International Human Rights Day - 10th December 2011
"We knew about Safe World for Women from my mom's letters and it made a big difference to us to know that the world was watching....
Knowing that there are people on the outside that believe in you, and that your innocence matters, is really everything."
This day in 2010, I interviewed Sarah Shourd.
It was an incredible feeling, having been campaigning for her freedom for many months.
In June 2011, Sarah came to the UK to campaign for the release of her fiance, Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal.
I was organising media interviews and accompanying Sarah around London.
Sarah took time to talk to me about her imprisonment and to explain how much it meant to her, Shane and Josh, to know that people throughout the world were advocating for them.
"There's nothing more helpful when you are in prison than knowing that there are people who are not going to forget that you are there - that you're not lost to the world.
That in some way you're still very much a part of the world, even though you can't actively participate in it.
When you're in prison, everything is taken away from you except your will to survive and your will to live.
Knowing that there are people on the outside that believe in you, and that your innocence matters, is really everything.
We knew about Safe World for Women from my mom's letters and it made a big difference to us to know that the world was watching. That people were paying attention to us.
I remember hearing that you had made videos about us and we were so moved and touched by that.
It's a very vulnerable situation to have the most horrible thing that's ever happened to you to be something you have to talk about again and again - and something that so many people all over the world know about.
These people who don't even know us are fighting for us - it's an amazing feeling."
In November 2011, my husband and I skyped with Sarah, Shane and Josh!
And that was certainly an amazing feeling!
Sarah Shourd was in solitary confinement in Evin Prison, Iran, for nearly 14 months.
She was released on 14th September 2010.
Her fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal were finally released on 21st September 2011.