WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Senate has approved a Congressional Resolution by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Arlen Specter (D-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) urging the Iranian government to immediately and unconditionally release three young American hikers who have been detained in Iran since last July. Saturday marked one year since UC Berkeley graduates Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were taken into custody while hiking in a poorly marked border area in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The Congressional Resolution passed by unanimous consent without debate.
In May, Senators Casey, Boxer, Franken, Klobuchar and Specter publicly urged Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to immediately release Shourd, Fattal and Bauer. Barring that, the Senators asked that the hikers’ families finally be allowed to see their children. Subsequently, the hikers’ mothers were allowed to briefly visit their children in Iran. It was the only time the hikers have been allowed to see their families. Otherwise, they have had little contact with the outside world.
The full text of the Senators’ resolution is below:
Urging the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Immediately and Unconditionally Release Sarah Shourd, Joshua Fattal, and Shane Bauer on Humanitarian Grounds
Whereas on July 31, 2009, Sarah Shourd, Josh Fattal, and Shane Bauer were taken into custody by Iranian officials after they may have inadvertently crossed the poorly marked Iranian border while hiking in the Kurdistan region of Iraq;
Whereas Sarah, Josh, and Shane have been held since last year in Evin prison in Tehran;
Whereas the amount of time Sarah, Josh and Shane have spent in prison is unjustified in relation to their alleged offense of illegal entry into Iran;
Whereas during the period of their detention, Sarah, Josh, and Shane have only been afforded the opportunity to see their families during a brief visit in May;
Whereas according to their families, Sarah and Shane may be suffering from potentially serious health problems;
Whereas the families of Sarah, Josh and Shane have suffered greatly in the absence of their loved ones;
Whereas July 31, 2010 will mark the one-year anniversary of their detention;
Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That Congress—
(1) recognizes that Sarah Shourd, Joshua Fattal, and Shane Bauer have been held in custody in Iran for one year; and
(2) urges the Government of Iran to immediately and unconditionally release Sarah Shourd, Joshua Fattal, and Shane Bauer, on humanitarian grounds and allow them to reunite with their families in the United States