Press TV journalist arrives in Iran after detention in U.S.

February 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi, who was jailed in the U.S. without charge for days and later freed amid public outcry, arrived at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday night and was welcomed by her relatives and colleagues, according to the network’s website.

Hashemi, a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years, was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri on January 13 while in the U.S. to visit her ill brother and other family members.

The head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) World Service, Peyman Jebelli, told reporters at Imam Khomeini Airport that the release of Marzieh Hasehmi marked a victory for freedom of expression and a setback for the U.S.

Jebelli said the U.S., which was seeking to humiliate the Press TV anchor, was itself belittled by all those who stood by her.

He said that support for her was synonymous with support for justice and righteousness.   

Hashemi was released on January 23 after some 10 days in detention without a charge at a facility in Washington DC.

A U.S. federal court failed to indict the journalist, who was arrested as a material witness and in an unspecified criminal proceeding, of any crime.

Hashemi’s detention prompted condemnation in the U.S. and abroad, sparking rallies in several countries.

In an address during demonstrations in Washington, Hashemi recounted her ordeal during her time in jail and mistreatment by the American justice system. 

While in detention, she was forced to remove her hijab and was only offered non-halal food.

Following her release, her family issued a statement reiterating the need for justice in similar cases.  

“Marzieh and her family will not allow this to be swept under the carpet,” the woman’s family said in the statement. “(They) still have serious grievances [and] they want assurances that this won’t happen to any Muslim – or any other person – ever again.”

SP/PA
 

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