The Americans, imprisoned for the past 10 months after straying into Iranian territory while hiking, have gotten engaged, according to their mothers, who visited them for the first time last week.
"Shane told me that he proposed to Sarah in the yard of Evin Prison on Jan. 6, the very same day that we applied for our visas to go visit them," Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, said in a joint statement from all three mothers. "We're all so overjoyed at the news but it's obviously impossible to know when the wedding will take place. We just hope and pray that Iran will do the right thing and release them so they can get on with their lives."
The third hiker in the group, Josh Fattal, will serve as best man at the eventual wedding.
Bauer fashioned engagement rings from threads from his shirt. "Sarah couldn't wait to show me her ring," Nora Shourd said. "It's one of the things that keeps her going – knowing that she and Shane have this unbreakable bond and a friend in Josh who will always be there for them."
The three were detained on July 31, 2009, after reportedly crossing into Iran by accident while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan. Bauer and Fattal, both 27, share a prison cell. Shourd, 31, is being held alone but is able to see the others twice a day for 30 minutes.
The mothers – including Fattal's mom, Laura – were granted visas to visit their children for 48 hours last week.
"The fact that we had to go home and they had to return to their cells was one of the worst moments of our lives," the mothers said. "We want this to end and we want them to come home. Our children have done nothing to deserve being held this long."
AFP / Getty