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View Full Version : American hikers imprisoned in Iran on absurd charges



padraig (u.s.)
29-05-2010, 10:44 PM
the Iranian regime has been holding 3 American kids (well, late 20s-ish) in a Tehran prison for the last 10 months. they were originally in Syria, as English teachers I think, and during a week off they went hiking in Kurdistan and, apparently, accidentally crossed into Iran via an unmarked part of the border. The Iranians are accusing them of espionage, which is totally f**king crazy. I happen to know one of them, the woman, Sarah - not terribly well, but I used to see her around when I lived in the East Bay, talked to her maybe a dozen times, know people in common, etc, and she's a liberal/leftist, activist, hippie-ish type. i.e. the last person in the world the United States would enlist as a spy, or who would agree to spy if asked. the other two hikers have similar backgrounds, as far as I can tell. Of course governments - particularly the Iranian government - lie with astounding frequency. I've personally witnessed both the American & Mexican governments lie on prior occasions about me or other people I I know. this case, tho, is just so goddamn brazen and stupid...the espionage charges are so clearly preposterous, it's obviously just a political bargaining chip a la the 2 journalists in North Korea last year. I just hope whatever machinations that are going on behind the scenes get worked out ASAP to these dudes can get released. I guess Sarah & her boyfriend (one of the other hikers) just got engaged in prison, which prompted a new wave of human interest media coverage in the U.S.

anyway, here's a website about the case (http://freethehikers.org/). if any Dissensus heads feel so motivated, there's a petition you can sign (electronically) for their release. not that, I fear, it will do much good, but it's better than nothing.

(NB: I don't want to overshadow the innumerable Iranians currently languishing in that regime's prisons, most of whom do not have the benefit of advocates in the United States or international campaigns of support which can muster the likes of Bishop Tutu. I dunno, I guess it's always different when it's someone you actually know.)

padraig (u.s.)
29-05-2010, 10:52 PM
oh, also, I guess the Iranian minister of intelligence (or some official in a similar role) recently proposed a prisoner swap w/the U.S., which is what this was almost certainly about all along. &, for added irony, they've been in Evin Prison, which is of course where the regime puts Iranian dissidents & political prisoners.

also, before anyone says it, yeah, perhaps 3 Americans going hiking in Kurdistan near the Iranian border was not the best idea. however, that doesn't change the fact that this whole thing is both crazy & unjust.

scottdisco
01-06-2010, 10:26 AM
shit mate this is terrible. brings it home spectacularly w your background anecdotage (i know it shouldn't take personalisation for me to care, but, you know what i mean, right).
signed it, FWIW.

cheers.

padraig (u.s.)
03-06-2010, 07:30 AM
scott, you are a gem

polystyle desu
13-06-2010, 06:42 PM
saw a news crawl earlier today that stated a "trial" was coming this week for the hikers ...