Hikers' Moms New Plea to Iranian President

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Freethehikers.org
    Joshua Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer have been held in Iran since July 31.

    The mothers of three American hikers detained in Iran are appealing to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to personally return their children.

    Ahmadinejad has applied for a U.S. visa to attend a nuclear conference at the United Nations next week. The mothers of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal sent him a letter this week, asking the Iranian leader to bring their children with him to New York.

    They say it "would be a most noble act of mercy and compassion."

    The three, all graduates of UC Berkeley, have been held since crossing the border from Iraq in late July. Their families say they were just having a fun vacation and unintentionally crossed the border while hiking.

    Iranian officials have suggested the three may have links to U.S. intelligence, a claim the families say is absurd.

    It's not the first time the families have made a personal appeal to the Iranian president. In September, they sent a letter to Ahmadinejad asking for leniency from the country's judiciary.

    Shourd's mother and aunt live in Oakland, Calif. Fattal's family lives near Philadelphia, Bauer's in Pine City, Minnesota.