Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal were sentenced to eight years in prison in… (Reuters )
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called again for the immediate release of two American hikers who were sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran, saying the U.S. is "deeply disappointed" by the sentence.
Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal have been held in Iranian prison for more than two years on charges of espionage and illegally entering Iranian territory. They were sentenced to three years for illegal entry and five years for espionage.
"We are deeply disappointed that Iranian judicial authorities have sentenced Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal to 8 years in prison," Clinton said in a statement released Sunday morning. "We continue to call and work for their immediate release -- it is time for them to return home and be reunited with their families."
A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was released on $500,000 bail last year and has been campaigning for her friends' release. All three are UC Berkeley grads.
"I join President Obama and the people of the United States in expressing our unflagging support for Shane, Joshua, Sarah and their families during this difficult time," Clinton said.
In a statement, the families of Bauer and Fattal appealed to Iranian authorities to, "show compassion and allow them to return home to our families without delay."
"We also ask everyone around the world who trusts in the benevolence of the Iranian people and their leaders to join us in praying that Shane and Josh will now be released," it said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.