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Walled off, 3 Americans held in Iran six months

MINNEAPOLIS — It's been six months since three young Americans were taken into custody in Iran, and the mother of one said even hiring an attorney in Iran has brought no new information on how they are doing.

"It's like there's this brick wall in front of us, and we can't get through," Cindy Hickey, the mother of Shane Bauer, said in a telephone interview. "The concern for me as a mother is how this has to be taking a toll on them psychologically, and I would like someone to see them physically to tell me that they're in okay health."

Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal were hiking in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region in July when they accidentally crossed the border, their families have said. All three are graduates of the University of California at Berkeley.

Iran's foreign minister said in late December that the three would be tried in court, but he did not say when a trial would begin or what the three would be charged with other than to say they had "suspicious aims." Earlier, the country's chief prosecutor said they were accused of spying.

Their families say that's ludicrous and last month hired an Iranian attorney to press the case. But Hickey, who lives near Pine City, Minn., said the attorney, Masoud Shafie, has been denied visits with the three and hasn't received any information on charges. "He's being told it's not time, it's not time," Hickey said. "We don't understand this lack of movement."

The last time anyone sympathetic saw the three was at the end of October, when Swiss diplomats were granted a visit. They said the three were in good health.

Walled off, 3 Americans held in Iran six months 01/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 30, 2010 10:07pm]

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