Cindy Hickey, the mother of Investigative Fund reporter Shane Bauer, who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year, told the AP today that Bauer and Josh Fattal, his hiking companion, will stand trial in Tehran on November 6. The information came from the detainees' Tehran-based lawyer.
“You don't know how anxiously we're awaiting that trial,” Hickey said. “At least it's a sign that things are moving.”
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner told reporters that he was unable to confirm a trial date. But he reiterated the State Department's position “that they've done nothing wrong and that they should be released immediately.”
Last week, The New York Times reported that Iran's intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, had insisted that the third hiker, Sarah Shourd, released last month, had only been freed “temporarily” and would have to return to Iran “when required” to stand trial.
The three Americans have been accused by various Iranian authorities of illegally entering Iran in July 2009; spying charges have also been leveled. But according to a joint investigation by The Investigative Fund and The Nation, eye-witnesses said all three were arrested inside Iraqi territory and then detained by a rogue officer of the Revolutionary Guards. And The State Department, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and editors who have worked closely with Bauer, including those of us at The Investigative Fund, have rejected the spying charges as ludicrous.