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Iran Delays Trial for US Hikers


American hikers Shane Bauer (L) and Josh Fattal and their translator attend the first session of their trial in Tehran (File)

American hikers Shane Bauer (L) and Josh Fattal and their translator attend the first session of their trial in Tehran (File)

Iran has delayed the resumption of the trial of three U.S. hikers accused of spying.

The Iranian lawyer for the hikers, Masoud Shafiei, said the case did not resume as scheduled on Wednesday because authorities did not transfer two of the hikers from prison to the courtroom.

Shafiei says authorities did not give him an explanation as to why Shaun Bauer and Josh Fattal were not transferred. He also said he was not given a new court date.

Authorities arrested Bauer, Fattal and Sarah Shourd in 2009 after saying they illegally crossed into Iran from Iraq. Iran released Shourd on bail last September and allowed her to return to the United States. She pleaded not guilty in absentia. Bauer and Fattal also have pleaded not guilty.

The families of the two men released a statement Wednesday expressing concern about what they called Iran's "arbitrary treatment" of Bauer and Fattal. They said the charges against the hikers are baseless and added that Iranian authorities were continuing to "play games" with their lives.

On Tuesday, rights group Amnesty International reiterated calls to release the hikers and called their trial "flawed."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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