Iran demands $500,000 to free US hiker Sarah Shourd
Guardian / Ian Black
12-Sep-2010 (2 comments)

Iran said today that it would free one of the three American hikers it has held as spies for more than a year on bail of $500,000 (£325,722). But the fate of her friends remains unclear amid controversy in Tehran.

Sarah Shourd, 31, has been in prison with Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 28, since they apparently strayed over the border from Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009. The three are pawns in a tense diplomatic standoff between the US and Iran and have apparently fallen victim to internal political rivalry in the Islamic republic.

Massoud Shafei, their lawyer, said he had informed Shourd's family and the Swiss embassy – which looks after US interests in Iran – of the amount set for bail "so they can take the necessary measures." Shafei said he hoped Shourd would be released in the next two or three days.

Friends of Shourd's mother, Nora, said she would issue a statement later. The US said it was "encouraged" by news of Iran's readiness to free her.

Iran announced on Friday that Shourd would be released yesterday as a humanitarian gesture to mark Eid al-Fitr – the holiday at the end of the Ramadan fast – but excitement quickly gave way to confusion in the wake of conflicting statements from Tehran.

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by yolanda on

It is absurd that IRI calls the release of the female hiker a humanitarian gesture and demands half million exortbitant bail at the same time.


Worse than Somali Pirates and Saddam

by IranFirst on

At lease the Somali pirates release  the Hostages after they receive
their ransom money, IRI has been jailing the 3 kidnapped hikers for a year
and now maybe releasing them after receiving their filthy ransom money.
Saddam too held on to innocent British families for a while to protect
himself before Iraq's first war, but eventually had to release the
innocent hostages. IRI won't have any better future than Saddam and
other topled Islamists, despite IRI's hostage takings and