International Justice

CJ354 Endicott College

Free the Hikers

More than a year ago a friend of mine suggested a page to me on Facebook called “Free the Hikers”.  While usually I deny requests, this one didn’t seem quite as mindless as most so I decided to check it out.  The story behind the page is the one of three American hikers who were recreational hiking in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were arrested and detained by Iranian forces on July 31, 2009 for illegally crossing the border into the neighboring country.

Sarah was released in September on $500,000 bail and is expected to be tried in absentia. The other two hikers still remin in custody.  Both entered a not guilty plee to espionage charges in Iran today (6 February 2010) Bauer and Fattal are expected to be released soon, but they have spent the past 18 months in jail.

Why is the Iranian government coming down so hard on three American college graduates traveling near their borders?  Should the UN do something to help the hikers?


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