A prominent American-born anchorwoman on Iranian state television who was held in the US as a material witness was released from jail Wednesday evening. Marzieh Hashemi, 59, was released from jail in Washington after being detained for 10 days, according to Abed Ayoub, an attorney with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Hashemi, who works for the PressTV network's English-language service, was detained by federal agents Jan. 13 in St. Louis, Missouri, where she had filmed a Black Lives Matter documentary after visiting relatives in the New Orleans area, her son says. She was then transported to Washington and had remained behind bars since then.
Hashemi appeared at least twice before a US District judge in Washington, and court papers said she would be released immediately after her testimony before a grand jury. Court documents did not include details on the criminal case in which she was named a witness. A source familiar with the matter tells the AP Hashemi had fulfilled her obligation as a material witness and was released. Hashemi is a US 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 US, her son says. PressTV says Hashemi "will not allow this to be swept under the carpet" and will remain in Washington for a protest Friday.
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