Mothers of Hikers Send Letter to Iranian President
Pine City resident Cindy Hickey and the mothers of the detained American hikers in Iran are asking to meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The mothers sent the letter to the president on Monday which is the 200 day anniversary of the detention of Hickey’s son Shane Bauer and his friends Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal.
Dear President Ahmadinejad,
On January 6, we applied for visas to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran in the hope of seeing our children in Evin Prison. We respectfully ask to meet with you when we visit Tehran and appeal to you to intervene to expedite the approval of our visa request. We would be honored to tell you in person who our children are and why they do not deserve to continue to be held in detention without any contact with the outside world.
Shane, Sarah and Josh have now been detained for 200 days. During that time, they have not been allowed to make a single telephone call to us or write us one letter. For more than three months we have had no independent information about our children’s physical health or their state of mind. Their most recent consular visit from Swiss diplomats was on October 29. We asked an Iranian lawyer, Mr. Masoud Shafii, to represent our children out of respect for the Iranian judicial process, but he has been refused access to them.
We struggle to understand why our children have been denied any contact with us. We
cannot explain why for more than six months Iran has not found it in its heart to demonstrate magnanimity towards our children – young travelers whose only mistake appears to have been to lose their way on a hiking vacation. So we quote here the words of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who earlier this month urged the Iranian authorities to release our children:
[I]t is difficult to escape the conclusion that [Shane, Sarah and Josh] continue to be
held because they are Americans and not for any legal reason. 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.
You too are a parent, Mr. President. Surely you understand the depth of our distress, and
the hopelessness we feel after appealing to you time and again to show our children the
compassion they deserve, irrespective of the land of their birth. We hope you will look
favorably on our request this time and restore our faith in human kindness.
Sincerely – Cindy Hickey, Norah Shourd and Laura Fattal