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Reporter vows to continue hunger strike

AN American journalist jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the United States is vowing to remain on a hunger strike until she is freed even though she is "very weak," her father said yesterday.

Roxana Saberi, who has been on a hunger strike for a week, was convicted more than a week ago and sentenced to eight years in prison after a one-day trial behind closed doors.

Her parents said they brought her a bouquet of flowers on Sunday - her 32nd birthday - and were able to visit her again in Evin prison yesterday.

"Roxana is very weak and pale. She has been on a hunger strike for a week now," her father, Reza Saberi, told reporters.

"She is only drinking sweetened water to remain alive."

He said he tried to persuade his daughter to end her hunger strike but she refused.

"She vowed to remain on hunger strike until she is freed," he said.

The US has called the accusations against Roxana Saberi, a dual Iranian-American citizen, baseless and demanded her release.

The case has been a source of tension between the US and Iran at a time when the Obama administration has said it wants to engage its longtime adversary.

Yesterday, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said Saberi's supporters would be surprised if the evidence against her were made public.

"Should the judge decide to expose details, the revelations will definitely make some of her supporters ... think seriously about the case," he said.


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