Iran unjustly jails US journalist for 8-years on trumped up charges spying
April 18, 2009
(ChattahBox) — An American woman journalist of Iranian descent Roxana Saberi, 31, who happens to be beautiful and probably way to modern for a country still trying to enforce middle age laws has been railroaded into eight-years in prison as a US spy.
Her extraordinary resume includes holding two master’s degrees, from Northwestern University in the US and from Cambridge University, in the UK, and is currently studying for a third. Ms. Saberi moved to Iran six years ago and worked as a freelance journalist for various news organizations, including the BBC, radio network NPR and the TV network Fox News. The daughter of an Iranian father and a Japanese mother, she was once crowned Miss North Dakota and and was among the top 10 finalists in Miss America 1998, and has spent six years in Iran studying and writing a book.
After her press credentials were revoked in 2006, Roxana stayed on to finish a book on Iran and to study and planned to return to the US later this year. Knowing the perceptions and dangers for a young single woman in Iran she was cautious wearing a headscarf and observing the customs, even in diplomatic functions where there were no restrictions.
When Roxana, was arrested in January her family was told it was for buying a bottle of wine, an act banned under the country’s Islamic law, and went on trial this week. In the process, Iranian prosecutors accused her of working as a journalist without a valid press card, before the charges changed again that she was working as a spy for the US.
Her trial was held behind closed doors in front of Iran’s Revolutionary Court. The U.S. government has called her arrest “baseless and without foundation” and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has demanded her release. An appeal on her behalf is likely but with a kangaroo court like this it seems rather hopeless for a reversal through the Iranian courts. Hopefully diplomatic efforts can eventually succeed. But I truly hope for the same harsh dark ages justice handed out to the leaders of this nemesis country and those that support them.