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Freed hiker releases song

Sarah Shourd is flanked by her fiance, Shane Bauer (left), and their friend Josh Fattal at a Tehran hotel in May. Sarah Shourd is flanked by her fiance, Shane Bauer (left), and their friend Josh Fattal at a Tehran hotel in May. (Associated Press/File)
By Terence Chea
Associated Press / December 2, 2010

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SAN FRANCISCO — Sarah Shourd, the American woman freed after more than a year in an Iranian prison, yesterday released a song she hopes will build support for the release of her fiance and friend who remain jailed in that country.

A music video of Shourd’s “Piece of Time’’ was posted on the online site YouTube.com and the song made available for download on the shopping site Amazon.com.

In a telephone interview, Shourd said that the song was one of many she composed while in solitary confinement at Evin Prison in Tehran. She would sing the songs to her fiance, Shane Bauer, and friend Josh Fattal when they were allowed to see each other in the prison courtyard.

“The reason I’m doing the song is for Shane and Josh and to help people understand what they are going through and what I went through,’’ Shourd said. “I started writing songs the first day that I was thrown into a cell alone. It was really one of the things that kept me sane.’’

The song was released to coincide with the start of the 17th month of imprisonment for Bauer and Fattal, who are graduates of the University of California, Berkeley.

The song describes Shourd’s arrest and imprisonment in Iran, beginning, “We walked across hard land/ Into a human trap/ They took us for one long ride/ You’re now in Iran, Iran.’’

Money raised from sales of the song will be used to pay for legal, translation, and travel expenses related to efforts to win the Americans’ freedom.

Shourd was released on humanitarian grounds in January, more than 13 months after the three Americans were arrested while hiking near the border of Iran and Iraq and accused of spying.

The Americans and US government say the three are innocent.

Shourd said she spoke to Fattal briefly over the Thanksgiving weekend when she was at his mother’s house and worries about their continuing isolation. He told her he is still singing her songs, she said.

Shourd is from Oakland. Bauer is a native of Onamia, Minn., and Fattal grew up in Pennsylvania.

Shourd said she has not had formal musical training but has always loved to sing.

“In prison, it became a lifeline for me,’’ she said. “My greatest hope is that Shane and Josh can be in my next video.’’