American Hikers Reunite with Their Families in Oman

09/21/2011 at 07:05 PM EDT



American hikers Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were greeted by a mass of people – including media, family and Bauer's fiancée Sarah Shourd – on Wednesday when they stepped off an airplane in Oman shortly after being released from an Iranian jail after a two year imprisonment.

The hikers, along with Shourd, were convicted of espionage and illegal entry into Iran after being arrested while hiking along the Iran-Iraq border. Shourd was released a year ago on $500,000 bail. She and Bauer got engaged while in captivity.

The two remaining captives were "so happy" and "so relieved" to be freed, said Fattal in a statement released by both men, 29.



"Two years in prison is too long," Bauer said. "We sincerely hope for the freedom for other political prisoners and other unjustly imprisoned people in American and Iran."

Parents of the two former prisoners also released a statement, calling their sons' day of freedom, "the best day of our lives."

"We have waited nearly 26 months for this moment," the statement says. "The joy and relief we feel at Shane and Josh's long-awaited freedom knows no bounds. We now all want nothing more than to wrap Shane and Josh in our arms, catch up on two lost years and make a new beginning for them and for all of us."

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