One free, two to go

Along with millions of Americans, we are pleased that Sarah Shourd was released from an Iranian prison Tuesday, even though her $500,000 “bail” should be more correctly viewed as ransom to the regime in Iran.

But her fellow Americans and hiking companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, remain in the notorious Evin Prison in Iran, and Iranian officials seem intent on putting them on public display in a show trial on dubious charges of espionage.

The two men apparently don’t have serious health problems, as Shourd is said to have, which might embarrass the Islamic Iranian regime. Hence, there is no move to allow them to be released with a hefty bond.

The Iranians claim the trio was spying when they were hiking in the scenic mountains of Iraq’s Kurdish region in July 2009 and allegedly strayed across the border into Iran. But there is little support for that claim.

In fact, there is growing evidence they are simply victims of a power struggle between rival factions in Iran.

So, while Shourd’s release from captivity is welcome news, we can only hope her companions will follow soon.


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