A court in the United States has confirmed the arrest of US-born Iranian Press TV news presenter Marzieh Hashemi as a material witness in an unspecified investigation.
Ms. Hashemi, 59, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on unspecified charges upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.
At the request of the US Justice Department, Judge Beryl Alaine Howell, the chief district judge for the District of Columbia, issued a federal court order, approving the partial unsealing of the Press TV journalist’s case, Reuters reported.
According to the document, since her arrest, the journalist has appeared twice before a US district judge in Washington and has been appointed a lawyer.
The Associated Press said US government officials expected her to be released immediately after her testimony before a grand jury, but Ms. Hashemi’s elder son, Hossein, was pessimistic about prospects for her immediate release, saying it was not clear yet how long his mother’s testimony would last.
“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,” said Hossein outside the court on Friday. “So we’re just waiting to hear more.”
However, the Friday court order did not include any details regarding the criminal case in which she has been named as a material witness.
The order said that Ms. Hashemi “has not been accused of any crime,” but she has said she was handcuffed and shackled and was treated like a criminal. The journalist has also said she had her hijab forcibly removed, and was photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.