Iran Sentences American Hikers to 8 Years in Prison

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, along with companion Sarah Shourd, were hiking in Northern Iraq in 2009. They came across a dirt road near a waterfall and unknowingly crossed the Iran border. Bauer and Fattal have been imprisoned in Iran ever since, and today were sentenced to 8 years in prison for unlawful entry into Iran and spying for the U.S.

They have 20 days to appeal. Shourd was granted bond and returned to the U.S. Her case is still open.

Requests through the Swiss embassy in Tehran to free the men has fallen on deaf ears so far.

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    hmmmmmmmmmmmm........................... (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 12:10:16 PM EST
    let me see: if i'm shourd, am i going to return to iran, in case my appeal is denied? oh, probably not. especially since the US has no extradition treaty (currently) with iran.

    the iran authorities, not being complete nincompoops, know this. which causes me to wonder why they let her go, and not the other two?

    She said pretty much (none / 0) (#4)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 01:26:24 PM EST
    right away after she came home that she wasn't going to go back.

    I think they let her go because the PR on holding a sick young woman who quite obviously hadn't done anything particularly dastardly, at most, was getting really, really bad, even in the Middle East.

    They know these kids didn't do anything wrong, so they didn't need to hold onto all three of them to prove whatever point it is they're trying to prove.

    I'd be surprised, though, if they didn't let them go long before the sentence is up, and they may even do it pretty soon.  It's way more trouble than it's worth to them at this point, seems to me, unless they're secretly trying to bargain for release of some Iranian from somewhere or something else they want.

    You do have to wonder about the basic common sense of a bunch of people dancing around on the border of a hostile and not particularly law-abiding country, without even a local guide.


    interesting article (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    here suggesting this sentance was a rebuke to Ahmadinejad who had been pushing for leniancy.

    Essentially this handicaps his ability to make policy when he comes to the U.S. soon and has more to do with the internal struggle over power in Iran than the worldwide perception.

    If this is true, than I could see what you're saying happening.  The judiciary asserts their power now, but eventually the sentance itself will become meaningless and they could get an earlier release to "save face" internationally.


    Shourd is engaged to Bauer (none / 0) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 12:31:11 PM EST
    Maybe the Iranian authorities feel that they still have some control over her because they are still holding Bauer....
    What a despicable regime you have in Iran!

    I don't find hardball hardasses confusing (none / 0) (#3)
    by seabos84 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 12:52:02 PM EST
    I don't like them and I don't agree with them and I deplore them


    WHY did these dummies go hiking close to Iran? What's next? Sight seeing in Darfur? Sheesh.

    What happened to them isn't right, isn't nice, isn't fair ... blah blah blah

    and that and a 1/2 a buck will get you the newspaper.

    good luck to them.


    Two questions: (none / 0) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 03:10:04 PM EST
    Would your opinion of the sentence change if ...

    1) You knew for a fact that these individuals were spying for the U.S.?

    Or ...

    2) These were Iranians convicted of spying in the U.S.?


    I've been mulling over your questions - (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by seabos84 on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 05:41:18 PM EST
    I was 19 in '79 when the Iranian revolution happened.  Upper middle class dilettantish speak would call the deposed Shah "repressive" - I was never surprised that people got sick of him and tossed him - too bad they ended up with a religious nut.

    what is "spying" when it comes to all the duplicitous liars from the governments of the U.S. and Iran?

    About these wayward spy-ers ... I live in Seattle, I grew up in western MA., I've traveled all over the u.s. Regardless of the terrain these spy-ers were bumbling around it - the heavy forests of the western Cascade mountains, the roasting rugged terrain of the dry side of the mountains, the thick woods of New England -

    WHAT are they going to find? The secret to Precious Bodily Fluids? They'll see the Big Board? Whatever.

    The whole thing is a crock.



    Most of the time, I think them innocent; (none / 0) (#7)
    by BBQinDenver on Sat Aug 20, 2011 at 05:55:13 PM EST
    all of the time I consider them arrogant, foolish, stupid (you can keep adding to this list...).  American citizens in a country twice invaded by America; wandering the border of a country that America is openly hostile to, and a country who suffered a coup against its elected government by America...
    And it does help to have some memory of the 60s.  If you don't remember the 60s, or haven't studied them, google "National Student Association".(go beyond the Wiki link) The infiltration of the NSA by the CIA, using people of very much the same demographic as these 3, is fact, not conspiracy theory. Do you believe that we are any less involved in this sort of thing now?