Iran imprisons US journalist on espionage charges

The Revolutionary Court of Iran convicted US journalist Roxana Saberi of espionage, sentencing her to eight years in prison, according to her lawyer April 18. The trial, in which Saberi was accused of passing classified information to US intelligence agencies, was conducted earlier this week in proceedings closed to the public, and news of her conviction came from press contact with Saberi’s father and her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi.

Saberi was arrested last month after buying a bottle of wine, as alcohol consumption is banned in Iran. Initially, it appeared she would face charges for working as a freelance journalist for NPR and the BBC without Iranian press credentials, but once she was in custody the Iranian government charged her with espionage. US officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, have called for Saberi to be released. Clinton expressed disappointment with the court’s decision. Under Iranian law, espionage is punishable by execution. (Jurist, April 18)

See our last post on Roxana Saberi.

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