Monday, May 4, 2009

Iran Tells Advocacy Groups to Stop Protesting Saberi Jailing

Iranian officials have told advocacy groups to stop protesting the jailing of American journalist Roxana Saberi, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters today in Tehran.

"Our judiciary is independent and ... any kind of imposition or interference in the legal process is against international regulations," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a weekly news conference.

What international regulations he was referring to was not clear.

"Roxana's case is not a complicated issue. She is an Iranian lady whose case is under review by the appeal court," said Qashqavi. "We have to wait for the appeal court's decision."

Four U.S. members of Reporters Sans Frontières began a hunger strike Sunday outside UN headquarters in New York as part of World Press Freedom Day. Saberi has been on a hunger strike in Tehran’s Evin Prison — drinking only sugared water — since April 21 to protest the espionage charges levied against her. She was transported to the prison hospital on May 1.

She was found guilty of espionage activities and sentenced to eight years in prison by a revolutionary court.

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