Iran’s auto­crat­ic regime today freed two Amer­i­can hik­ers that it has held in prison for more than two years in a move it called a “human­i­tar­i­an gesture”.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fat­tal, both twen­ty-nine, were allowed to leave Iran’s infa­mous Evin prison and tak­en by a diplo­mat­ic car­a­van to an Iran­ian air­port. They were then flown to the Sul­tanate of Oman, which helped secure their release. There, they were met by their families.

“We now all want noth­ing more than to wrap Shane and Josh in our arms, catch up on two lost years and make a new begin­ning, for them and for all of us,” the fam­i­lies said in a joint mes­sage dis­trib­uted to the press.

Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma hailed the news.

“I wel­come the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fat­tal from deten­tion in Iran and am very pleased that they are being reunit­ed with their loved ones,” the Pres­i­dent said in a just-released state­ment. “The tire­less advo­ca­cy of their fam­i­lies over these two years has won my admi­ra­tion, and is now com­ing to an end with Josh and Shane back in their arms. All Amer­i­cans join their fam­i­lies and friends in cel­e­brat­ing their long-await­ed return home.”

“We are deeply grate­ful to His Majesty Sul­tan Qaboos bin Said of Oman, Iraqi Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­a­bani, the Swiss gov­ern­ment, and to all our part­ners and allies around the world who have worked stead­fast­ly over the past two years to secure the release of Shane and Josh,” added the President.

“It is a wel­come – if long over­due – step that the Iran­ian author­i­ties have final­ly seen sense and released Shane Bauer and Josh Fat­tal,” agreed Has­si­ba Hadj Sahraoui, who serves as Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al Deputy Direc­tor for Mid­dle East and North Africa. Sahraoui point­ed out that the Iran­ian regime has held the two men for more than two years for no good reason.

“All avail­able evi­dence strong­ly sug­gests that the Iran­ian author­i­ties have known all along that these men were not spies and should have been released. They should now release all pris­on­ers of con­science held sim­ply for peace­ful­ly express­ing their views,” Sahraoui said in a state­ment post­ed to Amnesty’s web­site.

More infor­ma­tion about Shane, Josh, and their ordeal is avail­able at, a web­site set up to chron­i­cle their plight and explain how they came to be in the clutch­es of the Iran­ian regime in the first place.

We at NPI join Pres­i­dent Oba­ma in thank­ing every­one who worked to secure Josh and Shane’s release. We are glad to know that they will be now be able to return to free­dom here in the Unit­ed States. Hope­ful­ly, when they feel up to it, they’ll be will­ing to share their sto­ry with their coun­try­men and give us a bet­ter idea of what hap­pens to peo­ple that Iran’s regime arbi­trar­i­ly decides to throw in jail.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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2 replies on “Iran frees Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal — two U.S. hikers it has imprisoned since 2009”

  1. It’s great that the hik­ers are free! No thanks to one of the world’s most noto­ri­ous Holo­caust deniers and his minions.

    I’m real­ly lov­ing your site. I hap­pen to be a devel­op­er, and was won­der­ing: Do you ever run into any inter­net brows­er com­pat­i­bil­i­ty prob­lems? A num­ber of my read­ers have com­plained about my blog not work­ing cor­rect­ly in Inter­net Explor­er but looks great in Opera. Do you have any rec­om­men­da­tions to help fix this issue?

    1. Your ques­tion is off-top­ic for this post.

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