Imprisoned in Iran: Three Americans Detail the Horror of Their Experience in New Memoir

Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer, and Sarah Shourd discuss their time in Iranian prison in "Sliver of Light"
3:00 | 04/01/14

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Transcript for Imprisoned in Iran: Three Americans Detail the Horror of Their Experience in New Memoir
Welcome to power players I'm Karen Travers and today we're joined by Shane bowers Sara short and Joshua -- the top. Three Americans who were imprisoned in Iran after they unknowingly crossed the border during a hiking trip in Iraq. Let's just start off. Setting the scene and tell us about this trip -- talk. About going to Northern Iraq Iraqi Kurdistan -- have been traveling abroad and he came to us to spend some time with vascular illness. Them into Northern Iraq unbeknownst to many Americans is a safe place to travel we saw posters of northeast mountains and we -- where to go wouldn't. Someone put it out the waterfall. Called off the ballot and we took the taxi there. And there were hundreds of people enjoying themselves campaign by a waterfall and -- clinic that attempts last so just give this tell us about that day. Your hiking. Or hiking we didn't know we end up hiking along the border of between Iran and Iraq and -- -- card -- this -- become. And realized that while we're in the wrong place we did not mean to be here. I think partisan than take us down how a member -- merely taking a police station they saw an American passport and there's one guy saying. Same goes -- American you know in America has done to these Iranians they were imprisoned for two years I remember thinking. Two years why won't get caught up and disputes between that these two governments. And that of course is just a few hours into. 781 day ordeal you knew you were near the. Border but how close did you think you work. It's unfortunate we didn't know that we are near the border I think when the trail was pointed out to us as a good place to hike they didn't think we would go so fox and we. Later found out that the trail that we were on. Was the border an unmarked border between Iran and Iraq. So when the guards called us to them they -- actually calling us into Iraq Jane what was going to your mind in those first few minutes and first couple hours after that card motioning you over. The fact that he took us away from the border you know woods with frightening but I thought we go down we -- -- being interviewed interrogated and they would see there's a misunderstanding and they wouldn't want to make some kind of international. Issue out of it. And at what queens for all of you do you get that sense this is not going to be. A day -- to you. One day we are driving and it became clear there -- driving -- -- driving. To -- run and I think when that really sunk in they were going to capitol we -- we earns him a job stuff back Iraq. That gets us to the time in prison terrier in solitary confinement for more than a year what. Did you do to get through that -- wild solitary confinement in reduces you to an almost animal like state. I spent many hours -- crouched by the food -- my door. Listening for sounds from the outside to orient me. To make me feel less alone pacing incessantly there were times that I've lost control and screamed and beat the walls -- -- -- at a certain point. I had to find a way to keep alive. My spirit alive I used it seeing a lot I used to knock on the wall. With the women in cells next to me I would start a new and add to it limited. I'm compose music together through the -- prisoners always find -- way to connect generic. So many women inside that broke rules have passed -- notes to give me candy. And that strength and solidarity. That defiance. Is what kept me alive and prisons Aaron -- had a major life moment. That happen while you were there. You propose. Again went as a solitary confinement Tina and I thought. About my whole life and I hope -- regressed -- tortured by regrets I was and I also. You know realize what was most important to me and I knew that Sarah woods was most important thing in my life and I wanted to be with her for the -- -- life and part of a carry me through that time was imagining a time it would be free and that I would propose to her it's a beautiful place I didn't want a poster -- in prison you know. But we start getting a sense that Sarah might get released before us and that in no -- he -- and want -- to know. So -- you know took took thread from my towel. And from some clothes and -- dismayed. A little ring and went out to this -- -- And hid under the -- -- couldn't see us and and poster. -- give any idea this is coming. And it knows coming but I was actually thinking and acting the same thing. And he -- -- candidate in the book I read about carrying -- lovely shields. I'm really to protect us from. The horror and the pain of that place. -- you were released first. How did that he. Knowing that you're leaving them behind for it was horrible when -- first friend out that I was gonna be released first I refused. And then it sunk in and it hit me. I can make a difference so late hit the ground running name. Lived out of my -- for years crisscrossing the country advocating in any way I could. I stand before you today only 13 free. I met with President Obama hasn't happened -- -- the I found myself speaking through the streets of Los Angeles and Sean Penn's pick up truck that -- to escape paparazzi he played a very constructive role in getting the president Chavez of Venezuela. To call president -- finish at. President -- that -- the jets who agreed that they release would happen. After 781. Days -- prison. Scene and I are now free men. How do you think the US policy. Played a role in your imprisonment and then eventual release. Iran is is ultimately responsible for happened to us -- -- -- but without any moment but I think it's also -- pressed to understand that you know if it has a country if we you know have -- aggressive approach towards other countries towards the Middle East. That there's likely going to be retaliation and unfortunately we were kind of cut in you know we need to realize that this is that reality. You know our foreign policy. Thank you all so much really appreciate it thinking out. That's all for this edition of power players for ABC news and Yahoo! News I'm Karen Travers. Thanks for watching and had a great day.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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