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Friday, April 25, 2014 03:39

Trial of U.S. detainees resumes in Iran

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Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal

The trial of two American detainees in Iran resumed today, Sunday July 31, in Tehran, according to Al-Alem Arabic news network.

The trial of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal reportedly resumed behind closed doors, and Iranian media have not yet reported the outcome.

Massoud Shafii, the attorney for the two Americans, told Reuters today that he was hopeful that, at the threshold of the "fasting month of mercy and forgiveness" the month of Ramadan, and on the second anniversary of their arrest, the two detainees will finally be released.

Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd were arrested in July of 2009 in the Iran-Iraq border region; Iranian authorities charged them with illegal entry. Later, Iranian officials accused them of espionage; however, the detainees deny the charges and maintain that they were on a hiking trip and inadvertently strayed into Iranian territory.

Shourd was released last September on bail of half-a-million dollars for medical reasons.

In an earlier interview with Radio Zamaneh, Shane Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, expressed every hope that they would be released after today’s trial, adding that Iran must end its political games with the "hikers and their families." She went on to stress their complete innocence.

Shourd told Radio Zamaneh that the main reason for their arrest was their American nationality and the "30-year enmity between Iran and the U.S." She also spoke of widespread international efforts from Oman, Turkey, Senegal and even Brazil toward the release of her two companions.