Free Roxana Saberi

Freelance journalist, Roxana Saberi, was jailed for eight years in Iran this week on sham charges that she was engaged in espionage. Roxana is in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran where political prisoners are often held. [NPR Broadcast on notorious Evin Prison]

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Evin is a hellhole and inmates often subject to torture:

At least two journalists have died ‎there in the last six years amid circumstances that have not been fully explained, CPJ research shows.Omidreza Mirsayafi, a blogger serving a 30-month sentence on a charge of insulting religious figures, died at the prison in March under mysterious circumstances.In July 2003, Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died from a brain hemorrhage that resulted from a beating at Evin Prison. An intelligence agent charged in the killing was acquitted after a flawed trial. Kazemi had been jailed because she took photographs outside the prison. [CPJ 18 April]

The CPJ [9 March] has launched a petition calling on Iranian authorities to release Roxana. Iran is also under mounting diplomatic pressure to free her. The petition is available for signature on Facebook Causes and so far has over 10,000 signatures.

Join the Facebook cause Protect Journalists

The BBC has an interesting profile of Roxana, who was born in America to an Iranian father and Japanese mother. In a weird little footnote, she is a former beauty queen and has a Masters degree from Cambridge. The Huffington Post has more coverage.

There’s a whole diplomatic “back story” to this incident that many are saying is linked to Iran’s attempts to push the United States into more concessions over its nuclear programme. Roxana is now a pawn, it seems, in this zero-sum game of brinkmanship.

The Asian-American Journalists Association has established a Free Roxana website that is being staffed by her friends and former colleagues at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

It is important to get Roxana out of Evin, but also to understand the brutality of the regime. The online Persian Journal – an outlet for dissident writings about Iran – has a first person account from a woman held in Ervin prison. It is not pretty.

3 Responses to Free Roxana Saberi

  1. DUDE,

    I made it

    OMG SF ROCKS

  2. Lii says:

    From the web site of the Committee to Protect Journalists, New York (http://www.cpj.org/2009/02/attacks-on-the-press-in-2008-israel.php) :
    “At least nine journalists have been killed in the West Bank and Gaza since 2001, eight of them in IDF attacks, according to CPJ research. And in the aftermath of these deaths, CPJ has found, Israeli military investigations are routinely marred by a lack of transparency and accountability.”
    This situation is possible only because of United States total backing of Israel.
    Ms Saberi did not suffer such a fate, nor was she subject to state terrorism as are so many others.
    As regards her fate, she was either up to something or stupid to think that she could interfere in the affairs of Iran – a nation constantly threatened with attack from nuclear-armed Israel, enjoying full US support and the latest and greatest US military technology – ofted supplied at US taxpayer’s expense, i.e. as “aid”.
    Ms Saberi’s treatment does not deserve nor justify the vilification you pile on Iran.

  3. Lili – this is an example of my comments policy. I have posted your comment, but really I can’t see your point.
    I have not piled vilification on Iran.
    BTW: Roxana Saberi was released on 11 May
    HuffPost reportage

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