Iran has sentenced US hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal to 8 years in jail for allegedly illegally entering Iran back in July 2009. The pair, along with a woman named Sarah Shourd who has since been allowed to return to America, have all insisted that they are innocent.
The trio were initially detained by the Iranian authorities when they accidentally hiked from Iraq into Iran. They say that they simply got their map-reading a little wrong, but the Iranian authorities have continued to insist that they intentionally entered Iran illegally.
Sarah Shourd was tried in absentia, having been released on medical and humanitarian grounds. She reportedly had to pay a $500,000 fee to be released. It’s not clear whether Iran is negotiating with the US regarding Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, and whether the Iranian authorities will insist that they serve their full sentences.