Sarah Got to Say Goodbye

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Cal grad Sarah Shourd told her family that she was given the chance to say goodbye to her hiking mates, who are still being held in an Iranian prison.

    It must have been a bittersweet moment for Shourd because one of the two men still being held is her fiance.

    Shane Bauer was dating Shourd when they were detained, but he asked her to marry him during one of their brief visits together in prison.

    Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, told the Associate Press she spoke to Shourd on Wednesday.

    "She said they're very strong, like we've said all along," Hickey told the AP. "Physically they're still in prison, so it's no secret they're physically compromised a bit. But their spirits are up and they have positive attitudes, and that too was a great relief to me."

    Hickey said she had been up all night worrying her son and his friend Josh Fattal received no word of Shourd's release. But Shourd told the families about bidding them farewell and said they were in good spirits and confident of their own release soon.

    Shourd, Bauer and Fattal were detained along Iran's border with Iraq in late July of last year. 

    They say they were hiking in the mountainous Kurdish region but Iran claims they crossed the border intentionally because they are spies.

    Their families call the charge ridiculous.
        
    "Shane, my son, is a photojournalist and he's actually been critical of U.S. policy when it comes to the Middle East," Hickey told AP. "So the thought of him working in any capacity for the U.S. government is just totally ridiculous."

    There was no official word about Shourd's health Wednesday. She was supposed to see a doctor in Muscat, Oman.

    Shourd's mother has said her daughter was denied treatment while she was in prison for ailments that include a lump in her breast.

    Her immediate plans after Oman are unclear. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley suggested she may spend some more time in Muscat before deciding.
        
    "Sarah Shourd ... is taking a little bit of time, understandably, just to decompress," he said in Washington.

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