Journalist Detained in Iran

Yesterday, New America Media announced that correspondent Shane Bauer is among the three Americans who have been detained in Iran since July 31, when they were held on the Iran-Iraq border while hiking in Kurdistan.

According to his website, Shane Bauer is a freelance journalist and photographer based in the Middle East. A fluent speaker of Arabic, his work has largely focused on the Middle East and North Africa, where he has spent much of the past six years. He is a Middle East correspondent for New America Media and his work has been published in the US, UK, Middle East, and Canada including outlets such as the L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique (German edition),,, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Democracy Now!, E: The Environmental Magazine, and Black Entertainment Television.

Sandy Close the Executive Editor and Director of New America Media/Pacific News Service, issued the following statement yesterday in response to reports from Tehran that Bauer, his girlfriend Sarah Shourd and their close friend Josh Fattal are accused of espionage.“

We are deeply concerned that the Iranian authorities appear to be accusing Shane and his friends of espionage, an allegation that is both disturbing and absurd. We appeal to the Iranian authorities to treat this case for what it is and show compassion and leniency. The simple fact is that three friends went hiking and may have strayed across the Iranian border by mistake. Shane Bauer is a gifted writer and photographer whose regular freelance reporting for NAM from the Middle East has shed much-needed light on events in the Arab world. He had offered to report for us on the elections in Iraqi Kurdistan during his trip to the region, on what was first and foremost a vacation with friends. Our thoughts are with Shane’s family at this difficult time and with the families of Sarah and Josh. We continue to hope that they will be released soon.”

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