WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Sterling is serving a three and a half year sentence in a federal prison, according to the release, despite the fact the US Justice Department failed to present direct evidence of any wrongdoing.
"On October 15, Jeffrey’s wife Holly Sterling read portions of a letter she wrote to President Obama asking him for clemency for her husband," the release stated on Monday. "To support Holly’s request, RSF is launching a petition for Jeffrey’s pardon on change.org."
Sterling qualifies for US whistleblower protection because he utilized proper channels and informed the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence of his concern for the safety of the American people, the release added.
In January 2015, Sterling was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for leaking classified information about Iran’s nuclear program to New York Times journalist James Risen.