JANUARY 23, 2019—The Black Alliance for Peace is elated that wrongfully imprisoned PressTV journalist Marzieh Hashemi has been released.
But no credit goes to the U.S. state nor the other characters who pretend to serve the people.
We condemn the hush that had fallen on the Black political class and most progressives during the nine days Hashemi had spent behind bars—including solitary confinement in a Washington, D.C., facility built on land stolen from the indigenous Piscataway people. This Muslim Black American journalist, who is distinguished by her hard-hitting coverage at an Iranian-funded news outlet, was not charged with a crime, but suffered great indignities, including being served pork and being forced to remove her hijab. As BAP National Organizer Ajamu Baraka says, Hashemi was seen as a “runaway slave.”
This move also was another U.S. effort to attack Iran, which has chosen not to surrender its sovereignty to the U.S. government. We cannot stress the threat Hashemi’s arrest posed to independent journalists and opponents of the U.S. state, as well as to the free flow of information.
The terror attacks of September 11, 2001, were the pretext for dispensing with the few constitutional rights people of the United States had left, such as the rights to be charged and to face one’s accusers in court.
As BAP Coordinating Committee member Margaret Kimberley says, “Being held as a so-called material witness is now the favorite way for prosecutors to get their hands on anyone they want for any reason they want and to hold that person indefinitely.”
We remain in solidarity with Marzieh and all remaining political prisoners!
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