Hope Grows For U.S. Hikers Jailed In Iran

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NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) — Freed American hiker Sarah Shourd says she hopes Iran will keep its word and finally put her friends on trial Sunday, the second anniversary of their arrest.

“The public prosecutor made a statement about the trial and he said that a final decision will be made on this date,” Shourd told ABC News. “We’ve never heard something like this from the public prosecutor before. … This gives us hope that the trial will be the end of this nightmare.”

Shourd, who was freed by Iran for health reasons in September, says she replays the day she, her fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Joshua Fattal were arrested on the Iran-Iraq border “obsessively” in her mind.

“When your life is struck by a wrecking ball, you go back and think what if I woke up later? And what if it got hot, we turned around sooner? What if I didn’t look up at the ridge? All the what-ifs are endless and they torture you,” she said.

The three, who say they were in Iraqi Kurdistan, were seized by Iranian border guards and charged with illegal entry and espionage.

The Iranians say “this will be the final hearing, and they have been very purposeful in choosing July 31, the anniversary of their capture,” Fattal’s mother Laura said. “Not in a million years do I believe that this is coincidence.”

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