Jason Rezaian, reunited with his editors, is 'in good spirits'
After a year and a half of captivity in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, Jason Rezaian, the Tehran bureau chief of The Washington Post, is beginning to recover.
Since leaving Iran Sunday morning, Rezaian is starting to adjust to life on the outside, according to a memo from Marty Baron, the executive editor at The Washington Post and Doug Jehl, the paper's foreign editor. Baron cited isolated confinement as among the biggest challenge that Rezaian faced during his 545-day ordeal.
Jason was in good spirits. Above all, he wanted to express his deep appreciation for the strong and unwavering support from everyone at The Post. He is eager to see you all and to thank you personally. "Please let everybody know that my Post family is high on my list and I hope to see everybody real soon."
Here's the full memo:
Tonight both of us had brief phone conversations with Jason, who called us from the hospital next door. He spoke earlier by phone with his brother Ali.
Jason was in good spirits. Above all, he wanted to express his deep appreciation for the strong and unwavering support from everyone at The Post. He is eager to see you all and to thank you personally. “Please let everybody know that my Post family is high on my list and I hope to see everybody real soon.’’
Asked how he was doing, he said, “I’m a hell of a lot better than I was 48 hours ago.” He said that he feels better than he did several months ago and that his mind is sharp.
Isolation, as you might expect, was the most difficult thing. When told, well, you’re a social person, he laughed and responded, “Yes, I am!”
He said he’d learned that his Christmas greetings conveyed via his mother had “made the rounds and reached everybody, which is what I intended.’’
He found escape in the fiction he was allowed to read, and today he was avidly reading whatever he wanted. He had read the story on our interview today with CNN, remarking on how strange it was to see himself being talked about so much. We told him we’ve been talking about him for 545 days.
Jason said he’d been able to read some of the coverage of his release on his mom’s iPad while on the plane to Germany. The support of the Post “means everything,” he said.
Jason expressed hope that he can see us both in person tomorrow, and he looks forward to seeing everyone at The Post very soon. “I hear there’s going to be a big party.”
For now, we agreed, he just needed to get some sleep.