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Out of an Iranian prison and coming to Beverly Hills

September 19, 2012|By Patt Morrison
  • Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were seized by Iranian authorities while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border in 2009. Shourd was freed 140 days later; Bauer and Fattal were convicted of spying and freed on bail on Sept. 21, 2011. The trio were reunited a few days later in New York, above, and Fattal stood as best man at Shourd and Bauer's wedding in May.
Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were seized by Iranian authorities… (Peter Shourd / EPA )

The saga of the three American hikers snatched by Iranian border guards along the Iran-Iraq border in 2009 and accused of spying and illegal entry held the world’s attention for more than two years.

Now, one year after he was released from an Iranian prison, Joshua Fattal, a teacher and environmentalist, will be a guest here at Yom Kippur services at the arts synagogue, the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts-Saban Theatre, on Sept. 26.

In my column last week, I spoke to Sarah Shourd, one of the three hikers, who is now married to fellow hiker Shane Bauer; Fattal was best man at their wedding in May.

She was released after 140 days in solitary confinement; Fattal and Bauer had to wait another year for freedom. They were convicted and sentenced to eight years by Iranian courts on espionage and illegal entry charges, and a worldwide human rights campaign for their release ended in their being released on Sept. 21, 2011, after $500,000 bail was posted for each.

Fattal’s father is an Israeli citizen, something the family was able to keep under the radar until Fattal and Bauer were released.


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