Kurdistan had some guests, comprising of Turkey, Iraq and Iran. These visitors hiked there in July 2009. The Kurds are mostly all that live there which is why it has its title. All of the hikers were accused of being spies and of espionage as they were taken in by the Iranian law enforcement. Authorities had at first decided to release a hiker, than not, however then did. Sarah Shourd was the lucky hiker who was released. A $500,000 request for her release was made. Of course the U.S. said no way. Her fiancé was hiking with her and is still in custody.
Using a hike to secretly spy
All hikers worked within the Middle East before being captured. These are Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. Shourd’s fiancé is Bauer. Kurdistan was the choice they made to escape at because within the southern parts of Iraq, it is one of the most free. The Nation reports the hikers ran into Iranian police and were detained right outside of Zalem, a village in Iraqi Kurdistan. Locals in the area explain that Iranian forces often go into Iraq, although it is hard to determine the border.
Letting go of one hiker
Several weeks ago, the Iranian government announced it would release Sarah Shourd on $500,000 bail, which the United States government said it would not pay. Days later, the Iranian government recanted. As a result of health reasons, the government changed its mind again and released Sarah Shourd on bail. This comes from CNN. There are no relations between Washington and Tehran. Also, ever since the 1979, the Swiss have acted as liaison. The bail was supposedly deposited into a banking account in Oman. Iran is still holding Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal in custody.
No way to prove there was espionage
Numerous sources have reported the backpackers never even crossed to the Iranian border. It has been said by many from the area that Iranian police and intelligence operatives cross the border to detain people regularly within the country. The case should only take a couple of minutes. Any judge can do a trespassing charge in about 10 minutes. Seems like like the only reason the government would keep the people detained would be for political reasons.
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