Released U.S. Hiker Sarah Shourd Speaks at Women's eNews Luncheon

New York, NY, October 08, 2010 --( Women’s eNews has released, with her permission, a video of recently freed U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd talking candidly at a private luncheon held in her honor.

Sarah Shourd returned to the U.S. on Sept. 19 after 14 months in an Iranian prison, accused of spying. She spoke candidly about her experience in Tehran prison and her commitment to women's rights at a Women’s eNews small private luncheon held on Sept. 28 at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. The luncheon was previously scheduled to provide an opportunity for Shourd's mother, Nora, to plea her case.

Hours before her seizure by the Iranians, Shourd filed via e-mail from Damascus a news story about Syrian women for publication by Women's eNews. After Shourd was able to meet with her mother in May, Women's eNews gained permission to post the piece on its Web site.

Shourd spoke of the recent media blitz after her release as a "learning experience" which gave her "agency and power" to continue to advocate for the release of her fiance Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the couple's friend. The three were seized by Iranian authorities in July 2009 while on holiday along the Iraq-Iranian border and the two men remain in Iranian prison. At the luncheon, Shourd said:

“I am playing a really delicate line right now because I want to make both sides happy. I don’t want to alienate either side I want to encourage them to continue cooperating. There’s been some steps on the Iran side and we’re kind of waiting for the U.S. to actually come through with their promises to engage with Iran. We’re hoping that will be the thing to finish this nightmare for all of us."

Shourd also spoke at length of her commitment to women's rights and her gratitude to the international women's movement in assisting in freeing her.

Shourd's news article Syrian Women Reflect on Rare Political Victory was published with staff updates on June 7, 2010 -

Watch the 8.49 video clip of Shourd on Youtube -

Watch the 55 second video clip of Shourd on Youtube -

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Women's eNews
Charlotte Cooper
212 244 1720