Iran Human RightsUN expert urges Iran to end US hiker's solitary...

UN expert urges Iran to end US hiker’s solitary confinement

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AFP: A UN expert on torture has appealed to Tehran to end the solitary confinement of Sarah Shourd, one of the three US hikers detained without trial for more than a year in Iran, her mother said Friday.

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — A UN expert on torture has appealed to Tehran to end the solitary confinement of Sarah Shourd, one of the three US hikers detained without trial for more than a year in Iran, her mother said Friday.

Nora Shourd told AFP that she was informed two days ago that the urgent appeal from Manfred Nowak, the UN special rapporteur on torture, was forwarded to Iranian authorities through the Geneva-based UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.

“He (Nowak) is waiting for their response,” she said in a telephone interview from Pine City, Minnesota, recalling that her 31-year-old daughter has a pre-cancerous cervical condition, a lump in her breast and suffers from depression.

She said she turned to Nowak after receiving an unexpected call from her daughter complaining that she was still in solitary confinement and had been denied medical care since five months ago.

She said Sarah’s case amounted to psychological torture based on her solitary confinement and denial of medical care.

“Sarah’s treatment is cruel, inhuman and degrading and Iran has been deaf to all my appeals, including the results of the only medical tests Sarah had five months ago,” Shourd added.

Earlier this month, Shourd and the mothers of the two other detained hikers — Shane Bauer, 27, and Josh Fattal, 27 — accused Iranian authorities of using their children as bargaining chips.

They said Tehran has no evidence to back up new claims that the three Americans had threatened Iranian security.

“If Iran believes it has any reason to charge our children, it should do so without delay and give them a fair trial in a public court of law,” the mothers said.

The three US hikers were arrested by Iranian troops on July 31, 2009 after they reportedly strayed into Iran from across the border with Iraqi Kurdistan where they were vacationing.

Late last month, US President Barack Obama called on Iran to “immediately release” the three hikers, saying they had never worked for the US government and had committed “absolutely no crime.”

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