MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two American men held in Iran for nearly 2 years will go on trial in the Tehran Revolutionary Court this week on charges of espionage.

U.S. authorities and the families of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal have repeatedly called for their release, insisting they were on a hiking trip in Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in the north of Iraq, when they were arrested by Iranian soldiers on July 31, 2009.

Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, was also arrested, but was released from Iranian custody on $500,000 bail in September. Shourd says she’s suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and will not return to Iran for trial.

The families of Bauer and Fattal say “the charges they face are as cynical, unjust and unreasonable as the length of their incarceration.” Bauer is a native of Onamia, Minn. Fattal grew up in Pennsylvania.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (8)
  1. Ron Paul for Pres says:

    Why were they on the border of a country that hates us? Did they not know the risk?

  2. Poor sickly child says:

    So Sarah Shourd is too ill to return for her trial, huh?. She certainly is a sickly one when it comes down to saving her own butt.

    I was amazed at her fast and miraculous “recovery” from all of her “serious ‘female’ problems” once she was granted bail and allowed to leave Iran. It’s no surprise that she won’t go back for trial, as she promised she would, but I sure hope the $500,000 bail being forfeited didn’t come out of taxpayer money.

    1. Reply to Poor Sickly Child says:

      She is under no obligation to disclose her medical history to anyone (including you) since returning to the United States. She is scared out of her mind and rightly so.

      She is under a tremendous amount of stress over what is happening to the three of them. If she were to return to Iran to stand trial she would probably never be seen or come home again. The thought of what is happening to the three of them must be terrifying to her.

      Did you know that the “crime” they are being charged with is punishable by death?

      Also her bail was paid by a third party nation, NOT by the United States taxpayer. While she might be able to repay it back it would certainly take a long time.

  3. Pork Chop Fan says:

    All 3 of them are lucky to be alive. No one wants to see innocent Americans in prison. I am hoping they are released and then are able to make restitution to the citizens of the USA by selling their story to a publisher or movie producer. Good luck on Wednesday.

  4. How would Charlie describe it? LOSING! says:

    What do you think they are innocent of? At an absolute minimum, they are guilty of incredible stupidity. If they wanted to go hiking in a hostile foreign country, they should have joined the armed forces.

  5. cassie says:

    I feel bad for them. I dont think they meant any harm. Even if they are stupid for being there…and they are, i think they are innocent of being spies or anything of the sort. And its a shame they have to spend years of their life in a prison. Good luck fellas.c

    1. Jill says:

      Idiots like you are the ones who will purchase her book and watch the up coming movie. She should go back and stand trial.

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