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Entries in Shane Bauer (32)

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

Wednesday
Sep212011

Second Iranian Judge Signs American Hikers' Release Order

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two Americans hikers who have been jailed in Iran for over two years, could be released as early as Wednesday.

The news comes as a second judge signed their release order on Wednesday.  The day before, the judge had not returned from vacation and was not at court when the hikers' lawyer, Masoud Shafii, showed up for the signature.

Shafii told ABC News the only thing left to process now is the $500,000 bail for each of his clients, which could be completed in a matter of hours.

Bauer and Fattal have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009 for espionage.  After crossing an unmarked border while hiking in northern Iraq, Iranian authorities claimed the two had illegally crossed over into their territory and charged them with spying for the U.S.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

Iranian President Ahmadinejad Guarantees Hikers’ Release

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted that the two imprisoned hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, will soon be released “as a humanitarian gesture” from Iran where they have been held for more than two years.
 
“I did say within the next few days and I still say the same thing.  And God willing they will be released very soon,” he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos after landing in New York to attend a meeting at the U.N General Assembly.

Just last week, Ahmadinejad announced that the two Americans would be released on $1,000,000 bail.  When that was delayed, there was hope they would be freed on Tuesday.  But the Iranian judges played politics -- apparently not wanting to give their rival Ahmadinejad a victory, the judge needed to sign the release order was not back in court as expected.

When asked if members of the members of the judiciary are determined to embarrass you and prevent the release of those hikers while you’re here in the United States

"There is no problem.  There is a judicial process that has to be completed and hopefully it will be, God willing," the Iranian president said, responding to Stephanopoulos' comment that members of the judiciary are determined to embarrass him and prevent the hikers' release while he's in the U.S.

As far as guaranteeing that Fattal and Bauer will come to the U.S., Ahmadinejad said, "Yes, we act upon whatever we say.  And if we don’t want to act, we won’t say it."

"But when we said we will release them, we will release them, as a humanitarian gesture," he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep202011

American Hikers Fail to Get Needed Signature from Iranian Judge

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- One week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the two detained American hikers are still no closer to going home.

In yet another setback, the hikers' lawyer, Masoud Shafii, on Tuesday was unable to get the second signature required on their release order.

Shafii had been told the second judge -- needed to sign the document -- was back from vacation, but when Shafii showed up at court, the judge had still not returned.  Shafii was then told not to come back until he's summoned by the court.

Ahmadinejad was hoping the release of Bauer and Fattal would be in congruence to his trip to the United Nations this week.  The Iranian president is in New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

The hikers' release would have been a public relations victory for Ahmadinejad, especially while he's on the world stage.  But his political rivals in Iran are blocking it, and sources there tell ABC News it's unlikely the hikers will be released before he leaves New York at the end of this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep182011

Vacationing Second Judge Delays Bail Agreement in Hiker Case

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN) -- The second judge meant to sign documents releasing American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal is reportedly on vacation.

The lawyer for the two jailed hikers has been back in court and going through the motions, awaiting a second signature on a bail-for-release agreement.

The paperwork on the million-dollar deal is grinding away very slowly. While one judge has signed the documents, the second has gone on vacation until Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep142011

Iran's Judiciary Still Reviewing Bail Deal for American Hikers

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran's judiciary is still reviewing the bail deal for detained American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, ABC News has confirmed.

On Tuesday, ABC News learned that bail had been set for the two men at $500,000 each.  Their lawyer, Masoud Shafii, told ABC News that as soon as his clients could get the money together, they would be released from jail.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was hoping for the hikers' release before his trip to the U.N. next week, also expressed in an interview aired on Tuesday that the hikers would be released in a couple of days.

But that may not be possible.  Thursday and Friday are not working days for judges in Iran, so the necessary paperwork may not be completed before Saturday.

Bauer and Fattal have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009 for espionage.  After crossing an unmarked border while hiking in northern Iraq, Iranian authorities claimed the two had illegally crossed over into their territory and charged them with spying for the U.S.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio