New York, April 20, 2009--In response to a letter sent on Sunday by
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's office sent the letter to the public prosecutor asking him to ensure that Saberi and jailed Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan are given an opportunity to exercise all legal rights.
"Please take the necessary measures to ensure that the process of examining the charges against [Saberi and Derakhshan] are being carried out carefully and fairness, justice, and regulations are observed," the BBC quoted Ahmadinejad's letter as saying. The letter was posted on the Web site of the Iranian News Agency (IRNA). "Please, personally observe the process to ensure that the defendants are allowed all legal rights and freedom in defending themselves and that their rights are not violated even by one iota," the letter said.
Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi, the chief of the judiciary, also ordered the public prosecutor to "quickly and fairly" reconsider different aspects of Saberi's case, IRNA reported.
"We are appealing to the essential fairness of the Iranian
people in asking that Roxana Saberi be given every right guaranteed to her
under the law," said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and
Derakhshan has been detained since November 2008, although many details about his case are unclear.
"We are also concerned about the secrecy surrounding the detention of Hossein Derakhshan, who has been in custody for more than five months," said Abdel Dayem.
Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, Saberi's lawyer, told Reuters today that the Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi, will be joining Saberi's defense team soon.
Iranian authorities first detained Saberi, 31, in January
and since then she has been held at
Saberi has been living in