Week of action for detained hikers

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Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd, and Shane Bauer
Image courtesy freethehikers.org

Family, friends, and supporters of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, the Berkeley graduates who have been detained in an Iranian prison for nearly two years, are organizing a week of action leading up to the men's July 31 trial date.

Fattal, Bauer, and Bauer's fiancée, Sarah Shourd, were arrested two summers ago along an unmarked Iranian border while on a hiking trip in Iraq. Shourd was released last fall, but Fattal and Bauer have languished in prison ever since. They are expected to face trial on charges of espionage on Sunday, the two-year anniversary of their arrest.

A campaign for their release has been in swing since they were first taken to Iran's Evin Prison, but it's heating up this week with an effort called Two Years Is Too Long: One Million Voices for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. Organizers are asking supporters to phone the Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington D.C. each day, from July 25 to July 29, with the following message: “I am a supporter of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal. I know that the two are not spies and urge you to release them and allow them to travel home to their families tomorrow.” The idea is to use a flood of (polite) phone calls to build pressure for their release.

The Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Washington D.C. can be reached at (202) 965-4990. For more information, go here, here, or here.