Saberi Lawyer: Jail Sentence Reduced, Release Expected Soon

The lawyer for jailed Iranian-American Roxana Saberi says the journalist will soon be freed.

Reza Saberi, the father of American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi holding her picture (File)
Reza Saberi, the father of American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi holding her picture (File)

TEHRAN,IRAN (RPRN) 05/11/09--Saberi’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, said Monday in Tehran that an Iranian appeals court has reduced her eight-year jail sentence to a suspended two-year term. He had expressed optimism about her fate before the verdict, saying the appeal court’s atmosphere was “favorable” when he presented her defense.

The 32-year-old freelance journalist was found guilty last month on charges of espionage. Her family and the U.S. government say the charges against her are baseless.

Saberi’s father, Reza Saberi, said the journalist ended a hunger strike last Monday at Evin prison after refusing to eat for nearly two weeks. Witnesses to Sunday’s closed-door proceedings say Saberi appeared tired and thin when she arrived at the courthouse.

Iran has criticized international involvement in the case, saying the judiciary is independent and outside interference contradicts international norms.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.