AFP: US hiker Sarah Shourd, freed on bail last year, has been summoned for trial in Iran along with her two American friends who remain in custody, the prosecutor general said on Monday.
TEHRAN (AFP) — US hiker Sarah Shourd, freed on bail last year, has been summoned for trial in Iran along with her two American friends who remain in custody, the prosecutor general said on Monday.
“Sarah Shourd, one of the three Americans accused and who was released on bail, has been summoned to be present at the February 6 trial,” Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
Iran has set February 6 as the trial date for the three US hikers charged with espionage after they reportedly entered the Islamic republic from northern Iraq.
Shourd, her fiance Shane Bauer and fellow hiker Josh Fattal maintain they strayed across the unmarked border with Iraq innocently when they were detained on July 31, 2009 by Iranian authorities.
Their trial comes at a time when anti-American rhetoric is at fever pitch as Iran marks the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution which toppled the US-backed shah’s regime.
Shourd returned to the United States in September after her release on bail of around 500,000 dollars following intense mediation by the Swiss embassy and reportedly by the Omani government.
The Swiss embassy in Tehran manages US interests as Washington and Tehran have no diplomatic relations for the past three decades.
Iran has also detained two German journalists accused of spying after they were arrested while interviewing the son of a woman condemned to death by stoning for adultery.