Campus News

McGill Medal awarded to journalist who was jailed in Iran

A journalist who endured 545 days of imprisonment in Iran is the 2016 recipient of the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage.

Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post in Tehran from 2012-2016, will receive the medal from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and its McGill Program in Journalistic Courage.

“We are humbled to have the opportunity to honor Jason Rezaian,” said Janice Hume, head of the UGA department of journalism. “What an amazing role model he is for our students who are just beginning to understand the nature and historic significance of journalistic courage.”

While he was working as The Post’s Tehran bureau chief in July 2014, Iranian authorities raided Rezaian’s residence and took Rezaian and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, into custody. Salehi, also a journalist, was released in early October of that year, but Rezaian remained in custody in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison.

It was made public in April 2015 that Iranian authorities had indicted Rezaian on four charges, including espionage. Iranian officials announced on Nov. 22, 2015, that he had been sentenced to a prison term—the length of which they would not disclose. Rezaian was held for 545 days, the longest detention for a Western journalist in Iran, and no charges of wrongdoing were ever released.

The McGill Medal is named for Ralph McGill, the late editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution.

The selection of Rezaian was made by the 2015 class of McGill Fellows, 12 undergraduate and graduate students chosen for academic achievement, practical experience and leadership.

The McGill Medal, now in its eighth year, is part of the McGill Program for Journalistic Courage at UGA’s Grady College.