News / Middle East

US Calls Iran's Year-Long Detention of Hikers 'Unjustifiable'

Secretary of State Clinton calls on Tehran to "do the right thing" and release them.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton marked the first anniversary of Iran's detention of three American hikers with a call on Tehran to "do the right thing" and release them. Amnesty International has also appealed for their freedom.

Both U.S. officials and family members of the three Americans reject Iranian suggestions they were spying and Secretary Clinton, in a statement marking the anniversary of their capture, says their continued detention is unjustifiable.

The three Americans - 31-year-old Sara Shourd - and Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 27, were arrested by Iranian authorities on July 31 of last year for allegedly crossing into Iran while hiking along the rugged border between Iran and the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

Various Iranian officials have suggested they intended to carry out acts of espionage against Iran but no charges have been filed against them despite intensive interrogation.

At a news briefing, State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley read a statement by Secretary Clinton on what he termed a "tragic" anniversary.

"Their release by the Iranian government is long overdue," he said. "Their continued detention is unjustifiable. Iran has long espoused to the world its commitment to justice, security and peace for all. We urge Iran to take action on the three hikers detained for a year in Evin prison without charge to match these stated commitments. We call on Iran to do the right thing and allow these three Americans to return home to their families."

Amnesty International-USA, in its statement on the anniversary, said it appears clear that Iranian authorities do not have substantial grounds to prosecute the three Americans, and that they may be held solely because of their nationality.

The human rights group's Middle East director, Malcolm Smart, cited statements by Iranian leaders including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggesting the three are being held to pressure the U.S. government for diplomatic concessions.

He said if that is the case, their detention would amount to hostage-taking and be a very serious abuse of human rights.

Swiss embassy officials who represent U.S. interests in Tehran have not been allowed to visit the three since April. But in late May they were taken to a Tehran hotel and allowed to meet their mothers who had traveled from the United States.

Last month, the U.S. news magazine The Nation said an investigation by its reporters turned up two Iraqi Kurdish witnesses who said Iranian police crossed several yards into Iraq to seize the hikers after they ignored shouted demands and a warning shot to enter Iran.

One of the Americans, Shane Bauer, also was heard denying walking into Iran during a brief film clip of his Tehran reunion with his mother on May 20.

In its repeated calls for the release of the hikers, the State Department has also appealed to Iran to provide information on the whereabouts of Robert Levinson. The former agent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation disappeared shortly after arriving at an Iranian island resort in 2007.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid