American-Iranian journalist released from US custody
Washington: Marzieh Hashemi, an American-Iranian journalist working for a Tehran-based news outlet, has been released from US custody after testifying before a grand jury in Washington, her representative said.
She is now with her family at a Washington hotel, a friend told CBS News on Wednesday night.
Hashemi, a 59-year-old anchor for Iran’s Press TV, was arrested by FBI agents at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis on January 13. She was then transported to Washington and jailed for 10 days.
A court order unsealed on January 18 confirmed Hashemi was being held as a material witness in a criminal case. She was not charged with a crime.
Marzieh testified before the grand jury at a Washington D.C. District Court on Wednesday, accompanied by one of her three children. Her two other children were also subpoenaed but it was not clear if they completed their testimony.
Supporters gathered on Wednesday morning in front of the courthouse, claiming Hashemi’s detainment was an act of oppression.
Born Melanie Franklin in New Orleans, Hashemi is a veteran television presenter and producer for Press TV.
The network, which is overseen by the Iranian government, called her detainment a “violation of free speech”.