Jailed Press TV anchor’s children subpoenaed to testify

Tehran, Jan 17, IRNA - Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi’s son, Hossein, has told Press TV's website he and his siblings have received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury in Washington, D.C.

The Press TV interviewed Hashemi's eldest son on her current status. The following is excerpts from his interview with the Press TV:

As the eldest son of Marzieh Hashemi, also known as Melanie Franklin. I just want to give an update from where we stand. Currently, the information that is available to us is that she has been detained as a material witness. There aren’t any charges against her. The officials have let us know that much in regard to her case. However, she is being detained in a Washington DC facility. It is a prison system. She has an inmate number and she is being held in a cell.

So, we have been very curious as to how someone who does not have any charges against them can be held under the circumstances. We were able to speak with her. My sister spoke with her last night. This is over 48 hours since she was detained, since she was apprehended that we made contact with her. Up until that time, we had very little information even about the fact that there were no charges and so forth.

She seemed OK. She was upset about the kind of treatment that she was receiving as a person who [faces] charges would be treated.

The Iranian English-language television news network's journalist Marzieh Hashemi has been arrested and transferred to a detention facility in Washington, D.C. without being charged.

She had only eaten pretzels because her dietary restrictions limited her from the kinds of food that the prison facility would offer.

She is also upset about the fact that her hijab was removed during processing and later on she was only able to cover her hair with a T-shirt apparently.

So, these are the issues that she was upset about it.

I think from our perspective obviously we want more clear answers. The fact that she has not been charged has made it difficult for us to know what kind of lawyers to pursue and what route forward we should go with, because lawyers have specialties and the fact that she hasn’t been charged makes it difficult ... we have hard time understanding how someone who is not charged can be held in a facility like that.

I think it is important to know that she is an American citizen and she is a journalist. She is somebody who does documentaries on Black Lives Matters and is critical of a lot of the domestic policies of the United States government, the school-to-prison sort of pipeline and the white community and also the wars abroad and the regime change policies that the United States enforces all the time and puts major budgets behind.

She is critical of all these things and that is all plays into it. We don’t know whether those are the reasons for her apprehension, but it is difficult to not become sort of conspiratorial about what is going on with a person as high-profile as my mother.

Additionally, I and my siblings have also received subpoenas to appear before the grand jury in Washington, D.C. So, that is also concerning. We don’t know what this is about yet, but we are trying to work it out and the main request we have is information to let us know what it is that she is being held for precisely and that will help us proceed in the correct way hopefully.

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