Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

SPECIAL: US and Cuba Normalise Relations

Read more

ENCORE!

Forget Harry Potter, Jeff Kinney's 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' sells millions

Read more

FOCUS

Child migrants: no parents, no passports

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Thousands flee Libya and Nigeria to seek refuge in Niger

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Sony Pictures reels from cyber-attack

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"Todos somos Americanos"

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cuba-USA: 'A roll of the dice'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The 'Caribbean Wall' is starting to crumble

Read more

WEB NEWS

Sydney siege: Australians show solidarity with Muslims

Read more

Asia-pacific

Ahmadinejad calls for fair treatment for US-Iranian journalist

Latest update : 2009-04-19

Hours after US President Barack Obama condemned Iran's jailing of American-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi on charges of spying, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked the Tehran prosecutor to treat Saberi fairly and secure justice.

AFP - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Sunday for fair treatment of US reporter Roxana Saberi, who was sentenced to eight years in jail as a US spy, the state news agency IRNA reported.
   
In a rare intervention in judicial proceedings, Ahmadinejad said the Tehran prosecutor should examine the case against both Saberi and Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian-Canadian blogger who has been behind bars since November, IRNA said.
   
"At the president's insistence, you must do what is needed to secure justice ... in examining these people's charges," said a letter from Ahmadinejad's chief of staff Abdolreza Sheikholeslami to Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi.
   
"Take care that the defendants have all the legal freedoms and rights to defend themselves against the charges," the letter said.
   
Saberi, 31, a former US beauty queen, was convicted of spying for the United States during a closed-door trial and sentenced to eight years in jail, in a verdict unveiled on Saturday.
   
US President Barack Obama, who has called for dialogue with Iran since he took office in January, was "deeply disappointed" at the sentence, according to his spokesman.
   
The State Department branded the espionage charges as "baseless," while Saberi's father has said his daughter was "tricked" into confessing by being told she would be released.
   
Saberi's lawyer has said he would appeal the verdict, which is the harshest sentence ever to a dual national on security charges in Iran.
   
She has been held since late January, when she was initially reported to have been arrested for buying alcohol, an illegal act in the Islamic republic.
   
Derakhshan, a prominent blogger, has been detained since his arrival in Iran in November 2008 and is being investigated on charges of insulting Shiite imams.
 

Date created : 2009-04-19

COMMENT(S)