Families trying to get Iran hikers freed
San Francisco Chronicle / Demian Bulwa,Carolyn Jones
04-Aug-2009 (8 comments)

(08-04) 16:51 PDT San Francisco -- Family members and friends of three UC Berkeley graduates who were arrested after apparently crossing into Iran from Iraq were working for their release Tuesday as Iranian authorities confirmed they were holding them and would decide whether to accuse them of spying.

People who know Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal said they probably crossed Iran's border accidentally while hiking in scenic mountains near a resort, and allegations of espionage are ridiculous.

Bauer, 27, went to Iraq's Kurdish area with Shourd, his 30-year-old girlfriend, and Fattal, 27, a friend from their days at UC Berkeley, because he is a bold freelance journalist, said his editors at San Francisco's New America Media.

"Every journalist I know who's been in that area has trekked into those mountains. They're majestic," said Sandy Close, executive editor of New America Media. She said Bauer was interested in Kurdish elections and speaks Arabic but not Farsi, which is spoken in Iran.

Bauer was living in Damascus, Syria, Close said. Shourd has also written freelance articles from the Middle East, while Fattal recently worked and lived at a sustainable living research center and farm in Oregon.

"Allegations of spying would be absurd," said Jerry Sanders, a senior lecturer at UC Berkeley who advised Bauer in the peace and conflict studies department. "There's nothing about h... >>>

Shifteh Ansari

Charged with illegal entry (so far)

by Shifteh Ansari on

New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/middleeast/05briefs-Iran.html

Iran: U.S. Hikers Charged

Iran has charged three young Americans with illegal entry into the country, Iranian state television reported Tuesday. The Americans were arrested last week while hiking near the country’s border with Iraq. “We don’t know whether they are tourists or not,” Iraj Hassanzadeh, a security official, told Iran’s Al Alam television, Reuters reported. “We are questioning them.” The three were traveling on Syrian and Iraqi visas and were therefore not legally permitted to cross the border, Iran’s Press TV reported.



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ex programmer craig

capt_ayhab

by ex programmer craig on

Hostage? Since when did they become hostages?

I don't consider them hostages, yet. I was replying to Ostaad's prediction that Bill Clinton would have to go to Iran to get them released. If things got that far, that would certainly be a hostage situation. Unless they are guilty of something more than accidentally crossing an unmarked border.

Unless we are to consider all the people who cross US/Mexico border and are detained as hostages
as well.

Are you claiming these folks were trying to immigrate to Iran? It's possible I suppose, considering two of them live in Syria! Since Iran has little experience dealing with illegal immigrants, I would point out that the standard procedure is to take them to court and have a judge order them deported. Keeping them in prison indefinately in hopes of extorting concessions from their country of nationailty would be... well, I don't want to use the "h" word again. But you get it, right?

And besides who in their right mind will go sight seeing in a war zone?

Actually, Iraqi Kurdistan is pretty safe. And tourists do go there. But I do agree with you that these folks here do not seem like tourists.

I am not implying that these people are spy's , but every single
country in the world detains whomever crosses their borders illegally.

Yep. And so far, that's all that has happened.

Lets not make it sound like that Iran is the only one with border
patrol, specially if the neighboring country in under occupation and at
war.

Yes, so far Iran is not deserving of criticism for this incident. Lets hope it stays that way? I don't think the US wants any trouble right now, either.

 


capt_ayhab

Mr. Craig

by capt_ayhab on

You stated[Playing kissy-face with the IRI to get American hostages released is not an option, in my opinion.]

Hostage? Since when did they become hostages? Unless we are to consider all the people who cross US/Mexico border and are detained as hostages as well.

And besides who in their right mind will go sight seeing in a war zone? I am not implying that these people are spy's , but every single country in the world detains whomever crosses their borders illegally. Lets not make it sound like that Iran is the only one with border patrol, specially if the neighboring country in under occupation and at war.

 

-YT 


ex programmer craig

Ostaad

by ex programmer craig on

Why? You're the one who mentioned Bill Clinton! Can anyone blame me for mentioning use of cruise Missiles against terrorists, after Bill Clinton is brought into the discussion? And are you suggesting Bill Clinton should check himself into the VA? He's not even a veteran! And how the hell is he supposed to go brown nose some psychopathic mullahs if he's in a psychiatric ward? And speaking of pyschiatric wards, do they even have those in Iran? If so, what in the hell is the guy who imagines he sees halos around himself when he gives speeches doing running around loose? How messed up is it that guy who is literally delusional just got sworn in as the President, when he should be under medical supervision instead? You see what happens when you have no mental institutions? You get cruise missiles instead. That's just the way it works. Ask Osama to explain it to you. Afghanistan had no mental institutions either, and we had to cruise-missile the hell out of that guy. Eight years worth of it and we are just getting warmed up.


Ostaad

ex..

by Ostaad on

I'm sure there's a VA somewhere near you with a functioning psychiatric ward that provides long term care.

FIND IT. And find it soon.


ex programmer craig

Ostaad

by ex programmer craig on

I think we will see a Clintonesque "breakthrough" in Iran too.

No, I don't think so. This is the Islamic Republic we are talking about. Not North Korea. Playing kissy-face with the IRI to get American hostages released is not an option, in my opinion. If we decide they are in fact innocent tourists and that the IRI holding them hostage, we should flip a coin and let them rot if it is heads and send a couple of cruise missiles into the Majlis if it's tails. I think either of those options will be much easier to sell to the American public than negotiating over hostages with a country that has been taking Americans hostage for 30 years.


ex programmer craig

Well

by ex programmer craig on

We don’t know whether they are tourists or not,” Iraj Hassanzadeh, a security official, told Iran’s Al Alam television,

I don't think the US knows whether they are tourists or not, either. Which makes it a bit hard to defend them.


Ostaad

These guys are niether tourists nor...

by Ostaad on

spies. I think we will see a Clintonesque "breakthrough" in Iran too.