FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 17, 2019
CONTACT: Brett Abrams | email@example.com
Statement from Jamal Abdi, President of the National Iranian American Council, on the detention of American citizen Marzieh Hashemi, an Iran-based correspondent for Press TV at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport:
“The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on U.S. authorities to clarify the situation regarding the detention in the U.S. of American citizen Marzieh Hashemi, an Iran-based correspondent for Press TV. Ms. Hashemi was reportedly travelling to the U.S. to visit an ill relative and was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday for unspecified reasons. She has since complained of mistreatment while in custody, telling her children that authorities had denied her food in line with her Islamic beliefs and removed her headscarf.
“NIAC is concerned by reports of mistreatment and reiterates that all nations must observe international law with regard to such detentions. Ms. Hashemi’s status as a journalist for an Iranian outlet cannot prevent her from access to the same legal rights afforded to every U.S. person.
“NIAC has consistently condemned the Iranian government’s shameful track record of politically motivated detentions – including arbitrarily arresting dual citizens, holding them on spurious charges, subjecting them to cruel conditions, and using them as bargaining chips in negotiations. Such practices are inhumane, illegal, and often in the service of agendas that seek to preserve U.S.-Iran hostility. It is absolutely critical that the U.S. government not follow suit and instead observe the core values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
“It is important that the U.S. government provide answers regarding Ms. Hashemi’s situation and address reports of mistreatment. The longer Ms. Hashemi is held without publicly available charges and as allegations of mistreatment persist, the more her case serves to damage U.S. credibility and exacerbate U.S.-Iran tensions at a dangerous time.”
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