Iran frees jailed US journalist Roxana Saberi

An American journalist labelled a spy and jailed in Iran has been freed today after an appeals court suspended her eight-year jail sentence.

Roxana Saberi, a US and Iranian citizen, was convicted last month of spying for the US.

She was arrested in Tehran in January and detained for reporting “without proper government-issued press credentials”.

A one-day trial found her guilty of espionage and she was sentenced to eight years in prison.

The International Women’s Media Foundation wrote to the head of the judiciary in Tehran this morning, urging him to intervene on Saberi’s behalf.

The letter said: “We believe her continued imprisonment violates the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as we understand it, and also violates universal notions of free speech, free press, and due process.”

It added: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression… to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Saberi went on a hunger strike in April. Her case caused tension between the United States and Iran at a time when President Barack Obama had said he wanted to improve relations.

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