US Hiker Freed From Iranian Jail Arrives In New York

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — An American hiker freed after spending over a year in an Iranian jail is now telling her side of the story. Sarah Shourd said she’s no spy, and neither are the two friends she left behind in Tehran.

After 13 months in Iranian custody, American Sarah Shourd arrived in New York City just grateful to be free, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

“But this is not a time to celebrate,” Shourd said. “My disappointment in not sharing this with Shane and Josh was crushing, and I stand before you today only one-third free.”

Shourd was released on $500,000 bail, while her fiancé Shane Bauer and friend Josh Fattal remain detained in Iran. The three had been hiking along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 when they were arrested and accused of espionage.

“Shane and Josh do not deserve to be imprisoned one day longer than I have,” Shourd said. “We committed no crime, and we are not spies.”

The mothers of Bauer and Fattal said Shourd’s release was bittersweet, but it gives them hope. Laura Fattal said she struggles with life without her son.

“I want him home for his own life,” she said. “He is going to contribute a great deal to society, and I want him to begin that journey.”

“A mother’s hope is never going to end,” Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey, said. “It’s always going to be strong.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also arrived in New York Sunday for the U.N. General Assembly. He called Shourd’s release a huge humanitarian gesture, one that should receive consideration by the U.S., currently detaining eight Iranians.

“I believe that it would not be misplaced if I ask that the U.S. government should make a humanitarian gesture to release the Iranians who are illegally detained here in the U.S.,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad said he would consider releasing Bauer and Fattal after their cases are examined.

“My hope is that learning who we are and how we came to be in this diverse and fascinating region of the world from my lips, it will help clear up any doubt and end Shane and Josh’s detention,” Shourd said.

Shourd, Laura Fattal and Cindy Hickey, who consider themselves a “family of fate,” said they won’t give up until all three Americans are free.

Fattal and Hickey have requested to meet with President Ahmadinejad while he’s in New York, but so far have not received a response.

More from Hazel Sanchez
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    […] Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York later this month for the United Nations General Assembly. Shourd was released last year just as Ahmadinejad made his way over for the annual gathering. Share this 19 comments […]

  • jtorres

    With all the turmoil in Iran and Iraq why on earth would anyone (without family there) go voluntarily? And to go hiking? Hello? I am obviously not the only person to think that these 3 were supremely stupid to go “hiking” along the border. If in fact that is what they were doiing.

  • Roy

    P.S. Rambo III your an idiot

  • Roy

    I guess the $500.000.00 bail,can be considered ransom……………… much is going to cost to get her friends released,it’s obvious these geniuses are not spies,and should be returned immediately………….

  • Xerox

    Todos and Billf should not be commenting in any respectable forum.If you have nothing better to say,then stop pointing out other people’s typos and grammar errors because this is not a grammar school IDIOTS.Actually Todos and Billf have more typos than the rest of the comments here.The only proper English that is spoken by 90% of the world is UK English,not the corrupt American English.

  • Rambo III

    What so special about Americans, especially dumb hikers in Iraq/Iran border. Iran have a right just like any other country to detain such “dumb” hiker and check their story before making a decision about their release. After all America can kinapped anyone in any part of the world without any one questioning. Get real dumb hiker or spy !!!

  • Paradise

    Just let her tell us what was doing in Iraq!!!! what she will say? terusim? mostly she and her friends are spies

  • Andrew Seech

    used to be you needed permission to enter a country. i’m suprised they even got into Iraq let alone Iran. Especially in a time of war. Oh wait…hostilities are over. Yeah, right! My company had a hard enough time getting me to Kuwait.

  • Bewildered GlobeTrekker

    Though i have my sympathies with the hikers who were arrested without any rhyme or reason, but i have to wonder how much sense aka common sense these 3 have, of all the places they choose to hike on the iran-iraq border? What do they think they are Rambo? If anything they should have known both Iraq and Iran have hostiles in plenty who dislike Americans…to go hiking there..really really dumb!!
    From that point of view the Iranians might have thought since no sane person would hike there …..then it has to be spies who are willingly taking the risk…little do they know there are plenty of dumb Americans!

  • Al

    Unfortunately, your use of the English language has left me not quite understanding what you are trying to communicate. Please, use an online translator and repost.

    Thanks in advance…and say hello to Telly for me.

    • Stewart

      Funny, i did understand everything “todos” said. maybe its you the one with the problem “AL”. and by the way, dont take it personally, it makes you come off as immature and quite ridiculous…

  • Al

    The Iranians release one American, and want eight Iranians released in return. The Palestinians are willing to release one Israeli for the release of hundreds of Palestinians. How does that work out? Is it that one American is worth eight Iranians? Is it that they are not good with equations? Or is it that they are over-demanding, intolerant wretches?

    • Jack Sr.

      hmm, no, not quite. Iranian’s president is making a point to the fact that the USA has 8 iranians held hostage illegally, and there is no media cover over it. I didn’t see anywhere in the news article where the iranian president is asking for the 8 to be released in exchange for the other two americans… careful how you put words in writing.. ur mixing everything up.

      • Billf

        Well Jack, in addition to you inablility to write coherently in the English language you seem to have a problem reading as well. There are plenty of stories in numerous pulbication where Ahmadinejad is calling for the release of 8 Iranians in American prisons he wants released.

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