Iran General NewsU.S. media chiefs urge release of reporter in Iran

U.S. media chiefs urge release of reporter in Iran

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ImageReuters: Major U.S. and British broadcasters and news publications on Tuesday asked Iran to make public the charges against an Iranian-American reporter held since January 31, and requested an international organization be allowed to visit her in jail.

ImageNEW YORK (Reuters) – Major U.S. and British broadcasters and news publications on Tuesday asked Iran to make public the charges against an Iranian-American reporter held since January 31, and requested an international organization be allowed to visit her in jail.

National Public Radio, ABC News, BBC News, PBS, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News Channel and Feature Story News called for the release of Roxana Saberi, 31, a journalist who has worked for some of those organizations.

Saberi, a U.S.-born journalist of Iranian descent, has been detained in a Tehran prison critics say holds political prisoners. Her father has said she was arrested for buying a bottle of wine, an act banned under Iran's Islamic law.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded last week that Tehran release her.

An official from the Iranian prosecutor's office had said on Friday that the investigation had concluded and she would be freed within a few days. A Foreign Ministry spokesman has said she was working illegally after her press card was withdrawn two years ago.

"We are deeply concerned about her well-being and the deprivation of her rights, and we will continue to press for action until we are successful," presidents and editors of the news organizations said in Tuesday's statement.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday asked Iran to explain why Saberi was detained. CPJ also requested the direct intervention of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

She was jailed on the orders of a revolutionary court, which under Iran's legal system deals with state security, and has not been heard from since February 10.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by David Storey)

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