Iran Releases American Hiker

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Iranian authorities on Tuesday ordered the release of American Sarah Shourd, one of three hikers arrested last summer and held on espionage charges.

The New York Times, quoting Press TV, the English-language satellite broadcaster, said Shourd, 32, was freed on $500,000 bail, though it remains unclear if that—or any—amount was paid.  Shourd's companions, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal both 28, remain under arrest as the Iranian judiciary extended their “pretrial detention” for two more months.

Shourd was reportedly headed to an “Arabic country,” according to MSNBC, though other reports say she was headed for the Swiss Embassy.  Switzerland handles diplomatic relations with Iran for the U.S., which hasn't had an embassy in Iran since 1979.

Shourd, Bauer, and Fattal were arrested in July 2009 while hiking near the Iraq-Iran border.  For the full story on what happened, see our May issue here.

–Michael Webster

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