People are set to take to the streets of several cities across the world on Friday, January 25, to protest the United States’ legal system, following the 11-day detention of Iran’s Press TV news anchor Marzieh Hashemi based on a controversial US legal code.
American-born Hashemi, who was released on Wednesday afternoon, has said she would be staying in Washington DC to personally attend the Friday protest there, Press TV reported.
Hashemi, a 59-year-old Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years, was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri last Sunday while in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members.
She was transferred to a detention facility in Washington, DC, where she was initially forced to remove her hijab and only offered non-halal food. The US government said she had been arrested as a “material witness” in an unspecified criminal proceeding and that she faced no charges herself.
Hashemi appeared before a grand jury in Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning, when her testimony was expected. The Associated Press cited the people familiar with her case as saying that she was released after her testimony concluded Wednesday afternoon.
But the legal code under which she was detained has been widely slammed as controversial. Under “18 U.S. Code § 3144,” an individual whose testimony is deemed material to a criminal proceeding can be forcefully seized and held indefinitely if he/she is considered a “flight risk.”
Earlier, and before Hashemi was released, her children had called for global action to demand her release. Rallies had been organized then to take place in 24 cities in nine countries on Friday.
In a statement, Hashemi’s children had asked that people participating in the Friday rallies also protest the “controversial” legal code under which their mother had been arrested and could have been held indefinitely without having committed a crime