U.S. Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar issued statements over the weekend after Iranian courts sentenced two American hikers — Shane Bauer, who grew up in Minnesota, and Josh Fattal — to eight years in prison for spying and illegal entry.
“This latest discouraging news is continuing evidence of the Iranian government’s intransigence and callous treatment of these two young hikers. These prison sentences, just like the original charges, are simply unwarranted. With these unreasonable actions, Iran’s government further isolates itself in the eyes of the world. I continue to urge the Iranian government to make a demonstration of humanitarian goodwill by releasing these two young men and allowing them to return home to their families.”
“I’m deeply disappointed by the news of Shane and Josh being sentenced by the Iranian judiciary. Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families, and I will continue to remain in close communication with Shane Bauer’s family, who have been so strong throughout this difficult ordeal. We will continue doing everything possible to see Shane and Josh released and reunited with their families.”
Both said they’ve advocated for the hikers’ release since they were detained in July of 2009; they’ve met with Swiss ambassadors to both the United States and Iran and they introduced a resolution calling for the Iranian government to release the hikers, sent a letter to President Obama urging the Administration to step up its efforts to secure the hikers’ release, and hosted and attended press conferences and rallies to draw attention to the hikers’ cause.