Free Roxana Saberi

In a press statement released today, Amnesty International condemned the eight-year eight-year prison sentence imposed by an Iranian Revolutionary Court on Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi who was convicted of “espionage” following a brief closed door trial in Tehran.

Saberi had been arrested on January 31 and held in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison since then. Legal proceedings in Iran’s Revolutionary Courts are severely flawed and fail to meet international standards for fair trials. The evidence against Saberi has not been made public.

The American born, 31-year-old Saberi is the daughter of an Iranian father and Japanese mother and worked for NPR and other news outlets. An interview on NPR with her father can be found here

Amnesty International issued an urgent action on March 16 when Saberi was first detained, mobilizing activists worldwide to send letters to Iranian officials calling on the authorities to release her unless she is to be charged with a recognizable criminal offense. AIUSA recently issued a second urgent action on Friday, April 17, after news that she had been tried in a closed courtroom.

Several dual-national Iranians have been detained in Iran in recent years since the U.S. Congress announced an extra U.S. $75 million funding for “supporting democracy” in Iran, including Dr Haleh Esfandiari, Kian Tajbakhsh, Parnaz Azima and Ali Shakeri. Most have been accused of acting against national security, particularly with relation to participation in an alleged “soft revolution” in Iran. The United States also holds five Iranian diplomats arrested in Iraq in 2007. In a meeting with the Swiss President on April 19, President Ahmadinejad called for their release. Some commentators have also suggested that Roxana Saberi’s arrest and trial may also be in part due to internal rivalries in the Iranian system in regard to the election of President Obama in the United States and his recent overtures towards Iran.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

44 thoughts on “Free Roxana Saberi

  1. Iran can not expect to be a player on the world stage if they are going to continue to commit flagrant human rights'violations and make implements of nuclear weapons. If they want to negotiate with us, they must stop these things IMMEDIATELY. The United States needs to take a hard line to stop these abuses of power.

  2. Iran can not expect to be a player on the world stage if they are going to continue to commit flagrant human rights’violations and make implements of nuclear weapons. If they want to negotiate with us, they must stop these things IMMEDIATELY. The United States needs to take a hard line to stop these abuses of power.

  3. What makes this really tough for me, as an American citizen, is that we are asking Iran to behave in a more civilized and law-honoring way that we do. How can the U.S. complain if we are still holding prisoners without charge, let alone trial?

  4. Pingback: Letter of the day - Iran - Free Roxana Saberi | Amnesty International Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania

  5. What facts are available to prove she was not a spy, sorry I forgot we just assume that the USA is not doing anything wrong.

    The USA does not comply with the Geneva Convention so why should anyone dealing with them abide by any set of rules.

  6. What makes this really tough for me, as an American citizen, is that we are asking Iran to behave in a more civilized and law-honoring way that we do. How can the U.S. complain if we are still holding prisoners without charge, let alone trial?

  7. To those who posted against our Country, may I suggest some actions which just might put a smile on your face. For example, Peter Toner since you are interested in facts to prove that Roxana Saberi is NOT a spy, why not go to Iran and look it up in their "Public Records" like one can do here in the USA? The trial was a "closed door proceeding", so I guess you will Never know. This country houses, feeds, clothes, employs, and educates, more foreigners than I have hairs on my head. Why not go to Iran, and see if you are offered the same free courtesies? OUR ECONOMY IS AT ROCK BOTTOM! OUR OWN CITIZENS ARE UNEMPLOYED, JOBS ARE SCARCE, CANNOT FEED THEIR FAMILIES, ARE LOSING THEIR BUSINESSES, THEIR HOMES, ETC. I SAY LET'S GET RID OF EVERYONE HERE WHO IS NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND SHIP THEM BACK TO WHERE THEY BELONG. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EVEN WANT TO BECOME AMERICAN CITIZENS, YET WANT ALL OUR FREEBIES.

    Iran, equal to every other middle eastern country, has the nerve to convict one of our citizens without any proof that Roxana Saberi did anything wrong. I think it is time for America to care about Americans. We must stop coddling these countries who continue to make Nuclear Weapons, abuse our people, and have no fear of any reaction from the US. THEN, their citizens come here to either, live for free, or terrorize us. I love this country very much. My father fought three wars, WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam. He fought like many others for OUR freedom, and not the freedom for those from other countries!

    IRAN, KINDLY SET THE TONE FOR THE REST OF THE MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES, AND RELEASE ROXANA SABERI. I KNOW I AM TIRED OF THIS WORLD CONSTANTLY BEING AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER, HOW ABOUT YOU? PLEASE TAKE THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION AND LET HER COME HOME. YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE EVERY OTHER COUNTRY STAND UP AND TAKE NOTICE. THEY WILL SEE THAT YOU ARE HONEST, DECENT AND HAVE INTEGRITY. THIS COULD MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU.

  8. Kevin Barber says: "IF SHE WAS SPYING FOR THE USA-KILL HER".

    Kevin, what country are you originally from? I hope you are not a true American and I would love to know what country produced such an evil mind.

    IF you are an American citizen, you have caused shame for more people than you could ever imagine. It is people with your mentality that adds to the hate that exists in this world and that is nothing to be proud of at all.

    We live in a world where people are always looking to condemn others. It is very easy to find a reason to dislike someone. However, if we all challenged ourselves to find something good in everyone we meet, our mindset could be programmed to repulse hatred. That's when we will find true happiness and live in an awesome world.

  9. To the Iranian President:

    Please release Roxana Saberi. It is with a heart full of hope, that I pray you will take the right course of action. Many people will have a new found respect for you and your country. Thank you.

    Linda

  10. Well Linda where do I start, there is so much you can not see. I will address the issues in the order you raised them.

    Firstly my comments were not against the USA but identification of issues and statement of fact.

    You still did not give any evidence of Roxana's innocence.

    You said in the US you can look this sort of thing up on the public record, could you please point out where I can find such information on the innocent people held without charge or conviction (at least Roxana got a trial). As a US citizen are you comfortable with this elimination of Human Rights.

    I have been to Iran, but as a citizen of the greatest country in the world why would I move there.

    So as you want to get rid of all the foreigners and immigrants I am assuming that you are an American Indian or are happy to leave (or just a red neck).

    Immigration has a positive net benefit for economic growth and job creation.

    The US financial Industry and the people of moderate intelligence who borrowed more than they could pay back and/or more than the value of asset are the ones responsible for the recession and the end of the US as a superpower.

    Grouping all Middle Eastern countries together is a sign of a racist.

    How dare a sovereign country arrest and convict a spy in there own country? Every country has the right to enforce there own laws, if you travel to another country it is your responsibility to understand the laws and ensure you do not break them, Roxana did by continuing her work without the proper permission. It does not matter where you come from.

    I don’t think you can count bombing the 3rd world as coddling these countries. The US has Nuclear weapons, is this a double standard.
    Why should anyone fear the US military, they are currently involved in two wars which they are losing. Further going forward the US will not have the financial reserves to enforce it's will on other countries because they will not be able to afford it.

    Many of my family fought in WWII and I can tell (past and present) a US soldier is not worth the shit on the bottom of a Digger's (Australian soldier) boot.

    When you say set the tone for the rest of the Middle East, do you mean be subservient to the US.

    There is a lot more undertones of your lack of education in relation to anything that has happened outside the US, but I will have to leave it hear.

    But before I go remember Australia is the greatest country in the world

  11. What facts are available to prove she was not a spy, sorry I forgot we just assume that the USA is not doing anything wrong.

    The USA does not comply with the Geneva Convention so why should anyone dealing with them abide by any set of rules.

  12. To those who posted against our Country, may I suggest some actions which just might put a smile on your face. For example, Peter Toner since you are interested in facts to prove that Roxana Saberi is NOT a spy, why not go to Iran and look it up in their “Public Records” like one can do here in the USA? The trial was a “closed door proceeding”, so I guess you will Never know. This country houses, feeds, clothes, employs, and educates, more foreigners than I have hairs on my head. Why not go to Iran, and see if you are offered the same free courtesies? OUR ECONOMY IS AT ROCK BOTTOM! OUR OWN CITIZENS ARE UNEMPLOYED, JOBS ARE SCARCE, CANNOT FEED THEIR FAMILIES, ARE LOSING THEIR BUSINESSES, THEIR HOMES, ETC. I SAY LET’S GET RID OF EVERYONE HERE WHO IS NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND SHIP THEM BACK TO WHERE THEY BELONG. I AM SICK AND TIRED OF SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EVEN WANT TO BECOME AMERICAN CITIZENS, YET WANT ALL OUR FREEBIES.

    Iran, equal to every other middle eastern country, has the nerve to convict one of our citizens without any proof that Roxana Saberi did anything wrong. I think it is time for America to care about Americans. We must stop coddling these countries who continue to make Nuclear Weapons, abuse our people, and have no fear of any reaction from the US. THEN, their citizens come here to either, live for free, or terrorize us. I love this country very much. My father fought three wars, WWII, the Korean War and Viet Nam. He fought like many others for OUR freedom, and not the freedom for those from other countries!

    IRAN, KINDLY SET THE TONE FOR THE REST OF THE MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRIES, AND RELEASE ROXANA SABERI. I KNOW I AM TIRED OF THIS WORLD CONSTANTLY BEING AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER, HOW ABOUT YOU? PLEASE TAKE THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION AND LET HER COME HOME. YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO MAKE EVERY OTHER COUNTRY STAND UP AND TAKE NOTICE. THEY WILL SEE THAT YOU ARE HONEST, DECENT AND HAVE INTEGRITY. THIS COULD MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. THANK YOU.

  13. Kevin Barber says: “IF SHE WAS SPYING FOR THE USA-KILL HER”.

    Kevin, what country are you originally from? I hope you are not a true American and I would love to know what country produced such an evil mind.

    IF you are an American citizen, you have caused shame for more people than you could ever imagine. It is people with your mentality that adds to the hate that exists in this world and that is nothing to be proud of at all.

    We live in a world where people are always looking to condemn others. It is very easy to find a reason to dislike someone. However, if we all challenged ourselves to find something good in everyone we meet, our mindset could be programmed to repulse hatred. That’s when we will find true happiness and live in an awesome world.

  14. To the Iranian President:

    Please release Roxana Saberi. It is with a heart full of hope, that I pray you will take the right course of action. Many people will have a new found respect for you and your country. Thank you.

    Linda

  15. Debora-You demand that Iran "IMMEDIATELY" cease their nuclear power program because they might, could, maybe, someday, perhaps make a bomb-We know for sure that Israel has 200 to 400 nukes right now, plus many other weapons of mass destruction-Iran has not attacked, invaded, assaulted or started a war with any of her neighbors for hundreds of years-I'd be much more concerned about hundreds of these weapons being in the hands of the country that does-You know, that mddle eastern nation that keeps threatening to attack Iran & Lebanon & Syria & Gaza, etc., etc.-

  16. Well Linda where do I start, there is so much you can not see. I will address the issues in the order you raised them.

    Firstly my comments were not against the USA but identification of issues and statement of fact.

    You still did not give any evidence of Roxana’s innocence.

    You said in the US you can look this sort of thing up on the public record, could you please point out where I can find such information on the innocent people held without charge or conviction (at least Roxana got a trial). As a US citizen are you comfortable with this elimination of Human Rights.

    I have been to Iran, but as a citizen of the greatest country in the world why would I move there.

    So as you want to get rid of all the foreigners and immigrants I am assuming that you are an American Indian or are happy to leave (or just a red neck).

    Immigration has a positive net benefit for economic growth and job creation.

    The US financial Industry and the people of moderate intelligence who borrowed more than they could pay back and/or more than the value of asset are the ones responsible for the recession and the end of the US as a superpower.

    Grouping all Middle Eastern countries together is a sign of a racist.

    How dare a sovereign country arrest and convict a spy in there own country? Every country has the right to enforce there own laws, if you travel to another country it is your responsibility to understand the laws and ensure you do not break them, Roxana did by continuing her work without the proper permission. It does not matter where you come from.

    I don’t think you can count bombing the 3rd world as coddling these countries. The US has Nuclear weapons, is this a double standard.
    Why should anyone fear the US military, they are currently involved in two wars which they are losing. Further going forward the US will not have the financial reserves to enforce it’s will on other countries because they will not be able to afford it.

    Many of my family fought in WWII and I can tell (past and present) a US soldier is not worth the shit on the bottom of a Digger’s (Australian soldier) boot.

    When you say set the tone for the rest of the Middle East, do you mean be subservient to the US.

    There is a lot more undertones of your lack of education in relation to anything that has happened outside the US, but I will have to leave it hear.

    But before I go remember Australia is the greatest country in the world

  17. i agree with mr. dickson, the usa is on no higher ground to judge injustice…and most reporters should be held in suspicion of being intel agents…sad but true

  18. Debora-You demand that Iran “IMMEDIATELY” cease their nuclear power program because they might, could, maybe, someday, perhaps make a bomb-We know for sure that Israel has 200 to 400 nukes right now, plus many other weapons of mass destruction-Iran has not attacked, invaded, assaulted or started a war with any of her neighbors for hundreds of years-I’d be much more concerned about hundreds of these weapons being in the hands of the country that does-You know, that mddle eastern nation that keeps threatening to attack Iran & Lebanon & Syria & Gaza, etc., etc.-

  19. i agree with mr. dickson, the usa is on no higher ground to judge injustice…and most reporters should be held in suspicion of being intel agents…sad but true

  20. She hold dual passports and has dual citizenship so she should forfeit her American citizenship for causing this International incident. Clearly any person who has come to this country wanting citizenship would not be living in another country for six years after obtaining it (why emigrate to the USA if you are going to live in Iran?). Our citizenship is being used as a shield and that is not ok!

    She knowingly went to Iran on her Iranian passport and stirred up trouble for herself trying to purchase information about the Iranian nuclear program.

    Her press credentials expired in 2006 and were not renewed.

    Her plight is not an American problem and it is up to organizations like Amnesty International to help her achieve justice.

    If she spied on Iran and was convicted factually through their legal system, Amnesty International should withdraw support for her release and focus on securing fair treatment for her while she is in prison.

    No emotion, just facts….We need more of that in our Country.

  21. She hold dual passports and has dual citizenship so she should forfeit her American citizenship for causing this International incident. Clearly any person who has come to this country wanting citizenship would not be living in another country for six years after obtaining it (why emigrate to the USA if you are going to live in Iran?). Our citizenship is being used as a shield and that is not ok!

    She knowingly went to Iran on her Iranian passport and stirred up trouble for herself trying to purchase information about the Iranian nuclear program.

    Her press credentials expired in 2006 and were not renewed.

    Her plight is not an American problem and it is up to organizations like Amnesty International to help her achieve justice.

    If she spied on Iran and was convicted factually through their legal system, Amnesty International should withdraw support for her release and focus on securing fair treatment for her while she is in prison.

    No emotion, just facts….We need more of that in our Country.

  22. Linda. You are an idiot. Your defense of Roxana Saberi contradicts your dislike of immigrants even. Did you know that Roxana's parents are immigrants? I believe that Roxana be granted of a fair trial, one without prejudice against journalists or Americans. For all we know she may have been a spy. If there was hard evidence to prove her guilty of espionage, would you still want her freed? I say this impartially; she deserves a free trial and that's that. Go find more information before leaving a stupid, emotionally powered comment with no credible, or respectable claim.

  23. Linda. You are an idiot. Your defense of Roxana Saberi contradicts your dislike of immigrants even. Did you know that Roxana’s parents are immigrants? I believe that Roxana be granted of a fair trial, one without prejudice against journalists or Americans. For all we know she may have been a spy. If there was hard evidence to prove her guilty of espionage, would you still want her freed? I say this impartially; she deserves a free trial and that’s that. Go find more information before leaving a stupid, emotionally powered comment with no credible, or respectable claim.

  24. Pingback: ChangeAction.org | What You Can Do To Help Roxana Saberi

  25. Pingback: On Hunger Strikes and Roxana Saberi | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog

  26. I just want to point out that no one here has to proove Roxana isn't a spy. The Iran has to proove she is one and the evidence has to be made public. Sure the USA is not perfect but we all should be well aware what a horrible country the Iran is. And when we hear about a journalist being jailed in such a country (as well as Russia …) we should think there is something wrong. And even if someone is guilty he deserves a fair and public trial.
    Greetings from Germany, MJ

  27. I just want to point out that no one here has to proove Roxana isn’t a spy. The Iran has to proove she is one and the evidence has to be made public. Sure the USA is not perfect but we all should be well aware what a horrible country the Iran is. And when we hear about a journalist being jailed in such a country (as well as Russia …) we should think there is something wrong. And even if someone is guilty he deserves a fair and public trial.
    Greetings from Germany, MJ

  28. Soberi was not arrested independently of other issues. Iran has a history of arrests and disappearances for political purposes. While the US is not perfect this does not license abuses in other countries. I have been ticketed for speeding but this does not mean that I can't ever again say anything about anyone else's driving. Don't try and confuse the issues by throwing in that argument. It is ok and in fact necessary to put pressure on the Iranian govmt. to show the evidence. This is an opportunity to show the world what we stand for. Hiding behind an argument against the American federal govmt. while ignoring other injustices around the world is lazy and opportunistically hypocritical. Wrong is wrong. It is a stretch to speculate that Soberi would be spying. She was in the country legally with dual citizenship due to her father's being an Iranian immigrant to the US. Her mother is Japanese. She was doing a book on Iranian culture and posted an occasional report to news agencies with the permission of the Iranian govmt. after each post was ok'd by her minder, even if her press credentials were not in force. It just doesn't make sense that she would be doing covert intelligence work with such a tenuous and high profile presence. It is more likely that she is being held for political purposes yet to be announced. It is up to us as citizens to make that arrest more trouble than it is worth. We as Americans are admired in other parts of the world as individuals in spite of some of our government's actions. This is largely due to our ability to feel that an individual can make a difference. This kind of individualism is systematically contolled by govmts. such as Iran's through actions like those against Soberi and countless others there. People everywhere are watching to see how we as Americans citizens handle this. We need to show them that we don't accept what the citizens of their own country have been forced to ignore. It is the least we can do from the safety of our own system.

  29. Soberi was not arrested independently of other issues. Iran has a history of arrests and disappearances for political purposes. While the US is not perfect this does not license abuses in other countries. I have been ticketed for speeding but this does not mean that I can’t ever again say anything about anyone else’s driving. Don’t try and confuse the issues by throwing in that argument. It is ok and in fact necessary to put pressure on the Iranian govmt. to show the evidence. This is an opportunity to show the world what we stand for. Hiding behind an argument against the American federal govmt. while ignoring other injustices around the world is lazy and opportunistically hypocritical. Wrong is wrong. It is a stretch to speculate that Soberi would be spying. She was in the country legally with dual citizenship due to her father’s being an Iranian immigrant to the US. Her mother is Japanese. She was doing a book on Iranian culture and posted an occasional report to news agencies with the permission of the Iranian govmt. after each post was ok’d by her minder, even if her press credentials were not in force. It just doesn’t make sense that she would be doing covert intelligence work with such a tenuous and high profile presence. It is more likely that she is being held for political purposes yet to be announced. It is up to us as citizens to make that arrest more trouble than it is worth. We as Americans are admired in other parts of the world as individuals in spite of some of our government’s actions. This is largely due to our ability to feel that an individual can make a difference. This kind of individualism is systematically contolled by govmts. such as Iran’s through actions like those against Soberi and countless others there. People everywhere are watching to see how we as Americans citizens handle this. We need to show them that we don’t accept what the citizens of their own country have been forced to ignore. It is the least we can do from the safety of our own system.

  30. What are the real facts here. We americans since we are expected to comment need to know the truth from the Iranian Government. I do not agree with how they are and treat people first off. This woman is an American she stands for something that Iran doen't believe in alot of our thinking I feel, diplomacy etc. We have a war now thank you very much. So if she is a journalist then how can they say she is a spy it is one or the other. On what grounds is she a spy, I would like to know. I saw CNN when this broke out and I need more information, from Iran especially. It showed a picture of her out in the open filming something. Most journalists do that in case the Iran is not up to par on what todays world is about. Hoping the war will end. I hope she is treated well as we don't treat our prisoners badly as some of prisoners are in Iran, Iraq all of those places that need democracy, diplomacy and maybe even God to believe in. I hope she is treated with respect and dignity for she didn't murder anyone.

  31. What are the real facts here. We americans since we are expected to comment need to know the truth from the Iranian Government. I do not agree with how they are and treat people first off. This woman is an American she stands for something that Iran doen’t believe in alot of our thinking I feel, diplomacy etc. We have a war now thank you very much. So if she is a journalist then how can they say she is a spy it is one or the other. On what grounds is she a spy, I would like to know. I saw CNN when this broke out and I need more information, from Iran especially. It showed a picture of her out in the open filming something. Most journalists do that in case the Iran is not up to par on what todays world is about. Hoping the war will end. I hope she is treated well as we don’t treat our prisoners badly as some of prisoners are in Iran, Iraq all of those places that need democracy, diplomacy and maybe even God to believe in. I hope she is treated with respect and dignity for she didn’t murder anyone.

  32. Roxana should be freed NOW! If the US and Iran are to reconcile, her release should factor into the equation. AI and the State Department should be active in the expidition of her release. Additionally, President Obama should seek a hard line on Iran's human rights failures like he did with China.

  33. Roxana should be freed NOW! If the US and Iran are to reconcile, her release should factor into the equation. AI and the State Department should be active in the expidition of her release. Additionally, President Obama should seek a hard line on Iran’s human rights failures like he did with China.

  34. Pingback: Roxana Saberi Freed! | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog