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Report: Iran Sentences US Hikers to 8 Years for Spying

American hikers Shane Bauer, left, and Josh Fattal, center, and their translator attend the first session of their trial at the revolutionary court in Tehran February 6, 2011. (Reuters/Press TV)

Two American hikers held in Iran since 2009 have each been sentenced to eight years in prison for spying, the state television station reported Saturday.

Lebanese outlet the Daily Star:

"According to an informed source with the judiciary, Shane Bauer...and...Josh Fattal, the two detained American citizens, have been each sentenced to three years in prison for illegal entry to the Islamic Republic of Iran," the website reported.

It further said that the two have separately been "sentenced to five years in prison on charges of espionage for the American intellgience [sic] agency."

It is unclear if the sentences will include time served. Bauer and Fattal have 20 days to appeal.

According to CNN, the Tehran prosecutor's office has said it has "compelling evidence" that Bauer, Fattal and fellow hiker Sarah Shourd were cooperating with U.S. intelligence agencies.

Shourd was released in September for medical reasons after spending 410 days in solitary confinement. She has said the group did not know they crossed the border into Iran while hiking.

The U.S. has repeatedly called for the hikers' release. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a recent statement Bauer and Fattal, both 28, "have been imprisoned too long, and it is time to reunite them with their families."

Last month, a lawyer for Bauer and Fattal said he expected they might soon be freed.

Editor's note: This story has been updated since it was first published.

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