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Mon 26 Sep 2011 12:14 PM

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US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage

Pair arrested on the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009 were freed after Oman paid bail of $1m

US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Josh Fattal (C) and Shane Bauer (C-R), two American hikers released after spending more than two years imprisoned in Iran, were joined by Sarah Shourd (centre-L) and family members at the podium in front of a press-filled conference room at the Parker Meridien New York, on September 25, 2011 in New York City. Fattal, Bauer, and Shourd were charged with trespassing and espionage, after allegedly crossing the border between Iraq and Iran on a hiking trip (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
The two American men jailed in Iran for more than two years for spying arrived in New York on Sunday, saying they were innocent and had been held hostage simply because of their nationality (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, arrested with their friend Sarah Shourd while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009, were freed on Wednesday after Oman paid bail of $1m. Shourd was released on $500,000 bail a year ago (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Fattal and Bauer were sentenced to eight years in prison last month after a trial held behind closed doors (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Washington denied the group were spies and US president Barack Obama said on Wednesday they should never have been detained (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Flanked by family members at a news conference in New York, Bauer and Fattal said the case against them was a 'total sham' with 'ridiculous lies that depicted us as being involved in an elaborate American-Israeli conspiracy to undermine Iran' (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
'The only explanation for our prolonged detention is the 32 years of mutual hostility between America and Iran,' Bauer said. 'We were convicted of espionage because we are American. It's that simple. No evidence was ever presented against us' (Getty Images)
US hikers convicted in Iran say they were held hostage
Josh Fattal (L) and Shane Bauer (R) walk into a press-filled conference room at the Parker Meridien New York (Getty Images)