New York: The mothers of three young
US citizens detained in Iran called on Thursday for their "inhumane"
imprisonment to end before the first anniversary of their
arrest later this month.
"We call on you to end their unjust and arbitrary
detention before the one-year anniversary of their arrest on
July 31," the mothers of the trio said in a letter to the head
of Iran`s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani.
"Our children`s imprisonment in the absence of any
certainty as to their fate or to the specific allegations
against them is unlawful and inhumane."
Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal,
27 were picked up July 31, 2009, near the Iraqi-Iranian border
during what they say was a hiking holiday.
Iranian officials have made references to the
possibility of trying them for espionage, but no official
charges have been announced, and the affair has become an
added irritant to already tense US-Iranian relations.
The mothers -- Cindy Hickey, Nora Shourd and Laura
Fattal -- were allowed to meet with their children in a visit
However, a longed-for breakthrough never
materialized, they said.
"We were grateful for the opportunity," they wrote
to Larijani, "but nothing has happened since then."
They said that Sarah Shourd was in solitary
confinement and that "her continued isolation will do lasting
damage to her mental and physical wellbeing."
The lawyer representing the detainees has been
denied access to them "in violation of all due process," they
charged. "Our children have been able to telephone their
families just once in almost a year and not at all since our