0737 GMT February 20, 2019
Iranian protesters rallied outside the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which represents American interests, to condemn the detention in Washington of Press TV journalist and news presenter Marzieh Hashemi.
During the demonstration on Sunday, the participants demanded the immediate release of the American-born journalist, who has been imprisoned in the United States without charge for more than a week, Press TV reported.
University students, media workers and activists were among the protesters, who were chanting slogans and holding posters reading “Free Marzieh Hashemi.”
Meanwhile, a twitter storm has been organized since January 20 as part of a social media campaign to increase pressure for her release.
Hashemi, who has been living in Iran for years, was detained by the FBI at the international airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on January 13 while making a family visit.
After days of silence, a federal US court order confirmed on Friday that she had been arrested on a “material witness” warrant and was not accused of any crime.
The court order also noted that Hashemi was expected to be released from a detention facility in Washington after testifying before “a grand jury investigating violations of US criminal law.”
So far, the journalist has made two court appearances.
In a message released on Saturday, Hashemi's friends and family said that she must be immediately freed.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani condemned the US for arresting Hashemi, saying the “barbaric” move is a sign of Washington’s false policies, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The illegal treatment of the journalist shows that the US wants human rights only for other countries and is pursuing the style of the governments that remained silent on the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Larijani said, addressing an open session of the Parliament on Sunday.
Larijani said the imprisonment of the Iranian TV anchor is another example of the US false policies in the international arena.
The speaker added that the issue is “a kind of hiding the violence of American governance in deceitful terms.”
Iran's Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs denounced the detention of Hashemi, according to Press TV.
In a statement published on Sunday, the vice presidency expressed its support for the inalienable humanitarian rights of the female Muslim journalist, calling on Iranian officials to do their best to secure Hashemi's release.