Freed hiker pleads for release of pair

NEW YORK – Sarah Shourd, one of three Americans arrested last year while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday to plead for the release of her still-imprisoned fiance and their friend.

“I’m just going to keep pushing every minute for their release on humanitarian grounds,” Shourd told ABC News outside a hotel after she and her mother, Nora Shourd, met with the president, who was in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.

Shourd, 32, called the encounter “a very gracious gesture and a good meeting,” said Ahmadinejad seemed friendly and that it was “a very human encounter, very personal.”

Shourd came to New York to push for the release of her fiance, Shane Bauer, and their friend Josh Fattal, who remain imprisoned in Tehran after 14 months.

“He was very positive,” Shourd said of Ahmadinejad. He asked her mother questions about her grandchildren and other family, and Sarah Shourd spoke to him about her fiance, she said, adding that the meeting left her feeling “very happy” and “hopeful that the president will try to advocate” for the two men.


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