Mother Jones contributor Shane Bauer, who has been detained in Iran since late July after accidentally crossing the border while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan, has been charged with espionage. Bauer and his two companions, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were also charged, face the death penalty if convicted.
The families of the three detained hikers held vigils yesterday, November 8, to recognize the hikers’ 100th day in detention. Last Monday, Shon Meckfessel, a travelling companion of Bauer, Shourd, and Fattal who was sick the day of their hike, wrote an open letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asking for their release.
Ahmadinejad has suggested that he might consider releasing the three hikers in some sort of swap. Reuters explains:
Ahmadinejad suggested in an interview with the American television network NBC in September that the Americans’ release might be linked to the release of Iranian diplomats he said were being held by U.S. troops in Iraq.
We will keep you posted on any further developments.