Iranian Pres. Requests Deal for Hikers

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 6:12 am

HikersIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a television interview Tuesday that he is requesting a swap of Iranian prisoners in the United States for Americans Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal who were arrested in July after crossing the Iran border while hiking in Iraq.

Bauer is a native of Minnesota and his family is from Pine City

In an email to Red Rock Radio, Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey, said she would not comment on the proposed swap until she and the other American families have more information.

The hikers have been detained for over six months and spent some time in solitary confinement.  (Hear Hickey talk about the six month anniversary here.)

Prior to the news of Ahmadinejad’s swap request, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archibishop Desmond Tutu issued a statement Tuesday calling for the release of the hikers.

He said, “I urge the Iranian authorities not to deny them their freedom in order to express their discontent with the United States.  Nations have a right to disagree but their citizens should not be made to pay the price of their differences.”

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