TEHRAN — One of the three American hikers jailed in Iran for more than a year on spying allegations will be released on Saturday, at the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, Iranian culture ministry authorities said Thursday.
Reporters were told by an official with the Ministry of Islamic Guidance and Culture to gather in a northern Tehran hotel on Saturday for a meeting. The hikers’ lawyer, Massoud Shaffie, said it is widely expected that Sarah Shourd, the only woman among the three, will be released.
“They are not spies, they have been held for over a year without a trial and according to the law should all be released. I will be very happy if Sarah will be freed,” he said.
Shourd, 32, has been held alone in a cell and is said to have been ill and depressed. She is engaged to Shane Bauer, 27, who together with the other member of their group, Joshua Fattal, 27, is held in another cell.
The three were arrested by Iranian border forces in July, 2009, on the suspicion of being spies. Their mothers, who came to visit their children inTehran in May, say they had been hiking in the Iraqi mountains.