Jackson seeks visa to go to Iran for journalist

April 25, 2009 4:21:14 PM PDT
Rev. Jesse Jackson says he wants to plead for the release of U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi.Jackson said Saturday that he had applied for a visa and that he wanted a group of religious leaders, and possibly students, to join him in Iran.

Saberi is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She interviewed Jackson 10 years ago when she was a student.

Saberi was convicted of spying in Iran and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Jackson plans to make a moral and humanitarian plea for her release.

"She should not be there as a kind of trophy or a pawn in the big stakes game being played between the U.S. and Iran and other nations in that region," Jackson said.

Saberi's father says she began a hunger strike on Tuesday and will continue until she is freed.