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Reporter detained in Iran in good spirits

Reporter detained in Iran in good spirits

The lawyer for a detained Iranian-American said Wednesday the 31-year-old journalist was in good spirits and appeared healthy when he met with her for the second time this week.
Roxana Saberi's father also told The Associated Press from Fargo, North Dakota that he spoke briefly on the phone with his daughter, long enough for her to say she loved her parents and had not been physically abused in Iran.
Reza Saberi says his daughter had time only to say two or three sentences when he talked to her Tuesday and she said "psychologically it was very challenging."
The lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, meanwhile, said his client has been informed of the charges against her. But he said he couldn't comment further until he reads the indictment itself.
He said he met with Saberi, who has lived in Iran for six years, on Tuesday _ two days after his first meeting with her.
Iranian officials have said the freelance journalist, who was detained about a month ago, was engaged in unspecified "illegal" activities because she continued working in Iran after the government revoked her press credentials in 2006. They have provided no further details.
Saberi, who has reported for NPR, ABC, BBC and other media, is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Iran and grew up in Fargo, N.D.
In a letter sent Tuesday, executives of NPR, ABC, BBC, PBS, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel and Feature Story News demanded that Iran specify how Saberi broke the law and allow an outside group to evaluate her health and living conditions.
In a separate statement, The Associated Press joined those outlets in insisting charges against Saberi be made public and urging Iran to allow the welfare check.
"The Associated Press shares with media organizations and colleagues around the world deep concern about the continued detention in Iran of Roxana Saberi," said Kathleen Carroll, The AP's executive editor.
The statement Tuesday was signed by Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of NPR; David L. Westin, president of ABC News; Jon Williams, world editor of BBC News; Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS; Robert Thomson, editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal; John Stack, vice president of newsgathering of Fox News Channel; and Simon Marks, president of Feature Story News.
In a message Schiller sent to NPR employees Tuesday, she said that although Saberi is not an NPR employee, "she has filed for us regularly and we are concerned about her well-being."
"Along with our colleagues from other major news organizations we also believe it is important for us to take a stand on behalf of journalists whose freedom to report the news and inform the public is limited without due process," Schiller said.
Human rights groups have repeatedly criticized Iran for arresting journalists and suppressing freedom of speech. The government has arrested several Iranian-Americans in the past few years, citing alleged attempts to overthrow its Islamic regime.


Updated : 2021-10-18 04:12 GMT+08:00