Freedom

Iran Plans to Free American Hiker

Officials in Iran say they will release one of three American hikers detained there since July 2009. The three hikers—Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal—were captured and charged with espionage when they wandered into Iran from northern Iraq. Iranian Intelligence Minister Haider Moslehi says Tehran has proof the Americans are linked to intelligence services, a charge that in Iran can be punishable by death. Iranian officials did not say which hiker will be freed. Back in February, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the Americans might be swapped for Iranians held by the United States, and in May, the mothers of the captive hikers were allowed to visit them in Tehran. Journalists have been invited to attend the ceremony for the one hiker's release on Saturday.