Iran confirms detention of American journalist

March 3rd, 2009 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Tehran, March 3 (RIA Novosti) A US freelance journalist with Iranian roots has been arrested in Tehran, an Iranian judicial spokesman said Tuesday.
The Iranian parents of Roxana Saberi, 31, earlier told US media that their daughter was detained Jan 31 for buying a bottle of wine. The sale and use of alcoholic beverages is illegal in Iran.

“The arrest (of Roxana Saberi) took place on a writ issued by the revolutionary court and she is being detained in Tehran’s Evin prison,” Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters, adding, “I do not know exactly what the accusations are.”

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqawi said Monday that the American journalist had been working in Iran illegally as her press card had expired in 2006.

Iran does not recognise dual nationality. The US has asked Switzerland, which represents Washington’s interests in the Islamic Republic, to find out more details about the arrest.

Saberi has worked for the BBC, Fox News and a number of other media over the past six years in Iran.

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