MOTHERS OF SHANE BAUER, SARAH SHOURD AND JOSH FATTAL CALL ON IRAN'S JUDICIARY TO RELEASE THEIR CHILDREN OR TRY THEM
Families Demand Immediate End to Solitary Confinement of Sarah Shourd and Legal Access
The mothers of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal released the following statement today in response to renewed reports that the three American hikers may soon be put on trial:
"Shane, Sarah and Josh have been detained in Iran without due process for almost 11 months, in continued violation of Iranian and international law. During that time, Iranian officials have said repeatedly that our children's case is a judicial matter, a position we respect but one which is not supported by any movement towards a resolution of their case.
Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd, and Shane Bauer
(courtesy of www.freethehikers.org)
To continue to detain our children without regard for their legal and human rights reinforces suspicions that they are being held in a cynical attempt by Iran to exert leverage with the United States. Iran has no legitimate reason at this stage not to release them or move forward with a fair trial in which our children can openly answer any allegations against them.
We therefore demand that the judiciary take the following immediate steps, consistent with its obligations and with Iranian statements that the case is being dealt with through legal channels:
1. Release Shane, Sarah and Josh or try them:
We believe the Iranian judiciary knows full well that our children had no intention of entering Iran when they were arrested in an unmarked border area while hiking during a brief vacation in Iraqi Kurdistan. Their backgrounds and work are documented publicly and the fact they have not been questioned for many months demonstrates that investigators have nothing more to learn about them. Entering Iran without a visa, if that is what our children did, in no way justifies 11 months of detention or the continued failure of the Iranian legal system to resolve this case.
2. End Sarah's solitary confinement:
Sarah is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, and isallowed to see her fiancé Shane and friend Josh for only two 30-minute periods each day. Sarah is prone to depression and we are gravely concerned that her inhumane and unnecessary isolation will cause lasting psychological harm. We urge the authorities in Evin Prison to do the right thing and provide her with a cell mate.
3. Allow Shane, Sarah and Josh access to their lawyer:
Shane, Sarah and Josh formally appointed Mr. Masoud Shafii, an independent lawyer, as their attorney almost six months ago but he has persistently been denied access to them, including during our recent visit to Tehran. Our children have a right to legal representation and as long as that right is denied, it is not possible to believe they are being treated according to the law.
4. Allow Shane, Sarah and Josh to call home once a week:
Our children have been allowed only one brief call home, on March 9. We remain grateful to the Iranian authorities for allowing us to visit Shane, Sarah and Josh for two days in late May but since that visit, we have not heard from them and know nothing about their current physical and mental health.
5. Grant regular consular access:
Swiss diplomats, who represent U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations between our countries, have been allowed only three visits to Shane, Sarah and Josh, most recently on April 22. This is in breach of Iran's commitments under the Vienna Convention and must be rectified
... Payvand News - 06/17/10 ... --