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Franks Calls Sentence for American Hikers in Iran Unjust

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested in July, 2009, along with Sarah Shourd, 32, while hiking in Iraq. The trio where captured near the ill-defined Iraq/Iran border while on vacation in the Kurdish region. Shourd was released last year but Bauer and Fattal have just been sentenced to eight years of imprisonment for espionage. Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-02) reacted to the sentencing:

"It is clear that Iran is cruelly using Mr. Bauer and Mr. Fattal as hostages to advance their violent and radical ideology against the U.S.

"From the U.S. embassy hostage crisis in 1979, to its support of Hezbollah's kidnappings in Lebanon in the 1980s, to now, Iran has unabashedly used hostages to fit their own purposes.

"These hikers' final sentence was not a court ruling; it was a political decision that came directly from Iran's violently anti-Western leaders, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and 'Supreme Leader' Ali Khamanei. I implore President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to do everything necessary to rescue these two U.S. citizens from the grasp of a terrorist Iranian regime that -- whether in its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons or its handling of this inadvertent border crossing -- is all too willing to risk innocent lives further its own twisted ends."

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