Iran frees hikers, many journalists remain imprisoned

New York, September 21, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the news that U.S. journalist Shane Bauer and his friend Josh Fattal were released today on US$1 million bail by the Iranian government after two years in Tehran’s Evin Prison, according to news reports.

“We welcome the news that Bauer and Fattal have finally been released after two years of unjust imprisonment,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “On this day we must bring attention to the dozens of Iranian journalists that languish away in jails across the country facing a lack of due process and abuse at the hands of prison guards. We call on Tehran to release these unjustly imprisoned journalists.”

Iranian authorities detained Bauer, Fattal, and Sarah Shourd, while they were hiking on the border with Iraqi Kurdistan in July 2009. Bauer a correspondent for New America Media, was not on assignment at the time of his arrest. Shourd was released in September while Bauer and Fattal had been sentenced last month to 8 years imprisonment on charges of espionage and “illegally” crossing the Iranian border.