American journalist in Iran freed from prison

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Monday, Iran released Roxana Saberi, an American journalist with Iranian and Japanese parentage, from prison. Saberi was arrested in April and accused of spying.

"[Saberi will be] released today," said one of Saberi's defense attorneys, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi. He added that after being released, Saberi "is entitled to leave Iran immediately." She is, however, forbidden from practicing journalism for at least five years in Iran.

Her freedom comes after an Iranian court met in a private session for five hours then ruled that her eight year prison sentence was suspended. She was convicted on April 18 and her trial lasted only one day.

Saberi was originally arrested in April and sentenced to eight years after being charged with purchasing alcoholic beverages and reporting without the proper media credentials. During her trial, Iranian officials accused her of spying and sending information to U.S. intelligence agencies overseas. At the time, according to Iran's national media, Saberi admitted to spying.