Iranian American Council (NIAC)
NIAC Condemns Iran's Jailing of Iranian-American Journalist
Washington, DC - The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) condemns
the government of Iran's dubious trial and jailing of Roxana Saberi. On
Saturday, Saberi was convicted by an Iranian court on charges of
espionage and given an eight-year prison sentence. No specific
allegations or evidence have been made public.
"The changing rationales for her arrest and the one day secret trial
seriously call into question the validity of the charges against Ms.
Saberi and the fairness of her trial," said NIAC president Trita Parsi.
"This, and the countless other human rights abuses committed by Iran,
are very disturbing and are of particular concern to the
Iranian-American community. Iranian Americans specifically seem to have
become targets of the Iranian government in recent years."
Saberi was originally detained for allegedly buying alcohol. Iran's
foreign ministry later said she was operating as a reporter with expired
credentials. She was finally charged with spying shortly before the
trial took place. Saberi, who has worked for National Public Radio and
the BBC, has lived in Iran for six years.
President Barack Obama "is deeply disappointed at this news," said White
House spokesman Robert Gibbs. Both Senators from North Dakota, Saberi's
home state, spoke out strongly against the verdict. "I call on the
Iranian government to show compassion," said Senator Dorgan.
According to her father, Saberi maintains her innocence and plans to go
on a hunger strike.