Saturday, August 20, 2011

Iran puts down the hammer

An Iranian court handed down a stiff sentence today against two American hikers.

They will spend an additional eight years in prison. CBS News explains why the men ran afoul of the Iranian government.
Two American hikers who have been held in prison on espionage charges since crossing the border into Iran two years ago have been sentenced to eight years, Iranian state TV reported.
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who were arrested with a third hiker, Sarah Shourd, after having crossed Iran's border in July 2009, received sentenced of three years for illegal entry and five years for spying.
Shourd was freed on bail in September 2010 and returned to the United States.
The Associated Press adds that there is no sign that the government will release the men on humanitarian grounds.
The announcement appeared to dash hopes for the imminent release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal after Iran's foreign minister suggested earlier this month that the trial could clear the way for their freedom.

It also could bring added tensions to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's expected visit to New York next month for the annual general assembly at the United Nations.

The Americans, whose final court hearing was three weeks ago, deny the charges and say they were only hiking in a scenic and largely peaceful area of northern Iraq near the porous border.

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