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Entries in Cindy Hickey (1)

Wednesday
May252011

Moms of US Hikers Imprisoned in Iran on Hunger Strike to Bring Sons Home

ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- They've waited 662 days for their sons' freedom. Now Cindy Hickey and Laura Fattal, the mothers of imprisoned American hikers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, told ABC News they've run out of patience.

Interviewed at the National Press Club in Washington, Hickey said, "There are days I don't sleep. I don't sleep at night. I watch my daughters struggling -- my daughters are struggling very hard with this. It's still surreal to me that we are in this situation. How long can this go on? At some point things that have been lost wouldn't be able to be recovered, and that's my biggest fear."

The mothers, along with Fattal's brother Alex, have launched a series of events to raise awareness of the hikers' case and, they hope, speed up their release.

After learning that their sons went on a 17-day hunger strike to protest their not being able to receive letters from loved ones, the families of the hikers have started a hunger strike of their own. Cindy Hickey and Laura Fattal rolled it out last week. Deepak Chopra picked it up over the weekend. And now Alex is taking his turn. Laura Fattal will start again on June 4, her son Josh's birthday.

Laura Fattal says, "I could imagine this could have been done in 21 hours, not 21 months to free them. Of course, we are strong. We are strong to get our sons to their freedom, and because these are 28-year-old young men who have their entire life in front of them."

Cindy Hickey: "We want to stand in solidarity with Shane and Josh. We want them home. This will continue. It's a rolling hunger strike. It will continue until they are home. There is always somebody on a hunger strike. The answer to ending this is to have Shane and Josh home."

The hikers families and loved ones have also enlisted the help of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and U.S. Muslim leaders who have called for the mens' release. In a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei, released Wednesday, Ali and 20 other American Muslim leaders wrote of Bauer and Fattal's innocence, and appealed to the supreme leader to release them out of compassion and kindness, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad.

On Sunday the two detainees spoke with their families for the first time since Nov. 27, 2010. The phone calls from Fattal and Bauer were both reassuring and worrying for their mothers. Laura Fattal was out of the house when her husband took the call.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio