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Celebrated Journalist to Discuss Incarceration in Iran

March 19, 2010 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Last year, journalist Roxana Saberi became the object of worldwide news when she was captured and eventually sentenced to eight years in prison by the Iranian government. On Tuesday, April 13 -- nearly a year after her release -- the Iranian-American writer will talk at Northwestern University about her harrowing and enlightening experiences there.

A graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Saberi is author of a soon-to-be-published book titled "Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran" (HarperCollins, March 30). Her lecture of the same name will take place at 4 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston campus. It is free and open to the public.

Saberi was living and working in Iran as a freelance journalist for nearly six years when on a January morning she was forcibly taken from her Tehran apartment. At Iran's infamous Evin prison, she was harshly interrogated and accused of espionage, a charge that she denied. Weeks elapsed before her family and friends learned of her whereabouts.

Saberi will tell the complicated story of her arrest and imprisonment. That story includes a sham trial and a false confession that Saberi made under duress, which she quickly came to regret and later recanted. She also will talk about her Evin cellmates -- including numerous political prisoners -- who helped Saberi rediscover her conscience and courage.

Saberi, 32, earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from Medill in 1999. In Iran, she did freelance work for National Public Radio, British Broadcasting Corp., ABC Radio, Public Radio International and Fox News. She was awarded the Medill Medal for Courage by her alma mater last year. The award goes to journalists who demonstrate outstanding moral, ethical or physical courage in pursuit of a story.

A book signing will take place after Saberi's lecture. Her visit to Northwestern is co-sponsored by Medill and the University's Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies. For more information, telephone (847) 491-5401, e-mail jpgilbert@northwestern.edu or visit http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/.

Topics: People, Campus Life