[QODLink]
Middle East
Iran jails US journalist for spying
Roxana Saberi sentenced to eight years in prison for being US "spy".
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2009 11:29 GMT

Saberi was initially accused of working "illegally"  [AFP]

An Iranian court has sentenced a US journalist to eight years in prison on charges of spying for the United States, a defence lawyer has said.

Roxana Saberi, 31, was sentenced on Saturday following a trial that was conducted behind closed doors. 

"She has been sentenced to eight years ... I will appeal," Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, Saberi's lawyer, said.

Saberi, who has US and Iranian nationality, has been detained in the Evin prison in Tehran since January.

Saberi was sentenced despite calls for her release from Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, and diplomatic overtures to Iran by Barack Obama, the US president.

The US called the charges against Saberi "baseless and without foundation" and demanded her immediate release earlier this week.

Freelance journalist

Saberi, who had lived in Iran for six years, was working as a freelance journalist  when she was arrested in January.

She was initially accused of working "illegally" since her press credentials were revoked in 2006, but last week the charge was changed to that of spying for foreigners.

Saberi has reported for US-based National Public Radio (NPR), the BBC and Fox News.

Her parents appealed to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader,
for her release last month, saying she was in a "dangerous" mental state.

It is the harshest sentence meted out by an Iranian court to a dual-national citizen on security charges.  

Several US-Iranians, including academics, have been detained in recent years on security charges but released after several months behind bars.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.