The International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) has called for the trial of an Iranian-American
journalist accused of spying to be ‘open, honest and respectful' of all her
rights under international law.
The trial of Roxana Saberi began
yesterday behind closed doors in Tehran
and a verdict is expected within three weeks, says an Iranian
"To accuse a journalist of spying is
easily done," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary, "but it must be a fair
trail with evidence given in an honest and respectful manner in open court and
in line with international standards of jurisprudence."
Ms Saberi faced her accusers before Iran's Revolutionary Court,
which handles national security cases. The IFJ is dismayed that the trial is
taking place behind closed doors - "which inevitably undermines the credibility
of the process," said White.
national, Ms Saberi has spent six years in Iran
studying and writing a book. The journalist, aged 31, worked briefly for the
BBC three years ago. She has also worked for the American public radio network
National Public Radio and the television network Fox News.
She was arrested in late January and
has been held in Evin prison near Tehran.
At first she was accused of working without press credentials, but last week an
Iranian judge charged her with
spying for the United States.
further information contact IFJ on +32 2 235 2207
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists
in 123 countries worldwide