[QODLink]
Middle East
Iran judiciary: No imminent release of US men
Confusion as judiciary says two men jailed as spies are not to be released soon, a day after president said they would.
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2011 18:53
Bauer, left, and Fattal have been in an Iranian jail for more than two years [Reuters]

Two US nationals convicted of spying will not be released imminently from prison, Iran's judiciary has said, a after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the country's president, said they would be released in a "couple of days".

"While denying [the] release of two Americans accused of espionage, the public relations of the judiciary announces that the request of the lawyer to post bail and free them is being studied by the case's judge," said a statement posted on the judiciary website on Wednesday.

"Any information in this regard will be issued by the judiciary and any release of information from other sources is not valid," it added.
 
Bauer and Fattal were arrested in July 2009 near Iran's border with Iraq, where they say they were hiking in the mountains. They were sentenced last month to eight years in prison on spying charges.

Ahmadinejad told US media on Tuesday that they would be freed in what he called a humanitarian gesture shortly before he travels to the United Nations in New York.

Iran's English-language Press TV quoted a judiciary official as saying "Bauer and Fattal's release on bail was under review".

Sarah Shourd, a US citizen who was arrested with them, was freed on bail on humanitarian and medical grounds in September 2010 and returned home.

On Tuesday, an Iranian judge said he would release the men on payment of $500,000 bail each.

Shourd was allowed to go home after paying the same amount in bail.

Bauer and Fattal, who share a cell in Tehran's Evin prison and deny the charges, were convicted at a trial held behind closed doors. 

Their supporters say evidence against them has never been made public. 

US President Barack Obama has denied that the two men, who were working in the Middle East when they were detained, had any link to US intelligence.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.