September 9, 2010 by staff
Sarah Shourd, The three American backpackers – Joshua Fattal, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and were arrested on July 31, 2009 after he accidentally strayed into Iranian territory, while trekking in the mountains autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq that borders Iran. Since his arrest, the trio has been jailed in Tehran’s Evin prison.
Although the U.S. has repeatedly urged Iran to release the three Americans detained Iranian Intelligence Minister had earlier said Haidar Moslehi that Tehran has enough evidence to link the three American prisoners to U.S. intelligence.
But Moslehi said last month that the investigation of the three hikers who have retained a close, without elaborating.
In February 2010, USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again called for the release of the hikers, saying Iran “should unilaterally release” Americans on humanitarian grounds as their continued detention “groundless.”
In a statement issued on the eve of the anniversary of their arrests in July of this year, the U.S. President Barack Obama urged the Iranian government to release detainees hikers, insisting he had no connection with the U.S. government or its intelligence agencies.
Stressing that the three had committed “any crime,” Obama said the trio was “just an open mind and adventurous young people who represent the best of America, and the human spirit.”
Earlier, the Iranian government had allowed the mothers of the detainees walkers to meet their children in May 2010. Iran said the decision to grant visas 7-days to visit his children was done for humanitarian reasons.
The mothers met with the three walkers stopped at the Hotel Estaghlal, which has now been elected by the Iranian authorities to release Sarah Shourd, the only woman in the group of three members arrested in Iran.
The Iranian mission to the United Nations confirmed in a statement Thursday that Tehran would “soon” release Shourd Sarah, one of three hikers U.S. held in an Iranian prison for more than a year on charges of espionage.
The confirmation came hours after a brief text message sent to journalists by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance said that one of the three Americans prisoners would be released on Saturday morning at the hotel Estaghlal.
In the short text message, the ministry did not say which of the three hikers would be released and why. However, the liberation of the excursionists coincides with the feast of Eid al-Fitr, when a pardon for prisoners is common. In addition, several Iranian news reports said the ceremony would be overseen by one of the vice-presidents of Iran.
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