Iranian authorities have sentenced Northwestern University alumna Roxana Saberi to eight years in prison for espionage, her father told NPR radio on Saturday.
Saberi, Medill ’99, stood trial on Monday after being charged with spying for the United States last week, according to the U.S. State Department. The freelance journalist has been working in Iran since 2003 and although her press credentials were revoked in 2006, she continued to write and report for various news outlets including BBC, NPR and Fox News.
Saberi was arrested in late January for buying alcohol although she was later accused of reporting without press credentials and then espionage.
Saberi was tried in a closed, single session court, said Laura Tischler, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department.
“Roxana said in court that her earlier confessions were not true and she told me she had been tricked into believing that she would be released if she cooperated,” her father, Reza Saberi, told the Agence France-Presse.
“Her denial is documented in her case but apparently they did not pay attention to it,” he added.
The U.S. has demanded Saberi’s release and return, Tischler said. “Any charge by the Iranian government is baseless,” she said on Tuesday.
Her father, Reza Saberi, told NPR that the verdict would be appealed.
Editor’s note: The original version of this article stated that the verdict would be repealed instead of appealed. The Daily regrets the error.
Related:Saberi awaits verdict of Iranian court 4/15/09Bienen works to release NU alumna detained in Iran 4/13/09 Medill alum Roxana Saberi reportedly charged with espionage in Iran 4/9/09Medill graduate being held in Iran prison 3/5/09