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Families ask Iran to free remaining two imprisoned hikers

September 14, 2010 | 10:06 am

Hours after the Iranian government released one of three detained Americans, the hikers' families released a statement Tuesday asking officials in Tehran to show compassion and free the two that remain imprisoned.

Sarah Shourd, 32, was released from Evin Prison in Tehran on $500,000 bail Tuesday, more than 13 months after Iranian authorities arrested her along with fellow UC Berkeley graduates Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal during what their relatives say was an ill-fated hiking trip along the Iran-Iraq border.

“All of our families are relieved and overjoyed that Sarah has at last been released but we’re also heartbroken that Shane and Josh are still being denied their freedom for no just cause," the statement posted online by the hikers' relatives read. "They deserve to come home too. Iran has no grounds to deprive them of their liberty a moment longer."

Nora Shourd, Sarah Shourd’s mother, also issued a statement welcoming her daughter home, but said her freedom is "bittersweet" because she had to leave her friends behind.

“I’ve hoped and prayed for this moment for 410 days and I cannot wait to wrap Sarah in my arms and hold her close when we are finally together again," she said in the statement.

-- Tony Barboza