Appeal filed for hikers in Iran

Aug. 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM

TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The attorney representing two U.S. hikers jailed as spies in Iran said he was "hopeful ... authorities will show mercy" and release his clients soon.

Lawyer Masoud Shafiee told CNN Sunday it could be days or months before he receives a response to the appeal he filed on behalf of Shawn Bauer and Josh Fattal.

"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.

Fattal, Bauer and Sarah Shourd were apprehended by Iranian authorities on July 31, 2009 while hiking in the Iraqi Kurdish region. They allegedly crossed into Iran illegally and were accused of being spies. Shourd was released for medical reasons last year.

Earlier this month, the men were sentenced to eight years in prison each; five years for espionage and three years for illegally entering the county.

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