New York, November 6, 2009—No charges have been brought against three American hikers nearly 100 days since they were detained after accidentally crossing the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran while on a hiking trip on July 31.
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal were on a short vacation in Iraqi Kurdistan when they strayed across the border. All three have an interest in writing or photography, and Bauer is an experienced journalist based in Damascus, Syria.
“While the detained hikers were not on a reporting trip, we are obviously concerned about their fate, particularly since Shane is a respected journalist,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “The notion that their detention is part of any sort of legal process fades with each passing day. There is no plausible explanation for the lack of due process nor for the fact that they not been allowed any sort of legal representation. We urge the Iranian judiciary to embrace President Ahmadinejad’s request to accelerate the legal process and show compassion.”
Speaking about the hikers on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York in September, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters, “What I can ask is that the judiciary expedites the process and gives it its full attention, and to basically look at the case with maximum leniency.”
Supporters of the three hikers are organizing vigils on Sunday in 20 locations around the world to mark 100 days of captivity.