Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, Hikers Freed from Jail in Iran, Arrive in Oman


It was disclosed today that the government of Oman paid the $1 million bail for the two men. A third hiker, Sarah Shroud, who was initially detained with the two men were released in 2009. Oman paid the bail for her release as well.

In their statement, the family thanked Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, Oman's king.

Bauer and Fattal's release has been beset by mixed signals since Ahmadinejad indicated a fast-track release. Iran's judiciary, which is directly controlled by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, swiftly reminded the public that only the courts have the power to control the release's timing.

The two men were convicted last month for spying and illegally entering Iran and were both sentenced to eight years in prison. They appealed the verdicts and an Iranian court set bail of $500,000 each, opening the way for their release.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, and Fattal, and environmental activist, have denied the charges, saying they were just hiking in Iraq's scenic north, and might have accidentally crossed an unmarked border with Iran.

Shourd was detained with them, but she was released last September with mediation by Oman after her $500,000 bail was paid. The payment of bail in the cases must be arranged through third parties, such as Oman, because of the United States' economic sanctions on Iran.

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