Roxana Saberi, a brilliant and fearless Iranian-American journalist, was dragged from her home by four men on the morning of January 31, 2009, arrested, and accused of espionage-a charge she denied. She spent eleven days in jail before she was allowed to make a phone call. Her family and friends did not know where she was. After a sham trial, she was sentenced to eight years in Iranian prison, but following broad-based international pressure, Saberi was released from Evin prison on appeal, on May 11, 2009. Saberi writes movingly of her imprisonment, her trial, and her ultimate release, while also recounting the stories of her fellow prisoners-many of whom were women, student and labor activists, researchers, and academics, and were jailed as they pursued basic human rights such as freedom of speech or religious beliefs.
Saberi, who is 32 and holds both American and Iranian citizenship, had been working as a journalist in Iran since 2003, and her book is a deeply revealing account of her six years there. She sheds new light on the Iranian regime's inner political workings and the restrictions to basic freedoms which have intensified since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory in 2005. The recent uprisings in Iran-and the astonishing outbreak of support for Iranian citizens from across the globe-mark a critical turning point as the nation hangs on the precipice between democracy and dictatorship. With a profoundly unique perspective, Saberi's book offers a rich, dramatic, and illuminating portrait of the country as it undergoes a striking transformation.