7 May 2009

Hunger strike ended by imprisoned journalist

8:24 am on 7 May 2009

A United States journalist who is in prison in Iran has ended a two week hunger strike.

Roxana Saberi, 32,who also holds Iranian nationality, started the fast on 21 April to protest against her sentence of eight years in prison for spying.

Her father says she began eating again on Tuesday morning, because she was unwell.

Her lawyer says an appeals court will hear her case on 12 May and the verdict will be announced the same day, or within a week.

Ms Saberi says the charges are false and no evidence has been publicly produced against her.

Iranian officials deny that Ms Saberi was ever on a hunger strike.

The BBC reports Ms Saberi has been held in Evin prison in Tehran since January. She was originally accused of buying alcohol, and later of working as a reporter without a valid press card.

Then she was tried on the spying charge and sentenced behind closed doors by the Revolutionary Court in Tehran.

Ms Saberi has spent six years in Iran studying and writing a book.