Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd (AP)

The sex that helped us survive: Love and defiance in an Iranian prison

Hope was fading for two Americans imprisoned in Iran — so they risked everything to spend one more night together


Shane BauerSarah Shourd
March 20, 2014 3:00AM (UTC)
Excerpted from "A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran"

"Shane and I had been living in Syria for about a year when Josh came to visit. Shane was working as a freelance journalist, and I was teaching Iraqi refugees.We wanted to show Josh everything. We spent the first few days riding mini-buses through the clogged streets of Damascus, visiting mosques and open markets — then dancing and drinking with our diverse and raucous group of friends at night. Josh’s arrival coincided with a week-long vacation from my job, so we decided to take a short trip. Shane and I wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been. We left a few days later, taking a bus to Turkey and crossing directly into Kurdistan — a semi-autonomous part of Iraq isolated from the violence that wracked the rest of the country. 

"After two days of visiting castles and museums, we headed to the Zagros Mountains, where locals directed us to a campground near a waterfall. After a breakfast of bread and cheese, we hiked up a trail we'd been told offered beautiful views. We walked for a few hours, up a winding valley between brown mountains mottled with patches of yellow grass that looked like lion's fur. Near the top of the ridge we noticed soldiers in the distance, motioning for us to walk in their direction. We complied, and a few frightening days later we found ourselves being driven into Tehran, where we were blindfolded, handed off and driven to Evin Prison. There, we were separated into individual cells." — Sarah Shourd

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Shane Bauer

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