Monday, May 16, 2011

Cat Stevens' Appeal To Iran: Free The Hikers

"Oh very young, what will you leave us this time, you're only dancing on this earth a short while..." ~Cat Stevens

Think of everything that has happened in your life the past 21 months. One week seems amazingly full for many of us. But for Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, the unfolding weeks only bring more waiting.

For those who were paying attention, and unfortunately everything rolls along as if trying to make us forget, Josh and Shane were scheduled for trial in February. The net result was a very brief hearing that promised a follow up trial. That trial finally got scheduled for this past week, but the date has passed and we still do not know how long or when or why or what is happening. It is a very frustrating time for the friends and family of these two young men.

In July 2009 Shane, Josh and his now fiance Sarah Shourd (Josh asked for her hand in marriage while imprisoned) were taken captive by Iranian authorities who claim the three were hiking within the Iranian border. The hikers, who were vacationing at an Iraqi tourist region near Kurdistan, were picked up and taken away while hiking. Their parents have been permitted almost no communication, and because the U.S. and Iran do not have diplomatic relations the hurdles are even greater.

Sarah Shourd, after 400 days in solitary confinement, was released due to health reasons. The young men have spent their time imprisoned twenty-three and a half hours a day, with a brief release for exercise.

In April Yusuf Islam, the musician we all knew as Cat Stevens, made an appeal for Iran to release Bauer and Fattal if there is no clear evidence that they were nothing more than hikers. Purportedly Muhammed Ali has also made two written appeals to Iran to free the hikers.

Hear Yusuf Islam's appeal to Iran.

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