Next Court Session For Three Americans Scheduled For 11 May; Sarah Shourd Must Return To Iran
The next trial session for the three Americans who were arrested on 31 July 2009 on Iran’s western border will be held on 11 May. Sarah Shourd, one of the three, was released on bail of $500,000 in September 2010 after it was disclosed that her health had deteriorated in prison; she immediately left Iran.
The three Americans’ lawyer, Massoud Shafiee, has told IRNA that Sarah Shourd has also been summoned to the court session. In the summons served to Mr. Shafiee, Sarah Shourd’s attendance has been stated as mandatory. The notice has also been sent to Sarah Shourd through Iran’s Foreign Ministry.
The 11 May session will be held at Branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Courts, with Judge Salavati presiding. Shafiee has not be able to meet with his clients in prison for the past two years, though he has stated that the Revolutionary Court has agreed to his meeting with them. The three Americans are accused of espionage, but Massoud Shafiee previously told the Campaign that there is no evidence in their case to prove such charge. According to Shafiee, the only legal charge against them is the matter of “illegal entry to Iranian territory,” and even this charge is disputed by the three suspects. According to Shafiee, the location where the three individuals were arrested has no border markings.
Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, and Joshua Fattal will have to defend themselves in court while they have had no access to their lawyer. “According to Article 209 of the Iranian Code of Criminal Procedure, the case judge must separate cases where there are multiple suspects, and not allow the absence of one of the suspects to delay the court proceedings, keeping the remaining suspects in a state of limbo. Regarding Shourd, the court can do one of two things; one is that the court can issue its ruling in her absence, and the other is that her court session can be re-scheduled,” Shafiee told IRNA.
According to IRNA’s news article, the three Americans “in addition to illegal entry to the soil of the Islamic Republic of Iran, are accused of espionage.” The first trial session of the three imprisoned Americans was held in a closed court on 6 February at Branch 15 of Tehran General and Revolutionary Courts with Judge Salavati presiding.