A journalist for Iran's English-language Press TV has been arrested in the United States, the news channel said on Wednesday.
US-born Marzieh Hashemi was arrested on arrival at St Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday, according to family and friends cited by Press TV.
“The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family,” the broadcaster said on its website.
It added that Hashemi, a Muslim convert who changed her name from Melanie Franklin, had been visiting “her ill brother and other family members.”
Iran calls for release
Iran on Wednesday called for the immediate release of Hashemi, accusing Washington of mistreating her in jail as a black Muslim woman.
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials were not immediately available for comment.
“We condemn the illegal arrest of Marziyeh Hashemi, the reporter and presenter of Press TV, and the inhuman treatment of her in jail in Washington,” Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
Press TV said in a statement on its website that Hashemi “a mother and a grandmother ... has traveled to the United States to visit her family members, including her brother, who is suffering from cancer.”
She was allowed to call her daughter two days after her arrest, the broadcaster said.
She was quoted as saying by Press TV that she had been prevented from wearing a hijab, a head covering worn in public by some Muslim women, in prison, and was only offered pork as a meal, which is prohibited in Islam.
The only food she has had over the past two days has been a “packet of crackers,” Hashemi was quoted as saying by Press TV.
Reuters could not independently verify the account of her treatment.
Hashemi has lived in Iran for more than a decade, according to various Iranian media.
She has reported on the subject of discrimination against women, Muslims, and African-Americans in the United States.