World

Journalist jailed in Iran freed

An Iranian-American journalist jailed in Tehran on charges of spying for the U.S. was freed on Monday after her eight-year sentence was reduced, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confirmed.

An Iranian-American journalist jailed in Tehran on charges of spying for the U.S. has been freed after her eight-year sentence was suspended, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed Monday.

Roxana Saberi "is currently with her family and will be leaving Tehran to return to the United States in the coming days," Clinton told reporters in Washington.

"Obviously we continue to take issue with the charges against her and the verdicts rendered but we are very heartened that she has been released and wish her and her family all of the very best."

Saberi's lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshah, said his client had left Tehran's Evin prison and was reunited with her father, Reza Saberi.

Earlier in the day, an Iranian appeals court hearing Saberi's case reduced her eight-year sentence to a suspended two-year term, her lawyer said.

Saberi, 32, who has both Iranian and American citizenship, was also banned from any reporting work in Iran for five years.

Saberi was convicted in April of spying for the United States following a one-day trial behind close doors. She recently ended a two-week hunger strike for health reasons 

She was arrested in late January and initially accused of working without press credentials. Earlier this month, an Iranian judge levelled the far more serious allegation of espionage.

Human rights and journalist groups have condemned her imprisonment, saying the case illustrates Tehran's intolerance of free expression.

Saberi was born in the U.S. and raised in North Dakota. She moved to Iran six years ago and worked as a freelance journalist for several news organizations, including the CBC, National Public Radio and the BBC.

The United States has described the accusations against Saberi as baseless, and called for her release.

With files from The Associated Press