US says hikers 'imprisoned too long' in Iran

A spokesman for the families of the two men declined to comment on the reported sentencing.


Afp August 20, 2011

WASHINGTON: Washington said Saturday that two US hikers "have been imprisoned too long" in Iran and that it was looking into reports that they had been sentenced to eight years in jail for spying.

"We are working to confirm these reports and are in contact with the Swiss Protecting Power to obtain more information," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement.

"We have repeatedly called for the release of Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who have now been held in Iran's Evin prison for two years," she added.

"Shane and Josh have been imprisoned too long, and it is time to reunite them with their families."

A spokesman for the families of the two men declined to comment on the reported sentencing.

Iran's state television, quoting a judiciary source, had earlier reported that the two hikers were sentenced to eight years in prison for entering the country illegally and spying for a US intelligence agency.

The Swiss embassy, which handles US interests in Iran since diplomatic relations were severed in 1980, said it was not in a position to confirm the report.

Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were arrested with fellow American Sarah Shourd, 32, on the unmarked border between Iran and Iraq on July 31, 2009. Shourd was freed on medical grounds in September and returned to the United States.

The trio claim they were hiking in Iraq's northern province of Kurdistan when they innocently strayed into the Islamic republic.

Washington has vehemently denied Tehran's charge that the three were spies and has repeatedly called on Iran to release Bauer and Fattal.

COMMENTS (4)

bulbul | 9 years ago | Reply

Imprison them for life.... that will set an example for US for sending spies to other countries and not keeping its nose in its own business. No other country in the world does this, Canada shares a border with US but I never hear Canada sending spies to Pakistan or Palestine or Iran or Canadian's running down Pakistani pedestrians or Canadians shooting Pakistani men and then fleeing the scene, although Canada is in the same continent as US so why is it so hard for US to keep its crap in its own country and not meddle with other countries affairs. This US madness should be stopped before its too late. Punish these spies well, set and example.

Hiking in Iran my foot!

Ahmer Ali | 9 years ago | Reply

Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah.Dear Americans please keep it in your minds firmly and strongly and never forget it that Irani leaders are not like Pakistani leaders who have shown tenderness and gentleness to USA in Raymond Davis case.Irani leaders are much more brave and courageous than Pakistani leaders before US leaders because this is all as a consequence of Iranian economy doesn't depend on US aid.Much the best punishment for two US' hikers fulfilling the requirements of justice and equality.

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