Protests are being held in San Francisco and 18 other locations around the world over the next several days to mark the one-year anniversary of the detention in Iran of three University of California at Berkeley graduates.
Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer, 27, and Josh Fattal, 27, have been imprisoned in Iran since last July 31.
Their family members and friends say they were detained after they accidentally crossed an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region. But Iran has accused them of espionage and said that it plans to prosecute them, although no formal charges have been filed.
The hikers' mothers are Nora Shourd of Oakland, Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn., and Laura Fattal of Elkins Park, Penn.
A "Free the Hikers" rally will be held at the plaza at the 16th Street BART station at 16th and Mission streets in San Francisco from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The first of a total of 21 protests around the globe was held in Duluth, Minn., Thursday night. A second protest will be held in Duluth on Saturday. Seattle is also the site of two events. One is a rally and the other is a solidarity hike.
Among the many protests today will be a rally outside Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York and a rally outside Iran's embassy in London. Among the other cities where protests will be held are New Delhi in India and Vancouver and Toronto in Canada.
Iran granted visas to the hikers' mothers in May and the mothers were allowed to visit the country for two nights and see their children on two locations. But the mothers returned on May 21 without their children.
Bay City News