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Freed reporter Saberi leaves Iran

Roxana Saberi: 'I need some more time to think about what happened to me'

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi has left Iran following her release from jail earlier this week.

She arrived in Austria from Tehran with her parents. She said she would stay there a few days before flying home to Fargo, North Dakota.

Ms Saberi, 32, was freed on Monday after spending four months in prison on spying charges, which she denies.

She was originally sentenced to eight years, but the term was cut on appeal to a two-year suspended sentence.

Her case had attracted international attention. The US administration said Iran's decision to free her was a "humanitarian gesture".

'Calm and relaxing'

Roxana Saberi spoke briefly on her arrival in Vienna, where she said she would spend a few days before heading onwards to the US.

"I came to Vienna because I heard it was a calm and relaxing place.

Both journalists and non-journalists around the world... supported me very much and it was very moving for me to hear this
Roxana Saberi

"I need some more time to think about what happened to me over the past couple of days," she added, declining to answer questions.

"Nobody knows about it as well as I do and I will talk about it more in the future, I hope, but I am not prepared at this time."

She did offer thanks to those around the world who lent their backing to an international clamour to see her freed.

"Both journalists and non-journalists around the world, I've been hearing, supported me very much and it was very moving for me to hear this," the Associated Press reported her as saying.

Secret document

Roxana Saberi was originally arrested and accused of buying alcohol, and later of working as a reporter without a valid press card.

The spying charge was introduced later, and she was tried and sentenced behind closed doors.

Following her release, one of her lawyers said she was convicted of spying for the US partly because she had obtained a classified document .

The lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht, said she had access to a confidential Iranian report on the US war in Iraq - but had not used it.

Ms Saberi worked as a freelance journalist for news organisations, including the BBC and National Public Radio (NPR).



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SEE ALSO
Saberi 'had classified document'
13 May 09 |  Middle East
Freed Saberi thanks supporters
12 May 09 |  Middle East
Reporter Saberi leaves Iran jail
11 May 09 |  Middle East
Profile: Roxana Saberi
15 May 09 |  Middle East

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