It has been 410 days since three American hikers were captured and jailed in Iran, now one of them is free.
“I want to thank every country, every official and individual that’s involved in this process,” said Sarah Shourd.
Shourd was let go after posting $500,000 bail. Shourd’s family did not pay the bail, but it’s unclear who did.
The United States government did not pay the bail. The U.S. has no diplomatic relations with Iran, so Swiss diplomats handled the details.
Iran’s president said Shourd was being released because of her health problems. Her mother said Shourd has a breast lump and pre-cancerous cervical cells.
Meanwhile, the men arrested with Shourd are still in jail, including Minnesota native and Shourd’s fiancé, Shane Bauer, and their friend Josh Fattal. The three were hiking along the border between Iran and Iraq in July 2009 when they were captured.
The news of Shourd’s release quickly traveled to Minnesota where Shane Bauer’s father Al Bauer said he was overjoyed that his son’s fiancée is finally free.
“Welcome home. We can’t wait to see you. We all love ya,” said Al Bauer.
Shourd told reporters Tuesday that she is grateful to be free, and is praying for the others to be released soon.
“I have a huge debt to repay to the world. My first priority is to help my fiancé, Shane Bauer, and my friend, Josh Fatall, gain their freedom. Because they don’t deserve to be in prison anymore,” said Shourd.
All three hikers were charged with spying. On Tuesday morning the Iranian government announced that the pre-trial detention for Bauer and Fattal has been extended for two months.
That announcement did not say when the two might actually go to trial. For Al Bauer and his family, that simply means a long and emotional wait will continue.
“It was just nice to see one come home anyways. It’s great to see one come home. I hope that Shane and Josh can follow shortly,” said Al Bauer.
There were conflicting reports in recent weeks over when and how Shourd would be released.
Some analysts think that could mean that the Iranian government is divided over what to do next with the men