WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 31, 2010, 01:51 PM

Families mark 1 year of US hikers' Iran detention

NEW YORK (AP) — The families of three Americans jailed in Iran rallied in New York City on Friday to mark the anniversary of their detainment.

By: MARC BEJA, Associated Press

The family members were joined by about 75 supporters outside the Iranian mission to the United Nations. They held mock prison bars and pitched a tent with a sign that read: "Free the hikers. 365 days."

The mothers of the three said they had not heard from their children since May, when the Iranian government allowed them to visit their children.

"We want them out," said Nora Shourd, whose daughter, Sarah Shourd, is among the captives. She said her daughter was being held in solitary confinement. "What the hell has my daughter done to be in solitary confinement for one year?"

Saturday is the anniversary of when Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested along the Iraqi border.

Iran accused them of espionage — a charge both they and the U.S. government have denied. Their families say the three were hiking in Iraq's largely peaceful, mountainous northern Kurdish region when they were seized by Iranian authorities who accused them of crossing the border illegally.

"It's a year. I really thought this would be resolved, maximum, in a few months," said Cindy Hickey, mother of Shane Bauer.

Other protests are planned around the country this weekend to bring attention to the imprisoned trio.

In a statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for the trio's release, saying their detention was unjustifiable.

"Iran has long espoused to the world its commitment to justice, security and peace for all," she said. "We call on Iran to do the right thing and allow these three Americans to return home to their families."