Overseas Press Club of America calls arrest of Roxana Saberi illegal
The Overseas Press Club of America, which has defended journalists and press freedom around the world for nearly seventy years, joins RWB, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other press freedom organizations in calling Roxana Saberi’s arrest a violation of both Iranian law and international legal standards.
H.E. Mahmud Ahmadinejad
Office of the President
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: (011.98.21) 649.5880/ 646.6415
We are very concerned about the continued detention of Roxana Saberi, a well-respected journalist who was arrested in late January, 2009, and has not been heard from since February 10. Saberi was born and raised in the United States, and holds dual U.S. and Iranian citizenships.
No charges have been brought against Saberi, and her lawyers are not being allowed to visit her. She has been allowed to speak only once to her parents in the U.S. Following a March 1, 2009 report of her arrest on National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S., Iranian judicial authority spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, confirmed that she was “arrested on the order of the Tehran Revolutionary Court and is now in detention in Evin prison.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hassan Ghashghavi, said that Roxana Saberi had been working “illegally” in Iran. Saberi has lived for the past six years in Tehran, where she worked as a stringer for NPR from 2002 to 2006. She also worked as a journalist for the BBC and Fox News. Her father, Reza Saberi, told Reporters Without Borders (RWB) that his daughter has not worked for the media since her credentials were lifted in 2006. Her father added that his daughter has been “studying Farsi and Iranian culture at a Tehran University.” He also said that “her writings were just personal notes and comments about cultural and literary subjects with a view to writing a book about Iran.”
The Overseas Press Club of America, which has defended journalists and press freedom around the world for nearly seventy years, joins RWB, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other press freedom organizations in calling Saberi’s arrest a violation of both Iranian law and international legal standards.
We urge Your Excellency to immediately investigate the details of her case and to take all possible steps to ensure that her attorneys are informed of any charges against her, that she has access to her attorneys and full access to all the protections provided in law.
Norman A. Schorr
Co-chairmen, Freedom of the Press Committee
Leader of the Islamic Revolution
Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: (011.98.21) 646.4373
Ambassador Mohammad Khazai Torshizi
Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
633 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Fax: (212) 867.7086
U.S. Interests Section
Embassy of Switzerland
No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th)
Fax: (011.98.21) 2258 0432