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Iran sentences detained US hikers to 8 years in jail: TV


09:25, August 21, 2011

File photo taken on May 20, 2010 shows American hiker Josh Fattal (L) and his mother attending a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's judiciary has sentenced two Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, detained in Iran on charges of espionage to eight years in jail, the state IRIN TV website reported on Aug. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)

TEHRAN, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Iran's judiciary has sentenced two U.S. hikers detained in Iran on charges of espionage to eight years in jail, the state IRIN TV website reported on Saturday.

The two Americans, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, have 20 days to appeal after the convictions on charges of illegal entry into Iranian territory, the website quoted an unnamed judicial source as saying.

The lawyer of the two hikers, Masoud Shafiee, expressed hope last week that they would soon be released.

The fourth and last trial session to address the charges against the two hikers and their fellow Sarah Shourd was held earlier this month in the Branch 15 of Tehran's Revolution Court.

The three U.S. nationals were arrested in Iran on July 31, 2009 for illegally entering Iran's western border and were later charged with espionage. The U.S. government considered the charges totally unfounded.

The female U.S. hiker Sarah Shourd, once jailed in Iran with the other two Americans, was released by Tehran's prosecutor in September, 2010, on a bail of 500,000 U.S. dollars due to her health situation.

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