TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Senior adviser to the Iranian parliament speaker for international affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian told the US to immediately release Marzieh Hashemi, an anchorwoman working for Iranian English-language Press TV, or face repercussions.
"The political game of the arrest of Marzieh Hashemi was started by the US, if this Press TV correspondent is not released immediately, the game will not be ended by the US,” Amir Abdollahian said on Twitter account on Friday.
Hashemi was arrested by the FBI during a visit to the US on Sunday, Iran's English-language broadcaster Press TV reported Wednesday. Her son has said she is being held in a prison, apparently as a material witness. She is due to appear in a Washington, DC, court on Friday.
In a statement released on Thursday, the Iranian Judiciary's Human Rights Council said the way Hashemi has been arrested in the US and the “violent and humiliating treatment” of her is a brazen example of arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and flagrant violation of freedom of speech.
Pointing to the US government’s dark record of grave crimes against humanity and the blood of thousands of innocent people, particularly children, on Washington’s hands, the Iranian body said such American violation of human rights norms and international humanitarian standards is not surprising.
The statement also called on the self-proclaimed advocates of human rights in Europe, on the United Nations, the UN Human Rights Council, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to condemn the inhuman arrest of Ms. Hashemi immediately and unequivocally and to make serious efforts to secure her release.
“The US government is undoubtedly held accountable for all of these illegal, unjustifiable and anti-human rights measures,” the statement concluded.
Marzieh Hashemi was detained in St. Louis, Missouri, where she had filmed a Black Lives Matter documentary after visiting relatives in the New Orleans area. She was then taken to Washington, according to her elder son.
The FBI recently told AP in an email that it had no comment on the arrest of the woman who was born Melanie Franklin in New Orleans and has worked for Iran’s state television network for 25 years.