Mothers Hold Hunger Strike For Imprisoned Bay Area Hikers

BERKELEY (KCBS) – The trial of two UC Berkeley graduates, who have been imprisoned in Iran for more than 21 months, has been delayed once again, leaving their families without an explanation.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were scheduled to go on trial on May 11. They along with Sarah Shourd were hiking in July 2009 when they crossed over the border into Iran. They face espionage charges.

Shourd was released last September for medical reasons and cannot attend the trial in Tehran because of her health.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

Meanwhile, Cindy Hickey and Laura Fattal, the mothers of Shane and Josh, have started a hunger strike to show their support for their sons.

“Sarah shared with us that they had actually made this plan when she was still in prison that if things didn’t move forward, they would go on hunger strike,” said Hickey. “We’re very confident that Shane and Josh are probably hunger striking also due to the fact that they are at a standstill.”

Hickey said they are only drinking water and plan to continue the strike as long as they physically can. Other family members and supporters will then join in what she calls “a rolling hunger strike.”

Hickey said she greatly misses her son, as the last time she actually saw him was a year ago in Iran. The last time she spoke with him in November was when he was allowed a five-minute phone call.

“We know absolutely nothing. Our lawyer is trying. He’s pushed and pushed to have some answers to the question of why and when this will continue,” said Hickey. “It’s devastating and it’s gotten to be cruel and inhumane.”

The Tehran government has postponed the trial and has not offered an explanation as to why it has been delayed.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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