So Iran’s state television network has an English-language web site and their reporting on the hikers’ story is a little different than American coverage. Starting with the headline:
Here’s the story text:
The Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran has confirmed the release of two US nationals, who had been convicted of illegal entry and espionage in Iran, on bail.
Branch 36 of Tehran’s Appeals Court has agreed to commuted the detention sentences of the two US nationals to release on a bail of USD500,000, a statement released by Iran’s Judiciary said on Wednesday.
Shane Michael Bauer and Joshua Felix Fattal had earlier been sentenced by Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolution Court to eight years in prison on charges of illegal entry and espionage.
Sarah Emily Shourd, who had also been detained along with Bauer and Fattal, was released in September 2010 on a USD500,000 bail.
Bauer, Fattal and Shourd were arrested on Iranian territory in July 2009 after illegally crossing the border from the mountains of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
They were later charged with espionage after the Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi found “compelling evidence” that the three US citizens had been cooperating with US intelligence agencies.
And you can even watch the broadcast live if you want…
Bauer, Fattal, and Shourd are all University of California at Berkeley graduates. Bauer and Shourd are engaged. They say they were arrested in Iranian territory after accidentally crossing an unmarked border from Iraq’s Kurdistan region.