Marzieh Hashemi, an International Role Model
Released by the FBI after enduring cruel and unusual mistreatment in illegal detention for 10 days, Marzieh, a US and Iranian citizen, was joyously welcomed home by supporters on arrival at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport Wednesday evening.
Arrested and detained under harsh conditions on the spurious pretext of being a material witness in a criminal case her family knows nothing about.
Flagrantly abusing her was most likely all about US hostility toward Iran for its sovereign independence and opposition to Washington’s imperial agenda.
It was also related to how Press TV and Marzieh operate, truth-telling their mandate on vital issues, standing for peace, equity and justice, polar opposite US-led Western major media managed news misinformation and disinformation – the official narrative drowning out what everyone most needs to know.
The Trump regime’s scheme backfired. Marzieh’s arrest and mistreatment became an international cause celebre, attracting major media attention. Supportive public demonstrations were held in her behalf, what very likely saved her, along with her son witnessing her unlawful arrest.
Otherwise the FBI could have disappeared her, never to be seen or heard from again, no one knowing what happened – what can happen to anyone US authorities target anywhere worldwide, what did happen and continues happening to thousands of innocent victims of US imperial viciousness.
Nearly all Guantanamo detainees committed no crimes, unlawfully held uncharged and untried, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR earlier saying:
“The vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place…seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties.”
The same goes for nearly all detainees at other US torture prisons, operating globally, individuals unjustly abducted and wrongfully imprisoned, held longterm, grossly mistreated, denied habeas rights, due process, and equal protection under law.
Americans are as vulnerable as others abroad. The Bush/Cheney regime targeted people’s lawyer, civil and human rights champion, justice warrior Lynne Stewart for defending a client they wanted imprisoned, falsely charging him with a crime he didn’t commit.
Lynne was wrongfully charged under the 1996 Antiterrorism Act on four counts of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization, along with violating Special Administrative Measures (SAMS) imposed by the US Bureau of Prisons.
Her show trial was a travesty of justice. At the time, then-National Lawyers Guild President Michael Avery said the Justice Department “was resolute from day one in making a symbol out of Lynne Stewart in support of its campaign to deny people charged with crimes of effective legal representation.”
Her case was precedent-setting, chilling, and according to former Center for Constitutional Rights President Michael Ratner, sent “a message to lawyers who represent alleged terrorists that it’s dangerous to do so.”
Her attorney Michael Tigar called her conviction and imprisonment “an attack on a gallant, charismatic and effective fighter for justice,” adding: “I have never seen such an abuse of government power.”
Sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the imperial state for doing the right thing, she was freed on December 31, 2013 by a compassionate release order because of her terminal breast cancer diagnosis, at the time given months to live – surviving until March 7, 2017.
In 2010, neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui was convicted and imprisoned for being a Muslim in America at the wrong time, a war OF terror victim, brutally tortured and mistreated in detention. She committed no crimes. No evidence suggested any.
She remains imprisoned longterm, the life and well-being of a brilliant, soft-spoken, religious Pakistani/American destroyed by the imperial state.
She was falsely called an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator, outrageously accused of involvement in biochemical warfare, including (nonexistent) planned attacks against the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, and Wall Street – along with terrorist recruiting and other phony charges, not a shred of evidence supporting any of them.
She was disappeared for over a year with no information on her whereabouts released, brutally tortured and raped in captivity, transformed into a zombie from her horrific ordeal.
Countless thousands of others like Lynne and Aafia languish in America’s global gulag hell domestically and abroad.
Marzieh intends saying much more about her flagrantly unlawful mistreatment. By the grace of God, she escaped possible disappearing and imprisonment longterm to silence her, no one knowing her whereabouts, perhaps eliminated behind prison walls, the fate of other US detainees in confinement.
On release before returning home to Iran, she said the following in Washington where she was unlawfully held:
“As you know, I made the call for everyone to continue to come out today even though I gained my freedom a couple of days ago, and the reason was and is as I’ve been saying in various interviews, is that this is not about harsh(ness) on me.”
“This is the US government and thinking that they can do this to anyone at any time without facing any ramifications.”
“Make no mistake. They can call it whatever they want to call it, but I was kidnapped” – because of praying to the wrong God, being Black with dual US/Iranian citizenship, working for Press TV, remaining steadfast, refusing to be intimidated.
She said she’ll never “back off from the truth, no matter the price (to) the last breath in (her) body,” a greater incentive than ever to persevere for justice after what she endured.
On Wednesday, I was on air, interviewed by Press TV with two other guests, part of an extended special program honoring Marzieh.
When she arrived back home in Iran, she headed for the studio, going on air briefly at the end of our extended segment, indicating she’d have much more to say about what happened, she and her family refusing to “allow this to be swept under the carpet.”
“I was kidnapped,” she stressed, “shackled, transferred…treated worse than a common criminal,” denied her fundamental rights, how all US political prisoners are mistreated.
Nearly everyone she saw in prison were Black Americans. “Why, why, why,” she asked? From inception, the US has been viciously racist, Native Americans, Blacks, Latino’s, and Muslims from the wrong countries callously mistreated.
Marzieh was one of countless thousands of US political prisoners, victimized by US imperial ruthlessness – a nation contemptuous of what just societies hold dear.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”