed miserably,” said Huffman.
He said Rezaian was not yet prepared to discuss the details of his captivity, beyond describing it as “horrific” with occasional “comedic moments.” It sounds like it will be quite a story, when he is ready to tell it.
Washington Post foreign editor Douglas Jehl told PBS it was clear Rezaian’s trial in Iran was “really a charade and a cruel sideshow,” and his fate would be “resolved by Iran’s political leaders.”
He credited the attention paid to Rezaian’s case with helping secure the freedom of two other prisoners, Saeed Abedini and Amir Hekmati, by “calling attention to the fact that it was simply unacceptable for Iran to be holding American prisoners in this way.”
Hekmati thanked people around the world for keeping him in their thoughts on Wednesday. “I am learning more about the grassroots support I received from ordinary people from across the world over the past 4 1/2 years. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for everything you have done to keep my name a part of the conversation and for the kindness and support that you have given my family during the darkest period of our lives,” he said.
Former U.S. Marine Hekmati spent four and a half years in Iranian hands, much of that time living under a death sentence. His family told ABC News he suffered “inhumane” conditions in prison, including “torture, abuse, and mistreatment,” such as being shackled in a tiny cell, kept in solitary confinement for over a year, placed in “stress positions,” drugged, electrocuted, whipped, deprived of sleep, and subjected to psychological torture, such as being falsely told his mother had been killed in a car accident.
Hekmati said on Tuesday that he stayed strong throughout this treatment because “I didn’t want to let any of my fellow Marines down.”