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Former Miss North Dakota Detained In Iran

Roxana Saberi (right) with former President Mohammad Khatami
Roxana Saberi (right) with former President Mohammad Khatami
U.S. National Public Radio (NPR) is reporting that a freelance American journalist has been detained in Iran.

Roxana Saberi, a former Miss North Dakota, was born in the United States to an Iranian father and Japanese mother. She has been based in Iran for six years and had been doing freelance reporting for NPR, the BBC, and other media organizations.

Her father told NPR that she hadn't heard from his daughter since February 10.

"She called from an unknown place and said she's been kept in detention," he said from Fargo, North Dakota, where her family lives. He said she had already been in detention for 10 days when she called.

"She said that she had bought a bottle of wine and the person that sold it had reported it and then they came and arrested her," he said, adding that that was just an excuse to arrest her.

Her father said he doesn't know where Saberi is being held or what she has been charged with. He said the family has stayed quiet until now, in hopes she would be released.

The Iranian authorities have yet to comment on Saberi's arrest.

Saberi grew up in North Dakota, and was named Miss North Dakota in 1997.

(by Golnaz Esfandiari)

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