Freed US Hikers Thank Sean Penn, Noam Chomsky, Yusuf Islam and Cindy Sheehan for Their Release
The hikers called for the release of all political prisoners in Iran and the United States when they arrived in Oman.
American hikers thanked Sean Penn, Noam Chomsky, Yusuf Islam and Cindy Sheehan for their release after returning to the US today.
FOX2 Now reported:
Two Americans convicted in Iran of spying and jailed mainly in isolation for more than two years arrived in New York on Sunday, saying they were innocent and had been held hostage simply because of their nationality.
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer — who were arrested with their friend Sarah Shourd while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009 — were freed on Wednesday after Oman paid bail of $1 million. Shourd was released on $500,000 bail a year ago.
Fattal and Bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison last month after a trial held behind closed doors. Washington denied that the group were spies and U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday they should never have been detained.
In remarks prepared for delivery at a news conference in New York later on Sunday, Bauer and Fattal said the case against them had been a “total sham” and made up of “ridiculous lies that depicted us as being involved in an elaborate American-Israeli conspiracy to undermine Iran.”
“The only explanation for our prolonged detention is the 32 years of mutual hostility between America and Iran,” Bauer said. “We were convicted of espionage because we are American. It’s that simple. No evidence was ever presented against us.”
“Sarah, Josh and I have experienced a taste of the Iranian regime’s brutality. We have been held in almost total isolation from the world and everything we love, stripped of our rights and freedom,” said Bauer, who is engaged to Shourd.
Fattal said that during their 781 days in jail they had 15 minutes of telephone calls with their families and one short visit from their mothers. He said they had staged repeated hunger strikes over demands that they be given letters sent by their families.
…They also expressed gratitude to actor Sean Penn, boxer Muhammad Ali, philosopher Noam Chomsky, singer Yusuf Islam, U.S. anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead Maguire.
In the Philadelphia-area home of Fattal’s family, neighbors hung a big blue “Welcome Home” banner and posted other homecoming messages in potted flowers.