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Saberi Said To Have Vowed Hunger Strike


Roxana Saberi's parents, mother Akiko and father Reza, at their Tehran home on April 18.

Roxana Saberi's parents, mother Akiko and father Reza, at their Tehran home on April 18.

The father of jailed U.S.-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi has told Radio Farda that his daughter vowed to launch a hunger strike on April 23, but said he had not spoken with her since April 19.

Saberi was sentenced by Iran in a closed-door trial to eight years in jail for alleged spying but rejects the charges, and Western governments and rights groups have urged Tehran to release her.

Her lawyer told Radio Farda she will officially appeal the sentence on April 25.

Saberi was initially detained on January 31, reportedly for having purchased a bottle of wine. Charges later emerged accusing her of having worked without the proper journalist's accreditation from Iran's government, and the espionage charges followed.

U.S. and EU officials have rejected the charges against the U.S.-born freelance journalist as groundless.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Amnesty International, and other groups have also dismissed the allegations against Saberi, who has lived in Iran for the past six years.

Amnesty International has called on members to express their support for Saberi through birthday messages around April 26, when she turns 32.

written by RFE/RL correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari from Radio Farda contributions
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