Iranian appeals court to review Saberi case

Alexandra Finkel

Updated May 5, 6:45 p.m.
An Iranian appeals court will review the case for Northwestern alumna Roxana Saberi next week, according to international news sources.

Saberi’s case “has been referred to an appeals court where it is being studied,” said Iranian judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi to reporters on Tuesday. A closed hearing is scheduled for next week, he said.

“Experts from the Bar Association, the Intelligence Ministry and the Prosecutor’s Office have been invited to attend the court session,” Jamshidi said.

Saberi, Medill ’99, was charged with espionage last month and was sentenced to eight years in prison. She was initially arrested in January for allegedly buying wine, although authorities later claimed she was taken into custody for reporting without press credentials. Saberi has worked as a freelance journalist in Iran since 2003 writing and reporting stories for various international news outlets.

Saberi was taken to a hospital Monday after fasting for 15 days for her freedom, according to Saberi’s family.

Iranian authorities have denied her hunger strike, however, and her lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshai, would not confirm.

Although Jamshidi has yet to announce a specific date for the hearing, Reza Saberi said he thinks it will be May 12.

“We hope for a lenient verdict,” he said.