Iran releases American hikers after more than two years of detainment

Kevin Burbach

Two American hikers, who had been jailed for over two years as spies in Iran, were released Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Shane Bauer and Josh Fattall were sentenced to eight years each in August but were released on $500,000 bail each from Evin prison in Tehran.
The news came about a week after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad promised their release was imminent.

Bauer and Fattall were arrested on suspicion of espionage for the United States in July 2009 while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border. The families of the men said they had been hiking in the Kurdish region of Iraq and may “have strayed over an unmarked border with Iran,” AP reports.  Iran released Sarah Shourd, another American who was arrested with the two men, last year on bail. Shourd has been living in Oakland, Calif. since her release.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, is from Onamia, Minnesota while Fatall comes from outside of Philadelphia.
The two men have not been in direct contact with their families since May 2010, when their mothers were allowed a brief visit to Tehran.