Sunday, September 19, 2010

Iran: kidnapper?

I have been wondering all week if I should post something about this. It’s been bothering me, because I don’t like to stay silent, but at the same time, I think my reaction may be extreme. Nevertheless, I think Iran’s actions with regards to the three hikers arrested last year and accused of espionage should at this point constitute a crime (specifically: kidnapping).


The hikers were arrested on a charge of espionage. They should have been tried, convicted and sentenced, or they should have been found “not guilty” and released. However, last weekend one of the hikers, Sarah Shourd, was to be released on humanitarian grounds (illness) prior to trial. Then suddenly there was a problem, and she was not to be released. Then there was an issue of a $500,000 “bail.”

I’m still not clear on whether or not that money was paid (I believe it was). However, paid or not, it cannot be called “bail.” I believe “bail” is a universal concept, and that concept is not “Get out of jail for money.” Some people may think it is, but bail is actually a way a government allows someone out of jail before trial while (attempting to) guarantee they will appear at trial. Appear at trial, get your money back. Don’t appear, lose the money. Bail has to be affordable, but too much to risk losing.

In Ms. Shourd’s case, bail was to be paid with no expectation she would appear at trial, or even return if tried and sentenced in absentia. I guess guilt is unimportant (especially if the charges are completely bogus, though I don’t know enough about the case to make that statement). More importantly, when you think about it, Iran is making a much worse statement here: We have kidnapped your citizens. Drop $500,000 in unmarked bills in the trash can marked “ransom” at the Iraqi border. Wait – who cares if they are unmarked? We are Iran…what are you going to do to us??

Please...opine...what should we do about such a horrible action/statement by a sovereign nation? I have my own opinions, and as I said, they are extreme.

No comments:

Post a Comment