My daughter Sarah Shourd, and her partner Shane Bauer along with their friend Josh Fattal have been incarcerated in the notorious Evin prison in Iran for more than 10 months now, 312 long and difficult days, as I write this story.

Sarah and Shane moved to the middle east in August 2008 with clear intent to expand their actIvist lives by living in and writing from a part of the world perceived by many in their own country as a place to be feared, as a place where people are somehow different and not at all understood. Sarah felt a strong need to 'give back' and chose to work with Iraqi refugees in Damascus, stranded there after the US occupation of Iraq. Shane is an independent journalist who wrote from Yemen, Iraq and Syria about the effects of US policy in the region, putting out a different side and breaking down barriers of disinformation thru his work.

They have been held now in virtual isolation from the outside world. We had one brief phone call with them; our Iranian lawyer hired in December has not been allowed access to his clients; the Swiss Protectorate has been granted three consular visits; we were given a visit to Tehran on a two day visa to see them three weeks ago and Sarah remains in solitary confinement seeing the other two only briefly daily. they have not been officially charged with anything and have not been interrogated since September. The Iranian gov't says "its in the hands of the judiciary" but we know they are being used as political collateral in a game played by both Iran and the US.

The inherent irony to their prolonged detention besides their innocence is that their personal political ideals, writing and activism are not entirely out of synch with their captors. They are for a free Palestine; marched in the streets of Damascus with their Syrian friends when they heard about the bombing in Gaza; have a long history of direct action against the US occupation in Iraq and the effects of US foreign policy in the Middle east. There is no reason to hold them except for political gain and it obvious to the world by now.

I try to speak in Sarah's voice because she can't. Sarah would be speaking out loudly in her strongest voice yet; against the human rights violations under which they are being held; about the injustice of detention for other political prisoners,women and men who speak bravely about their own repression of their government; against the recent murders of the aid workers on the Freedom flotilla to Gaza.

I see her in my mind walking out of prison, free to pick up her life again, a life so intertwined with the lives of women just like her everywhere, shining a light on injustice where it hides, sometimes in a lonely prison cell.

Actions you can take to help Sarah, Shane and Josh: To sign a petition for their release, which will be delivered to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Mission to the United Nations:

To write a letter to President Ahmadinejad and Chief of the Judiciary Sadegh Larijani calling for the Hikers’ release:

To let the US government know that you care about Shane, Sarah and Josh and encourage your Congressional representatives to get involved in efforts to secure their release:

Please show your support by writing Shane, Sarah and Josh brief messages on a postcard, sending love, strength and good wishes to help ease their isolation.


Dear Nora,

We welcome you to the PulseWire community with open arms and fists raised in solidarity for the release of your daughter Sarah, her partner Shane and friend Josh. It is heart wrenching to image the pain that you are going through, having no contact with your daughter - especially when I think of my own mother who is my biggest supporter, and what she would be feeling. And you are strong! So strong and now nearly 5,000 women stronger and growing as this community hears your voice, Sarah's story and the injustice she faces as a prisoner in Iran, and shares this cause with their mothers and daughters, friends and neighbors, husbands and brothers.

Please keep us updated on news from Sarah and the Actions you have listed so that we can continue to support you and spread the word.

In solidarity, Jade

Online Community Manager World Pulse

Your daughter is a strong woman who is standing up for what she thinks is right. You are a strong woman and a strong mother too. All the Pulsewire community is with you. Just reach out.


With best wishes,

Nusrat Ara 


Hello Nora, I just signed the petition on your website. I really hope the situation will unlock soon for your daughter and the boys. Keep us updated on Pulsewire. All the best from France, Aurore

Dear Nora,

I wanted to express my relief that Sarah was released from Evin prison. Surely your persistence to bring this issue to global attention has helped in her release. You are both so strong and so brave! Welcome home Sarah!

Though I understand the work is not done, as Shane and Josh continue to face charges in Iran. Please keep our community updated on your joyous reunion, as well as what we can do to support Shane and Josh.

In friendship and solidarity, Jade