0805 GMT February 20, 2019
Hashemi’s daughter, Sarah, told Press TV in a statement Saturday that they were “very concerned” for their mother.
“We are hoping she will be free soon, but we have no concrete information and don’t know when that will be. We still do not know what this is about, which concerns us greatly. This is a very difficult time for the whole family,” Sarah said.
“My mother is a well-known journalist and has not committed any crime but this whole process has felt as if she is being treated like a criminal," she added.
Hashemi, a 59-year-old US citizen who has been living in Iran for years, was detained a week ago while she was in the United States to visit her ill brother and other family members.
After days of silence, the US government confirmed Friday that it has been holding Hashemi in jail since Sunday as a “material witness” and that she will be released after she testifies before a grand jury.
Her elder son Hossein, however, said she was unlikely to be freed soon. So far, the Press TV news presenter has appeared twice before a US district judge in Washington.
The journalist has said she is being treated like a criminal. She has been handcuffed and shackled, had her hijab forcibly removed, and photographed without her headscarf upon arrival at the prison.
"It was very distressing to hear that her hijab was taken off and mugshot taken without it and I was relieved to hear she now has her hijab. We just want mom home,” Sarah said.
“She was given short-sleeved clothing that does not comply with her religious dress code and she was forced to wrap a T-shirt on her hair as a temporary head-covering,” her children said.
Hashemi was taken and jailed by the FBI upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on a material witness warrant in an unspecified investigation.
“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,” Sarah said. “So we're just waiting to hear more.”