Closed Doors

U.S. Hikers Go on Trial in Iran

Three Americans arrested in 2009 while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border have gone on trial in Tehran, accused of spying and illegally entering Iran. One of them, Sarah Shourd, was released on a $500,000 bail in September after 13 months in prison, but the trial will include her in its convictions despite her absence. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer's lawyer claimed he was not allowed to see them to prepare their defense before the trial. The U.S. has repeatedly asked that the hikers be released, saying there is no basis for their trial. If convicted of espionage, Fattal and Bauer could face death sentences. The trial comes at a time of high tension between the two countries, who recently scuffled over Iran's disputed nuclear program.