Opening the Box

Opening the Box

A story about the resilience of the human spirit—and its limits—this play leaves us with a glimmer of hope for the possibility of real transformation, even under the harshest and most horrifying conditions in U.S. prisons today. Journalist and playwright Sarah Shourd survived 410 days of solitary confinement while imprisoned as a political hostage by […]

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A Sliver of Light (Tour. Reviews. Order info)

Order A Sliver of Light now From 2009 to 2010 I was held as a political hostage by the Iranian government alongside my now-husband Shane Bauer and friend Josh Fattal. Our memoir A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran will be published by Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt on March 18th, 2014. “In this poignant memoir, […]

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OPENING THE BOX: click to view video

Opening the Box: Voices United Against Solitary Confinement. OPENING THE BOX Sarah Shourd is partnering with Solitary Watch to write a play using real stories from a spectrum of people living in solitary confinement. Click to contribute to this project! “I want the audience to breathe along with a young man having a panic attack […]

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Theatre of the Oppressed

Theatre of the Oppressed is a rehearsal for life, a safe space where we can invite critical thinking, brainstorm healthier strategies, discuss systemic privilege and oppression and basically investigate why we do what we do…

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Prolonged Solitary Confinement is Torture

The U.S. has the highest per capita prison population in the world and more people in prolonged solitary confinement than any other country. It doesn’t matter if a person is innocent or guilty, we have no right torture them. Since her release from prison in Iran, Sarah has joined nation-wide efforts to ban and/or severely […]

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Speaking Engagements

Sarah is available to give powerful and inspiring keynote speeches and guest lectures. Schedule a booking now with Jen Angel- jen@aidandabet.org “Sarah Shourd is the only American women who has survived a foreign government kidnapping, then returned to help rescue her husband and friend from the same hands that imprisoned her for over a year. It has […]

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sarah's journalism

Opening the Box
Opening the Box

A story about the resilience of the human spirit—and its limits—this play leaves us with a glimmer of hope for the possibility of real transformation, even under the harshest and most horrifying conditions in U.S. prisons today. Journalist and playwright Sarah Shourd survived 410 days of solitary confinement while impri…

human rights in iran

In 2009, 3 Americans Went For A Hike, And Ended Up In A Tehran Prison

In the summer of 2009, three young Americans went for a hike. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were living together in Syria, teaching and writing. Their friend Josh Fattal was visiting from the U.S. The three took a tour to a waterfall in the Kurdish highlands of Iraq, and as they hiked along a road […]…

end solitary confinement

How Solitary Confinement Destroys Women

The rate of female incarceration is increasing rapidly, mostly for crimes driven by poverty and abuse. Then solitary confinement compounds the trauma. “I always felt unsafe is solitary,” said 53-year-old Jacqueline Craig, who was incarcerated at age 16 for a drug offense and went on to spend 20 years of her life in pris…

lectures

Sarah Shourd, Herman Atkins and CIP director Justin Brooks
Sarah Shourd Speaks at San Diego Innocence Project about Ending Solitary Confinement

By, Jeff Chinn Yesterday, I had the privilege of hearing Sarah Shourd and Herman Atkins talk about the effects of prolonged solitary confinement and why that practice should be halted in U.S. prisons.  Shourd and Atkins spoke at California Western School of Law in an event that was standing room only and received significa…

free the hikers

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Kidnapped by Iran

Original story published on Mother Jones website. SHANE The nightmare began on July 31, 2009. I was living in Damascus, covering the Middle East as a freelance journalist, with my girlfriend, Sarah Shourd, a teacher. Our friend Josh Fattal had come to see us, and to celebrate, we took a short trip to Iraqi Kurdistan. [&hell…