Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Roxana Saberi's Trial Lasts One Day in Iran, Her Fate Is Uncertain

The jailed Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi is waiting to learn her fate after a one-day trial on espionage charges at the Tehran Revolutionary Court. She was tried on charges of "spying for foreigners ... for America", an Iranian government spokesman said, adding that a verdict was expected in two to three weeks.

Saberi, 31, was arrested in January after buying a bottle of wine and accused of working without press credentials, was charged last week with spying for the United States. An investigative judge alleged that she had passed classified information to United States intelligence services.

Iranian deputy prosecutor Hassan Zare Dehnavi reportedly said that “Saberi has admitted the charges against her.”

"The Iranian authorities use and abuse this charge to arrest journalists and tighten the muzzle on free expression,” Reporters Without Borders said, reiterating its call for Saberi’s release.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said she had been working illegally in Iran. Judicial authority spokesman Alireza Jamshidi said last month that she had been “arrested on the order of the Tehran revolutionary court and is now in detention in Evin prison.”

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