We Must Not Forget the Ongoing Crisis in Iran

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On July 31, 2009, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal had been enjoying a recreational hike in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan when Iranian forces captured them. After suffering 410 days in solitary confinement, Sarah Shourd was released. Grievously, her fiancée, Shane Bauer, and close friend, Josh Fattal, still remain detained.

All three individuals are recent graduates of the University of California, Berkeley. This detail, along with the enormously inhumane and arbitrary nature of their imprisonment, must propel us all into action. While the families of both men continue their pleas for help, we must all acknowledge the severity of these human rights violations and dissolve our complacency.

As we all are students of the University of California, the pain endured by Sara, Shane and Josh impacts us on a sharply tender and personal level. We must unite as a community in order to solidly express our deep concerns for these three individuals and for similar inhumane acts that have happened before, are happening now and will happen in the future.

Nov. 4 marked the 31st anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis. During this tragedy - which sparked tensions between the United States and Iran - 52 American citizens suffered imprisonment for 444 days.

Unbelievably, the number of days Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have spent detained exceeds 444. And yet, not enough people have acknowledged that this is a crisis just the same. These people have been unjustly detained by the Islamic Republic of Iran the past year and have had their rights denied to them

Your university's participation in passing a resolution appealing for the release of Shane and Josh will represent a step away from the apathy that so often allows such actions to take place.

Instead, it will illuminate the importance of not only feeling sympathy, but also transforming those feelings into action.


Arezou Massoumi is a UC San Diego student. Reply to [email protected]



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