The two American hikers detained for nearly two years in Iran on charges of espionage and trespassing have allegedly experienced physical abuse at the hands of prison guards and their former companion is worried they remain victims of mistreatment.
Sarah Shourd, who was arrested along with Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer after the trio crossed into Iran from Iraq during a July 2009 hiking trip, told "The Early Show" Wednesday that "fear for their safety has reached an all-time high" as their families continue to wait for some sort of legal resolution.
Shourd, who is engaged to Bauer, was released after 13 months in captivity on $500,000 bail but has no plans to return to face trial. The trio has maintained that they crossed into Iran unknowingly while they were hiking in the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.
While she was still in prison, Shourd said "a guard just went crazy" as they were walking back to their cells.
"They pushed Josh down the stairs, and Shane back into his cell and me back into my cell. And then a guard came into Shane's cell and just started slamming him against the wall. ... The back of his head was bloody," she said.
"Prison is a very scary place. And you don't know what's going to happen on a day-to-day basis. And now that I'm on the outside, I constantly worry that that or something worse could happen to them."
With little communication from inside the prison walls, the case has proved frustrating for Fattal's and Bauer's family.
After a preliminary court appearance in February, their trial was set to begin in May. But Bauer and Fattal were never brought to the courtroom and Iranian authorities have refused to give any explanation.
"We had hoped and prayed that an end to this nightmare was in sight. And now we have absolutely no information," Shourd said.
"There's absolutely no transparency. Our lawyer has done everything he can within Iranian law to defend Shane and Josh. And we do not understand why they haven't been given a fair trial after nearly 23 months. No evidence has been presented against them. They have never been allowed to meet with their lawyer. And many Iranian authorities have made statements, positive statements, leading us to believe that there will be a resolution to this. ... But we have seen no progress."