Ms. Harotonian, an Iranian citizen, was arrested on June 26, 2008, while on a business trip to Tehran for IREX's Maternal and Child Health Education and Exchange Program (MCHEEP).
Statement from IREX President Bob Pearson, March 10 , 2010
Today's long-awaited news that Silva has been released brings great joy to all of her supporters including her colleagues here at the IREX. We are pleased Silva's difficult ordeal is now over, and we are grateful for the Government of Iran's display of compassion to this vibrant and kind-hearted young woman. Silva has endured this situation with grace and courage and we are deeply overjoyed to know she will soon be reunited with her family and friends who worked tirelessly for her release.
With only the best intentions, Silva joined IREX with the hope of improving healthcare for mothers and children in both the United States and Iran. For over four decades, our global nongovernmental organization has run peer-to-peer exchange programs in more than 50 countries. Even though Silva's work was cut short by her detainment, these important projects designed to help build bridges between nations continue to go on around the world thanks to selfless humanitarians like Silva.
On behalf of our organization, I would like to thank the Government of Armenia for their engagement in securing Silva's release. I would also like to thank the many people and organizations who have worked so hard for Silva's release.
As Silva reunites with her family and enjoys some much deserved time to rest and recuperate, we ask that the media kindly respect Silva and her family's privacy.
W. Robert Pearson
Related Story: Iran frees Silva Harotonian
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