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American hikers sentenced to 8 years in prison for espionage and illegally entering Iran

Two American hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, both 28, have been sentenced to 8 years in prison by the Irani Revolutionary Court.  Specifically, they were sentenced to 5 years for espionage (cooperating with the American intelligence service) and three years for illegal entry into Iran.

The two, along with Sara Shourd, were arrested over two years ago while hiking in the scenic mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan.  Shourd was released due to health reasons in September of 2010.  She posted a $500,000 bond and has never returned to the Iran court.  All three are University of California Berkeley graduates.

The hiker’s attorney, Masoud Shafiee, said he had hoped the men would be freed as a goodwill gesture during the Islamic holy Month of Ramadan.  Shafiee went on to say, “”I believe that they are innocent of the charges.”

Fattal and Bauer have 20 days to appeal their sentence.

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