Iran has released an American journalist jailed for four months on Monday after an appeals court suspended her sentence on charges of spying for the United States.
Roxana Saberi, a 32-year-old dual Iranian-American citizen, was convicted last month on espionage charges. Initially, she was sentenced to eight years in prison. Her parents said they would bring her home to the U.S. within days.
The Secretary of United States Hillary Clinton confirmed the release and said the U.S. government is heartened by the development. She said that the journalist is expected to leave Tehran within the next several days.
I am very happy that she is free. Roxana is in good condition, Saberi's father Reza Saberi said after her release.
We had expected her release but not so soon. She will be preparing to leave (Iran) tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, he told reporters at his house in Tehran.
Saberi has lived in Iran since 2003 and reported for several international organizations. She was detained in January after being accused of buying a bottle of wine and working as a journalist without proper accreditation, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Saberi went on a two-week hunger strike to protest her detention, but ended it last Monday after her parents visited her in prison and pleaded with her to stop, her father told reporters.
The United States and several European countries and human rights groups had been advocating for Saberi's release.
The appeal court's decision to free her can be used as a legal precedent for other journalists currently detained in Iran, said Reporters Without Borders in a statement.