American journalist sentenced for spying in Iran

Roxana Saberi was born in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1977 to a father from Iran and a mother from Japan. Among other achievements, she was selected as Miss North Dakota in 1997 and obtained master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University (my alma mater) and in international relations from Cambridge University. She moved to Iran six years ago to work as a freelance journalist, and has reported for National Public Radio, the BBC and Fox News.

Saberi was arrested in Iran in January for illegally buying alcohol and working without press credentials; she was subsequently charged with espionage. After a secret trial by a “revolutionary court,” she was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Saberi’s father has visited his daughter in Evin prison. He said she is very weak, but wants to go on a hunger strike to protest her detention.

He was interviewed this morning on National Public Radio.