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Iran sentences US hikers to eight years in jail

Tehran: Iran’s judiciary has sentenced two US hikers detained in the country on charges of spying to eight years in jail, state-run IRIN television channel reported.

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 official as saying.

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

The fourth and last trial session against the two hikers and their woman compatriot Sarah Shourd was held earlier this month in Tehran’s Revolution Court.

The three US nationals were arrested in Iran July 31, 2009 for illegally entering into Iran’s western border. They were later charged with espionage. The US government says the the charges were totally unfounded.

Sarah Shourd was released in September 2010 on a bail of $500,000 due to her health situation.

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