Accessibility links

Breaking News

Iran Says Trial for US Hikers Could Start Soon

A top Iranian official says three U.S. hikers detained in Iran on suspicion of spying could go on trial soon.

The secretary-general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, Mohammad Javad Larijani, said Friday that evidence was being collected and that the trial "should not be very far from now."

Iranian officials arrested Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal about 10 months ago as they were hiking near the Iran-Iraq border. The three have been held at Iran's Evin prison.

Iran allowed the mothers of the three hikers to visit them in prison last month.

Following the visit, the mothers of Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd said their children told them they are engaged and plan to marry once they are freed.

They said the third hiker, Josh Fattal, will be the best man at the wedding.

Fattal's mother said traveling "halfway around the world" and then leaving Iran without their children was a "devastating, terrible moment." In an interview with VOA last month, Laura Fattal said the mothers can only hope they will be reunited with their children soon.

Family members have repeatedly appealed for the hikers' release, saying they accidentally strayed into Iran from northern Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The women said they hope Iran will "do the right thing" and release the hikers so that they can "get on with their lives."

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