Roxana Saberi Released

May, 11 2009

By Jeremy Gillick

The New York Times is reporting that Roxana Saberi, the American journalist imprisoned in Iran since January on charges of spying, has been released.

An Iranian-American journalist who was sentenced to eight years of jail on charges of spying for Washington was released Monday after an appeals court reduced the sentence, her lawyer said.

Saleh Nikbakht, one of the two lawyers who defended Roxana Saberi in an appeal hearing on Sunday, said the court turned down the original jail term and issued a two-year suspended prison term in its place.

“The verdict was given to me in person today,” Mr. Nikbakht said. “The appeals court has accepted our defense.”

Reporters Without Borders reports that while “Saberi was originally convicted under article 508 of the criminal code of ‘collaborating with a state at war with the Islamic Republic of Iran,'” the Iranian court changed the charge after concluding that the United States and Iran were not, in fact, “at war.”

Despite the reduced sentence, Saberi stands convicted of “collecting and transmitting classified information.” She faces a “two-year suspended jail term” and has been banned from reporting in Iran for five years. She will return to the United States shortly.

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One thought on “Roxana Saberi Released

  1. nadine epstein says:

    I am so happy she has been released and is home safe. However, we shouldn’t forget the other journalists and bloggers who are currently imprisoned in Iran– and elsewhere. Roxana’s case was emblematic of a much deeper problem- the lack of a free press in Iran — and in other countries as well…

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