Judiciary confirms detention of Iranian-American reporter

iranmpa-flagTehran - An Iranian-American radio reporter has been arrested and detained in a Tehran prison, a judiciary spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

Ali Reza Jamshidi refrained, however, from saying on what charges Roxana Saberi, 31, had been arrested, the ISNA news agency reported.

Saberi, a US citizen with an Iranian father and Japanese mother working for National Public Radio in the United States, was reportedly arrested about one month ago.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said Monday that because the Culture and Islamic Guidance Ministry in 2006 denied Saberi an extension of her accreditation, any press work by her was illegal.

Foreign correspondents and Iranian nationals working for foreign media are obliged to obtain official accreditation from the ministry.

Saberi's father, Reza Saberi, told US media that his daughter was arrested after she purchased a bottle of wine. He said she considered this charge as just an excuse for her detention although consuming alcohol in Iran is forbidden.

The Culture Ministry has gradually introduced stricter rules on media accreditation in the past several years. For instance, accredited reporters are no longer allowed to work for more than one media outlet and freelance reporters have no chance of receiving accreditation. (dpa)