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3 Missing 'Hikers' detained in Iran

Who goes hiking near Iran without looking at a map or consulting a local guide?
12 years ago, December 15th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #96327  
Im wondering what exactly these three were up to?

Every few months I see Travelblog posts from Iraqi. Common sense tells me that I should be exactly sure of my location if I was anywhere near the Iranian border with plans for going on an extended hike. Its been over 100 days since their detention, and all the news articles never remotely entertain the possibility that these three were doing something they weren't supposed to. Instead the western media seems to defer to their families explanations. And we all know how objective and rational families can be! Im not saying they are spies, but how could they simply be 'lost hikers'?

"Shane Bauer, 27, is a freelance journalist and photographer, who specialises in reporting on the Middle East and the Darfur region of Sudan. He lives in Damascus with Sarah Shourd, 31, a teacher and writer. Josh Fattal, 27, an environmentalist and teacher, had travelled to Damascus in the summer to join them for the hiking holiday."

My point is many of us on this site would have no trouble travelling to Iraqi Kurdistan, but which of those among us would be foolish enough to stray into Iran, supposedly without even knowing it? Who goes on a multi day hike without a map or local guide, especially in sensitive regions like Iraq/Iran?

If the Iranian government detained us and read our Travelblogs, do you think some of us would be considered spies?

"Hillary Clinton urges Iran to free US hikers"
Reply to this

12 years ago, December 16th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #96471  
Hello Stephen 😊

You dont have to be up to much to be arrested in Iran. Quite a few get arrested for hiking too close to millitary bases. Maps dont show where the millitary bases are. I am not sure the guides even know where they are. And there have been people arrested for being illegally on Iranian territory, when they were near it, rather than on it. And these incidents of arrests increase as tension between Iran and the west increases. The Iranian authorities are maniacs and somewhat unpredictable, in my opinion.

Journalists and photographers tend to be more often the victims of these arrests. It is a case of, any excuse to arrest them, and restrict their reporting.

If the Iranian government detained us and read our Travelblogs, do you think some of us would be considered spies?

It is possible. I would recommend that anyone applying for visas for, or travelling to certain countries hide or remove any blogs which discuss politics, especially politics about the country they are going to.

Mel Reply to this

12 years ago, February 18th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #104156  
From all the good hiking spots, they choose Iran? That sounds weird. It is really scary in Iran, though you're right that you cant get arrested for nothing. Nut safety precautions first. Why would you like to hike in this war zone? Is i for additional thrill?

Reply to this

12 years ago, February 18th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #104158  

...though you're right that you cant get arrested for nothing.

When human rights standards are below a certain level, you can be arrested and detained with any excuse.

Why would you like to hike in this war zone?

There is currently no war zone in Iran.

Is i for additional thrill?

I think most do it, because of the natural beauty in Iran. But, I also think, that many are unaware that they could be imprisoned for going near military bases, even if it was by accident.
Reply to this

12 years ago, February 23rd 2010 No: 5 Msg: #104741  
N Posts: 2
Well, I thing that travelling in countries like Iran and not only. We have to be strictly respect of the rules. Especially when talking about religion or political correct...
From my sister's experience Iran is a very safe country for both man, women travel even along.
I hope that soon I will be able to tell you my personal opinion 😉 Reply to this

12 years ago, April 8th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #108295  
I cannot believe that people actually believe that these people were "hiking" in Iraq. For one, 2 of the hikers live in Damascus. They know damn well that hiking anywhere in the vicinity of Iran--let alone, westerners hiking period --by themselves-- in the middle east! Risk? No suicide/deathwish. Yes, as mentioned above- it does not take Iran much to arrest people. More the reason to avoid it.
Now, if anyone knows the danger of the situation- it would be the 2 "freelance photographers for the middle east and Darfur". I have hiked in some very dangerous places in the world- and I can tell you- I would not even consider hiking in Northern Iraq- where there could be insurgents hiding, or near the Iranian border where snach and grab/ and drug smugglers have their routes. Not only that- these people live in the mideast- morning noon and night. Why in god's name would they want to hike in Northern Iraq. Wouldnt they prefere a cooler, safer, more lush place since they must be used to the desert environment? Like Maybe the Balkans or Austria, or fly to Canada?
No- this is complete BS. It does not take an expert in geopolitics to know that you do not go walking anywhere w/in 100miles of the Iranian boder, let alone hike in Norther Iraq???? Without a map???? I just caught that one just now....WTef? No map. Hiking in a desert with no map. They are either doing some sort of surveillance or they are extremely dumb. That would be totally foolish if they really were hiking like their families claim- pure and simple lack of any sort of reasoning. Orrrrr they knew damn well what they were doing and why they were there.
If they are THAT stupid, I cant say I feel amazingly sad for them. If they were that stupid, I might feel a little sad for them- but at the same time- Natural Selection at work before your very eyes.
Nooo sir- After seeing pictures of people getting their heads sawed off, prisoners being executed on youtube, on and on..do you think I am going to pack a picnic and drive up to Northern Iraq like its driving to Northern California to visit mount Shasta???? No. Would any of you do this?? Tell me who here would do this. If you would- put your money where you mouth is and post a blog about your trip to the border region of N. Iraq and Iran. I would love to see it. I have hiked and done research in Sumatra, Borneo, Malaysia, French Guiana, Morocco.. and I made sure I knew what I was getting into. Reply to this

12 years ago, April 8th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #108296  
Amen Daniel! I wholeheartedly agree Reply to this

12 years ago, May 6th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #110311  
B Posts: 37
To be honest, if they are from the west i couldn't care less what they where doing over there. If it was a UK citizen i know i'd want the government to do everything it could to get them back and so i think the US should do everything it can to get these guys back (i haven't read the article and have no idea if they are back yet!).

Why would you not feel bad for them if they where caught out of stupidity? So what? If you acted like an idiot and got kidnapped would that make your family less worried about you? Would it make the experieince any easier? No, i think not.

As to whether they where actualy hiking or if they were up to something, who knows. It sounds like a silly place to go hiking but people love adventure and maybe the fact it was a little more dangerous made it more appealing to them? Or maybe they are just doing some kind of spying. Honestly i couldn't give an opinion as we have very little info.

But to re-itterate - who cares what they where doing? - If they where there on some kind of government mission then we can assume it has the wests best interests at heart and if they were hicking then they have been unlucky. Either way they should be supported and freed from Iran. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 18th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #111257  
Can I join an ongoing forum to add an observation re: an ongoing topic of discussion? i.e. the discussion I just read back through about the 3 hikers who "STRAYED" into Iran. Their Mom's are going to travel over there to try and get them out tomorrow, they were all 3 on the TOday show this morning. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 18th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #111262  
1 posts merged into this topic from: Mom's travel to Iran Reply to this

12 years ago, May 18th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #111263  

Can I join an ongoing forum to add an observation

Of course you can. I moved your post to the discussion now. 😊

To add another post, just type in the white space, at the end of the discussion and then click on Submit. Reply to this

12 years ago, May 19th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #111354  

The mothers said Monday they are grateful to Iran for issuing the travel documents and call it "an encouraging development." The mothers say they are overjoyed that they will soon be able to hug their children, but are afraid they will be returning home without them.

Quote from Moms of 3 U.S. hikers going to Iran Reply to this

12 years ago, May 20th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #111401  
Once again, to agree with Stephen, Who goes hiking anywhere near Iran WITHOUT a map, really? If you had a neighbor who was armed to the teeth and nutty would you take the chance you might accidentally "Stray" onto his porch or would you just stay politely a few extra yards away from his property line "just in case"? Reply to this

12 years ago, May 21st 2010 No: 14 Msg: #111423  
Im totally convinced- they are fools... but probably not spies. I think thats what should happen, Iran should try them for the crime, which apparently they are going to do- but they should be found not guilty of espionage. Their only crime was stupidity- and time served should be sufficient to let them go. Iran welcomes tourits if you tell them you're coming- but they dont welcome US Citizens who sneak across the border of a US occupied country and then claim "we were lost". Give me a break! I dont feel bad for them because its their fault. Kind of like if a guy tries to pick a fight in a bar with the biggest guy there and then he gets his ass kicked. Do I feel bad for him? No he deserved it! What we are witnessing is nothing short of a Darwin Award. Only in order for it to truly be a Darwin award, they would have been carrying paintball guns and been shot dead on the spot by Iranian armed forces. If this happened and they could speak from their graves, I have no doubt theyd say "Why did they shoot us? we were just playing a quick game of paintball and were lost".

On a side note- does anyone want to go kayaking with me near the North Korean border with squirt guns? Reply to this

12 years ago, May 21st 2010 No: 15 Msg: #111483  
LOL Stephen! Yes, entirely appropriate comparison, maybe you'll get some interesting takers on your offer.
You know we had a young guy about 17 or 18 come to Hawaii about a year ago and jump on top of the blow hole, a natural seawater geyser out near Hanauma Bay, and shockingly instead of bounce around on top of the water spout and then land on his rear next to it, like it usually looks in cartoons, he died of his injuries. Very unfortunate but then his parents sued the state.
My friend's comment about this accident: "Sometimes stupidity is fatal" Reply to this

12 years ago, May 22nd 2010 No: 16 Msg: #111541  

The mothers of those three American hikers detained in Iran are attempting a charm offensive of their own. They’re heading to Tehran to appeal for the release of their children.

: :

With regards to the hikers held in Iran, Jack Matlock says the question is not whether the U.S. government is obliged to do something. The better question is what can the government do?

Quote from Moms of detained US hikers travel to Iran

I am surprised the Iranian government is keeping them detained for so long. They usually let people out within a few months, for this particular crime.

Reply to this

12 years ago, May 28th 2010 No: 17 Msg: #111998  

The mothers of three Americans jailed in Iran for 10 months left for home Friday, getting one last chance to embrace their children but failing to secure their immediate release.

Quote from U.S. Hikers' Moms Leave Iran without Children Reply to this

12 years ago, May 29th 2010 No: 18 Msg: #112042  
At least they got a visit with their kids, I'm sure it was very much of a comfort to all, moms and kids just to see, hug, touch each other. It appears Iran is holding out for a prisoner exchange with some big shot Iranian arms trader guy locked up in a hoosegow in the USA. Good luck to the kids. I hope in this instance their stupidity is not fatal. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 26th 2010 No: 19 Msg: #121781  
B Posts: 6
As a coincidence, I happened to click on this post from within my travelblog entry about driving through the Alborz Mountains in Iran. I was just reliving how beautiful it was.

My husband is Persian and I am American, so I managed to get my own Iranian passport. I've been there three times now and I am constantly being nudged to stop checking out and photographing the mesmerizing scenery. Iran is a pristine country with sprawling natural sites that are not commercially overrun as in the United States. It never would have occured to me otherwise, but I now think these hikers simply wandered into a beautiful place and simply wanted to experience it. They weren't spies - but their explanation about meandering into the mountains unaware of the border is slightly flawed: they probably knew, but hoped to go undetected to experience a glimpse of the wonder there.

I wish the best for the two that have not returned home. Reply to this

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