Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons.
According to the Press TV, American-born Hashemi, was detained upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.
The report says that she was transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC. The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family.
The Associated Press (AP) said a call to the FBI rang unanswered early on Wednesday morning. The bureau did not immediately respond to a written request for comment, it added.
Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin, had arrived in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members. Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest.
The report while quoting her daughter said that ‘she was handcuffed and shackled and was being treated like a criminal.’
According to the report, the journalist also said that she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.
Registering strong protest against her detention, Press TV in a statement said, ” A female African-American international journalist, a mother and a grandmother, Ms. Hashemi has traveled to the United States to visit her family members, including her brother, who is suffering from cancer. She was, however, arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louise, Missouri on January 13, 2019 by US police, and transferred by FBI agents to a detention center in Washington, DC.”