Saturday, August 20, 2011
Two American men arrested more than two years ago while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border have been sentenced to eight years in prison on bogus charges of espionage, according to Iranian state television.
The announcement is an example of Iran’s Islamic judiciary which answers directly to the ruling Sharia clerics.
In July 2009, American hikers Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were hiking along the porous badlands that loosely defines the Iraq-Iran border. Sarah Shourd was released in September 2010 after the U.S. paid a $500,000 bounty.
The Americans say they mistakenly crossed into Iran when they stepped off a dirt road while hiking near a waterfall in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
No such a deal was in the cards for Bauer and Fattal. Both men, 29, were sentenced to three years each for illegal entry into Iran and five years each for spying for the United States.
President Obama, vacationing with his family on Martha’s Vineyard, has made no comment on the American’s egregious sentence.