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Two Hikers Detained in Iran Announce Plans to Marry

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The mothers of the three UC Berkeley graduates detained in an Iranian prison had a bittersweet visit with their children last week as two of the hikers announced that they plan to marry once they are released, according to major media outlets.

Shane Bauer created a ring out of thread from his shirt and proposed to his girlfriend Sarah Shourd in the exercise yard of the prison where they have been detained for nearly a year, according to the Associated Press.

Though there has been no date set for their release, the Iranian government has suggested they are willing to "trade" Iranian prisoners held in the United States in return for the release of the three Americans.

The mothers of the imprisoned hikers returned home without their children, but said the engagement shows the hikers are still "hopeful for the future," according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

The mothers said they hoped their visit would result in bringing the hikers home, but the Iranian government was unwilling to comply until the United States shows some sort of gesture toward Iranians in U.S. custody similar to Iran's decision to permit the mothers' visit.

Iran has accused the hikers of espionage and entering the country illegally, but the government has yet to publicly charge them with a crime or bring them to trial.

The hikers' families have repeatedly stated that the hikers crossed the border only by accident.

Shourd and Bauer had been living together in Damascus, Syria, with Shourd working as an English teacher and Bauer as a freelance journalist. Josh Fattal came to visit the couple last July, and the three decided to hike in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, where they were eventually captured and detained.

The hikers' families could not be reached as of press time.


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