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Family Cautiously Optimistic About Hikers Trial

Cindy Hickey (L), recently-released hiker Sarah Shourd (center), and Laura Fattal stand during a press conference September 19, 2010 in New York City. Shourd gave a statement entreating the Iranian government to release her fellow hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who are still being held in Iran under suspicion of espionage after being picked up by Iranian security forces during a hiking trip along the Iraq-Iran border in 2009. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – A trial is scheduled for July 31 for two American hikers imprisoned in Iran and one family member is cautiously optimistic about it, after previous trials were canceled.

Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer have been in Iranian custody since 2009. Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, was also imprisoned, but was released last year on $500,000 bail. The three deny allegations of espionage.

Bauer’s brother-in-law Nate Lindstrom tells the Duluth News Tribune the trial is at the two-year anniversary of their arrest so it’s hard not to be a little optimistic about the outcome.

Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey, of Pine City, Shourd and other family attended Saturday’s Twin Ports Bridge Festival in Duluth.

They planned a morning “Free the Hikers” rally there but the weather caused them to postpone it until evening.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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