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Shourd Summoned Back To Iran

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 at 7:31 am

Iran has issued a summons for an American woman hiker, who spent more than a year in an Iranian jail on suspicion of espionage, to face trial along with two American men.

Sarah Shourd was arrested along with her fiance Shane Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal in July 2009 near the Iraqi border.

Iranian authorities declared the Americans to be spies – a charge the trio rejected and said they were hiking near the Iraqi border and mistakenly entered the Iranian territory. Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi confirmed the court’s order to the Associated Press, adding that the trial would start on February 6.

Tehran had released Shourd last September on bail. However, her friends remained in Tehran prison. On Monday, Iran also threatened that Shourd’s bail of $500,000 would be forfeited, if she would fail to return to stand trial. Tehran remained silent who provided the money for bail.

The U.S. rejected Iran’s spy claims and repeatedly demands immediate release of the two remaining American hikers on humanitarian grounds.

The trial was originally set to start last November but it was postponed due to Shourd’s absence.

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