Ahmadinejad urges legal rights for Iranian-American journalist

April 19th, 2009 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Tehran, April 19 (IANS) Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday called for “fairness” for the Iranian-American journalist who has been sentenced to eight years in prison by a court here on charges of espionage.
In a letter to prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi, Ahmadinejad advised him “to precisely handle the case, observe administration of justice and ensure the accused can freely and legally defend herself”, IRNA reported.

Iran’s revolutionary court Saturday sentenced Roxana Saberi, 31, an Iranian-American journalist working for a number of foreign news organisations, to eight years in jail on charges of spying for the US.

Saberi has been in Tehran’s Evin prison since January following her arrest. She originally faced the less serious accusation of working without a valid press card.

Saberi’s Iranian father and Japanese mother are currently in Tehran and plan to stay until they take their daughter back home to North Dakota.

Both US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed deep concern over the journalist’s fate and their disappointment over the verdict.

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