Iran General NewsJailed US reporter's dad to stay in Iran

Jailed US reporter’s dad to stay in Iran


ImageAFP: The father of a US reporter jailed in Tehran said he planned to stay in the Iranian capital until his daughter's case is resolved.

ImageWASHINGTON (AFP) — The father of a US reporter jailed in Tehran said he planned to stay in the Iranian capital until his daughter's case is resolved.

"I am planning to stay here. If (it) takes very long, then my wife might return to the States. But I will stay here until this case is resolved," Reza Saberi told US National Public Radio (NPR).

Saberi and his wife, Akiko, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday to pursue their daughter's case, had a 20-minute meeting with her on Monday in Tehran's Evin prison.

Reza Saberi told NPR his daughter Roxana, 31, was surprised by their visit, and that she looked pale and weak but was in good spirits. He said she was allowed to see local television channels and that she requested books to read.

She also wanted to see her lawyer "to point out … that apparently some of the statements were made under pressure, under threat, you know. So that they were not valid," he said.

US-born Roxana Saberi, who also holds an Iranian passport and has reported for NPR, the BBC and Fox News, had been living in Iran for six years when she was arrested in late January, reportedly on charges of buying alcohol, which is prohibited in the Islamic republic.

Reza Saberi said he and his wife would try to visit their daughter once a week.

"There's a day of visitation," he told NPR. "On that day, we will try to go and see her again. There are some ceremonies you have go through, certain steps before you can see (her). But all of that can be done on the same day."

The Iranian authorities are yet to reveal the charges against the journalist, but her father in an interview with AFP on Monday said: "We know what the charge is but we do not want to give out details before the lawyer has the case papers in hand."

Her lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi said on Sunday that Saberi has been indicted and that her case would be dealt with in a Tehran revolutionary court following completion of a preliminary investigation.

Last month her parents appealed to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for her release, saying she was in a "dangerous" state of mental health.

Washington has repeatedly called on Tehran to release the journalist.

Iran, which does not recognize dual nationality and has had no ties with the United States for three decades, has detained several Iranian-Americans, including academics, in recent years.

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