October 10, 2010 in Nation/World

Hiker freed by Iran asks friends’ release

Associated Press photo

Sarah Shourd, recently freed by Iran, speaks to the media Saturday in Oakland, Calif.
(Full-size photo)

 OAKLAND, Calif. – An American hiker recently freed by Iran said Saturday she is still haunted by images of her friend and fiance in their cramped jail cells and won’t have her life back until they have been released.

 Sarah Shourd spoke at a gathering of friends and family in Oakland, where she appealed to Iranian officials to show compassion and release her fiance, Shane Bauer, and friend, Josh Fattal.

 “I’m not free,” she said, as she choked up with tears. “My life will not resume until Shane and Josh are with me.”

 The three University of California, Berkeley graduates were near the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 when they were detained by Iranian authorities. They were accused of illegally crossing the border and spying.

 Shourd, who was freed on Sept. 14, has denied Iran’s allegations and says the three were just hiking through a scenic area of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region during a vacation. She said again Saturday that like her, Fattal and Bauer are innocent.

 “They’ve done nothing wrong and don’t deserve to be there for a second longer than I was.”

 Shourd, 32, said she had no updates on efforts to release Fattal and Bauer.

Associated Press

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