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In a newly-released video, Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd send words of encouragement to a Tacoma-man they say is wrongly imprisoned in Nicaragua. (AP Photo/File)

Freed hikers say Tacoma man wrongly imprisoned

Three U.S. hikers who were detained by Iran and later freed have lent their support to a Tacoma man who claims he has been wrongly imprisoned in Nicaragua.

In a newly released video, Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd send words of encouragement to Puracal, who faces the one year anniversary of his arrest on Friday.

"Stay strong," said Fattal, who along with Bauer spent two years behind bars in Iran, before being released in September. Both had been sentenced to eight years in prison after being convicted of illegal entry and espionage. "I hope we get to celebrate your freedom."

Shroud, who was released after 14 months, said the three have looked into Puracal's case.

"We've been spending a lot of time thinking about our next steps, and one of the things we've been doing is looking into other cases of Americans that are wrongfully imprisoned in other countries," she said. "Just like in our case, there has been absolutely no evidence presented against Jason, and we are very concerned about him."

In August, Puracal was convicted of laundering drug money through a real estate franchise in San Juan del Sur. he was subsequently sentenced to 22 years behind bars at La Modelo prison in Managua, Nicaragua.

His family has filed an appeal.


Brandi Kruse, KIRO Radio Reporter
Brandi Kruse is a reporter for KIRO Radio who is as spontaneous and adventurous in her free time as she is on the job. Brandi arrived at KIRO Radio in March 2011 and has already collected three regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her reporting.
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