Merz, Ahmadinejad discuss jailed journalist

20th April 2009, Comments 6 comments

The Swiss and Iranian presidents discuss the sentencing of US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi.

GENEVA - Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz discussed jailed US-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi during a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Sunday, his ministry said.

Swiss authorities said in a statement that "various unresolved cases of consular protection were discussed, including the sentencing of the American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi."

Other issues relating to relations with the United States were also discussed, it added.

Swiss officials could not be reached for further details.

Switzerland has represented US consular interests in Iran since 1980 and acted as a mediator after Tehran and Washington ended diplomatic relations.

Saberi was sentenced by an Iranian revolutionary court to eight years in jail on charges of spying for the United States during a closed trial, in a verdict revealed Saturday.

US President Barack Obama earlier Sunday denied she was a spy and demanded her release.

Ahmadinejad called on Tehran's prosecutor to examine the cases against both Saberi and an Iranian-Canadian blogger who was jailed since November, Iran's state news agency IRNA reported Sunday.

The Iranian president arrived in the western Swiss city earlier to attend the UN's Durban Review Conference against racism, xenophobia and intolerance beginning on Monday.

Ahmadinejad is due to speak at the conference at 1300 GMT and hold a press conference an hour later, amid fears that he might repeat verbal attacks on Israel and controversial comments on the Holocaust.

Merz "expressed Switzerland's concern relating to human rights in Iran" during the meeting with his Iranian counterpart "in particular concerning corporal punishment, stonings and the execution of minors," the statement added.

The Swiss president also expressed the hope that the conference against racism would take place "in a constructive atmosphere and one of mutual respect."

AFP / Expatica

3 Comments To This Article

  • stefan posted:

    on 20th April 2009, 15:28:53 - Reply

    Mr Peter
    People can have different view on different cases such as holocaust and this is the notion of freedom of thought.
    Mr Ahmadynejad does not want to kill all the jews he is talking about Israel (zionism) and not jews as the iranian jews are living in freedom in Iran. Secoundly are you serious comparing swiss democracy with USA Guantanamo,Abu Gureib or Bagram prison .... Israel should look into miror and see its true face. Israel in comparisson to Iran is a rougue state which is treatenig the world and has more than 200 Nuclare bomb to keep the world hostage in killing innocent palastinian. Mr Ahmadynejad is a pop if you compare him with war criminals such as Sharon, Bibi, Barak, liberman and etc....... people are getting sick of your comments.
  • morteza posted:

    on 20th April 2009, 15:11:20 - Reply

    First of all Mr Ahmadynejad is a democraticly elected president of Iran.
    Iran has never invaded any country in the last 500 years and the capital punishment is a law in Islam whether you like it or not. Iran is one of the most democratic country in ME just google it... and stop lying to much on this site. Israel has started at least 15 wars with its neighbours since its creation and have done more war crimes than the whole ME countries put together oh by the way just compare Iran with American allies such as Saudi, Egypt, Jordan , etc and you will find that people in Iran have more democracy than American allies countries.... in Iran living christian, Jews and other religeous minority and they are all free in practising their religeon.............
  • peter posted:

    on 20th April 2009, 10:53:45 - Reply

    it is unbelievable that a president of a regime known for its extreme brutality and oppression of basic human rights, a country that execute hundreds of people and threat to wipe off the map the state of israel, is welcomed by the president of Switzerland. this is a shame for all the swiss people that their president is hosting at the same date of the memorial day for all holocaust victims, a man who denies the very existence of the holocaust! the swiss people should take an example from great democracies such as the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland and Italy, which not agree to participate in this horror festival organized by the worst regimes in the world. shame on you Switzerland!