CROSS-BORDER

Iran Sentences U.S. Hikers to 8 Years

Two American hikers who were detained after crossing over the Iranian border have been sentenced to eight years in prison. Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have already been detained for two harrowing years after they were reportedly caught crossing the Iran-Iraq border while hiking in Iraq's Kurdish region. A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was released last year for medical reasons. The men each received five years for espionage—specifically "cooperating with the American intelligence service"—and three years for illegal entry, reported the IRINN, an Iranian news network. The U.S. and other world leaders have repeatedly called for their release. Their defense attorney, Masoud Shafiei, said that Fattal and Bauer don't have the "characteristics and background of spies." Many argue that the time the two have already spent confined in Iran is punishment enough.