Two Years Too Long

07/25/2011 09:37 am ET | Updated Sep 24, 2011
  • Alex Fattal Assistant Professor at Penn State, Department of Film-Video and Media Studies

This Sunday, my brother Josh and his friend Shane Bauer are due to have their final hearing in an Iranian court, where they are falsely accused of espionage. It will be exactly two years since their capture on the unmarked border with Iraqi Kurdistan, a semi-autonomous region of northern Iraq where they were hiking during a vacation.

Sunday is a perfect opportunity for Iranian authorities finally to end the needless suffering that Shane, Josh and our families have had to endure. Friends and supporters throughout the world will join our families in prayer that, after two years of unfulfilled promises and delay, Iran will finally do what is just, compassionate and humane and set Josh and Shane free.

On Friday, we will hold a rally for Josh and Shane's freedom outside of Iran's Mission to the United Nations in New York. It is a rally in the spirit of peace, compassion and humanitarianism. It is a rally to show our resolve to continue the quest for Shane and Josh's freedom until they are reunited with us.

Shane and Josh have still not been able to meet privately with their lawyer, Mr. Masoud Shafii, who has requested such a meeting for 19 months. After long stretches in solitary confinement and several hunger strikes, Josh and Shane have endured far too much hardship. We hope that on Sunday, the Iranian judiciary will confirm what Shane and Josh's investigators told them 21 months ago and the world already knows: that they are innocent.

We are calling the mobilization Two Years Too Long and would like you to join. Muhammad Ali, Desmond Tutu, Ban Ki-moon and Ela Gandhi, among many others, have called for Josh and Shane's immediate release. Now we need your voice. Please join us in New York.

When Friday, July 29 · 12:00pm - 2:00pm

Where Iranian Mission to the United Nations

622 Third Ave. (3rd Ave & 40th St)

New York, NY

If you can't make it to New York, here are a few other ways you can raise your voice for Josh and Shane's freedom:

  • Take a photograph of yourself holding a sign calling for Josh and Shane's freedom and post it on your Facebook page and ours
  • Write to Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei
  • Sign our petition
  • Light a candle and say a prayer for Shane and Josh as their trial approaches