US Hiker Suffering PTSD, Depression

Sarah Shourd won't return to Iran for trial
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2011 3:45 AM CDT
Hiker Sarah Shourd Says She Won't Return to Iran for Espionage Trial
In this May 20, 2010 file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Sarah Shourd, center, and Josh Fattal sit at the Esteghlal Hotel in Tehran, Iran.    (AP Photo/Press TV, File)

(Newser) – The hiker Iran released last fall says she won't be returning to stand trial for espionage with her two companions. Sarah Shourd is due in court May 11, along with her fiance Shane Bauer and friend Josh Fattal, who have both been in a Tehran prison for 21 months. Shourd says she is suffering depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and a clinical psychologist has concluded that her symptoms would worsen if she returned to Iran to stand trial, CNN reports.

"There is little doubt that Ms. Shourd's symptoms would worsen substantially if she were forced to return to Iran and face criminal sanctions," her psychologist wrote in a report to the Iranian Revolutionary Court. Iran has said it will try her in absentia if she doesn't show. Relatives of Bauer and Fattal say they support Shourd's decision. The men have not been allowed to speak to their families since November of last year. (Read more hikers Iran trial stories.)

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