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Asian American Journalists Association deeply concerned and disappointed

A statement from Sharon Chan, national president of the Asian American Journalists Association:

We are deeply concerned and disappointed at the sentencing of Roxana Saberi.

Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. We are distressed at the severity of her sentence, that her trial was held in secret without transparency and that her confession may have been coerced, according to her father. We urge that the Iranian government show compassion, and release her to be reunited with her family pending her appeal.

By all accounts of people who know her and who have worked with her — Roxana is a journalist, not a spy. An American of Iranian and Japanese descent, she crossed borders to report stories that shined a light into distant corners of the world. Her work was carried by NPR, the BBC and ABC News, organizations committed to fair, accurate and independent journalism.

The stories Roxana reported from abroad are crucial to understanding U.S. foreign policy and what it means to be a citizen of the world.  With many newsrooms cutting their foreign coverage, the public is more reliant than ever on the work of freelance journalists willing to risk their personal safety so we may know more. Roxana went abroad because of her commitment to tell stories that would otherwise go untold.

With her unique cultural background, she brought a nuanced perspective to her stories. Roxana was devoted to discovering Iran, its culture and its people and sharing her knowledge with others.It is not and should not be a crime to be a journalist.

For more information contact Sharon Chan, (206) 228-8978, schan@seattletimes.com

Written by Keith Kamisugi

April 18, 2009 at 4:09 pm

11 Responses

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  1. I’ve read the official statements from Hillary Clinton and State Dept.
    They sound “nice.”

    There needs to be pressure has been put on them!!!!

    I’ve seen the facebook petition, but what was the President of Iran going to do? Nothing.

    What is the best site to gather support?

    Sandhya

    April 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

  2. i agree roxana should be freed now.

    nigel david gedge

    April 18, 2009 at 5:41 pm

  3. Islamic revolution, Islamic Republic and Kangaroo courts! There was no transparency in the trial of Roxana. She should be freed.

    Dr.N.M.Mohammed Ali

    April 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm

  4. What can I say. Another sad story. Of course, I’m sure she’s not spending time shackled in a tiny cell, sexually molested, sprayed with insects, waterboarded, etc… From a bit of research on this unfortunate young lady, there is a more than 50% probability that she did some work with the us gov. Pretty dumb after all her studies and knowing how the Iran regime operates she confessed. Of course, after Israel finally nukes Iran and starves the Palestinian people to death, she could be the next western Iranian leader puppet.

    If we truly stand up for truth, fairness, liberty, justice, etc… let’s abolish all governments, central banks, interest rates, the military-industrial complex, the police state and free all the spies, all the journalists, and all the other victims of government coercion and manipulation all over the world. Just to point out the us has the highest prison and conviction sanctioned population in the world. Between 3 to 5 times the number in Iran. What is all this senseless war, carnage, and bloodshed about?

    In the end, I’m sure Iran well show it’s humble face. Miss. Saberi will be much more comfortable than those in us prisons, better treated, and will eventually, fairly soon, be released. I just hope once this happens, Miss. Saberi is honest about her treatment and instead of playing espionage games focuses not just on Iran, but dedicates her life and the opportunities that she has been given to exposing the real problems plaguing and oppressing civilization. Godspeed here release!

    PolakMaly

    April 18, 2009 at 10:47 pm

  5. It is against American federal law to travel to Iran. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!! Miss North Dakota, may be looking at jail time when she returns to the US. State dept. officials may travel to iran with the consent of the President. She should be considered a felon. This is a media blitz against Iran, and the world is falling for it. Israeli’s involved no doubt.

    Bob Van den broeck

    April 19, 2009 at 6:14 am

  6. The problem is much more complicated than this simplified discussion. The media is blowing it out of proportion and yes people are raped and battered. But the problem is worldwide. Worldwide. Not just Iran, not just US, but worldwide. The whole world is a mess. And for the most part everyone aligns themselves with this or that camp. We have all these political goons who spit out poisonous venom dressed up in humanitarian causes. They strangle their servants and at the same time rob their neighbors of all their possessions until their children wake up homeless in the land of their forefathers. They do their cherry marries on their subordinates and than we have people killing each other over something they themselves have no idea about. No one is immune, that’s why it’s so hard to rationalize with the clowns, puppets, and pawns. Injustice is injustice, no matter what form and or side it takes.

    P.S. Miss Saberi’s NPR Reports:
    http://www.npr.org/search.php?text=+roxana+saberi&sort=DREDATE%3Anumberdecreasing&aggId=0&prgId=0&topicId=0&how_long_ago=0

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 11:55 am

  7. Well, I just gave you a list. Moreover, there are only about 20 real 3 minute segments of Roxana using big words to talk about Iran of what every child can learn from reading the New York Times. 20 segments at 3 minutes each, that’s 60 minutes of work in 6 years. I’d surely like to work 60 minutes in 6 years and not have to worry what tomorrow brinks. I’m not assuming anything, the evidence is just not there right now to discredit that very notion.

    Tehran has dug itselves a perfect case. Unless she can prove that she is a legitimate reporter and document the sources of her income, they have a case. After all, doesn’t the cia itself go after suspected enemies by observing their movement and following their money trail. Of course the best way to avoid detection is to avoid leaving a paper trail. But that can be a problem if you can’t document your sources of income. In the US you that means you must be involved in some sort of “criminal” activity.

    Of course those are not crimes in themselves, except a form of theft imposed by the government. Governments are getting more aggressive and destructive everyday. The calls do need to be made for a rule of law and proper court procedures, yet these laws and procedures can be so derailed that they end up having a greater social cost than benefit. We are living in a world of kangaroo courts, lol…. In today’s world the government sees itselves above the law and and does with people what it pleases. I hope this incident serves as an awakening point to all citizens of the world and all the double standards on all parts.

    For now President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad emphasized that Miss Saberi must have her legal right to defend herself. They will have their kangaroo show. The Iranian government will play with her a bit, perhaps try to get it’s diplomats out of US custody (another double standard). Iran has a case. In politics anything goes. Whatever the outcome, in the end, I’m certain Miss Saberi will walk free. This is very political. Iran will try to improve it’s imagine by showing the world what good sport they are and point out the corruption of the us and it’s torture policies. After all, didn’t that happen with the British sailors. In fact they each got a brand new suit and book offers when they returned back home. You will mark my word….

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 11:59 am

  8. Tell that to military, the law enforcement, the layers, the judges, the politicians, and the bankers of the world to let her free. I think they will laugh at you. In today’s kangaroo courts you are guilty until proven otherwise. You can start helping Miss Saberi by gathering links to her published articles and/or works. Also a subsantial record of her cashflow receiving and spending receipts must be established. All contacts she may have had, if any, with outside parties of interest to Tehran must be ironed out. Sincerely I hope she is a real journalist, not just an asset. We need real journalists to keep a check on the balance. But that we will never know. In the end Tehran wins and she walks out somewhat shaken and stirred, but free, famous, and well to do. The 8 year sentence is a problem, solution, reaction tactic. And I hope I am right. My profiling probability still holds…..

    P.S. Thank you for your little how free-lance reporter contracting goes speal. And I hope Miss Saberi learns something from this experience and puts her knowledge and skills into real reporting that actually makes a difference. There are many less educated free-lancers publishing articles everyday without a profit of much higher quality than I’ve seen thus far from our person of interest. So no, a real reporter doesn’t stop working if he or she has no contract(s). In supply side economics, supply creates it’s own demand. Of course I am not a supply sider, but that’s another intensive topic.

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm

  9. P.S. HELP SAVE THIS IRANIAN GIRL TOO!!!

    The young artist Delara Darabi who has spent the last 6 years in Rasht prison in Iran for the alleged murder of a relative, is scheduled to be executed in TODAY days from now.

    http://www.savedelara.com/
    http://scenews.blog.com/4817342/
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=533103998986446192&q=delara+darabi

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  10. I just checked amazon.com. Her father has several works published. Mother nothing. She has 2 articles:

    Title: Inside Iran: what is life like 25 years after the Islamic Revolution?(World)
    Author: Roxana Saberi
    Publication: Junior Scholastic (Magazine/Journal)
    Date: April 5, 2004
    Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
    Volume: 106 Issue: 16 Page: 14(6)
    Price: $5.95
    No description

    Title: Iran: the other side of the world? The people of this Middle Eastern country often feel very distant from America.(World)(Cover story)
    Author: Roxana Saberi
    Publication: Junior Scholastic (Magazine/Journal)
    Date: October 1, 2007
    Publisher: Thomson Gale
    Volume: 110 Issue: 3 Page: 10(5)
    Price: 9.95
    Again no description

    By the way, Junior Scholastic is not a research journal. It is a way the us gov brainwashes our kids into having a bias, closed minded, and egocentric look at the world….

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 12:01 pm

  11. I think the time has come to put away all the big toys and big guns, move away from Big Government and Centralized Power, end all forms of torture and state coercion, and work towards building a decentralized, respectful, and tolerant world. Miss Saberi is not the first and the last victim of state sponsored terrorism. There are many young men and women in her shoes or worse around the world and nobody give a damn about them (I apologize for the language). My point was not to discredit Miss Saberi or accuse her of anything. I spend a considerable time trying to establish Miss Saberi’s credentials and really I’ve never heard of her. I don’t believe anything I hear in the media and always try to do my research before establishing any opinions. I would appreciate if you enlighten us all and post links here to help establishing Miss Saberi’s credentials, journalism, work, etc…. I dread that this young lady has to go through what she does and hope she puts this nightmare behind her soon.

    PolakMaly

    April 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm


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