A core timeline of events for Sarah, Shane, and Josh, the three US hikers detained in Iran.

ON JULY 31, 2009, three American hikers — Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd — were arrested in the unmarked border region of Iraqi Kurdistan. All three were detained on charges of illegal entry and espionage.

I learned about the arrest from the emails that began piling into my inbox. I was editor of Brave New Traveler at the time, and Sarah was one of our former authors. Her beautiful article, A Muslim Family Finds Solace in Ramadan, had been published a year earlier.

Now, after more than 2 years, the nightmare appears to be over. While Sarah was released a year ago, the remaining American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have just now been freed.

While the ordeal is over, as Sarah wrote in a previous letter, the real work is yet to begin:

When Josh and Shane are free we will all be able to exhale collectively, pause and then ask, “Who’s next” There are millions more lined up, waiting to get free. “What’s next?” There are countless changes that devoted, committed people like ourselves can band together and fight for. I’m looking forward to the day. I’m hoping that Shane and Josh will soon be standing with us, asking these questions and finding answers. – Open letter from Sarah Shourd

Timeline of the events

All of us at Matador are so happy for the hikers and their families and wish them safe travels on their way home.

Timeline compiled by Abbie Mood.