Lawyer: Iran to free jailed American journalist after court suspends jail term

Lawyer: Iran to free jailed American journalist

TEHRAN, Iran — An American journalist jailed in Iran will be freed Monday and can leave the country immediately, her lawyer said Monday after an appeals court suspended her eight-year prison sentence.

Roxana Saberi, a 32-year-old dual American-Iranian national, was convicted last month of spying for the U.S. and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Her case caused tension between the United States and Iran at a time with President Barack Obama had said he wanted to engage Washington’s longtime adversary in a dialogue. The U.S. has called the charges against her “baseless” and demanded she be freed.

Iran’s judiciary announced that the appeals court, which heard her case on Sunday, had reduced her jail term to a suspended two-year sentence, said one of her lawyers, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi.

He told The Associated Press that Saberi will be “released today.”

Her lawyers were heading to Evin prison to meet Saberi, said her other lawyer, Saleh Nikbakht. She has been held there since January.

“She is entitled to leave Iran immediately,” he said.

Saberi moved to Iran six years ago and had worked as a freelance journalist for several organizations including National Public Radio and the British Broadcasting Corp.

The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders welcomed the decision to suspend Saberi’s sentence and looked forward to her imminent release.

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