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Leading US Public Radio Organizations Reaffirm Call for Release of Roxana Saberi

Statement from Association of Independents Radio,
Public Radio International, and American Public Media comes on Eve of Persian New Year


Boston, MA; March 19, 2009 – Roxana Saberi, an independent journalist and dual citizen of the United States and Iran, is being held in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran. No specific charges against her have been made public. We endorse the statement issued on March 9, 2009 by National Public Radio and the other major news organizations for which Saberi worked -- ABC, BBC, Fox, Wall Street Journal, PBS, and Feature Story news. As Iranians around the world anticipate the start of the Persian New Year, Nowruz, and the hope that it brings, we join our colleagues, Roxana’s family, friends, and thousands of individuals around the world concerned for her well being in urging her immediate release.

Ms. Saberi has lived in Iran for the past six years. Her even-handed reports about life in Iran earned her the respect of her colleagues and her audiences. Before her arrest, she was studying for a master’s degree in Iranian studies at Tehran University, and writing a book about Iran. 

Roxana Saberi has been in custody since January 31. Until recently she was held in solitary confinement. On March 6, Reuters reported that an official from Tehran’s public prosecutor’s office, quoted by ISNA news agency, said investigations with Ms. Saberi had taken place and she would be “released in the next few days.” On behalf of independent journalists worldwide and her colleagues in public broadcasting, we ask the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to fulfill its promise to release Roxana Saberi.

Sue Schardt, Executive Director
AIR, Association of Independents in Radio, Inc.

William H. Kling, President and CEO
American Public Media

Alisa Miller, President and CEO
Public Radio International