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Roxana Saberi Freed From Iranian Prison

Roxana Saberi, the Iranian-American journalist who was awaiting an appeal of a baseless espionage conviction, was released from prison today.

According to the Washington Post, Iranian authorities have reduced Saberi’s sentence from 8 years to a 2-year suspended sentence. This means that if she commits a crime in the next 5 years, the 2-year sentence would go into effect. Saberi is also banned from working as a reporter in Iran for the next 5 years. Her release comes after a five-hour appeal hearing, according to the BBC.

Saberi was initially arrested in February, purportedly for buying a bottle of wine. After several weeks, Iran’s judiciary announced she was being held for working without press credentials. In March, she was charged with espionage and being an American spy. She was sentenced to 8 years in prison after a one day, closed-door trial. The United States has called the charges against her “baseless” and reports indicate that she may have been forced to make incriminating statements while imprisoned.

Sources:

Washington Post 5/11/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/7/09; BBC 5/11/09