AP: US journalist jailed in Iran goes on hunger strike

AP, April 25, 2009:

TEHRAN, Iran – The American journalist convicted of spying in Iran has gone on a hunger strike to protest her imprisonment, her father said Saturday.

Roxana Saberi, a 31-year-old dual American-Iranian citizen, was convicted of spying for the United States and sentenced to eight years in prison after a swift, closed door trial earlier this month.

Saberi was arrested in late January and initially accused of working without press credentials, but earlier this month, an Iranian judge leveled the far more serious allegation of espionage.

“She went on a hunger strike Tuesday to protest her imprisonment. Today is the fifth day,” Reza Saberi told The Associated Press. “She will remain on hunger strike until she is freed.”

Her father said Roxana’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, has appealed the sentence.

“The lawyer filed his appeal today,” he said.

Iran’s judiciary chief, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, ordered a full investigation into the case Monday, a day after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged Tehran’s chief prosecutor to ensure Saberi be allowed a full defense during her appeal.