Iran says it will free US hiker accused of espionage
Hiking can involve a number of risks, mostly involving possible injury due to rugged terrain, becoming lost or stranded in remote locations, or carrying insufficient clothing to cope with severe weather. Being jailed and accused of espionage is an unusual addition to the list if you stray across international boundaries as three US hikers found when they were arrested by Iranian authorities in July 2009. Apparently they were crossing from Turkey into Iraq and went into Iranian territory by accident.
They are still in detention over a year later, and have only been allowed one meeting with westerners since then - their mothers, in May this year. Now the New York Times reports that one of the three, Sarah Shourd (32), is due to be released on Saturday 11 September. This may be because of medical problems, and ties in with the end of Ramadan which is a traditional time for showing acts of clemency. There is no word of the other two, Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both aged 28. All three are graduates of the University of California, Berkeley.