Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Roxana Saberi Ends Hunger Strike; Request for Bail and an Appeal Are Filed

Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who is in a Tehran jail on a spying charge, has ended her hunger strike.

When Saberi’s parents visited her in Tehran’s Evin prison on May 4, she agreed to begin eating again at her father’s insistence and took two spoonfuls of yogurt. Yesterday evening, she confirmed to her parents during a phone call that she had decided to end the hunger strike she began on April 21.

Iranian officials told the BBC that the reporter was never on a hunger strike.

Through her father, who is in Iran, she expressed her gratitude for the international campaign of solidarity that has been waged on her behalf.

Saberi’s lawyers yesterday filed a request for her release on bail before the judge of the 28th chamber of the Tehran revolutionary court.

Iranian judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi announced yesterday that the appeal would be heard behind closed doors “in the course of next week” with representatives of the prosecutor’s office, the intelligence ministry and lawyers association in attendance.

“This is a travesty of justice,” Reporters sans frontières said. “Leading independent figures should be present at this appeal hearing. We call for Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi of the Human Rights Defenders Centre to be allowed to attend.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The detention of Ms. Saberi and other innocent Iranians like her is the tragic result of Iran confusing the free exchange of information with espionage. In a related case, Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei were accused of fomenting a revolution because of their international AIDS work. They have been jailed in Tehran since June 2008, and they are on their final appeal. Physicians for Human Rights and a coalition of activists are organizing a Global Day of Action on behalf of the Drs. Alaei on May 12 at Iranian embassies around the world to show Iran that treating AIDS is not a crime. See for ways to participate.