American hikers lawyer: hikers to be freed today (video)
TEHRAN, Iran – Word is coming in today for those who follow top news stories that the two American hikers, who are currently still jailed in Iran as spies, will be set free today, Wednesday. The news comes from the lawyer of the two American hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal.
The American hikers are related to San Francisco because they are all graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. Sarah Shourd, the third hiker, has already been set free and she now lives in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco.
“Great news,” says San Francisco resident Wanda Etheridge.
News had come out recently that they could be out in days, but it was met by many in the States with scepticism (See that article here: Finally: American hikers may be released within days (photos, video))
The lawyer for the two American hikers told press that a $1 million bail-for-freedom deal had been approved by the Iranian government and that meant the American hikers could now be released after over two years in jail.
The lawyer also told news reporters that the money was now in Iran.
Masoud Shafiei is the Iranian attorney for the two hikers and he told USA Today that he would go to Evin prison in Tehran and start the proceedings to have Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal released.
See a slideshow of pictures of the American hikers here
Bauer and Fattal were originally arrested in July 2009a, along with Sarah Shourd, when the three hikers accidentally strayed into Iran. They have always protested their innocence. Bauer proposed marriage to Shourd while all the hikers were in prison.
Bauer and Fattal were sentenced last month to eight years in prison each. Sarah Shourld meantime was released for medical reasons, last year. (See that article here: Sarah Shourd, freed American hiker, gets medical exam (photos, video))
Sarah Shourd’s mother made a statement when she was released. (See that article here: Sarah Shourd mother makes statement, American hiker released)
Now, Shafiei has said he will meet with the two Americans at 3 p.m. today at the prison.
At that point, the American hikers will then be turned over to the Swiss diplomats. Those diplomats currently represent American interests in Iran because no diplomatic relations presently exist between the U.S. and Iran.
“Now we can say they are finally free,” the lawyer stated to The Associated Press. “They can go to the U.S. the way (their friend) Sarah did.”
The ongoing situation with trying to get Bauer and Fattal released has strained already tense relations between Washington and Tehran.
Sarah Shourd, when she was set free, was flown on a private plane to Muscat in Oman and it’s likely the release of Bauer and Fattal will see the same thing happening.
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See video on the left-hand side for more on this story.
Source: USA Today
Continue reading here: Finally: American hikers may be released within days (photos, video)
UPDATE: NOTE THAT SINCE THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN THE AMERICAN HIKERS HAVE FLOWN OUT OF IRAN.
Related articles by this Examiner on the American hikers in Iraq:
Sarah Shourd, American hiker released, who posted bail? (video)
Sarah Shourd mother makes statement, American hiker released
Iran releases American hiker Sarah Shourd, leaves Iran
Breaking: Iran sentences 2 American hikers to 8 years in jail (photos, video)