Flawed Trial Of US Hikers Held In Iran Resumes

Update: The trial failed to resume on Wednesday and the Iranian lawyer of the two US citizens has lodged a formal protest against the delay.

Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal © APGraphicsBank

On May 11, Iran is set to resume the flawed trial of two US hikers apparently held for political reasons for nearly two years.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested while hiking in the Iraq-Iran border area in July 2009. The exact circumstances of their arrest are unclear, but Iranian authorities have charged them with espionage and illegal entry.

Iran’s failure to meet international standards for a fair trial for Shane and Josh indicates a political motive in holding them which may amount to hostage-taking.

Amnesty International calls for their immediate release.  You can join us by taking action right now.

The facts surrounding the hikers’ arrest are disputed, and Iran’s justice system has systematically failed to observe international fair trial standards in this case, including giving the men adequate contact with their lawyer, families or consular assistance.

A third hiker arrested with the men, Sarah Shourd, was released last September on $500,000 bail.

Last year we called on Iran to release the men and to let them leave country if they were not to be charged with recognizably criminal offenses and given a fair trial. This has not happened and indicates that Iran has a political motive for holding them and has no intention of granting them a fair trial.

Eyewitness testimony reported by The Nation placed the three hikers inside Iraq, not Iran, at the time of their arrest by Iranian troops. Even though Iranian authorities maintain that they were arrested in Iranian territory, we believe that illegal entry into a country should never be subject to a penalty of imprisonment.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have been held at Tehran’s Evin Prison since their arrest, and have only been granted one brief encounter with family, when their mothers visited Iran in May 2010. They have been denied adequate access to their lawyer and only had few meetings with Swiss embassy officials, who represent US interests in Iran.

In media interviews, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has hinted that the hikers were being held as a bargaining chip to be used in Iran’s dealings with the United States.

Holding foreign nationals with the sole purpose of seeking concessions amounts to hostage taking, and if that is the case here, Iran must immediately and unconditionally release Josh and Shane.

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14 thoughts on “Flawed Trial Of US Hikers Held In Iran Resumes

  1. Obviously it is hostage-taking and Iran has declared by this act to be a rogue nation with terrorist ideology. Iran cannot be seen as promoting peace and the United Nations must act.

  2. Obviously guilty. Shoot them in the back of the head and dump their bodies in the sea.

  3. Obviously it is hostage-taking and Iran has declared by this act to be a rogue nation with terrorist ideology. Iran cannot be seen as promoting peace and the United Nations must act.

  4. Obviously guilty. Shoot them in the back of the head and dump their bodies in the sea.

  5. Asif! Or we should shoot you in the back of the head and dump your body into the sea, like Bin Laden.
    But those hikers are stupid. Why would they be hiking in a shit country like that?

  6. Perhaps if a deal is done to move residents of Camp Ashraf from Iraq to EC , Canada, US , Australia etc – this is under serious discussion as I type this – then Iran will agree release the hostages. Then Hillary C can take the PMOI off the terrorist group list – why else is she holding back / going against US legal recommendations ?

  7. Asif! Or we should shoot you in the back of the head and dump your body into the sea, like Bin Laden.
    But those hikers are stupid. Why would they be hiking in a shit country like that?

  8. Perhaps if a deal is done to move residents of Camp Ashraf from Iraq to EC , Canada, US , Australia etc – this is under serious discussion as I type this – then Iran will agree release the hostages. Then Hillary C can take the PMOI off the terrorist group list – why else is she holding back / going against US legal recommendations ?

  9. Asif Iwud's speaks satirically.

    Black humor.

    He's not recommending what he says, but pointing at the new standards of dealing with prisoners set by the US.

  10. Asif Iwud’s speaks satirically.

    Black humor.

    He’s not recommending what he says, but pointing at the new standards of dealing with prisoners set by the US.

  11. asif and a.savage-

    If you are intellectually incapable of telling the difference… or in otherwords unable to differentiate between the worlds #1 terrorist (self-proclaimed – mastermind, claiming responsiblility and rejoicing 9/11, the spiritual leader of al-qaeda) WITH a couple of guys that somehow were caught hiking somewhere they weren't supposed to be…

    Well there is no hope for you. Speaks VOLUMES about your warped ideology. I suggest the best therapy your money can buy.

    To even suggest any remote similarity is quite pathetic.

    May you find peace and some functioning rationale thought. God bless you.

    TO AI – I disagree with you on many issues – I am however pleased you have given this issue some attention. Thank you.

  12. asif and a.savage-

    If you are intellectually incapable of telling the difference… or in otherwords unable to differentiate between the worlds #1 terrorist (self-proclaimed – mastermind, claiming responsiblility and rejoicing 9/11, the spiritual leader of al-qaeda) WITH a couple of guys that somehow were caught hiking somewhere they weren’t supposed to be…

    Well there is no hope for you. Speaks VOLUMES about your warped ideology. I suggest the best therapy your money can buy.

    To even suggest any remote similarity is quite pathetic.

    May you find peace and some functioning rationale thought. God bless you.

    TO AI – I disagree with you on many issues – I am however pleased you have given this issue some attention. Thank you.