According to the mothers of the three hikers that are being held in Iran, a magazine article that contradicts government claims they crossed the border before their arrests is “concerning” and raises many questions.
The article written for the July 12 edition of The Nation cites two witnesses who said they saw members of Iran’s national police force cross the border into northern Iraq to apprehend Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal.
“The witnesses, who followed the Western-looking hikers out of curiosity, say that around 2 p.m. on July 31 (2009), as the hikers descended the mountain, uniformed guards from NAJA, Iran’s national police force, waved the hikers toward the Iranian side using ‘threatening’ and ‘menacing’ gestures,” the article says.
“When their calls were ignored, one officer fired a round into the air. As the hikers continued to hesitate, the guards walked a few yards into Iraqi territory, where they lack jurisdiction, and apprehended them,” according to the article.
If this story can be verified, then this is now a kidnapping as well as a hostage situation and as a citizen of the United States, I would demand the State Department act like men and take action. I would also encourage unilateral action be taken on the part of members of the UN to investigate, adjudicate and then prosecute the case for these hikers if the finding warrant it. On a personal note, I am getting sick and tired of the conduct of US representative who act like a sick herd old women when asked to confront the leadership of Iran on any issue.