"We are very deeply concerned by the circumstances of Roxana Saberi's detention," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. "She continues to be held without charge, while officials have offered shifting reasons for her detention."
Saberi was detained
in January. Since then, Iranian officials have issued conflicting explanations for
the detention. Initially, Saberi told her family that she was apparently being
held for buying wine. A few days later, a spokesman for
"We are particularly concerned about Saberi's welfare, especially in light of where she is being held," CPJ's Abdel Dayem said.
At least two journalists have died at Evin Prison in the last six years in situations that have not been fully explained, CPJ research shows. Omidreza Mirsayafi, an Iranian blogger serving a 30-month sentence on a charge of insulting religious figures, died at Evin Prison last week under mysterious circumstances. In 2003, Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi died from a brain hemorrhage that resulted from a beating at Evin Prison. An intelligence agent charged in the killing was acquitted after a flawed trial. Kazemi had been jailed because she took photographs outside the prison.
More than 10,000 people worldwide signed a CPJ
petition expressing deep concern about Saberi's detention. CPJ presented
the petition to the Islamic Republic of Iran's Permanent Mission to the United
Saberi, 31, has worked for National Public Radio, the BBC, ABC News, and other international media outlets. Those outlets and other major news organizations have issued a joint statement calling on authorities to file specific charges or release Saberi immediately.