Iran to release one of three US hikers held for over a year

September 10th, 2010 - 12:12 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Sept 10 (ANI): Iran would reportedly release one of the three American hikers, Sarah Shourd, held in the Evin prison for over a year on spying charges.

Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were arrested by the Iranian authorities while they were on a hiking trip in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq in July 2009.

According to the BBC, no reason has been given for her release.

Tehran accused the trio of espionage and illegally crossing the border, charges that they, their families and supporters have categorically denied. The three hikers have not been formally charged with any crime.

It was said that the release was to mark Eid al-Fitr, the festival ending the Muslim Ramadan. The families of the three had repeatedly asked for them to be freed on humanitarian grounds.

Earlier, the Iranian culture ministry, said: “The release of one of the detained Americans will be on Saturday, 0900am at the Estaghlal hotel.”

This is the same hotel in Tehran where the parents of the Americans were allowed to briefly meet them in May.

In December, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said they would stand trial, but he did not specify on what charges.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Tehran to free the hikers, and said that any charges would be unfounded. (ANI)

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