A U.S. court has confirmed that an Iranian-American anchorwoman who works for Iran’s state television has been jailed in the United States as a material witness but has not been charged with any crime.
Court officials say they expect Marzieh Hashemi to be released immediately after her testimony to a grand jury in Washington.
Officials have not released details about the criminal case in which Hashemi has been named as a witness.
Iran has protested the arrest of Hashemi, who was born in the United States and is a presenter on Iran’s English-language Press TV. Hashemi, 59, married an Iranian man and converted to Islam.
Federal agents detained Hashemi last Sunday in the St. Louis airport after she visited with relatives in the area.
The chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Beryl Howell, unsealed documents related to Hashemi’s detention on Friday, which said she has twice appeared before the court and has been appointed an attorney.
The media rights group, Committee to Protect Journalists, issued a statement early Friday expressing concern over Hashemi’s detention. The New York-based group asked the Justice Department to disclose the reason for her arrest and noted that “Iran routinely jails journalists.”
U.S. law allows judges to detain witnesses if they are considered unlikely to respond to a subpoena and are believed to be a flight risk.