Release of The Forgotten Prisoners
Have you heard of Sarah Shourd?
Sarah is a wonderful, open-minded and compassionate young woman, who was working to help create empathy between women from different cultures, and a strong advocate for women's rights.
You can read her inspring blogs here about her work in the Middle East, particularly Yemen and Syria, where she was living.
Sarah wrote: "it's not hard to connect with people here when it comes to their disdain for governments, be it the U.S., Israel, Iraq or pretty much any government in the region. It never ceases to amaze me what a clear and compassionate distinction people I’ve met in the Middle East make between American policy and its people. It’s our governments that are warring over large, mostly economic issues, not us."
In July last year, Sarah was taking a break with her boyfriend, Shane, and a mutual friend, Josh. They went hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan, promoted as a tourist area, safe and peaceful. However, they hadn't realised how close they were to the Iranian border - which is unmarked in that area. They found themselves surrounded by Iranian guards, and were accused of crossing the border into Iran.
Sarah, Shane and Josh have been in Evin Prison, Iran, ever since.
They have not been charged with any offence. Their Iranian lawyer has not been allowed access. They have had 1 short phonecall with their families in the 9 months, and 3 visits from the Swiss Embassy, the last visit being last week. Other than that, no contact at all with the outside world.
At the last visit, the Swiss reported that Sarah is suffering a serious gynocological condition and depression. She is in solitary confinement.
Shane was found to be seriously ill with a stomach ailment.
Sarah is allowed to see Shane & Josh for a few minutes each day.
They are considering a hunger strike.
That's all anyone knows about their situation.
The mothers are talking with the White House today, and wrote to the Iranian president who is soon due to visit the States.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has just issued a reniewed plea for their release.
Christine Crowstaff of A Safe World for Women interviewed Sarah's mother two weeks ago by skype, and Farah - the Free the Hikers Campaign Coordinator.
The following film, 'Forgotten Prisoners' will highlight the story of Sarah, Shane and Josh.
It could make all the difference to Sarah's future if you can help spread the word about the hikers and the film, which is aprox 25 minutes long.
Something needs to be done about such issues, and I know we can make a difference. Let us spread the word, and help them get justice.