Madam Secretary

Clinton tells Iran: ‘Do the right thing’ — free the 3 hikers

Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton was having the time of her life celebrating the wedding of her daughter Chelsea. But going into the weekend, she took the time to remember that there are three moms out there who had nothing to celebrate on July 31. Laura Fattal, Cindy Hickey, and Nora Shourd (above, left to ...

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton was having the time of her life celebrating the wedding of her daughter Chelsea. But going into the weekend, she took the time to remember that there are three moms out there who had nothing to celebrate on July 31.

Laura Fattal, Cindy Hickey, and Nora Shourd (above, left to right, in front of the Iranian mission in New York on July 30) are the mothers of the three American hikers who have been detained without charge in Iran since July 31, 2009. They had been hiking in the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq when they were captured by Iranian authorities, who accuse them of illegally crossing the border into Iran.

On July 30, the day before Chelsea's wedding, Clinton made the following statement in recognition of the one-year mark of the hikers' capture:

Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton was having the time of her life celebrating the wedding of her daughter Chelsea. But going into the weekend, she took the time to remember that there are three moms out there who had nothing to celebrate on July 31.

Laura Fattal, Cindy Hickey, and Nora Shourd (above, left to right, in front of the Iranian mission in New York on July 30) are the mothers of the three American hikers who have been detained without charge in Iran since July 31, 2009. They had been hiking in the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq when they were captured by Iranian authorities, who accuse them of illegally crossing the border into Iran.

On July 30, the day before Chelsea’s wedding, Clinton made the following statement in recognition of the one-year mark of the hikers’ capture:

Tomorrow [July 31] marks the year-long detention of three U.S. citizens, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Joshua Fattal, for allegedly crossing into Iran during a hiking vacation in Iraqi Kurdistan. Their release by Iran is long overdue and their continued detention is unjustifiable.

Iran has long espoused to the world its commitment to justice, security and peace for all. We urge Iran to take action in the case of the three hikers – detained for a year in Evin Prison without charge – to match its stated commitments. We call on Iran to do the right thing and allow these three Americans to return home to their families.

A lot of commenters on the Internet have said the hikers were foolish to go trekking in Iraq and so close to Iran. Nevertheless, a year in Evin prison is more than enough "punishment" for an unwise decision. No credible evidence has been presented that they were spies or were there to do anything illegal. It’s time for Iran to do the right thing and let the hikers go back home to their moms.

And note to Americans out there: Don’t go hiking anywhere near a country that doesn’t like the United States. You could cause your mother a lot of heartache.

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP
Tag: Iran

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration of a captain's hat with a 1980s era Pepsi logo and USSR and U.S. flag pins.

The Doomed Voyage of Pepsi’s Soviet Navy

A three-decade dream of communist markets ended in the scrapyard.

Demonstrators with CASA in Action and Service Employees International Union 32BJ march against the Trump administration’s immigration policies in Washington on May 1, 2017.

Unionization Can End America’s Supply Chain Crisis

Allowing workers to organize would protect and empower undocumented immigrants critical to the U.S. economy.

The downtown district of Wilmington, Delaware, is seen on Aug. 19, 2016.

How Delaware Became the World’s Biggest Offshore Haven

Kleptocrats, criminals, and con artists have all parked their illicit gains in the state.