Update – May 12, 2009
Roxana Saberi was released on May 11, 2009. Thank you all for taking action on her behalf. Check out AI’s comments on her release.
Iran recently sentenced Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old journalist who holds both U.S. and Iranian citizenship, to eight years in prison on charges of espionage after a brief closed door trial. She had been living in Iran and working as a reporter for the past six years, filing stories for news outlets such as National Public Radio, although the government claimed it had withdrawn her press credentials. She was reportedly working on a book about Iranian society at the time of her arrest.
The Iranian government has not released any evidence against Roxana and reports indicate she was pressured into making statements that were used against her in the legal proceedings. The government has imprisoned and persecuted numerous bloggers, journalists, labor activists, students and members of religious minorities. The harsh prison sentence of Roxana is yet another example of the increasingly severe crackdown on those exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association in Iran.
Take action now to call for her immediate release.