Talk:2009–11 detention of American hikers by Iran

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Archive[edit]

Please archive this page. Thanks --188.23.187.76 (talk) 15:16, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

2009-2010 Iranian election protests[edit]

I wonder if they were going to Iran to cover the green revolution? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.23.162.153 (talk) 01:56, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Tourists/hikers[edit]

It is somewhat disingenuous to describe these people as 'tourists' and/or 'hikers' in the article. The facts are that Shane Bauer was employed as a journalist to cover elections in Kurdistan; that is the primary reason he was there:

'Sandy Close , executive director of the Pacific News Service, said that she had employed Mr Bauer, who specialises in the Middle East, to cover the elections of the autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. She said he had not intended to travel to neighbouring Iran. Mr Bauer told Ms Close in an e-mail that he wanted to “feel out the situation" in Kurdistan and get some ideas for stories. “Kurdistan is the big story in Iraq now,” Mr Bauer wrote in the e-mail provided to the Associated Press. “I'm off to Kurdistan.” ' Little grape (talk) 09:35, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

I have deleted all references to them being hikers except for the title and deleted two external references that failed our standards. I will try to get around to doing something with this article over the next few days but I am snowed with more important projects. Please keep in mind that referring to the three as "hikers" may itself be POV, it is far from clear as to whether the border crossing was intentional, and if so, for what purpose. Thanks for everyone's help.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:34, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
They were social justice activists, who had been living in Damascus, holidaying in Iraqi Kurdistan. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t17kb. Little grape, do you have references to back up what you say, please? Lopifalko (talk) 16:52, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
The link you provide to bbc.co.uk does not support a statement that they were "social justice activists. Am I looking in the wrong place? -- Komowkwa (talk) 00:49, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Did you listen to the interview with 'Nora Shourd, mother of hiker imprisoned in Iran' at that page? Lopifalko (talk) 11:32, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Any research on the web into what these people spent their lives doing will show them involved in various forms of activism, so if it's a better reference you're after then I'm sure we could find that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lopifalko (talkcontribs) 11:36, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
I listened. Although I think interpreting the interview as support for the comments you added is a big stretch, there may be some reference for your conclusion. Did you do "original research" in order to expand the discussion about the hikers which appears between 10:18 and 20:06 in that 45 min. program? Did someone ever refer to any of these three as "anti-war, social justice and Palestinian solidarity activists." The girl's mom says she was teaching english and was a woman's activist. You state that "Any research ... will show ..." your conclusion. I think a person putting such comments into an article should add the reference, rather than suggesting that those reading the Wikipedia article need to do it on their own. --- Komowkwa (talk) 17:43, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
"Did you do "original research"" - no, though I may not have referenced satisfactorily.
"Did someone ever refer to any of these three as "anti-war, social justice and Palestinian solidarity activists." In the Nora Shourd interview at 11:15 she says "they were doing activism". To label these people as merely 'hikers' seems disingenuous. Here are various quotes supporting the above:
"We are pro-Palestinian and against the Israeli occupation. Sarah and I met while organizing demonstrations against the Iraq war. We have protested AIPAC. We oppose aggressive US policies against Iran." - http://freeourfriends.eu/shane
"They have always taken a stand for justice in the Middle East. They have organised against the Iraq war, lived and worked with Palestinian and Iraqi refugees and campaigned against the Israeli occupation." - http://freeourfriends.eu/
"These young people represent a segment of the U.S. population that is critical of [US] policies, and often actively opposed to them." - Noam Chomsky at http://freeourfriends.eu/supporter/chomsky
"Sarah, Shane and Josh are doing what our daughter Rachel did before she was killed - standing up against injustice and for the freedom of the people of the Middle East." - Statement from Cindy and Craig Corrie at http://freeourfriends.eu/supporter/corries
"Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer are two of the bravest voices for justice in the Middle East that I met during my time in Syria. Strong critics of the US-led brutal war on Iraq and Israel´s ongoing violence against the Palestinian people, Sarah and Shane worked tirelessly in solidarity with the struggle for freedom, dignity, and self-determination for all people in the Middle East." - Anna Baltzer at http://freeourfriends.eu/supporter/anna-baltzer
"During February 2009, I worked with Shane Bauer in Baghdad...Shane is one of very few independent journalists who was working in Iraq. He opposed the US occupation of Iraq and was intent on using his pen to show the effects of the occupation to the world, in hopes of helping the Iraqi people." - Dahr Jamail at http://freeourfriends.eu/supporter/dahr-jamail
I've only gotten these quotes from the one web site because that seems to have enough info to answer your question, and the sources used at that site seem disparate and credible enough. But if the article itself needs further references then I'll look for them|. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lopifalko (talkcontribs) 16:36, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
From http://www.eurasiareview.com/201008157049/hikers-in-iran.html: "All three are progressive, anti-imperialist activists, which not only makes the charges against them particularly absurd, but also may also explain why the Obama administration has done so little to free them."; "Shane, Sarah, and Josh were graduates of the University of California at Berkeley and were well-known in the antiwar movement in the Bay Area. Josh ... was a leader in the movement to get military recruiters off campus"; "Shane was working as a freelance journalist in various countries in the Middle East, exposing a number of aspects of U.S. policy in the region that Washington would rather keep quiet. Along with his friend Dahr Jamail, he was one of the few independent journalists in Baghdad. His 2009 article Iraq's New Death Squad in The Nation magazine revealed how Iraq Special Operations Forces (ISOF), the largest foreign Special Forces outfit ever developed by the United States, was engaged in widespread human rights abuses. An article he wrote for Mother Jones last year revealed how the U.S. government, in an effort to bring temporary stability in Iraq, had funneled billions of dollars to what he referred to as “the country's next generation of strongmen.” At the time of his arrest, Shane was finishing a major investigative article on the illegal use by Israeli occupation forces of "non-lethal" weapons, such as the "long-range teargas canister" (which essentially acts as a missile), against nonviolent protesters."; "Before leaving the United States, Sarah was living in Oakland, where she was an organizer in support of immigrant rights, including the historic May Day marches of 2006. She also facilitated groups to the U.S.-Mexican border to challenge the Minutemen and other nativist vigilantes. Prior to moving to the Middle East, Sarah spent time in the Mexican state of Chiapas doing solidarity work with the Zapatistas. Her blogs on the ongoing repression by both the Mexican and Israeli governments were well-received by human rights activists."; "While in Oakland, both Sarah and Shane ... were actively involved with Direct Action to Stop the War in organizing nonviolent action campaigns against the U.S. occupation of Iraq."; "On moving to Syria, Sarah and Shane chose to live in a Palestinian refugee camp and engage in Palestine solidarity work. When Israeli occupation forces shot their friend Tristan Anderson in the head during a nonviolent protest in the West Bank, they went to visit him in an Israeli hospital just three weeks before their kidnapping."; "Perhaps as a testament to his own youthful idealism as a community organizer, President Barack Obama acknowledged their activism in a statement calling for their release, saying, “They are simply open-minded and adventurous young people who represent the best of America, and of the human spirit. They are teachers, artists, and advocates for social and environmental justice.”" Lopifalko (talk) 06:46, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

If memory serves in the latter part of last century [post Sha] it was considered quite a trekkers coup for a female to hike, unescorted, through Iran en route to India, Nepal etc and probably still is. There was too a heavily disguised female who rubbed the oversensitive nose of the Iranian authorities in this "verboten" activity [verboten because the then theory by Ayatollah Whomever was that their Iranian menfolk would be corrupted by any unattached/unescorted female] by having her subsequent travel book, which described her activities in Iran, published.

I find it strange [and misleading] that this information, as well as the well-known Iranan policy re unattached females, is not referred to in this wiki-article as background information. It is, after all, not a secret and is, I think, a transit visa condition for Iran as well as less progressive [I'm really not trying to be offensive] Muslim countries ending in -stan. As to the real reasons why this bunch found themselves trespassing, in these days of hand-held GPS devices etc is known only to themselves and the aforementioned Iranian authorities.

The truth of the matter lies somewhere in-between and will only become public once their various travelogues are in the public domain. But the smart money is on provocative/cheap thrill-seeking with the intention to publish a goggle- eyed "I wuz there" eventually and to use that as leverage for the talk show/lecture circuit to support their respective future "career" choices! It appears the situation simply ain't working as anticipated. Semperlibre (talk) 08:32, 12 September 2010 (UTC)


With all the places in the world practicing “social injustice” the most benign to blow “raspberries” at or to give a “Bronx cheer” to would currently be either Iran, Myanmar or North Korea. Or, if you like, become a militant anti-whaling campaigner.

These are the fashionable naughty boys, the politically ostracized nations and activities of our era and it is certainly not very dangerous to “defy” and to “take a stand” for their unacceptable social/environmental practices, ‘specially when you don’t even share the same continent.

And the personal kudos, the publicity rewards, the Warhollian 15 minutes within one’s own circle, are potentially enormous and, of course, to the confirmed egoist, priceless.

To brave the lions den, to make a clandestine, un-authorised entry into any of those countries or to “defy” a great lumbering factory ship while sitting in an outboard rubber dingy [ so David and Goliath, don’t you know ] definitely is publishing and talk show material. One appears soooo very brave!

No real personal danger [a little disconcerting though, when one is arrested] but very thrilling to the like-minded audience who doesn’t have access to trust-fund support, albeit second or third hand or the inclination to abandon their personal comfort zones. To some circles these “social activists” are the epitome of “role models”.

But how come I never hear of like individuals taking a personal stand against child-pornography, of announcing their arrival in places such as Kiev, in the Ukraine [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Ukrainian_child_pornography_raids ], with the loudly proclaimed intention of exposing the pimps and the political leaders of these anti-social practices to the world? How come they aren’t willing to publicly defy the child-prostitution industries in Cambodia, Thailand, India and elsewhere? How come they ain’t publicly chaining themselves to the palace walls of the corrupt fascistic and repressive dictators in Africa, South East Asia, the Middle East and South America? How come one never hears about their efforts to reform the Taliban from their outrageous practices and attitudes?

I can only, with all this information, sadly conclude that these persons such as Sarah Shourd (31), Shane Bauer (27) and Joshua Fattal (27) [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_detention_of_American_hikers_by_Iran ] are simply grandstanding, seeking cheap publicity, truly insincere in their efforts to truly expose serious social injustices.

They are, when all is said and done, hugely hamming it up with the benefit of a government paid-for safety net. And the only price they have to pay is to live, for a little while, like a poverty-stricken third world peasant. The miserable difference is that, for true poverty-stricken peasantry, there is no forgone eventual release and nor a raft of publishers madly waving their cheque books!

These show-offs, in actual fact, deserve no applause but only our opprobrium!

Thank you for this opportunity. James Mashele. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 41.113.34.242 (talk) 12:45, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

What exactly are they grandstanding and "hamming it up" about? What "government paid-for safety net" are you talking about? What could possibly come out of, "Oops, I accidentally walked illegally into Iran!" besides them being seen as not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed? Living in poverty is quite a deal different than being in a political prison. This area of wikipedia discussion is not for you to vent at us and display your pointless ranting. You also might want to try living in poverty like 15% of America does before you go around talking about "third world peasants". 67.246.185.40 (talk) 09:29, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Religions of these people[edit]

What are the religions of these people? Mention is made that the Joshua guy was confused a Jewish guy in New York. Are any of them Jewish? How about this Sarah person. Thanks in advance to anybody that knows (by the way, I personally find it a little hard to believe that these people were tourist hiking so close to the Iranian border, but that's a personal opinion) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.236.56 (talk) 17:34, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

In every case they are jewish, their names and looks says it all. --93.82.5.210 (talk) 04:24, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
You know, I wondered about that. It reminds me of that Nick Berg guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Berg I was flabbergasted when I read that he was Jewish and that he was in Iraq to "try to drum up business for his antenna installation business". I knew that couldn't be true - I mean, a Jew doesn't go into a war zone in an Muslim country - that would be like a Jew going to Nazi Germany during WWII to "try to drum up business" and - lo' and behold - he gets killed. Please. Now these people were "tourist hiking" and strayed over the border into Iran. Hilarious. But the thing is, the American public doesn't get the picture when they hear these things. I remember there was another case, that Daniel Pearl guy who worked for The Wall Street Journal and supposedly was in Pakistan of all places to interview a top al-Queda operative and ask him "Why do you hate us???" It was an obvious cover-story, a lie. I figure that guy was on a spy mission to locate the al-Queda operative and then report his whereabouts. These cover stories just aren't believeable. You just gotta wonder where they get them from. Oh, by the way, I myself am planning on taking a vacation in Afghanistan/Pakistan this year - I hear that the Kyber Pass is beautiful. LOL.
Is it OK for me to just remove text like this where people are misusing Wikipedia as a forum? I'm fairly new here so not too sure. Thanks Lopifalko (talk) 11:53, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, it depends. First of all, this is a Discussion page. Secondly, it depends on whether it is relevant. This incident occurred in a part of the world where there is a huge religious conflict currently on-going, so the religions of anybody that gets reported in the news (and the reporters themselves) is relevant. And you have got to admit that the cover stories put out about why Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl are simply not plausible. But don't paint me as anti-Jewish - I know that this Sarah Shourd person helped - no, was COMMITTED - to helping Palestinians (well, some would say she was a plant, an spy, but I have no idea - but the idea should be discussed) - and I know that the Palestinians are Semites themselves, i.e. they are basically Jews (WERE Jews before the advent of Islam in 600 A.D.) - so please don't paint me as an anti-Semite (which I think you are trying to do) - I think the issue(s) are complex (VERY complex), and they should be discussed somewhere, and Wikipedia sounds to me as good a place as any. By the way, if you want to my personal opinion/motivation(s) - I am neither Jew nor Muslim - and I actually don't care who wins the conflict - I couldn't care less who ends up with Jerusalem - my main point of objection is the cost in both financial terms and human lives that it is costing the rest of the Earth/the rest of humanity. If I had my way, we would just build a wall around that whole part of the world and let them fight it out - so please don't try to paint me as being anti-Semitic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.236.56 (talk) 11:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I was enquiring about deleting this thread because, as it says in at the top of this page, 'This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject.' Lopifalko (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:56, 17 September 2010 (UTC).
I am tempted to say, "You don't get the point", but I think you DO get the point . . . . . and just don't want it discussed in this Wikipedia article. Leaving out the religious faiths of people involved in the current Middle East dispute is tantamount to having history books about WWII wiped with regards to religion. Heck, Nazi Germany didn't kill 6 millino Jews - they simply killed 6 million anonymous people along with tens of millions of others. Look, I know you don't like it, but the plain fact is, any article which wants to be objective about any incident in the current Middle East conflict has got to mention the religious backgrounds of the people involved. And the backgrounds of the reporters, by the way (and who owns or controls the news media/outlets - the mis-reporting and LACK of reporting on this issue alone has cost the Jewish people a HUGE amount of support around the world - I say it would be better if everything was out front).
Personally I agree with what I see written around the web about them not being religions people because their _actions_ speak to that - they seem, to my reading, to be aetheists. However I am guided by my principle that I would not stand in the way of discussion about their religion here if it were seeking to improve the factuality of the article. So you've got me wrong by suggesting I want to prevent discussion. The reason I suggest it should be removed here is because this is not suppoed to be a general discussion page, and the above is full of baseless conjecture. You'll notice the religion of these people is being based upon such attributes as "their names and looks says it all" - that seems eniterly divorced from reality. Lopifalko (talk) 21:14, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Title[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was page moved. December21st2012Freak Happy New Year! 00:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


How could they be spy's - they were way to liberal and were against the government - that said - they were outside the box and on their own -

2009 detention of American hikers intruding into Iran2009 detention of American hikers by Iran — I think we could have a better title for this article. "Intruding" seems a bit POV, and I think we could afford to simplify a bit. Something akin to 2009 imprisonment of American journalists by North Korea. I've made a proposal along with the move template above, but there are other options, such as simply 2009 detention of Americans by Iran. Grsz11 01:27, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support definitely a better title. Airplaneman talk 02:23, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support much more neutral. --Labattblueboy (talk) 21:21, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support More neutral, plus it's not even known if they actually crossed into Iran (it wouldn't be the first time a country went into another country to kidnap people and Iran has snuck into Iraq before). TJ Spyke 00:42, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support the new title as nominated. Get's the POV out of the title. Courcelles (talk) 07:33, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Bail for freedom?[edit]

"The two men were released from prison and flown back to the United States via Oman on September 21, 2011, following a 10 billion rial (about 930,000 US$) bail-for-freedom deal posted by the sultan of Oman."

What is bail-for-freedom? A quick google search gives me no hits except for sites talking about this case. If "bail-for-freedom" is just a euphamism for "ransom payment", at least put it in quotes. Otherwise, please link to an article describing the terms of "bail-for-freedom". "Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (and possibly be brought up on charges of the crime of failure to appear)." 173.65.30.236 (talk) 01:50, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

The word you are looking for is "fine".24.244.144.3 (talk) 05:30, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

rvt of title[edit]

Title was rvt here to take out the word "hiker". I've reverted it. --BoogaLouie (talk) 23:21, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

OOPS!! --BoogaLouie (talk) 23:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Page moved as uncontroversial. Other aspects of the title should be discussed in a separate move request. Ucucha (talk) 00:36, 30 September 2011 (UTC)



2009–2011 detention of American hikers by Iran to 2009–20112009–2011 detention of American hikers by Iran – Made a sloppy mistake changing name to "2009–2011 detention of American hikers by Iran to 2009–2011". Want to remove the second "2009-2011". Want to include the word "hiker" because (as explained in my edit summary) almost every article in the media calls them "hikers" so the idea they might be "American spies" just never caught on. Anyway, the regime never offered anything by way of evidence they were anything but hikers. BoogaLouie (talk) 23:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

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