Wednesday, September 21, 2011

American hikers freed by Iran, finally

Hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have finally been released from Iran, and are on their way to Oman. At least, that is what Iran has announced. The young men had been imprisoned in Iran for two years. $1 million in bail was paid. 

CNN has a live blog with continuous coverage, here

The media has had to be careful about covering the delays in their release, out of fear of causing even more issues.

The hikers had been walking, they though, in Iraq, and say they were lured a few feet over the border.

The whole incident underlies the risks that Americans take on when traveling in countries that are hostile to the west, or even in friendlier countries with different judicial systems (as with Amanda Knox). 

Charities could be formed to raise bail for other Americans caught in such circusmtances. 

I have been thinking of visiting Finland and then St. Petersburg and Moscow, but I know I have to think carefully about Russia.  Could American bloggers be in trouble if picked up in countries hostile to western freedom of speech?

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