An official from Iran’s prosecutor’s office announced Friday that the case against Roxana Saberi has been completed. Her release should take place ‘soon.’ It is not known is soon means days or weeks.
Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State demanded the immediate release of the American born journalist during a news conference at NATO headquarters on Thursday reports Bloomberg.
“I am very concerned about this young woman,” Clinton said. The U.S., which doesn’t have formal diplomatic relations with Iran, has pressed through Swiss intermediaries for the government to provide information on “her well-being, her whereabouts and the charges that are being used to confine her,” Clinton said.
“We have pressed very hard, we will continue to do so,” Clinton said. “There is only one outcome for this matter, and that is for her to be released as soon as possible.”
The United States is reviewing its isolation policy concerning Iran and if a low-level diplomatic office should be opened there.
“Investigations with her have taken place and she will be released in the next few days,” an official from Tehran’s public prosecutor’s office was quoted as telling ISNA news agency.
Saberi is a rarity in Iran. Her skill set of radio, television and Internet reporting is unusual in Iran for an American journalist. Even after Tehran revoked her press credentials she continued to work in the country. There were no charges files although officials have said that her reporting was illegal.
The LA Times reports:
“She is serious as a reporter,” said one journalist who knows Saberi but like many interviewed for this report asked not to be named. “Recently, we heard her reporting, which was said to be only straight news, was somehow tolerated by authorities, which is what made the news of her arrest come as a shock.”
When Saberi’s credentials were revoked there was no explanation. Her employer Simon Marks, president of Feature Story News, was unable to persuade Iranian authorities to let Saberi continue to work for his news service. At the time of her arrest Saberi was working with authorities to be allowed to report legally.
The LA Times reports:
“Roxana was in negotiation with authorities for a long time after her press card was taken back, hoping she could change their mind,” said one friend. “She would say she was never told if she had made any specific mistake in her stories.”
Other journalists in Iran are worried that Saberi’s arrest could have lingering effects. It is believed her detention is being used as a means to intimidate others.