Iran Delays Release Of American Hiker

Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer, before their arrest, in an undated photo.

Iran will not release American hiker Sarah Shourd on Saturday as planned. A prosecutor announced Friday that, due to uncompleted legal procedings, the scheduled release has been postponed.

Shourd is one of three American hikers who have been imprisoned in Iran for over a year. On Thursday, officials had announced that she would be released on Saturday. The judiciary stepped in to overrule that decision.

Abas Jafari Dolatabadi, Tehran’s prosecutor, said the release was not approved by the judiciary, and is contingent upon completion of due process.

The three hikers were taken into custody in Iran when they ventured across the border from Iraq while hiking. Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been in custody for over a year. They are suspected of espionage, according to Iranian authorities.

The Iranian lawyer representing the hikers, Masoud Shafii, has formally requested their release, given that the government can not show cause for their arrest.

According to the family’s website, Shourd is being held in solitary confinement while in prison. She is allowed to meet with her fiancé, Bauer, for thirty minutes, twice a day. The men share a cell in prison.

The website alleges that the three have not been formally charged with anything, and have extremely limited phone access. They also have been denied the ability to see their lawyer.

In May, the mothers of the hikers travelled to Iran for a visit.  They were only permitted to stay in the country for two days.

According to sources, there will be further news at a later date about the potential release of Shourd.

(image: flikr/Bombadier)

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Faroh Sauder has spent more than 30 years working as a journalist and educator. He has written on politics, international affairs, civil rights, and consumer education. Now mostly retired, Faroh continues to stay current on tech and consumer issues and reports on his interests here at News For Shoppers.