The Committee to Protect Journalists delivered a petition today in support of American freelancer Roxana Saberi to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. With more than 10,000 signatures, the petition requested the direct intervention of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The New York Times relayed Iranian press reports on Friday cite a judiciary official in Tehran saying that Roxana “will be released in the next few days.”
Depsite those apparent developments, CPJ called for the charges against her to be made public and for the Iranian government to ensure that she will receive due process and be released as quickly as possible. Roxana has been imprisioned in an Iranian jail for more than five weeks.
“We hope that this petition conveys to President Ahmadinejad and the Iranian leadership that the depth of concern for Roxans Saberi, who has now been in custody for 37 days,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “All of us are anxious to see her released as soon as possible. But at a minimum, she is entitled to basic due process. We call on President Ahmadinejad to ensure that her basic human rights are respected.”
CPJ launched its Facebook petition in support of Saberi on March 2, with the aim of collecting 1,000 signatures. The public outcry against her detention was so great that CPJ extended the deadline for signatures four additional days.
For more information on Roxana Saberi and press freedom issues in Iran, please visit www.cpj.org.