Iranian-American Journalist Imprisoned in Iran
CNN reported that Roxana Saberi, the American journalist convicted of charges for spying in Iran, has lost weight in prison but is being treated well in her cell with two other prisoners, her father said Sunday.
"She has lost weight and she looks frail and weak," her father Reza Saber told the Associated Press in an exclusive interview. "She says she's not treated harshly. The food is pretty good and they're not hurting her. So it's just the environment of the prison that's very frustrating."
The 31-year-old Iranian-American from Fargo, North Dakota was sentenced Saturday to eight years in prison after a private one-day trial, which prompted denunciation from United States and abroad political and media officials.
Saberi's lawyer has 20 days to file an appeal, and afterward, they must wait for the court of appeals to decide, said her father, who last saw her Tuesday.
"We cannot do anything until they make a decision," he said.
He said he will stay in Iran until his daughter is released, television station FOX 9 news additionally reported from the Associated Press.
Saberi has been living in Iran since 2003, according to the journalist advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists. She has freelanced for National Public Radio and other news organizations, and was writing a book about Iranian culture.
Saberi continued to file short news items without permission after Iranian authorities revoked her press credentials in 2006, the journalists' group said.
Saberi was detained in January, although no formal charges were disclosed. Officials initially said she was held for buying a bottle of wine. The Foreign Ministry later said she was detained for reporting without proper accreditation.
By April 9, Saberia had ben charged with espionage. She confessed to the charges, authorities said. Her father said he believed she was coerced into making damaging statements.
"Without press credentials and under the name of being a reporter, she was carrying out espionage activities," Hassan Haddad, a deputy public prosecutor, told the Iranian Students News Agency. (CNN)
Her father said tactics used for confessions are the same in security prison as they are for political prisoners, which leads to saying untruthful things in hopes of release from prison.
"Most probably, such tactics were used on our daughter but, again, further investigation is needed," he said.
In addition to Saberi, another Iranian-American student remains detained in Iran.
In addition to Seberi, Estha Momeni, another Iranian-American student, remains detained in Iran after an arrest last October. At a conference on Afghanistan in the Netherlands earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a letter to the Iranian delegation asking for information on her release.
Clinton also inquired about Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran in March 2007.