Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal deny spying in Iranian court and moms see hope

Bauer in Iranian court.

Bauer in Iranian court.

Minnesota native and freelance journalist Shane Bauer and his friend Josh Fattal have finally been allowed to deny spying accusations in an Iranian court.

Their mothers are now praying that "truth and justice will prevail" so that the men can soon come home.

CNN reported that that Bauer and Fattal were not allowed to meet with their lawyer, Masoud Shafiee, before or after the court appearance on Sunday, and the proceedings were closed to the press. Video from the hearing was released by the government.


The two, and friend Sarah Shourd, were arrested a year and a half ago while hiking in the mountains along the Iraq-Iran border. Iranian authorities arrested them on charges that they entered the country illegally. Shourd was released last year, and said the trio were lured into Iranian territory by a border guard.

"We are pleased that Shane and Josh have had the opportunity to explain their innocence to the court and hope that the Iranian authorities will now move to resolve their case so that they finally can come home after 18 months of detention, isolation and uncertainty," said Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, and Laura Fattal in a statement. "In the meantime, we continue to worry terribly about their well-being after such a lengthy detention."

"I was able to review the case. But despite my repeated requests to see my clients, I was not allowed to do so," Shafiee said. "They were supposed to be available to me one to two hours before the session today, and I arrived at the courts early, but they were brought to court from prison 15 minutes after the scheduled court time, and we had to go directly into court. Today I objected again to these circumstances."

From the sounds of it, the mere fact that they appeared, had the charges translated into English, and their refutations translated into Persian, should be taken as a small victory.


Attorney Massoud Shaffiee is representing Bauer and Fattal.

Attorney Massoud Shaffiee is representing Bauer and Fattal.