NIAC Condemns Iran’s Jailing of Iranian-American Journalist
19-Apr-2009 (15 comments)

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) condemns the government of Iran’s dubious trial and jailing of Roxana Saberi. On Saturday, Saberi was convicted by an Iranian court on charges of espionage and given an eight-year prison sentence. No specific allegations or evidence have been made public.
“The changing rationales for her arrest and the one day secret trial seriously call into question the validity of the charges against Ms. Saberi and the fairness of her trial,” said NIAC president Trita Parsi. “This, and the countless other human rights abuses committed by Iran, are very disturbing and are of particular concern to the Iranian-American community. Iranian Americans specifically seem to have become targets of the Iranian government in recent years.”

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Kaveh Nouraee


by Kaveh Nouraee on

is the stance all people should be taking on this matter.


babak pirouzian

by IRANdokht on

Sorry I did not realize that this conversation was continuing. Thanks to Q you probably have a better idea on how other countries do and always have dealt with this kind of charges on a routine basis. I don't think it's been such a mystery but you needed proof and I see that Q has obliged.

You also asked if NIAC spoke of Delara's case. I am not sure why you would rather ask than see for yourself, so here it is: latest statement on Delara's case by NIAC.

I also found another post condemning Roxana's arrest. You can probably go back and find more such cases. I just don't have the time to do web searches for others. 

NIAC Condemns Incarceration of Iranian-American Journalist Monday, 02 March 2009

I am sure it's much more effective to keep questioning a group, even though the answers are there. by nature, people don't take the time to evaluate the criticism and accusations. 

I don't work for NIAC but I like the organization and I like what I see from them and I do support them when I can. I am just not in a position to provide you with any official NIAC statement other than what's found on their own website. Something you or Fred can also do. 



NIAC spoke out against Roxana's arrest already back in January!

by K Sajj (not verified) on

NIAC spoke out against Roxana's arrest already back in January. Fred knows this, but he conveniently ignores that fact - just as he ignores facts in general.

BTW, i looked around on the web, and to my knowledge, NIAC was the FIRST Iranian-American group to condemn her sentencing. Not that it matters, but an interesting tid bit since Fred and his gang's defense now seems to be that NIAC didn't condemn this fast enough - they were the first!


babak sorry to cut in right here...

by Q on

but I wanted to answer one of your questions which I'm familiar with.

Are you saying that many countries arresting people accusing them for buying a bottle of wine ( or a similar petty crime), then changing the crime manifest to lack of working credentials and then upgrade the crime to spionag and in one day, the acused is convicted to 8 years sentence behind closed doors? Please example a country like that , so I am not so critical to NIAC nor to IRI.

On the issue of picking up someone with a small charge and later charging them with something more serious, yes, this happens every day in US and Canada (and probably many other countries). It's in fact a prosecutorial strategy to extract a confession, do some plea bargaining (by threatening the other charge) and/or find better evidence for the real crime. This has been done as a strategy in many terrorism, high crime and espionage cases. I'm sure you have heard of the mafia boss Al Capone who was arrested on the charges of tax evasion. FBI does it as a routine matter with terrorism. If you want a specific example, here's one that applies:

from the article: "Al-Marri arrived in Peoria in September 2001 with his wife and five children to do graduate work at Bradley University. Three months later he was charged with credit card fraud and possession of false ID's. Then in 2003, a month before he was to stand trial, President Bush declared al-Marri an enemy combatant and an al-Qaida agent. Since the day he was seized — June 23, 2003, al-Marri has been in Navy custody."

As far as "closed door" sentencing, it is also done in numerous countries, first and third world alike, especially in matters of national security, I don't know if a country that doesn't do it like this. All over the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, closed door trials (and secret trials where nobody is even notified which is not this case) happens all the time. All the Guantanimo "enemy combatent" trials were setup with a three panel military judge in closed doors and no civilian lawyer and/or reporters are allowed. This is the norm in national security prosecutions and it does not get more serious than espionage.

All this does not make it "right". That depends on how strong the evidence is. I would ask the same question of the US administration prosecutions (which in many cases, has turned out insufficient evidence after the fact.)

That is IF they even bother charging the suspect, a practice which Obama has promised to stop.

babak pirouzian

IranDokht: You may a point...

by babak pirouzian on

-If you happen to have a reference to NIAC's condemnation after her January arrest, I would be delighted receiving it.   

- You said "Many countries including the USA arrest people with the suspicion of espionage. Do people start issuing statments before it'sclear that the accused is not engaged in spying?"

Are you saying that many countries arresting people accusing them for buying a bottle of wine  ( or a similar petty crime), then changing the crime manifest to lack of working credentials and then upgrade the crime to spionag and in one day, the acused is convicted to 8 years sentence behind closed doors? Please example a country like that , so I am not so critical to NIAC nor to IRI.   

I guess you may missed my second question which was related to Delara, if NIAC also have condemned the IRI judiciay system, please let me know. I know it's not your job to track NIAC "news release" but since you seemed very familiar with their acticities I am requesting such a request. Thank you.


Dear Ostad

by IRANdokht on

Sorry about the "we" business, especially if you thought it included you.

Actually unlike our saying "we" in the other news post as the saying goes "what have we done" this one is a specific "we" that I suspect Fred knows who it is meant to be...

Based on Dr Parsi's comment in Facebook (sorry no link available outside FB) NIAC is not trying to defend Saberi as a reporter or claim to know whether the charges were true or not. They're speaking up against the unfair and quickie trial.

here's an update you might find interesting:

Iran Court Will Consider Appeal for Journalist





by Ostaad on

Would you please provide the link to Parsi's entire comments about Saberi's case?

What's with the "we" business, girlfriend? What's wrong with using the first person singular personal pronoun, I? (you can tell I'm a teacher, can't you?)

Anyway, what I'm not interested in whether a politcal activist says the right thing when "asked", but how forward and "in your face" those who we expect to carry our mantel of political activism perform. I respect NIAC and Parsi for what they are doing, and by the same token, I expect a lot more "activism" when it comes to pointing out the human/civil rights problem in Iran.  You dig?


babak pirouzian

by IRANdokht on

Dr Parsi spoke up after the sentencing, when it was clear that Roxana's trial was not fair and just. What do people expect? We all get emotional and jump on our soap boxes, hold our (cyber) bullhorns to our mouths and cry foul. But we're not speaking for anyone other than ourselves and most of us do so anonymously anyway.

Many countries including the USA arrest people with the suspicion of espionage. Do people start issuing statments before it'sclear that the accused is not engaged in spying?

Here is a comment made by Dr Parsi on this subject when he was asked what should IRI do to spies:

The issue isn't if she is guilty or innocent - the issue is that she has not been given a trial according to the standards that Iran itself has committed itself to, per the many conventions it is a party to. She must been given a chance to defend herself, her lawyer must be able to take part of accusations and evidence against her so that they can challenge it ... That has not been the case, and as a result the verdict cannot be viewed as legitimate... if they have solid evidence against her, then Iran has nothing to lose by giving her a fair trial.

I hope this helps.

Fred please step down the soap box and give up the bullhorn for a second, there is much thinking to do and it can't happen when you're so busy throwing accusations and labels at people...

Don't get me wrong... we love our brave little anonymous Fredo. ;-)


babak pirouzian

Dear Q: Better late than never!

by babak pirouzian on

Roxana was detained since sometime in January; now, the whole world condemning IRI's act; what was holding NIAC back for so long coming forward and protecting "Iranian-American", after every one including Ahmadi and Obama expressed their displeasure?

NIAC must be forefront as (protecter of Iranian-American) not the last one. But now, it's better than nothing!.

I hoped that NIAC also spared a few minutes and said something about Delara and IRI lame, injustice,  justice system. I guess we may see something coming up soon and that's better than never too.       


Haha.... another meaningless drivel from the hypocrite sophist

by Q on

never fails, Fred. You get more confusing when you get more desperate... too panicky to put forth a well thought out argument I guess.

BTW, don't forget to register for your online activities. It will be illegal soon to get paid to push your paid campaign online without disclosing who you work for... one step closer: //

right Ostaad, like that would have satisfied our "F"riend.


Fred, I have to hand it to you on this one, homie

by Ostaad on

The NIAC was a bit johnny-come-lately on this one.


Islamists and NIAC lobby

by Fred on

The mere fact that a known heavy-duty Islamist defends NIAC lobby with such loutish Islamist logic speaks volumes of that lobby’s value to the ill intentioned Islamists.


Fred's typical sophist hypocrisy

by Q on

I almost didn't have to read Fred's "timely" response. But this is proof of Fred's moral bankruptcy and his single-minded mission of spewing hate and character asassinations.

I hope everyone is paying attention. There are are only two possiblities: Either NIAC speaks out about this issue, or it doesn't.

If NIAC does not speak out: Fred - the sophist hypocrite - accuses it of being IRI agents.

If NIAC does speak out: Fred - the sophist hypocrite - accuses if of being IRI agents.

Conclusion: Fred - the sophist hypocrite - couldn't care less about Roxana or anyone else who is dying or who is living. He is just exploiting the situation for his existing full time job. Like a typical Mob goon, he ONLY uses these issues in a cynical public harrassment campaign against NIAC or others he doesn't like. It doesn't matter what they do or what happens in the world, Fred - the sophist hypocrite - has a lame story that blames NIAC.


NIAC lobby's timely "advocacy"

by Fred on

NIAC lobby bills itself as an Iranian-American “advocacy” entity. Roxanna Saberi, an Iranian-American was taken hostage by the Islamist republic and the crime became public a long time ago.

Almost everyone from the American President to others have condemned and asked for her immediate release. It got to the point that even the titular “president” of the Islamist republic got into the act.

The Islamist prez has publically asked non other than Saeed Mortazavi, the prosecutor who is suspected of having delivered the blow that murdered another hostage, Zahara Kazemi, to show due diligence in the case. That is after the hostage Roxanna was given an eight year sentence for “spying” in a one day quickie revolutionary trial closed to the public. 

  Today, right after the Islamist prez’s statement, lo and behold, the NIAC lobby has seen fit to “condemn” the crime. Thank you NIAC lobby for your timely “advocacy”!

khaleh mosheh

A very principled stance by the NIAC

by khaleh mosheh on

Thanks IRANdokht jan for drawing attention to it.