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Clinton calls for Iran to release journalist

world Updated: Mar 06, 2009 07:42 IST
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US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for Iran to release an Iranian-American journalist who Iranian authorities say has been detained about a month for allegedly working without press credentials.

Asked about the case at a news conference, Clinton said she was concerned about freelance journalist Roxana Saberi, 31. She said the State Department was working through Swiss officials to request information about Saberi's health, whereabouts and the nature of the charges.

Clinton said she was awaiting Iran's response, but added that the only acceptable outcome was for Saberi to be released and allowed to return to her family in North Dakota.

A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said this week that Saberi was being held in Evin prison north of the capital. The Foreign Ministry said she had engaged in "illegal" activities because she continued working in Iran after the government revoked her press credentials in 2006.

Saberi's father, Reza Saberi, welcomed Clinton's involvement.

"That's very good news. I am optimistic," he said in Fargo, North Dakota. "They say that it's typical for them (Iran) to hold people in prison for two or three months, interrogate them and release them."

He said a lawyer he has hired is scheduled to see his daughter on Saturday.