An Iranian revolutionary court has sentenced journalist Roxana Saberi to 8 years in prison for spying. After a five-day secret trial held behind closed doors, Saberi — who has freelanced for NPR, BBC, PBS, and Fox News — had her press credentials revoked in 2006. When they first arrested Saberi — a former Miss North Dakota — Iranian authorities claimed that it was for buying a bottle of wine, “an act banned under the country’s Islamic law.” The Obama administration has called the charges baseless, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has released the following statement:
I am deeply disappointed by the reported sentencing of Roxana Saberi by the Iranian judiciary. We are working closely with the Swiss Protecting Presence to obtain details about the court’s decision, and to ensure her well being.
Ms. Saberi was born and raised in the United States, yet chose to travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran due to her desire to learn more about her cultural heritage. Our thoughts are with her parents and family during this difficult time.
We will continue to vigorously raise our concerns to the Iranian government.