Tehran, Jan 16 : Iranian news anchor and journalist Marzieh Hashemi, working for Iran's English-language news network, Press TV, was detained and jailed in the United States for unknown reasons, Press TV reported on Wednesday.
The correspondent is held in detention in Washington although no official charges have been filed against her.
The US-born Hashemi who traveled to the US to visit her ill brother was arrested at St. Louis International Airport in Lambert on Sunday and transferred to a detention facility in Washington by FBI agents, IRNA reported. Hashemi's relatives could not contact her for over 48 hours and have been recently made aware of her detention.
Hashemi has told her family she has been mistreated at the detention center and her hijab has been forcibly removed. She converted to Islam after the 1979 Islamic revolution and moved to Iran in 2008, where she started working as a TV presenter and journalist. She is known for hosting programs and being a news anchor at Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network.
Meanwhile the Iranian Foreign Ministry has condemned the “illegal” detention and “inhumane” treatment of an anchor for Iran’s Press TV by federal agents in the United States.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned the arrest in an interview with the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) News on Wednesday, hours after news broke of Hashemi’s detention and mistreatment in America.
Qassemi said the treatment of Hashemi, a Muslim African-American, was “a blatant violation of human rights and shows the US government does not adhere to any of the principles that it uses as pretexts to attack its critics.”
“The abrupt arrest of a Muslim [US] national and journalist and the US government agents’ humiliating and inhumane behavior in abusing this lady, who is a practicing Muslim, are a clear example of behavior that an apartheid regime adopts against its non-white citizens,” the Iranian official said.
He said the Islamic Republic demanded that Hashemi be provided with her basic human rights and be “immediately and unconditionally” released.
PressTV also expressed their strong protest at the recent apprehension and violent treatment of Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin in the United States, who is currently serving as an anchor for their English-language television news network.
Press TV while quoting Qassemi said that she told her family in a phone conversation last night that she has been subjected to violent and abusive treatment. Press TV while demanding apology said that US government should apologize to both the journalist and the international media community for her treatment. (UNI)