Iran president acts to ensure reporter's rights
Tehran, April 19, 2009
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Iran's judiciary to ensure that an Iranian-American journalist jailed for espionage enjoys her legal right to defend herself, the official IRNA news agency said on Sunday.
The letter from Ahmadinejad's office to Tehran's prosecutor was published a day after Roxana Saberi was sentenced to eight years in jail for spying for the United States.
Saberi's lawyer has said he would appeal the sentencing, which comes at a time when the new US administration of President Barack Obama is trying to reach out to the Islamic Republic following three decades of mutual mistrust.
IRNA said the letter from Ahmadinejad's chief of staff Abdolreza Sheikholeslami to prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi dealt with Saberi's case as well as that of a detained Iranian blogger.
"Based on the president's insistence, please make sure that all the legal stages about the mentioned people be based on justice," the letter said.
" ... and you personally make sure that the accused people will enjoy all freedoms and legal rights to defend themselves and their rights will not be violated," it added. - Reuters