News / Middle East

Jailed US Hikers Meet Mothers in Iran

Detained US hiker Shane Bauer hugging his mother Cindy Hickey in Tehran,  20 May 2010, in this picture obtained from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows
Detained US hiker Shane Bauer hugging his mother Cindy Hickey in Tehran, 20 May 2010, in this picture obtained from Iran's state-run English-language Press TV shows
TEXT SIZE - +

The mothers of three Americans suspected by Iran of spying met with their children during an emotional reunion Thursday in Tehran.  State television showed Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal embrace their mothers, who they were seeing for the first time since their arrest in July.

The three were detained in northwestern Iran and accused of entering the country illegally and, later, the far more serious charge of spying.  Relatives have said the three were hiking in Iraq's scenic, largely peaceful Kurdistan region and accidentally crossed the poorly marked border.

They have been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison and the families were given little information on how they were faring.

Shourd told reporters that they have been treated well, but she said the detention has been difficult for her because she has been kept separate from the other two hikers.

Iran's foreign ministry said the mothers were granted short-term visas as a humanitarian gesture.  The women were effusive in their appreciation.

"We already have been treated so beautifully and we will tell everyone about this reception," said Laura Fattal.

Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, said she was "very grateful to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the authorities for granting us our visa.  We know that this is a great humanitarian act that they have given to us."

Swiss diplomats helped arrange the meeting, as Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of formal American-Iranian relations.  Those ties have been increasingly strained by the U.S. drive to place a new set of sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

Analyst Ali Nourizadeh of the Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London said he believes the granting of visas is tied to a recent flurry of international activity, including a deal Iran reached with Turkey and Brazil on enriching uranium, and aimed at avoiding more sanctions.

"They are very worried about sanctions because sanctions this time [are] directed against the Revolutionary Guards and military forces and military industry,"  he said.

Before leaving for Tehran, the mothers told VOA's Persian Service they hoped to meet with Iranian officials during their stay and secure their children's release.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid