Monday, May 11, 2009

Roxana Saberi Finds Freedom

It's been quite a spring. Floods and fires and arbitrary detentions, oh my. Today is a good day though. It's grilling weather and we have something to celebrate. Roxana has finally been released from prison in Iran. People around the world are so genuinely relieved for her and her family. 

I'm not a very close friend of Roxana's, but I have had the pleasure of knowing her in college, being in touch with her the past few years, and meeting her amazing parents in March. Over the past few months, many of us have been at the edge of our seats wondering what we can do to help and how it will all shake out. What a relief that our worst fears have not been realized. What a relief that Roxana will again be able to share her talents with the world and not languish in prison.

This day also serves as a reminder that our work is not completely done. Not only do others, like Silva Harotonian, still sit in Iran's Evin prison awaiting justice, but we need to reflect on our own egregious actions. In this case, I am speaking of the United States' imperfect track record of detention. Indeed, many have been held for long periods of time without official charges or any hope for a transparent process. People who don't have the resources, governmental support, or influential connections to advocate on their behalf. This is an opportunity for us to familiarize ourselves with these cases and clean up our own act. Roxana's case captured the hearts of many, but unfortunately she is not the only to suffer this kind of injustice. I find it best to celebrate Roxana's release grounded in that reality.