Sad Mother’s Day For Families Of Hikers Detained In Iran
Three Americans – Sarah Shourd, 31, Shane Bauer, 27, and Josh Fattal, 27 – remain detained in Evin Prison in Tehran, Iran for over nine months despite not having been charged with or convicted of any crime. The trio may have strayed across the unmarked Iranian border in July of 2009 while mountain hiking in Kurdistan; the exact details of their alleged transgressions are unclear. Iranian officials indicate their concern that the group was somehow involved with spying.
The families are increasingly concerned for the welfare of Sarah, Shane, and Josh. It appears that Iran is not following the terms of the Geneva Convention as the detainees have only been allowed one 3-minute phone call with their families and requests for family visitation are as yet ungranted.
Numerous efforts have been made to communicate the anguish of this situation to the Iranian government. At the end of 2009, Nora Shourd made a moving video appeal for the release of her daughter Sarah and her companions wherein she apologized for any inconvenience the hikers might have caused.
Prior to his trip last week to speak before the United Nations, Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken urged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to return the the trio to home soil.
“We consider this a totally unfounded charge. There is no basis for it… They were out hiking and unfortunately, apparently, allegedly walked across an unmarked boundary.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the effort by passionately writing,
“A nation of Iran’s stature should not act in a cruel and inhumane manner, or punish innocent individuals for the disagreements that exist with the United States. Shane, Josh and Sarah have done no wrong. Iran should act in accordance with the universal principles of justice, compassion and humanity and set them free.”
In the most recent missive to Ahmadinejad, the mothers of the three hikers note movingly, “We gave birth to our children in the United States, but this fact does not define them. Please see our children for who they are, caring individuals committed to improving the world and who yearn to be reunited with their families.”
J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that “all that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” The intention of that quote is a fundamental part of my pseudonym, The River Wanders, as an expression of the freedom of my thoughts, my interests, my choices. Sarah, Shane, and Josh are testimony to the contrary: that in fact, some who wander are indeed lost and should be allowed to come home.Click here for reuse options!
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