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

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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid