Iran’s pawns

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Philadelphia Inquirer – Editorial: Sarah Shourd turned 32 in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison this week. It’s her second birthday in captivity.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Editorial

Sarah Shourd turned 32 in Iran’s notorious Evin Prison this week. It’s her second birthday in captivity.

July 31 marked a year since the Californian and two other American hikers – Shane Bauer, 28, of Minnesota, and Josh Fattal, 28, of Elkins Park – were seized by Iranian authorities after straying across an unmarked border.

The three have not been charged, yet Iranian officials have accused them of spying and attempting to stir up resistance to the regime. The hikers have been allowed only one visit from family members in the last year, and calls home are rarely permitted.

Bauer and Fattal share a cell, but Shourd is held in solitary confinement. In a call home last week, she reported that Iranians have denied her request for medical treatment and a cellmate.

The State Department has regularly demanded their release on humanitarian grounds. The Senate passed a resolution urging that they be freed “immediately and unconditionally.” On July 30, President Obama made his first public statement on the case, calling the release of the three hikers a “humanitarian imperative.”

It’s not surprising that an Iranian regime that sponsors terrorism worldwide and shoots down its own people in the streets would ignore pleas for a humanitarian gesture. Nevertheless, it can’t be said enough:

Free the hikers. Now.

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