TEHRAN Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the detention of Press TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) shows that the United States is still violating the rights of black people.
“The US govt needs to explain how Marzieh Hashemia journalist and grandmotheris such a flight risk that she must be incarcerated until she finishes her testimony to a grand jury,” Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Monday.
He pointed to the murder of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and added, “50 years after MLK assassination, US still violates the civil rights of black men and women.”
Hashemi, a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has been living in Iran for years, was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri last Sunday while she was in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members.
She was transferred to a detention facility in Washington DC, where she was forced to remove her hijab and only offered food not permissible under her Islamic values.
After days of silence, the US government confirmed on Friday that it was holding Hashemi in jail as a material witness, and that she would be released after she testified before a grand jury. She appeared in court on Friday for the second time for a hearing session, and is slated to appear before the jury for a third time on Wednesday, January 23.
US liable for any harm to Press TV anchor: Judiciary chief
Irans Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani also on Monday denounced the illegal detention of Press TVs anchor and expressed regret over increasing violation of human rights by the United States and Western countries.
Addressing a meeting with senior Iranian judiciary officials, Amoli Larijani added that it is quite clear that the US and West are using the issue of human rights as a tool.
“In the recent case, they claim that this journalist has been detained as a ‘witness’. This is the first time that I hear a country detains its own national – who is only a witness – in her own homeland without there being any fear about her possible flight from the country,” he said.
Amoli Larijani said the US judicial system is responsible for any possible harm to Hashemi, adding that the US’ problem with the Iranian journalist was that she defended the Islamic Revolution in Iran and criticized the United States’ crimes in different parts of the world.
The Iranian judiciary chief also ordered the country’s prosecutor general to take all necessary measures to defend Hashemi’s rights and secure her release.
Iran’s Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs on Sunday denounced the detention of Press TV news anchor, who has been taken into custody by the FBI as material witness in an unspecified case.
Issuing a statement, the vice presidency expressed its support for the inalienable humanitarian rights of the female Muslim journalist, calling on Iranian officials to do their best for Hashemi’s release.
Irans Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani also said on Sunday that the US barbaric treatment of Press TVs detained anchorwoman is an instance of sham politics, denouncing Washington for applying double standards to the issue of human rights.
Larijani said the American regimes barbaric behavior towards the Press TV journalist and the illegal treatment she has been subjected to are proof that they (the Americans) only preach about human rights to others, while they commit themselves to the same approach which their vassal state adopted in dealing with Khashoggi.
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