Roxana Saberi, the American journalist who was being held in Iran until being released suddenly and recently, just did her first full length interview with Melissa Block at NPR.
Journalist Roxana Saberi, who spent four months in an Iranian prison, returned to the United States on May 22. Until now, she has not spoken to the media at length about her ordeal, during which she says she faced “severe psychological and mental pressure” to confess to being a spy.
In her first in-depth interview, Saberi tells NPR about the events that led to her arrest on Jan. 31, her four months in a Tehran prison, why she gave a false confession, and her take on evidence that was used against her that resulted in a speedy trial on April 13. Saberi, who lived in Iran for six years and reported for NPR among other news organizations, was sentenced to eight years in prison by an Iranian court.
In a turn of events, Saberi was freed May 11 after her sentence was reduced to a suspended two-year term. She tells NPR that to this day she doesn’t know why she was arrested — or why she was freed.
You can listen to the interview here.
On a related note, two journalists are also being held in North Korea, Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Their trial begins June 4th and there will be vigils around the country on June 3rd. More information here.