Roxana Saberi is Free

Iranian-American journalist Roxana Saberi, jailed in Tehran on allegations of espionage, has had her sentence reduced from 8 years to 2 years, suspended for 5 years. Iranian officials announced today that she was free to leave Evin prison immediately. Saberi, originally detained for buying a bottle of wine, was subsequently charged with reporting without government credentials, then espionage. Her trial was a 15-minute closed-door hearing in which no defense was permitted.

The case had become a major international diplomatic issue, with the US government calling the charges “baseless” and both Sec. of State Clinton and Pres. Obama repeatedly demanding her immediate release. Today, Sec. of State Clinton announced today that Saberi’s release had been confirmed, adding that she was “heartened” by the news.

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Saberi Lawyer Expects ‘Remarkable Change’ After 5-hour Closed-door Appeal Hearing

The lawyer representing Roxana Saberi in an Iranian appeals court today has expressed hope, saying he is “optimistic she will be acquitted”. Ms. Saberi was convicted in April by an Iranian court of spying for the US, a charge related to her conducting journalistic activity without a government-issued license to do so. There has been an international outcry calling for her unconditional release, and Iran’s president ordered the courts to hear her appeal.

According to the AP:

“I am hopeful and optimistic that there will be a remarkable change to her verdict,” Abdolsamad Khorramshahi said outside the courthouse. “My colleague and I were allowed to defend our client in a favorable atmosphere. Our client also had enough time to defend herself.”

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Journalists Around the World at Risk of Violence or Imprisonment

As the world marked international Press Freedom Day yesterday, there was growing concern about the conditions facing journalists around the world. Reporters without Borders (RSF) has expressed concern a Tibetan editor jailed in China may be suffering torture, the American journalist Roxana Saberi is said to be frail due to an ongoing hunger strike in protest of her 8 year sentence for ‘espionage’ in Iran, and numerous heads of state are listed as ‘predators’ working against press freedom.

The situation in Iraq continues to be extremely grave, with over 200 journalists and media workers killed since the 2003 invasion. Violence is ongoing and the government of Nouri al-Maliki is reported to be putting mounting pressure on reporters to be less critical of government.

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‘Ghost Net’: Cyber-spying Probe Reveals Vast Network of Cyber-espionage Based in China

Investigators in several countries say they have uncovered a global “ghost net” of cyber-espionage, with major centers in three Chinese provinces and a foothold in California. Just one of the group’s alleged cyber-spies is said to have created a system that hacked into 30,000 computers per day. The investigation began with a probe into alleged hacking of computers used by the Dalai Lama in exile in India.

According to CNN:

Computers —including machines at NATO, governments and embassies— are infected with software that lets attackers gain complete control of them, cyber-security experts alleged in two reports Sunday.

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