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Trial Delayed for American Hikers Detained in Iran

| May 11, 2011
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Cindy Hickey (L), Shane Bauer's mother, and Laura Fattal, Josh Fattal's mother, hold pictures of their sons as they listen to Sarah Shourd, the American hiker released from detention in Iran after 410 days, during a press conference in New York on September 19, 2010. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

Two of the three former UC Berkeley students being held in Iran under accusations of espionage, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, were due in court Wednesday, but the trial has again been delayed by Iranian authorities. The men’s attorney says no explanation was given for the postponement. At this time, it appears that the trial has not been rescheduled for a later date.

Sarah Shourd, the third hiker who was released from captivity last year, and who is also engaged to Bauer, told The Associated Press that the she and the families of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal are “devastated” that the two were not brought to court as scheduled. The families have also expressed concern about the men’s health.

The families issued a joint statement reiterating their call for Iran to release the men:

“Today’s development appears to be yet another example of the arbitrary treatment Shane and Josh have been subjected to for more than 21 months,” they said. “The Iranian authorities continue to play games with their lives and the constant uncertainty and fear for Shane and Josh is ruining our lives as well.”

Bauer, Fattal and Shourd were arrested in July 2009 on the Iran-Iraq border. They insist they were merely hiking, but Iran claims they were spying.

Earlier this month, Sarah Shourd stated that she would not be returning to Iran for the trial.

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