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Shourd Seeks 'Compassion' from Iran's Judiciary

An American hiker who spent more than a year in an Iranian prison says she and two other hikers were "victims of bad circumstances."

Sarah Shourd told VOA Tuesday, she hopes Iran's judiciary system will have "compassion" for what she calls an "unfortunate circumstance."

Iranian authorities freed Shourd earlier this month but continue to hold her hiking companions, Americans Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. Iranian authorities have accused the hikers of spying.

Shourd says she writes to them every day. She says the three of them were in Iraq near Iran's border last year when a tea salesman advised them of a good hiking trail. She says they had followed the trail for several hours when Iranian guards signaled for the trio to come to them.

Shourd says there were no signs, fences or any indications of a border.

Omani officials played a role in securing Shourd's release on $500,000 bail. On Tuesday, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed reports that Omani officials were currently in Iran to discuss Bauer and Fattal's case.

On Friday, Shourd met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. She told VOA that during the meeting, she stressed to him that if she and the other two hikers crossed the border, it was accidental.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.