Prison Yard Proposal for Iran Hiker

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The mothers of two of the three Americans held for months in an Iranian prison said Monday that their children have become engaged and plan to marry after they are released.
         
    The mothers of all three Americans are back in the United States after visiting Iran to see their children. During the visit, they learned that Shane Bauer had proposed to Sarah Shourd at Evin Prison in Tehran.

    Bauer and Fattal, who had been roommates at Berkeley, now share a cell in Evin Prison. Shourd is held separately but is allowed to see the two men twice a day. Their mothers said on the day Bauer proposed, he asked Fattal to hang back from their daily meeting so he could pop the question.
         
    "They are going to get married as soon as they have their freedom," Nora Shourd, who lives in Oakland, said Monday on "Good Morning America."

    Shourd also said, "Sarah couldn't wait to show me her ring. It's  one of the things that keeps her going - knowing that she and Shane have this  unbreakable bond and a friend in Josh who will always be there for them."
       
     Bauer made a ring out of threads from his shirt and gave it to Shourd in the prison's exercise area. The third imprisoned American, Josh Fattal, will be the couple's best man, the mothers said.
         

    Laura Fattal said, "On the day Shane proposed to Sarah, he asked Josh to  stay back from their daily meeting with Sarah so he could pop the question.  Knowing Josh, he's already working on his speech and thinking of when he can  give it."

    The three friends were taken into custody by Iranian forces last July along the border between Iraq and Iran. Their families say they were on an innocent hike, but Iranian officials have accused them of spying for the U.S. The families deny the allegations.
         
    The three mothers -- Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn.; Shourd and Fattal  -- traveled to Iran last week and had hoped to bring their children home, but came back empty-handed.   Shourd talked to reporters briefly upon her return home Saturday.

    "The emotional strain on them; the loneliness is very difficult and they can't understand why they're still in jail," Shourd said.
         
    Over the weekend, Iran's intelligence minister said Iran would be open to a prisoner swap if Washington makes a humanitarian gesture toward Iranians in U.S. custody similar to the one Iran made by permitting mothers' visit.
         
    Prior to their detainment, Bauer and Shourd had been living together in Damascus, Syria, where Bauer was working as a freelance journalist and Shourd as an English teacher.
       
     Fattal, an environmentalist and a fellow graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, came to visit them last July, and the three went on what their families say was a hiking trip to the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.
          
     He loves her, and they have gone through a lot in life together and specifically now. And they are anxious for us all to be a family."

     In a statement on Saturday, after the mothers returned to the  U.S., Shourd said, "We are satisfied that our children are being well  treated and were extremely relieved to see for ourselves that they are in  reasonable health after their long period of confinement."

         But Shourd added, "The loneliness and emotional strain on them is  difficult and they told us that they just cannot understand why they are  still in jail. Shane, Sarah and Josh have done nothing to deserve their  continued detention and the lack of movement in their case troubles us  greatly."