US-Iranian journalist Saberi makes first public appearance

Roxana Saberi, the US-Iranian journalist who was sentenced in Iran to eight years in prison on spying charges but was released on Monday, thanked those who helped secure her release in her first interaction with reporters on Tuesday.


AFP - US-born reporter Roxana Saberi, who was freed from an Iranian jail, said on Tuesday she has no immediate plans for the future and for now merely wants to "relax" with her family.

"At the moment I have no plan, I want to be with my family and relax," Saberi said in her first brief interaction with reporters after she walked free on Monday.

Saberi was released from prison after an Iranian court reduced her initial eight-year prison term, delivered on charges of spying for the United States, to a two-year suspended sentence.

Saberi on Tuesday thanked those who helped secure her release.

"I am very happy and thankful to all the people who helped me. I want to be with my family... with my mother and my father," said Saberi, wearing a blue headscarf and a black monteau.

Reza Saberi, the journalist's father, speaking separately to reporters, said the family was preparing to take her back to the United States.

"We are preparing for it. She wants to relax for the next one or two days, but we don't know how long it will take to get back," he said.

He said his daughter is also "recovering now that she is surrounded by her family and friends."

Saberi, 32, was arrested in January. Her eight-year jail sentence had caused deep concern in Washington and among human rights groups.

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