Doing the Right Thing — Why Iran Should Release Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal

Twenty-one months ago almost to the day, three idealistic young Americans were enjoying a summer vacation hike in the safe and hospitable region of Iraqi Kurdistan when they wandered close to or across an unmarked mountain border and into the hands of Iranian forces. It is hard for any of us to appreciate the torment these individuals — Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd — and their families have suffered since that fateful day. It is harder still to fathom what Iran expects to gain by continuing to hold the two men in the group captive, with almost no contact with their families, and by putting them on trial on May 11 on the unfounded charge of espionage. Sarah, who is Shane’s fiancé, was freed on humanitarian grounds last September yet the judiciary has summoned her back for the trial even though a senior Iranian official, Mohammad Javad Larijani, has said publicly that she is incapable of spying.

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