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Forum Communications Co., Published July 10 2011

Family cautiously optimistic about hikers’ trial in Iran

DULUTH, Minn. – A trial is scheduled for July 31 for two American hikers imprisoned in Iran and one family member is cautiously optimistic about it, after previous trials were canceled.

Josh Fattal and Minnesota native Shane Bauer have been in Iranian custody since 2009. Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, was also imprisoned but was re­leased last year on $500,000 bail. The three deny allegations of espionage.

Bauer’s brother-in-law Nate Lindstrom tells the Duluth News Tribune that the trial is at the two-year anniversary of their arrest, so it’s hard not to be a little optimistic about the outcome.

Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey, of Pine City, Shourd and other family attended Saturday’s Twin Ports Bridge Festival in Duluth.

They planned a morning “Free the Hikers” rally there but the weather caused them to postpone it until evening.