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Creator and Artist Stories

After 500 days in captivity, “Free the Hikers” releases music video

By Steve Grove

Director, News Lab

It was 500 days ago today that three American tourists, hiking in northern Iraq near the border of Iran, were detained by Iranian soldiers and imprisoned. Earlier this year, one of the three hikers, Sarah Shourd, was released -- but Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal (Sarah’s fiance) remain imprisoned, despite calls from the international community for their release. Today on our homepage, we’re featuring four videos from, the organization actively working for their release.

Over the last 500 days, the supporters of Shane, Josh, and Sarah have used online media to raise awareness for their plight. They even submitted a question for our YouTube interview with President Clinton, which he answered back in September. Since Sarah’s release, she has devoted her life to freeing her two companions; just last week, she released a music video on YouTube, written to lyrics she composed while in prison. A chilling account of the emotional toil of her days in jail, “Piece of Time” is a reminder of the one thing the hikers lose every day: time.

To see more videos from Free the Hikers, check out their YouTube channel, and to find out what you can do to help, head over to