Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Tuesday, 5 May 2009 09:08 UK

Iran to hear US reporter appeal

Undated photo released by the family of imprisoned Iranian-American shows journalist Roxana Saberi in Tehran, Iran
Ms Saberi has been held in Tehran's Evin prison since January

An appeal will begin next week for US-Iranian reporter Roxana Saberi, who was sentenced to eight years in jail for spying, an Iranian official has said.

Ms Saberi's father says she has been on a hunger strike since she was sentenced behind closed doors last month by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Iranian officials have denied the claim, saying she is in good health.

US President Barack Obama has dismissed the spying charges as baseless and appealed for her release.

The 32-year-old US-born freelance journalist had appealed against the verdict through her lawyer.

"There has been a date set for next week," judiciary spokesman Alireza Jamshidi told a news conference, giving no further details.

Iranian authorities earlier said they would hear her appeal fairly and quickly.

Hunger strike

The official denied Ms Saberi's father's claim that she has been on a hunger strike since 21 April.

"I asked the deputy prosecutor two days ago. He said that she is in complete health and not on hunger strike," Mr Jamshidi said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has refused to intervene in the case, saying the courts acted independently and that she will be accorded her full rights.

The journalist has been in jail in Tehran since January.

She originally faced the less serious accusation of buying alcohol, and later of working as a reporter without a valid press card.

Then, in a period of less than two weeks, the charge of spying was introduced, and she was tried and sentenced behind closed doors by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Ms Saberi, who holds dual US and Iranian citizenship, has spent six years in Iran studying and writing a book.

Print Sponsor

Profile: Roxana Saberi
18 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Saberi 'on hunger strike' in Iran
25 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Saberi's fate 'in judges' hands'
22 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Iran: Love letter plea for Saberi
22 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Saberi parents welcome Iran signs
21 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Iran orders 'fair' US spy appeal
20 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Obama dismayed by Iran sentence
18 Apr 09 |  Middle East
Iran jails journalist as US spy
18 Apr 09 |  Middle East

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific