Happy Nowruz!

Dear Friends,
*Apologies if you are receiving this email twice*
We hope that you have heard the good news that Shane, Sarah and Josh were allowed to call home (please see the press release below). We were overjoyed that after seven and half months we were finally able to hear their voices, and hope that it means that soon enough we will be able to give them a hug and welcome them home.
Shane, Sarah and Josh’s spirits seemed good and they were sure to let us know that they are staying strong. That strength comes from the collective efforts of the thousands of people across the world who are pulling for them and doing everything they can to ensure they get home soon. Your efforts, voice and support have been critical and we ask that you continue to be active and do what you can to make sure the hikers are home for the Nowruz, the Iranian New Year.

Dear Ambassador Khazaee,

Happy Nowruz!

We respectfully ask that the Islamic Republic of Iran allow Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal to be reunited with their families before Nowruz.

Thank you.

We ask that you please download this e-card, attach the text, and forward it to the Iranian Mission of the United Nations, iran@un.int, and ask your friends to do the same. The Iranian New Year is a celebration of the coming of spring and its regeneration. Iranians come together as families and we hope that our families will be able to be together too.
Again, thank you for all of your help and support. If you haven’t worked your way through the various actions on the Take Action section of our website we encourage you to do that too. Every little bit helps!
In Gratitude,
The Bauer, Shourd and Fattal families
If you are having trouble downloading the e-card from this email, please visit our homepage: http://freethehikers.org/

Press Release:

From: http://freethehikers.org/
March 10, 2010

AMERICAN HIKERS DETAINED IN IRAN ARE ALLOWED
TO CALL HOME FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN SEVEN MONTHS

Families Welcome Positive Sign; Hope Loved Ones Will be Released for Iranian
New Year

Iranian authorities have allowed Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal to speak to their
parents by telephone for the first time since they were detained more than seven months ago.
The families of the three Americans said they had received the calls from their loved ones on
Tuesday.

“It was a tremendous relief to hear their voices at last and know that Shane, Sarah and Josh are
keeping well and staying strong.  They still don’t have any details about their case but they are
aware of some of what we and others are doing to speed their release,” the families said.  “We
believe the calls are a positive signal that their long detention may soon be over after these
many months of anguish and uncertainty.  As families throughout Iran prepare to celebrate the
festival of Nowruz, the start of the Iranian New Year, we appeal to the Iranian authorities to
show compassion and allow our families to be reunited in joy and happiness as well.”

According to the families, Shane and Josh, both 27, are being held in the same cell in Evin
Prison in Tehran.  Sarah, 31, is alone in her cell but is able to meet with Shane and Josh every
day.

The three friends were detained on July 31, 2009 when news reports say they accidentally
strayed across the unmarked border with Iran while hiking in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan,
where they were on a brief vacation.  Their mothers, Cindy Hickey, Nora Shourd and Laura
Fattal, applied for visas on January 6 to visit them in prison but have still not been informed
whether they will be allowed to enter Iran.  Their Iranian lawyer, Masoud Shafii, continues to
press for access to his clients.

“We would like to thank Mr. Shafii for his persistent efforts on behalf of Shane, Sarah and Josh
and his repeated requests to the Iranian authorities to allow them to telephone us.  These phone
calls make us long to embrace them even more.  They have been held for far too long and it’s
time for them to come home,” the families said.

Contact:

familiesofhikers@gmail.com

~ by fredfelleman on March 17, 2010.

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