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Entries in Sarah Shourd (23)

Sunday
May062012

U.S. Hikers Imprisoned in Iran Married 

MOHAMMED MAHJOUB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer, two Americans arrested and imprisoned in 2009 for hiking near the Iraq-Iran border, got married on Sunday in an undisclosed location in California.

Bauer proposed to Shourd while they were imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, having woven together a ring that she showed off on “Good Morning America” last year.

Bauer, Shourd and their friend Josh Fattal were arrested in July 2009 while hiking along Iran’s unmarked border with Iraq and accused of espionage.  All three denied the charges, saying they were just hiking in Iraq’s scenic north, and might have accidentally crossed an unmarked border with Iran.

Shourd was forced to leave her two friends behind in September 2010 after being held captive for over 400 days. She was released for humanitarian reasons so she could be treated for a lump in her breast.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, and Fattal, and environmental activist, were sentenced to eight years in prison, but were released about eight months ago, after more than two years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep262011

Freed American Hikers Say They 'Were Held Hostage'

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The two U.S. hikers imprisoned in Iran for the past two years, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, said they were "held hostage" because they were American.

Fattal and Bauer spoke publicly Sunday about the details of their imprisonment for the first time since regaining their freedom last week.

At a New York City hotel, each man read prepared statements discussing what they endured in Iranian prison and thanking those who fought for their release.

"Many times, too many times, we heard the screams of other prisoners being beaten and there was nothing we could do to help them," Fattal said.  "How can we forgive the Iranian government when it continues to imprison so many other innocent people and prisoners of conscience?"

Bauer said one irony in the case was that they opposed the U.S. policy toward Iran which they believe was the impetus for their arrest and detention.

Fattal and Bauer arrived in New York before noon and addressed the media just under five hours later.

The two had spoken earlier in Oman, which had played a key part in the negotiations of the hikers' release.

"We hope someday to return to this wonderful country but for now we are eager to go home at last," Fattal said.

Oman is the same place that their companion Sarah Shourd went when she was freed from Iran nearly a year ago to the day.

Shourd was in Oman to greet Fattal and give a long welcoming kiss to her fiancée, Bauer.

"We will never forget the excitement of seeing our loved ones waiting for us at the foot of the plane.  The joy of embracing them all after so long will stay with us forever," Bauer said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep252011

Hikers Return to the U.S. After Two Years in Iranian Prison

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The two U.S. hikers imprisoned in Iran for the past two years, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, left Oman and are finally on their way home to America Sunday after regaining their freedom last week.

Oman played a key part in the negotiations of the hikers' release.

"We hope someday to return to this wonderful country but for now we are eager to go home at last," said Fattal.

Fattal and Bauer are expected to arrive Sunday afternoon and will address the media in New York.

Oman is the same place that their companion Sarah Shourd went when she was freed from Iran nearly a year ago to the day.

Shourd was in Oman to greet Fattal and give a long welcoming kiss to her fiancée, Bauer.

"We will never forget the excitement of seeing our loved ones waiting for us at the foot of the plane. The joy of embracing them all after so long will stay with us forever," said Bauer.

"We are so happy we are free and so relieved we are free," Fattal told reporters upon arriving. "Our deepest gratitude to his majesty [Omani King] Sultan Qaboos [bin Said Al Said] for obtaining our release. We are sincerely grateful to the government of Oman for hosting us and our families."

Fattal, Bauer and Shourd were arrested two years ago while hiking along Iran's unmarked border with Iraq.

They were accused of spying and last month Fattal and Bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, and Fattal, and environmental activist, have denied the charges, saying they were just hiking in Iraq's scenic north, and might have accidentally crossed an unmarked border with Iran.

Oman gave them a chance to put their 26 months in captivity far out of their minds.

"We were able to swim in the calm waters of the Gulf. We stayed up all night with our loved ones and watched the most beautiful sunrise we have ever seen. These experiences will be with us for the rest of our lives," said Fattal.

Fattal and Bauer have not said a word about their imprisonment, declining to answer all related questions from the press.

The hikers' families have described the freeing of Bauer and Fattal as "the best day of our lives."

President Obama also hailed the development earlier this week.

"I welcome the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunited with their loved ones," Obama said in a written statement Wednesday. "The tireless advocacy of their families over these two years has won my admiration, and is now coming to an end with Josh and Shane back in their arms. All Americans join their families and friends in celebrating their long-awaited return home."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep222011

US Hikers Freed from Iran Arrive in Oman

ABC News(MUSCAT, Oman) -- Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the two U.S. hikers imprisoned in Iran for the past two years, sprinted to freedom Wednesday down the steps of a Royal Omani Air Force jet onto a tarmac in Muscat, Oman.

Looking healthy and upbeat, they were greeted by family and friends in an emotional scrum of smiles, hugs and tears, and a long kiss between Bauer and his fiancee, Sarah Shourd, a fellow American prisoner in Iran until one year ago this week.

"We are so happy we are free and so relieved we are free," Fattal, detained in Iran since 2009, told reporters upon arriving.  "Our deepest gratitude to his majesty [Omani King] Sultan Qaboos [bin Said Al Said] for obtaining our release.  We are sincerely grateful to the government of Oman for hosting us and our families."

Fattal, Bauer and Shourd were arrested two years ago while hiking along Iran's unmarked border with Iraq.  They were accused of spying, and last month Fattal and Bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison.

"Two years in prison is too long," Bauer told reporters, "and we sincerely hope for the freedom of other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in America and Iran."

The hikers' families have described the freeing of Bauer and Fattal as "the best day of our lives."

President Obama also hailed the development.

"I welcome the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal from detention in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunited with their loved ones," Obama said in a written statement.  "The tireless advocacy of their families over these two years has won my admiration, and is now coming to an end with Josh and Shane back in their arms.  All Americans join their families and friends in celebrating their long-awaited return home."

The men's release ends two years of diplomatic wrangling and, more recently, weeks of political infighting, as Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the country's judiciary argued about freeing the Americans.

Bauer and Fattal were released after an Iranian judge who had twice delayed their release signed an order Wednesday to free the men following deposits of $500,000 bail each.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

American Hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal Released from Iranian Prison

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- After being held in Iran for more than two years on espionage charges, American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were finally released from jail on Wednesday.

The two will now be handed over to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which handles American interests in Iran since the U.S. doesn't have an embassy there, before they are flown back to the U.S.

Earlier Wednesday, Bauer and Fattal's attorney, Masoud Shafii, got the second judge's signature -- needed on their release order -- paving the way for their combined $1 million bail to be processed.

The hikers' release marks a public relations victory for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.  Ahmadinejad had hoped the two would be freed in time for his trip to the United Nations, and even promised their release last week.

Bauer and Fattal have been in Iran's Evin prison since July 31, 2009.  Iranian authorities claimed the two had illegally crossed over into their territory while they were hiking in northern Iraq, and charged them with spying for the U.S.

Sarah Shourd, a third hiker and Bauer's fiancée, was also detained then but was released after posting $500,000 bail in September of 2010.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug212011

Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal's Families Appeal to Iran to 'Show Compassion'

-/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN) -- The families of U.S. hikers sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of spying and illegal entry in Iran are appealing to the Iranian authorities to "show compassion" and "allow them to return home" without delay.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have been detained in Iran for the past two years. Along with Sarah Shourd, Fattal and Bauer were arrested in July 2009. They were taken into custody after they crossed the border into Iranian territory.

They denied the Iranian charges of spying and insisted they were only hiking, not spying, in a scenic area of northern Iraq and mistakenly crossed the Iranian border.

Bauer and Fattal's families Sunday issued the following statement after receiving confirmation of their sentence, which was first reported by Iranian state television:

"Of the 751 days of Shane and Josh's imprisonment, yesterday and today have been the most difficult for our families. Shane and Josh are innocent and have never posed any threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran, its government or its people," the statement said. "We are encouraged that the Iranian Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, has said he hopes the case will proceed in a manner that will result in Shane and Josh's freedom. We appeal to the authorities in Iran to show compassion and allow them to return home to our families without delay. We also ask everyone around the world who trusts in the benevolence of the Iranian people and their leaders to join us in praying that Shane and Josh will now be released."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the hikers' situation, "it is time for them to return home and be reunited with their families."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug202011

Hikers Apparently Sentenced to 8 Years by Iranian Court

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN) -- Iranian state television is reporting that the two American hikers charged with spying have been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were apparently found guilty of espionage and illegal entry by an Iranian court.

The two hikers, along with Bauer's fiancee Sarah Shourd, were arrested on July 31, 2009, after crossing from Iraq into Iran. Shourd was released on bond in 2010.

It remains unclear if Bauer and Fattal will serve the full sentence.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Aug062011

Iran Foreign Minister Suggests Hikers Could Hear Good News Soon

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN) -- Iran's foreign minister has hinted that things could go well for the two American hikers incarcerated on spying charges.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have spent two years in Tehran's Evin prison since being arrested with Sarah Shourd after accidentally crossing the border into Iran. Shourd was released last September.

Last Sunday the pair appeared in court, but the verdict was delayed by a week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul292011

Iran Hiker Sarah Shourd Hopes Fiance Is Released on Arrest Anniversary

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- During Sarah Shourd's days in an Iranian prison, she would look forward to the rare moments when she could meet with her fiance and fellow captive Shane Bauer and imagine their wedding together.

"It was sort of a fun topic to lift our spirits, what my dress would look like, what food we would serve," Shourd told ABC News.  "The wedding was our symbol of the day that this would finally be over.  I think of our wedding frequently as the day that I know it will really, really be over."

That wedding is still on hold as Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal remain in Iran's notorious Evin Prison.  This Sunday will mark the second anniversary of their arrest while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border.  The date also comes with the hope that Iran will finally keep its word and keep the July 31 trial date set by Iran's Revolutionary Court.

"The public prosecutor made a statement about the trial and he said that a final decision will be made on this date," Shourd said.  "We've never heard something like this from the public prosecutor before, so we have very high hopes.  This gives us hope that the trial will be the end of this nightmare."

The court date is the second anniversary of their arrest when the three were hiking on their way to a local tourist spot, the Ahmed Awa waterfall.  It is a day that is filled now with "what ifs" for Shourd.

"I've replayed those moments obsessively," said Shourd.  "When your life is struck by a wrecking ball, you go back and think what if I woke up later?  And what if it got hot, we turned around sooner?  What if I didn't look up at the ridge?  All the what ifs are endless and they torture you."

The trio had taken a break from their trek through Iraq's mountainous Kurdish area and were resting.

"Half way through our hike we took a break and had some lunch and had a nap," she recalled.  "I clearly remember that we were deciding whether to keep going or to turn around.  We were having a discussion about it and I remember I looked up on the ridge and saw a soldier standing there, but I didn't think anything of it.  I assumed he was a Kurdish police.

"He was gesturing over his head to come forward towards him," Shourd continued.  "We see this soldier gesturing towards us to walk up to him and that meant walking away from the waterfall area.  When we got to him he pointed to the ground.  He said Iran and then pointed to the trail we were on and said Iraq."

They didn't realize that it would be their last taste of freedom for a very long time.  The soldier turned out to be an Iranian border guard.  They were blindfolded, whisked away, and eventually ended up in Evin prison in Tehran under espionage charges.

Shourd, 32, was released on $500,000 bail on humanitarian grounds after 13 months of detainment, but Bauer and Fattal remain inside the prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun092011

Sarah Shourd: US Hikers In Iran Assaulted By Guards, Feared Execution

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The families of the American hikers jailed in Iran and former fellow detainee Sarah Shourd released a statement Thursday claiming Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were repeatedly assaulted and threatened in Tehran's Evin prison.

Until now, the families have been conservative in their criticism of the regime, fearing retaliation on Bauer and Fattal.

The families are in the midst of a hunger strike to protest the hikers' continued detention.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐







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