IRAN’S Press TV English service anchor Marzieh Hashemi, 59, was freed on Wednesday from a Washington prison where she had been held by federal law enforcement officials since January 13th.
Her case intensified tensions between the US and Iran. People are set to take to the streets of several cities across the world today, to protest against the United States’ legal system, following the 11-day detention of Hashemi.
The FBI took her into custody as a ‘material witness’ and ordered her to appear before a grand jury without charging her with a crime. Her family and Iranian leaders accused American officials of disrespecting her Muslim faith while she was under arrest, forcing her to remove her hijab, or head scarf, and offering her only non-halal food.
Louisiana-born Hashemi was arrested in St. Louis while on a trip to the United States to visit relatives. Her son, Hossein Hashemi, said she had filmed a Black Lives Matter documentary whilst there. Her family issued a statement on Wednesday after her release: ‘Marzieh Hashemi has been released from her detention without charge and is with her family in Washington DC.
‘Marzieh and her family will not allow this to be swept under the carpet. They still have serious grievances and want answers as to how this was allowed to happen. They want assurances that this won’t happen to any Muslim – or any other person – ever again.
‘Just as America is aware of the harassment of the Black community by the police, America needs to start talking about the harassment of the Muslim community by the FBI. Marzieh Hashemi will be remaining in Washington DC for the protest on Friday and calls for all cities across the world to keep their protest.
‘This was never just about Marzieh Hashemi. This is about the fact that anyone of us, Muslim or non-Muslim can be imprisoned without charge in the United States.’ Marzieh Hashemi will be making a comment in due course and remains in the US for a Friday protest.