A Timeline of the US Hikers Detained by Iran

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 10:22 am (UTC-5)
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July 31, 2009 – Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd are hiking in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq while on vacation. They are arrested by Iranian authorities, who accuse them of crossing the border into Iran, and are sent to the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. Iranian television describes the three as “spies.”

November 5, 2009 — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with the families of the detained hikers. She expresses hope Iran will release the three “on humanitarian and compassionate” grounds as soon as possible.

March 9, 2010 — Iran allows Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd to call home for the first time. The families, who maintain the three strayed into Iran by accident, say the hikers say they are “staying strong” but that Iranian authorities had not given them any information about their case.

April 28, 2010 – South African Nobel Peace Price laureate, retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu, pleads for Iran to release the American hikers, saying Tehran should not act in a “cruel and inhumane manner.”

May 20, 2010 – The mothers of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd travel to Tehran and visit with their children for the first time. Sarah Shourd's mother says the three have been treated well, but they again call for their release.

May 24, 2010 – The mothers of Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd announce their children plan to marry once they are freed from prison. They say Bauer proposed to Shourd in January, while they were being held at Evin prison.

July 29, 2010 — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again calls on Iran to release the hikers, who have been detained without trial for almost a year. She calls their continued detention “unjustifiable.”

September 14, 2010 – Iran releases Sarah Shourd on $500,000 bond in a deal brokered with the help of Oman and Switzerland. Iranian officials say she was released for medical reasons but will still face trial on spy charges. Shourd's family says she needs medical treatment for a lump in her breast and pre-cancerous cervical cells. before boarding a plane to Oman, Shourd says she is grateful and “very humbled” by her release.

May 24, 2011 – American boxing legend Muhammad Ali appeals for the immediate release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal

August 20, 2011 – Iran sentences Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal to eight years in prison for entering the country illegally and spying for the U.S.

September 13, 2011 — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tells a correspondent for the U.S. television network NBC that he thinks Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal will be freed on humanitarian grounds within “a couple of days.” The U.S. State Department says however it has yet to receive any confirmation a release is near.