U.S. Hikers Freed From Iran

Amanda Della Ragione, Reporter

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been released from Iranian prison on $500,000 bail each after two years in prison. In Iran two years ago, three hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd were exploring the land of Iraq when something went terribly wrong. They were arrested by the Iranian police and were put in jail. Two years later, as the hope stared to fade on their release, it finally happened. The third hiker, Shourd, was released on bail from Iran and sent back to the United States after only 14 months in prison.

These three hikers were charged with crossing the border between Iraq and Iran. Also they were charged with allegedly spying on Iran for the United States. The three hikers deny the spying charges and say that they didn’t realize they had stepped over the border into Iran until it was too late.

The reason Shourd was released from jail so much earlier then her companions was she had found a lump in her breast and the Iranian police sent her back to the United States after she set bail at $500,000. Unfortunately, the other two hikers, Bauer and Fattal, remained in prison. They were sentenced to eight-years in prison, each, in August 2011. But luckily for them, the eight-year sentence didn’t stick.

Ann Curry, an anchor from the Today Show, interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in September 2011. He told her that the remaining hikers that are in prison would be released “within days.” Right after their president said this, the Iranian Judiciary spoke out in a statement that said the president had no legal authority to say the things he did, and that it’s their job to decide if and when the hikers will be released, not his. New speculation has said that these two hikers are caught in between the Judiciary and the president’s inner arguments that have been going on for years.

Even though it took a little longer then the Iranian President had stated, all of the hikers have finally been released. As they arrived at Kennedy International Airport they held a news conference. Shourd, Fattal, and Bauer were all present. They said while they were in jail they heard people get beaten everyday and that the reason they were imprisoned was not about crossing the border, but it was because of their nationality. They said they cannot be happy about their release because of all the people who are still falsely imprisoned in Iran. Now, Bauer and Shourd are engaged after he proposed to her while they were imprisoned many months ago, and all three of them have many opportunities ahead of them.