Rallies were held in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia
and in several international cities this weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of the arrest by freelance
photographer and journalist Shane Bauer and his friends Sarah Shourd and Joshua
Fattal by Iranian authorities.
They were arrested July 31, 2009 while, according to their friends and
family, they were hiking across
Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran has accused them of illegally crossing the border into
Iran and of being spies for the U.S.
On Friday the US State Department Issued a statement saying
that the release of the three US citizens is “long overdue and their continued
detention is unjustifiable.”
Bauer, a journalist whose writing and photography has been
published in Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Nation,
Christian Science Monitor, was
based in Damascus. He met Shourd and Fattal while the three were
attending University of California at Berkeley, and they had been living and working in Syria before their backpacking trip.
The New York Times reports that the mothers of the three prisoners spoke at a rally held Friday outside the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York to demand their children's release. The mothers were allowed a visit with the three in May but have had little contact since.
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