Share

Son: Jailed Iranian TV anchor to appear before US grand jury

Share

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials confirmed Friday that a prominent American-born anchorwoman on Iranian state television was jailed in the U.S. as a material witness and has not been charged with any crime, according to court papers.

Marzieh Hashemi has appeared twice before a U.S. district judge in Washington and has been appointed an attorney. U.S. government officials expect her to be released immediately after her testimony before a grand jury.

The order to unseal some parts of her case came days after she was first detained. It did not include details on the criminal case in which she was named a witness. Her son Hossein Hashemi did not comment on details of the case outside court on Friday.

It was not clear how long her testimony would take.

“We’re hoping that it would be complete and she would be out this week. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen,” he said. “So we’re just waiting to hear more.”

Trending:
Federal Judge Blocks Biden's Transgender Title IX Changes, Slams Admin for 'Abuse of Power'

Federal law allows judges to order witnesses to be detained if the government can prove that their testimony has extraordinary value for a criminal case and that they would be a flight risk and unlikely to respond to a subpoena. The statute generally requires those witnesses to be promptly released once they are deposed.

Marzieh Hashemi, who works for the Press TV network’s English-language service, was detained by federal agents on Sunday in St. Louis, where she had filmed a Black Lives Matter documentary after visiting relatives in the New Orleans area, her son said. She was then transported to Washington and has remained behind bars since then.

Hashemi, 59, is a U.S. citizen and was born Melanie Franklin. She lives in Tehran and comes back to the United States about once a year to see her family, usually scheduling documentary work in the U.S., her son said.

Hossein Hashemi said he, his brother and his sister also have been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury. Asked whether his mother had been involved in any criminal activity or knew anyone who might be implicated in a crime, Hashemi said, “We don’t have any information along those lines.”

Marzieh Hashemi’s detention comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. after President Donald Trump withdrew America from a nuclear deal. Iran also faces increasing criticism of its own arrests of dual citizens and other people with Western ties.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement early Friday expressing concern over Marzieh Hashemi’s case and asked the Justice Department to disclose the reason for her arrest. The group’s statement noted that “Iran routinely jails journalists.”

___

Balsamo reported from New York. Associated Press Writers Maria Danilova and Colleen Long contributed to this report.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation