April 18, 2009
Contact:
Dana Davis Rehm, NPR


   

NPR PRESSES FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF AMERICAN-IRANIAN JOURNALIST


EIGHT YEAR PRISON TERM GIVEN TO ROXANA SABERI UNWARRANTED AND EXCESSIVE


April 18, 2009; Washington, D.C. - This morning NPR reported that the father of jailed Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi told NPR that Iran's Revolutionary Court has sentenced his daughter to 8 years in prison for espionage. Ms. Saberi and her attorney were afforded no opportunity to review the evidence against her or to mount a defense, and her lawyer was not permitted to ask the court about bail.

The 31-year old journalist has reported from Iran for NPR, the BBC, ABC, FOX and other news organizations. She has been jailed at Evin Prison in Iran since January 31st.

NPR is appealing for Ms. Saberi's immediate release and return to the United States. NPR President & CEO Vivian Schiller said this morning, "We are deeply distressed by this harsh and unwarranted sentence. Ms. Saberi has already endured a three month confinement in Evin Prison, and we are very concerned for her well-being. Through her work for NPR over several years, we know her as an established and respected professional journalist. We appeal to all of those who share our concerns to ask that the Iranian authorities show compassion and allow her to return home to the United States immediately with her parents."