UN chief welcomes release of US hikers from Iranian prison

21 September 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed today’s release from an Iranian prison of two United States men who had been convicted and jailed over spying allegations.

Media reports indicate Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were released earlier today and have since flown out of Iran, more than two years after they were arrested while hiking near the Iranian-Iraqi border and a month after they were each sentenced to eight-year prison terms on espionage-related charges.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “appreciates the decision of the Iranian authorities to positively respond to international appeals on humanitarian grounds. He commends all parties who helped to secure their release.”

A third US national, Sarah Shourd, who was arrested at the same time as Mr. Bauer and Mr. Fattal, was released by Iran last year.

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