Iran to Release American Hikers
Ahmadinejad calls reversal "humanitarian"
Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced today that two American hikers imprisoned in Iran since 2009 on charges of espionage will be released by the end of the week, overturning a ruling last month that sentenced the men to eight years in jail. In a statement broadcast on Tuesday morning's Today Show, Ahmadinejad called the decision, pending $500,000 bail, a "humanitarian gesture." Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were given eight-year prison sentences last month on charges of espionage and illegal entry into Iran. Guards arrested Fattal and Bauer with fellow hiker Sarah Shourd in 2009 after they mistakenly walked across Iran's border while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shourd was released for medical reasons last September.
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