Thursday, April 23, 2009

CAIR Delegation Seeks Release Of American Journalist Held In Iran


The Council on American-Islamic Relations is sending a delegation to Iran to seek the release of Roxana Saberi who was recently sentenced by an Iranian court to eight years in prison. The delegation could leave as soon as tomorrow.

In a letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, CAIR Chairman Larry Shaw, a North Carolina state senator and Executive Director Nihad Awad requested permission to travel to Iran to discuss Saberi's case with the hopes of resolving it in a way that improves relations and "benefits the cause of international peace and stability."

Saberi, who was born in the United States but whose father is Iranian and, under Iranian law, is therefore considered a citizen, was first arrested on charges that she illegally purchased wine. The freelance journalist, who reports for, among other news outlets, NPR and the BBC, was then charged with reporting without a press pass. Then, finally, she was tried behind closed doors and without benefit of an attorney of espionage and was convicted in one day.

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Photo credit: Eustacio Humphrey / ZUMA Press

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