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Lawyer 'upset' that Iran canceled hiker's release

By the CNN Wire Staff
Nora Shourd, right, visits her daughter, Sarah Shourd, earlier this year. Iran canceled Shourd's release.
Nora Shourd, right, visits her daughter, Sarah Shourd, earlier this year. Iran canceled Shourd's release.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Detained hikers' lawyer says emotions of Sarah Shourd's family are "being abused"
  • Iranian officials said Shourd release canceled because judicial process incomplete
  • Three U.S. hikers have been detained in Iran for more than a year

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- The Iranian lawyer for three U.S. hikers detained in Iran is "upset" that Sarah Shourd's planned release has been canceled and said her family's emotions are "being abused."

"Put yourself in her mother's shoes," Masoud Shafii said on Saturday. "It's been more than year and she has no idea why her daughter was arrested and what will happen to her."

Iranian officials had said on Thursday that Shourd, one of three American hikers held in Iran for more than a year, would be released this weekend. But Friday, prosecutors said the release had been "canceled" because the judicial process has not been completed.

Shafii told CNN that "there's obviously a difference of opinion as to what to do within the government. Legally the prosecutor has the final say in this matter, but I ask you, has anything about their arrests and treatment been legal so far?"

Shourd, 32, along with Shane Bauer, 28, and Josh Fattal, 28, were detained July 31, 2009, after they allegedly strayed across an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Tehran has accused the three hikers of spying. Iran's intelligence minister has hinted the country may consider releasing them in exchange for the release of Iranian prisoners, according to state news outlets.

Video: Americans held in Iran
RELATED TOPICS
  • Iran
  • Sarah Shourd
  • Shane Bauer
  • Josh Fattal

Shafii told CNN earlier that he put in a formal request for the trio's release within the past two weeks. Shafii said he told prosecutors that a year had passed since their arrests and the government had not shown any just cause for their imprisonment. He also said that Shourd has a medical condition that requires proper care.

A spokeswoman for the hikers' families reported to CNN that Shourd told her mother during their only visit together over two days in May that she had found a lump in her breast.

The hikers' families' website, freethehikers.org, said Shourd has been in solitary confinement, able to meet for only two 30-minute periods per day with Bauer, who is her fiance, and Fattal. The two men share a cell.

The three Americans -- all of them graduates of the University of California, Berkeley -- have not been charged, the website says. They are in Evin Prison in Tehran, have been able to telephone their families only once, on March 9, and have been denied access to their lawyer, the website adds.

CNN's Reza Sayah contributed to this report

 
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