Lawyer for U.S. hikers says Iranian officials took his passport

Masoud Shafiee, the Iranian lawyer for the recently released American hikers, said his passport was taken away by Iranian authorities.

Story highlights

  • Masoud Shafiee represented Josh Bauer and Shane Fattal
  • He was briefly detained after the Americans were released from prison
  • It's not clear what charges he faces, if any
  • The hikers thanked him when they were released after 781 days in prison
Iranian authorities have taken away the passport of the lawyer who represented American hikers Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, the lawyer told CNN on Wednesday.
Lawyer Masoud Shafiee was briefly detained by security forces recently following a raid on his home after Fattal and Bauer were freed from prison in Iran last month, he told CNN at the time.
Shafiee said in September that security forces searched his apartment and took him to Evin Prison in Tehran for questioning.
It was the same prison where Fattal and Bauer were held for two years.
Security forces seized his files, he said, including those regarding the case of Fattal and Bauer, and his computer's hard drive.
"I do not know what they were looking for," Shafiee said on September 29.
Fattal, Bauer and Shourd, were arrested after straying across the unmarked border between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran in July 2009.
Shourd was released in 2010, but Bauer and Fattal were freed last month after 781 days in captivity and a trial for espionage that Bauer said was based on "ridiculous lies."
Shortly after their release, Fattal and Bauer thanked numerous people who helped secure their freedom, including their attorney. Shafiee "was never allowed to represent us properly, but he never gave up," Fattal said.
Security forces questioned Shafiee about the two Americans, the lawyer said.
"They were very polite and respectful. But the very act of taking a lawyer to prison and searching his home just because he had done his duty seems excessive and reflects negatively on Iran's judiciary," Shafiee said.
Before he was released, Shafiee said he was asked to write a letter guaranteeing that he would appear in court whenever he was requested to do so.
It was not clear what, if any, allegations Shafiee may face.