Families of UC Grads Missing in Iran Hold Out Hope

Trio accidentally crossed border, mothers say

Relatives of the three American hikers being held in Iran are appearing on morning talk shows to keep focus on their detention.

Hikers Shane Bauer, Joshua Fattal and Sarah Shourd have been held since July 31.

The families launched a website Wednesday as a way to share information about the background of the three and efforts to secure their release. A statement on the site emphasizes their message:

We still know nothing about how our children are and where they are being held. We respectfully urge the Iranian authorities to grant them their right to consular access so we at least can know they are safe and well. If our children had known the border was there, they wouldn’t have crossed it. We continue to hope and believe that the Iranian authorities will realize that our children entered their country by accident and will return them to us.

Their relatives said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that the area where the hikers were staying is safe and draws western tourists.

In response to a question on NBC's "Today" show, the hikers' mothers insisted that their children weren't spying on Iran. They said the hikers love the area's culture.

The hikers entered the country from Iraq without authorization.

Their friends and families say the travelers crossed the poorly marked border by mistake.

Iran's state television has said they disregarded border guards' warnings.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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