U.S. Hikers Jailed In Iran Make Rare Call To Family

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two American hikers held captive in Iran have called home for only the third time since their arrest nearly two years ago.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 28, told their families they had staged a 17-day hunger strike after they were stopped from receiving letters, the hikers’ families said in a news release.

Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn., and Fattal’s mother, Laura Fattal of suburban Philadelphia, began what they called a “rolling” hunger strike last Thursday out of concern their sons also were fasting. Hickey said her son’s phone call was about four minutes and that he sounded “OK.”

“I was very glad to hear his voice,” Hickey said Sunday. “After the third phone call in 21 months, it’s a little. We want him home.”

Fattal, Bauer and Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd, were arrested along the Iraq-Iran border in July 2009 and held on espionage charges, which they deny. Shourd was allowed to return to the U.S. last year on bail. Iranian officials ordered her back to Tehran for the trial, and she has refused to do so.

The trial had been scheduled to resume on May 11, but the men weren’t brought to court and no explanation was given to the families or their lawyer in Tehran. Hickey said her son “has no idea why he wasn’t brought to court or what was going to happen next.”

“I just told him we’re working hard,” Hickey said.

Hickey said Bauer also left a message for Shroud, his fiancee. The two became engaged after their arrest. Fattal spoke to his father, Jacob, according to the news release.

The phone calls were the first the families had received from Bauer and Fattal since Nov. 27, 2010.

Hickey told The Associated Press that she and Laura Fattal have stopped fasting and that Shourd joined the hunger strike on Saturday and that Fattal’s older brother, Alex Fattal, joined it on Sunday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • IntheMidwest

    We need to get these guys back to the U.S. If we can take out bin Laden, we can get them home alive and well. This is a ridiculous situation and makes the U.S. look weak.

    • Rufus is Right

      Because Iran is no Pakistan.

      The US could man handle Pakistan in about 25 mins….it could still whoop up on Iran if need be….but it would be much harder. They have had chinese and russia support to help develop their infrastructure and technology.

  • not afan of rufus

    Rufus are you for real? what if that was your brother over there being held?Or you r sister?You are a cruel cruel person and must be from there if you think any of this is right. Maybe you are sad bin laden is dead but he hurt and killed alot of inncoent people so i am glad he is dead .Shame on you!!

  • JamieinMN

    #1 it’s “on the lam” and #2, do you even know what that means?!?!?!1 You friggin’ idiot.

    • rufus

      # 1I KNOW HOW IT’S SPELLED!! I was being a smart ass in my spelling..You know what my family would not be that stupid to go there and hike in the first place, # 2 i am not cruel it’s just my opinion and the last time i checked i have freedom of speech unlike the people in many other countries. STAY THE @#@# OUT OF A COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT LIKE AMERICANS. Just keep them locked up til Sarah gets her selfish self back to Iran so they don’t kill her boyfreinds because she took off..

      • Michael Clark

        Rufus, I’m glad youo’re in the minority on this one. Your opinions are self-centered and mean-spirited.
        I do hope that they are found innocent so they can return home to the US. More power to the mothers involved in this as well

        • Really Michael???

          They are not mean spirited. How the heck did you get that out of what he wrote?

          He actually had the guts and intellectual fortitue to ask the questions and make the statements that the rest of you sheep are either too dumb or scared to ask.

          Feeling sorry for these hikers is like feeling sorry for someone who plays russian roullete and loses. Yes, it’s okay to feel bad….but the morons had it coming, and it is not okay to ignore that fact….just becaue you “feel bad”.

          • Get with It


            Booking now for my adventure tours:

            Hiking the Iranian border.
            Sneak into N. Korea Stealth Tour.
            Afghanistan Hashish Jamboree.
            Mexican Border Town Pub Crawl.
            Sail the Somali Coast.

            All deposits are nonrefundable.

      • Rufus is Right

        You people need to seriously stop being the sheep the media is trying to make you.

        So let me get this straight…these kids wanted to go hiking in IRAQ huh?? STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

        Thats like me saying i want to go for coffee in North Korea. And if i actually did do that, and got picked up…i wouldnt deserve for anyone to feel sorry for me.

        So it was either the DUMBEST thing in the world, for those kids to go hike in IRAQ and “accidnetly” cross over into IRAN!!!!! Or they are spies, just like Iran says.

        I actually believe the later, that they are assets for some intelligence service. Seriously people, who the hell goes “hiking” in IRAQ!?!

  • rufus

    WHAT EVER>>>>

  • me

    ….Never go near the place or country that does not want you there…..

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