Thursday, 17 June 2010

CNN : Mothers of detained U.S. hikers urge Iran to prosecute or free them

(CNN) -- The mothers of U.S. hikers urged the Iranian government to either prosecute or free the three held since last year after reportedly crossing the border into the country while hiking in Iraq.

In a statement, the mothers of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal also called for more consular access for their children and for them to be able to call their families.

They also asked that Shourd be moved from solitary confinement.

"Shane, Sarah and Josh have been detained in Iran without due process for almost 11 months, in continued violation of Iranian and international law," the mothers said.

"To continue to detain our children without regard for their legal and human rights reinforces suspicions that they are being held in a cynical attempt by Iran to exert leverage with the United States. Iran has no legitimate reason at this stage not to release them or move forward with a fair trial in which our children can openly answer any allegations against them."

The three Americans have been held for nearly a year. Their mothers visited them in Iran in May.

Bauer and Shourd got engaged in prison and plan to get married after their release.

"Shane told me that he proposed to Sarah in the yard of Evin prison on January 6, the very same day that we applied for our visas to go visit them," Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, said at the time. "We're all so overjoyed at the news, but it's obviously impossible to know when the wedding will take place."

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