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A Sigh of Relief

May 12, 2009, 5:24 AM

Like the BBC reporter who was taken hostage some years ago, the news of an US-Iranian journalist, Roxana Saberi, has yet again sparked international attention and protest, calling for her immediate release. Those who appealed for the journalist's release included the President of the United States, Barrack Obama, who has taken a more conciliatory approach to Iran than his predecessor.

There were also concerns from within Iran: her partner, Film Director Bahman Ghobabadi, whose work has won prizes in Cannes and Berlin, said Ms Saberi was a victim of Iran's political regime. Before her release was announced, reporter Saberi was said to have embarked on a hunger strike against her eight-year jail sentence. This shows that the work of journalists everywhere is one of risk. Being victimized, de-humanised, arrested, detained, kidnapped, or denied personal freedom and individual human rights, is an occupational hazard that journalists have been forced to live with.

However in the interest of democracy and inalienable rights of the individual, the pursuit of truth and freedom must go on despite those risks. The eventual release of Journalist Saberi, therefore, is hailed as another triumph of press freedom and democracy.

"Free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Martin Luther King