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Lawyers files appeal for U.S. hikers sentenced to 8 years in Iran

From Shirzad Bozorgmehr, CNN
Josh Fattal (middle) and Shane Bauer (left) were seized in 2009, when they were hiking in the Iraqi Kurdish region.
Josh Fattal (middle) and Shane Bauer (left) were seized in 2009, when they were hiking in the Iraqi Kurdish region.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shafiee hopes authorities will "show mercy" and release the men
  • The two men and Sarah Shourd were seized in 2009 while hiking
  • Shourd was released for medical reasons

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- The lawyer for two American hikers sentenced to eight years in prison said Sunday he has filed an appeal in the case.

Masoud Shafiee said it could take the court anywhere from a few days to two months to respond. "However, I am hopeful that because of the holy month of Ramadan, and because my clients are innocent, the authorities will show mercy and release Shawn Bauer and Josh Fattal in a few days," he said.

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, ends this week. In the past, the judiciary has presented a list of convictions to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recommending he pardon the sentences.

Josh Fattal, Shawn Bauer and Sarah Shourd were seized on July 31, 2009, when they were hiking in the Iraqi Kurdish region and allegedly crossed into Iran illegally.

U.S. hikers sentenced in Iran
RELATED TOPICS
  • Evin Prison
  • Iran

Shourd, Bauer's fiancee, was released last year for medical reasons, but the two men remained imprisoned in Iran. Shourd's case remains open.

Fattal and Shawn Bauer each received five years for espionage -- specifically "cooperating with the American intelligence service" -- and three years for illegal entry, state-run media reported.

The two men were not present when the Revolutionary Court handed down the sentence earlier this month, Shafiee said.

Iranian police said the Americans illegally entered Iran. The Tehran Prosecutor's office has "compelling evidence" that the three were cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies, state-run Press TV has reported.

Shourd has said the hikers did not know they had crossed the border while hiking.

Fattal and Bauer pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The three are graduates of the University of California at Berkeley.

 
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