AntiWar.com & Roots Action & Environmentalists Against War & National Iranian American Council – 2019-01-22 12:12:22
ACTION ALERT: American Anchor for Iran’s
PressTV Arrested During US Visit
Officials so far offer no comment
on why she was detained
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(January 16, 2019) — Marziyeh Hashemi, a US citizen who works as an anchor and reporter for Iran’s state-run PressTV, has been arrested and detained by the US government. She was arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport trying to board a flight, and is being held without charges, reportedly as a “material witness.”
Hashemi lives in Tehran most of the time, but her son says she comes to the US annually to visit family. She was in St. Louis filming a Black Lives Matter documentary, and had also visited her relatives around New Orleans recently. She has reportedly been transferred to Washington D.C.
Broadly the reason for her arrest and detention are unclear, and uncommitted on. Iran issued a statement condemning her illegal arrest. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called it a “political game.”
The Associated Press reported that some of Hashemi’s children have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, though they have no further details. This has led to speculation that she is being held as a witness pending a deposition. Hashemi’s family says she isn’t being allowed to contact them, and so far they have not gotten an attorney because she isn’t being charged with anything, so far as anyone can tell.
ACTION ALERT: Free Marzieh Hashemi
Charles Armstrong / Roots Action
Sign Petition Text
Free Marzieh Hashemi from Prison
To: The Department of Justice
Marzieh Hashemi (she is a US citizen), when returning from Iran was arrested, without charges, at the St. Louis, Missouri Airport and then taken and put in detention in a prison in Washington DC as a ‘material witness.’ Actually she is an Anchorwoman on Press TV.
Since when does the US jail ‘material witnesses’? This is another travesty against journalists, and the Mainstream Media isn’t even covering it. Educate yourselves on this. As a material witness whom is she going to testify against—The US government, Britain, France and Israel for their ongoing mass-murder around the world?
ACTION: Sign petition here.
Troubling US Arrest of Iranian-American Journalist
Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War
Environmentalists Against War is deeply troubled by the mistreatment of an American-born journalist detained without charges. (See the statement below.) We urge you to press the government for Marzieh Hashemi’s release — along with an explanation of the incident and an apology for abusing Mrs. Hashemi’s civil rights.
We are also disturbed by the comments of William Barr, Donald Trump’s newest candidate for US Attorney General. Mr. Barr testified before a Congressional hearing that he would only arrest and jail journalists “as a last resort.”
Jailing reporters and media critics is not part of the American profile: this is the behavior of despots and tyrants.
Gar Smith is co-founder and director of Environmentalists Against War (www.envirosagainstwar.org)
Statement from Jamal Abdi,
President of the National Iranian American Council,
on the detention of American citizen Marzieh Hashemi,
an Iran-based correspondent for Press TV
at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport
“The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on US authorities to clarify the situation regarding the detention in the US of American citizen Marzieh Hashemi, an Iran-based correspondent for Press TV.
Ms. Hashemi was reportedly travelling to the US to visit an ill relative and was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday for unspecified reasons. She has since complained of mistreatment while in custody, telling her children that authorities had denied her food in line with her Islamic beliefs and removed her headscarf.
“NIAC is concerned by reports of mistreatment and reiterates that all nations must observe international law with regard to such detentions. Ms. Hashemi’s status as a journalist for an Iranian outlet cannot prevent her from access to the same legal rights afforded to every US person.
“NIAC has consistently condemned the Iranian government’s shameful track record of politically motivated detentions — including arbitrarily arresting dual citizens, holding them on spurious charges, subjecting them to cruel conditions, and using them as bargaining chips in negotiations.
Such practices are inhumane, illegal, and often in the service of agendas that seek to preserve US-Iran hostility. It is absolutely critical that the US government not follow suit and instead observe the core values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“It is important that the US government provide answers regarding Ms. Hashemi’s situation and address reports of mistreatment. The longer Ms. Hashemi is held without publicly available charges and as allegations of mistreatment persist, the more her case serves to damage US credibility and exacerbate US-Iran tensions at a dangerous time.”
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