Posted by | June 24, 2010 09:59 | Filed under: Top Stories

An investigation by The Nation magazine reveals that three American hikers arrested by Iran last July were taken from Iraq, not Iran. (Click on map for more)

Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd—have been at the center of a high-stakes diplomatic struggle between Tehran and Washington. Iranian authorities have repeatedly accused the three of entering Iran to conduct espionage.

Now a five-month investigation by The Nation and the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute has located two witnesses to the arrest who claim that Bauer, Fattal and Shourd were on Iraqi territory when they were arrested—not in Iran, as Iranian officials have asserted. Two additional sources report that the Revolutionary Guards officer who likely ordered their detention has since been arrested on charges of smuggling, kidnapping and murder.

Hopefully, this new information can speed up their release.

“These new revelations, if indeed true, show the hikers have been victims of political machinations and manipulation,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “The fact that they have been held for so long without prosecution strongly supports this trend. Under Iranian laws, they have committed no crime and should be released immediately. Their Iranian lawyer, who has studied the judicial files against them, has consistently maintained the only charge against them is illegal entry, which is subject to a fine and not arbitrary detention for so long. With this new information, even that charge appears fabricated, and there is no basis for holding them.”

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.