Jailed Journalists: Three Americans Imprisoned Abroad
Three American journalists are in jail in Iran and North Korea as United Nations World Press Freedom Day arrives May 3.
Roxana Saberi, an Iranian-American journalist who had reported for National Public Radio and the BBC, was arrested in January and sentenced April 18 to eight years in jail. The charge: spying for the United States. Saberi was born in the United States and moved to Iran six years ago, where she was a freelance reporter. In 2006, she began work on a book about Iran, her father said.
Iranian dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi will defend Saberi in her appeal. President Barack Obama, as well as press and human rights groups, has called for Saberi’s release.
In North Korea, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, working for San Francisco-based Current TV, were arrested March 17 on the Chinese border by North Korean authorities. The women were accused of entering North Korea illegally and being hostile to the state. Ling and Lee were working on a story about North Koreans escaping their country.
The three Americans are among an estimated 125 journalists who are in jail around the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.