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Mothers Appeal for Release of Sons Held by Iran


Sarah Shourd, one of the three American hikers arrested by Iranian authorities in July 2009 and charged with espionage, was released Tuesday to her mother. Meanwhile, the mothers of the other two hikers continue to press for their children's release from a Tehran prison.

This has been a bittersweet week for Cindy Hickey, the mother of Shane Bauer, the American hiker who became engaged to Sarah Shourd during their prison stay.

On the one hand, Hickey said she is thrilled by Tuesday's news that Shourd, who suffered severe health problems while in prison, had been released after posting $500,000 bail. At the same time, her son Shane and another hiker, Josh Fattal, still languish behind bars, accused of crimes they say they did not commit.

"That makes us very sad," said Hickey. "We want Shane and Josh to be released also. They need to be reunited with their families."

Josh Fattal's mother, Laura Fattal, stressed the positive.

"We are hoping the compassion of the Supreme Leader [as well as] President Ahmadinejad, and all the branches of the Islamic Republic of Iran's government, will work together and with the compassion they showed to Sarah, please, please let them extend it to my son, and his good friend Shane," said Fattal.

"Yes, we are very happy that Sarah is home, but now we need Shane and Josh home and we need them home now," said Hickey. "It is time for their release. We need to get Shane out so we can continue those wedding plans."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to be in New York to address the United Nations next week. The mothers hope he will release their children as a gesture of good will. Mr. Ahmadinejad has said that he has "no influence" over his nation's judiciary.

Related video report by Laurel Bowman:

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