Jackson Hopes to Win Journo's Release

Saberi's 1st interview subject requests visa for travel to Iran
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Apr 22, 2009 8:30 AM CDT
Rev. Jesse Jackson in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, April 20, 2009. Jackson said Monday he wants to travel to Iran to personally appeal for the release of a U.S. journalist convicted of spying.    (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
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(Newser) – Jesse Jackson has filed for an Iranian visa and is hoping to make a diplomatic trip as a “free agent” to argue for the release of Roxana Saberi, the Malaysia Star reports. The veteran civil rights activist says he was Saberi's first interview subject when she was a journalism student at Northwestern. “We want to make a humanitarian appeal, a moral appeal to gain her release,” he said today.

Jackson, who is visiting Malaysia for a peace conference, stressed that he would not be speaking on behalf of the US government. "Whenever we've brought people out of captivity, whether in Syria, Cuba, Iraq, or Yugoslavia, or Liberia, it's always opened a diplomatic door to reduce tensions," he said of the work of his Rainbow Coalition.