What have you been up to this year?
July 31st, 2010 marked one year since three American citizens were detained in Iranian prison for hiking within the foreign borders. These three humans were peace activists and humanitarians who risked living outside of the bubble of fear. They were experiencing life, as so many of us speak of everyday in our yoga practices, led by their hearts.
Without many of the comforts that so many of us have become accustomed to, myself included no doubt; Shane Bauer, 28, Sarah Shroud, 31 from California, and Joshua Fattal, 28 from Pennsylvania traveled to Turkey to backpack through Kurdistan and visit a waterfall in a mountainous area that was considered safe to travel in. Shortly after seeing the waterfall they walked down the road and were then surrounded by Iranian soldiers.
Without ever officially charging them, Iran has detained these three humans in prison for over one year.
Shane, who had been working on a documentary about Darfur, graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a double minor in Journalism and Arabic in 2007. Shane speaks fluent Arabic and has spent a great deal of time in the Middle East and North Africa over the past seven years, including living in Damascus, Syria with his girlfriend Sarah since 2008.
Shannon Bauer, a teacher living in Boulder, Colorado is Shane’s sister and says: “When it first happened, I felt like in a few days it would be over. Now it’s been a year that I haven’t been able to talk to Shane, and my family hasn’t been able to be with Shane, and it’s ridiculous—we have no idea why this is going on.”
President Obama said, “They are teachers, artists, and advocates for social and environmental justice. They have never had any quarrel with the government of Iran, and have great respect for the Iranian people.”
Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated, “Iran has long espoused to the world its commitment to justice, security and peace for all. We call on Iran to do the right thing and allow these three Americans to return home to their families.”