News

UC Berkeley hikers' mothers return to U.S. without their children

Allowed to meet together Friday before leaving Iran

The mothers of three University of California at Berkeley

graduates who have been detained in Iran for more than nine months are on their way back to the U.S. from Iran without the hikers, a family member said today.

The mothers had an emotional reunion with the hikers at their

hotel in Tehran on Thursday and were able to meet with them at the hotel a second time today, according to a website that supports the hikers.

But Pat Sandys, the cousin of 31-year-old Sarah Shourd and nephew of her mother, Nora Shourd, who lives in Oakland, said the mothers have now left Iran and are now at a stopover in Dubai on their way back to New York City.

Sandys said the mothers will read a statement when they arrive at JFK International Airport in New York on Saturday afternoon. He said they won't be available for further comment until Monday.

Sandys said he didn't want to say anything more about the situation.

Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, 27, and Josh Fattal, 27, have been

imprisoned in Iran since July 31.

Their family members and friends say they were detained after they accidentally crossed an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region. But Iran has accused them of espionage and said that it plans to prosecute them, although no formal charges have been filed.

In addition to Nora Shourd, the mothers are Cindy Hickey of Pine

City, Minn., and Laura Fattal of Elkins Park, Penn.

The mothers applied for visas to visit Iran on Jan. 6 but didn't

receive them until May 12. They arrived in Tehran on Wednesday and only stayed two nights.

Swiss diplomats, who represent U.S. interests in Iran because Iran and the U.S. don't have direct relations, reported after a meeting with the hikers on April 27 that Sarah Shourd has serious health issues and Shane Bauer has a stomach ailment.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in

Washington, D.C., on Wednesday that, "We're not considering any kind of a prisoner swap" for the hikers.

Crowley said, "We were obviously pleased to see pictures of the

mothers of the three hikers as they visited their children for the first time since they were detained in Iran almost 10 months ago."

He described the hikers as "innocent tourists" and said, "It is

time for Iran to do the right thing by releasing these three young Americans and allowing them to go home and be reunited with their families."

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Lefty87
a resident of Civic Square
on May 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

It's hard for me to feel sorry for these hikers. Aren't there big enough mountains in the U.S.A. or even Europe? To go to that part of the world for such a trival reason is stupidity in its purest form.


Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I feel bad for the parents.
Don't feel a thing for these unrealistic leftists.
Guess their Berkeley education didn't prepare them too well for reality.

Now they are getting a real education they were sorely lacking about the world. Yes, there are real enemies that need to be fought with a vengeance.

I sure hope our US military doesn't get involved trying to extricate these people. Remember, our military recruiters are not welcomed in Berkeley.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm

It's always good news when a mother is able to hug and be with her children.

I seriously doubt that Amy has NEVER been involved in armed combat in any war?


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 22, 2010 at 3:52 pm

she must have at least 17 congressional medals of honor for her bravery and fighting the enema with a vengeance...tee hee hee, tee hee hee...


Like this comment
Posted by Hawkeye
a resident of Downtown
on May 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

Has anyone ever described in more detail how these three kids got into this situation?

Was it just that they thought this would be a cool place to hike? If so, this really does seem like a foolish choice, especially in the middle of a war. Has anyone ever discussed what their thinking was? I assume they must have planned this out at ahead of time. Where were the Moms and Dads at that time?

Were they trying to make a political statement of some sort?

I don't have any experience in such things, but doesn't a GPS work over there if you have the appropriate map database? How could they "accidentally" cross a border? Has anyone ever accused Iran of crossing into Iraq and grabbing them?


Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Law
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2010 at 3:54 am

Does anyone really believe there are hikers - in Iraq / Iran? They sound like CIA agents who unfortunately got caught.


Like this comment
Posted by Diva
a resident of Birdland
on May 23, 2010 at 9:45 am

"Guess their Berkeley education didn't prepare them too well for reality"

It's not just a Berkeley education thing, but rather a US education thing. Most people in this country are oblivious to what's going on around the world and schools here do very little to educate children on the history and culture of other nations. A fifth of the people in this nation can't even locate the US on the map and stutters when they are asked why!!! The "World News" you see on TV are a joke that focus solely on the war and traveling abroad for some mean going to another state. It's pathetic.


Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

I have no sympathy for the hikers. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are operatives for a foreign government.




Like this comment
Posted by NO sympathy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I have no sympathy for the 3. They are not youth...something like 28,29. And, Diva, they were not oblivious, but all 3 have quite an informed background on the area, AND world politics. I don't think it was an accident !!! I do not want our government or military or Clinton talking to anybody or making any deals. Ya play the game and take yer chances ! ! ! The 2 gals in Asia that Clinton went to pick up 6 months ago was uncalled for as well. I don't like setting a precedent ! That's enough! We're through ! Over 18, accept personal responsibility. Ignorance of the (border) is no excuse ! On a KGO show last week, of left of center listeners, the entire hour was all US should NOT be involved. I was pleasantly surprised!


Like this comment
Posted by NO sympathy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2010 at 5:28 pm

I have no sympathy for the 3. They are not youth...something like 28,29. And, Diva, they were not oblivious, but all 3 have quite an informed background on the area, AND world politics. I don't think it was an accident !!! I do not want our government or military or Clinton talking to anybody or making any deals. Ya play the game and take yer chances ! ! ! The 2 gals in Asia that Clinton went to pick up 6 months ago was uncalled for as well. I don't like setting a precedent ! That's enough! We're through ! Over 18, accept personal responsibility. Ignorance of the (border) is no excuse ! On a KGO show last week, of left of center listeners, the entire hour was all US should NOT be involved. I was pleasantly surprised!


Like this comment
Posted by Cal Grad
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on May 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

I too have no sympathy for these civilians "hiking" when our Country is at War. I'd prefer that there be much less press coverage of these three mis-adventurers, and instead this air time / print columns be devoted to our men and women in uniform, and what they are doing on their missions, and what the VA is / should be doing for them back home.


Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 23, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I'm with you, Cal Grad.
The media, however, have no interest in covering positive news about our military...especially their "successes." They'd much rather celebrate the number of deaths. The mainstream media is just an extension of the leftist Obama Admin.

For an interesting read about MSM bias...check out Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Hope they get out, but ???
a resident of Del Prado
on May 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm

These "hikers" are not innocent by any stretch. They were caught trespassing by a govt. that has no sympathy for the U.S., and they are not innocent in their motives for being there in the first place. I hope they are able to get out of the Iranian prison, but do not spend any U.S. political capital in the process. These three knew what the consequences of their actions might lead to, and they suffered the worse of their fears for nine plus months.


Like this comment
Posted by Lefty87
a resident of Civic Square
on May 24, 2010 at 5:42 pm

OMG!!!!!!!!!! I just read on the CNN website that two of the hikers just got engaged!!!!!!! Just another ploy to get attention and sympathy?????? I agreee with "CalGrad", enough already!!!


Like this comment
Posted by OMG!?
a resident of Del Prado
on May 24, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Maybe they can marry soon and raise good little Iranian kids in prison. Then, once every nine months (or so) the mothers can visit their kids and grand kids, if govt. officials let them see each other again. Sounds like an ideal situation to me :)


Like this comment
Posted by JenniferH
a resident of Vintage Hills
on May 25, 2010 at 12:16 am

I agree with Pro-Law. I think they were almost certainly spies using hiking as a cover. Listen to the very careful wording of news reports about them. I feel sorry for them and even sorrier for their parents. But I don't think they were hikers who couldn't read a map. What I can't quite understand is the reason for the VIP treatment when their parents visited. What was the political point that their captors were trying to make?


Like this comment
Posted by Roger Murdock
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 25, 2010 at 12:14 pm

"...they bought their tickets, they knew what they getting into, I say Let em' (rot in a rat infested Iranian prison) crash!"


Sorry, just had to throw that one in.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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