American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, who were released from an Iranian prison after more than two years in custody, have spent their first day of freedom enjoying a reunion with their families in Muscat, the capital of Oman.
"Today can only be described as the best day of our lives," the freed hikers’ families said in a statement. "The joy and relief we feel . . . knows no bounds."
Reportedly, Fattal gave his first hug to his brother Alex, while Bauer run in the arms of his fiancée, Sarah Shourd, with whom he got engaged while in prison. Shroud was arrested together with the two but released last year on medical grounds.
Bauer and Fattal landed at the Muscat airport shortly before midnight Wednesday, and gave short statements to the media.
"Two years in prison is too long," Bauer said, and added he hoped their release from prison will also bring "freedom for political prisoners in America and Iran."
"We are so happy we are free, and so relieved we are free," Fattal told reporters. "Our deepest gratitude goes toward his majesty, Sultan Qaboos of Oman, for obtaining our release."
Reportedly, both Fattal and Bauer were freed on bail of $500,000, and their sentences for spying convictions were commuted. Their lawyer Masoud Shafiee, told CNN the $1 million bail had been paid by the Omani government.
The hikers, all three friends from their days at the University of California at Berkeley, were arrested in 2009 when they crossed to Iran from Iraq. Last month Bauer and Fattal were charged with eight years in prison on charges of spying and illegally entering the country, while Shourd had been released in September last year on $500,000 bail.