Alumni Detained in Iran to Face Trial

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Three UC Berkeley alumni detained by Iranian authorities in July will be put on trial, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said at a press conference Monday, according to a report from the BBC.

Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd were detained while hiking near the Iraqi-Iranian border and were charged with espionage Nov. 8.

"Interrogation of the three Americans who have illegally entered Iran with suspicious aims is ongoing," Mottaki said at the press conference, according to the report. "They will be put on trial by the judiciary and rulings will be made."

Iranian authorities accused the trio of crossing the border illegally, though friends and family of the hikers said the crossing was accidental.

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that she considers the charges against the alumni "unfounded," the BBC reported.

"We appeal to the Iranian leadership to release these three young people and free them as soon as possible," she said. "They were out hiking and unfortunately, apparently, allegedly walked across an unmarked boundary."

Contact Tomer Ovadia at [email protected]

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