An Iranian court sentenced American hikers to 8 years in prison, a state TV website said, according to Reuters.
The hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, have been detained since their arrest in 2009 when they were nabbed by Iranian troops while hiking on the Iran-Iraq border.
A third American, Sarah Shourd, was also arrested but released on parole last year due to medical reasons. She quickly returned to America and was tried in absentia.
The three were charged with illegal entry and spying, though American officials have said they were not in any way affiliated with American intelligence agencies.
The final court appearance on July 31 gave the hikers and their Iranian lawyer hope that they would be released because it was held at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and on the two-year anniversary of their arrest.
The men’s lawyer was clearly disheartened by the verdict.
“We have repeatedly called for the release of Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, who have now been held in Iran’s Evin prison for two years. Shane and Josh have been imprisoned too long, and it is time to reunite them with their families.”
According to Iranian law, the men have only 20 days to file for appeal.
We hope and pray that these guys get to come home, Iran is on some ol’ bullisht!