US hikers held in Iran phone home

23 May 2011

Font Size + | - Reset

Two American hikers held in Iran for more than 21 months were allowed to call home Sunday for just the third time since their arrest and sounded “reasonably well,” their families said.

The State Department meanwhile urged Iran to allow Swiss diplomats, who represent US interests in Tehran, to visit the hikers, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, who are being held on espionage charges. No such access has been given since October, it added.

Bauer and Fattal told their families that they had staged a 17-day hunger strike earlier this year after being prevented from receiving letters. The hikers have pleaded not guilty to spying charges, saying they innocently strayed into Iran from across the unmarked border with northern Iraq when they were arrested.

The families vowed to continue their own “rolling” hunger strike until the two men, both 28, are released.

Bauer, a freelance journalist, spoke with his mother, Cindy Hickey, and left a message for his fiancee, Sarah Shourd, who was arrested with the two men on July 31, 2009 and later freed on bail. Fattal spoke with his father Jacob. Both calls lasted less than five minutes. The telephone calls were the first the families had received from Bauer and Fattal since November 27.

“As much as we welcome the calls after six months of silence, they have by no means lessened our concern for Shane and Josh and their mental welfare in light of their awful isolation,” the families said in the statement. “While Shane and Josh sounded reasonably well, we learned that they had to stage a 17-day hunger strike earlier this year because they were not being allowed to get the letters we send them every day,” it said. “Their inhumane treatment has to end with their immediate release. The people responsible for their unjustified imprisonment are bringing shame on Iran by continuing to hold Shane and Josh without due process and for no legitimate reason.”

A fast announced earlier this month by the mothers of the two men coincided with the anniversary of their brief visit to Tehran one year ago, the only time they have seen their sons since their arrest. The families said the hunger strike would continue on a “rolling basis.”

The trial of Bauer and Fattal, after numerous delays, was to have begun this month, but was postponed by the Tehran government without explanation.

source: AFP

Tehran Review
کلیدواژه ها: , , | Print | نشر مطلب Print | نشر مطلب

What do you think | نظر شما چیست؟

عضویت در خبرنامه تهران ریویو

نشانی ایمیل

Most Viewed
Last articles
  • RSS iran – Google News

    • Iran ups cyber attacks on Israeli computers: Netanyahu - NBCNews.com (blog)
    • Iran Says It Sets up Space Monitoring Center - ABC News
    • Report: Iran takes key step in nuclear reactor construction - CNN International
    • Protester killed outside Iran's Beirut embassy - Reuters
    • Syrian opposition denounces 'Iranian invasion,' says world must act - Al-Arabiya
  • video
    کوچ بنفشه‌ها