Despite Delayed Ruling, Lawyer Optimistic about Release of Americans

Aug 11, 20110 comments

The court reviewing the case of the three Americans arrested more than two years ago on charges of “illegal entry into Iran” and “espionage,” has not yet issued its ruling, despite the fact that more than a week has passed since the last court session. The lawyer of the three Americans, Massoud Shafiee, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who remain inside Evin Prison, are impatiently awaiting their ruling.

On Sunday, 31 July, the fourth and last trial session of the three Americans was held at Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court. The two Americans still imprisoned were transferred to court from Evin Prison to attend the trial. Mr. Shafiee told the Campaign that according to Article 212 of the Iranian Criminal Code Procedures, the court must issue its ruling either at the last session or within a maximum of one week after it. “Unfortunately, yesterday they told us to leave and that they would contact us. Now we are waiting to see what happens. Even so, all indications are positive and I am very hopeful for their release, unless something unexpected happens,” Shafiee told the Campaign. The three American hikers, Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Joshua Fattal, were arrested on 30 July 2009 in the Iran-Iraq border area in Kurdistan, and were accused of espionage and illegal entry. On 14 September 2010, Sarah Shourd was released on bail of $500,000, but the other two have remained inside Evin Prison since that time.