Sarah Shourd appeals for friends' release

October 9, 2010 6:27:18 PM PDT
Sarah Shourd came to the Bay Area on a mission: to push for the release of her fiancé and friend.

"Shane and Josh helped me get through prison; if it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be sitting here today," Shourd said.

In a strong but shaky voice, Shourd asked for help in her first public appearance in the Bay Area since her release from an Iranian prison last month.

Her fianc?e, Shane Bauer, and best friend, Josh Fatal, are still being held.

"I'm not free, I can't go on with my life, my life will not resume, the only point of my existence is to speak for them, to be a voice for them," Shourd said.

"It's time for them to come home, it's time for them to be free, it's time for them to stop suffering unnecessarily," friend Darryl Wong said.

The three UC Berkeley graduates were arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 and later accused of spying.

Shourd was released after 14 months in solitary confinement for the Iranian government called "humanitarian reasons."

But Abbas Milani of the Hoover Institution says the three were held for strictly political reasons.

"These people are being held simply for political purposes; they will be released either when the regime gets something it wants or can score political points it wants," he said.

Milani does think letter writing campaigns, like the ones the friends of Fatal and Bauer have been spearheading, will be effective in leading to their release.


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