The father of an imprisoned Iranian-American journalist in Tehran says
she has gone on a hunger strike to protest her eight-year jail sentence
Reza Saberi said Saturday his daughter, Roxana,
is on her fifth day of a hunger strike and will continue to refuse food
until Iranian authorities release her from prison.
Saberi's lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, appealed her sentence earlier in the day.
Iranian court sentenced the 31-year-old journalist on April 18 after
she was convicted during an internationally criticized closed-door
trial. The U.S. State Department says the spying charges are baseless.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said he will not intervene in the
Saberi case. But he has called on the judiciary to ensure that Saberi
is allowed a full defense during the appeal process. And the head of
Iran's judiciary has ordered a "quick" and "fair" appeal.
Saberi's parents have visited the imprisoned journalist, and they said she seemed to be in good health.
case comes at a time when U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking a
dialogue with Iran to ease decades of mistrust between the two
Saberi worked as a freelance journalist in Iran for
U.S. and British news outlets. She was arrested in late January for
allegedly working in the country without valid press credentials. Her
father says Iranian officials tricked her into making incriminating
statements by telling her that doing so would enable her release.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.