Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer: American hikers released today

Two American hikers convicted of espionage in Iran were released this morning, according to reports.

Elkins Park native Josh Fattal and friend Shane Bauer, of Minnesota, were reportedly seen leaving Evin prison in an envoy with Swiss and Omani diplomats. The two were freed after two judges signed off, releasing them on $1 million bail – $500,000 for each.

Last week, Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the hikers would be released in a few days, but the process hit a snag when one of the judges was out on vacation. There is no word on when Fattal and Bauer will be reunited with their families.

Fattal and Bauer were convicted of spying in August, along with Sarah Shourd, who was convicted in absentia, after being captured in July 2009. Both men were sentenced to eight years, but experts speculated they would likely not serve the whole term. Ahmadinejad termed their release a “humanitarian gesture.”

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