Iran General NewsNobel winners join call for release of US hikers...

Nobel winners join call for release of US hikers in Iran

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AFP: A group of rights activists, including Nobel laureates and US actress Mia Farrow, have called for the release of three US hikers held in Iran on the occasion of Iranian Mother’s Day.

WASHINGTON (AFP) — A group of rights activists, including Nobel laureates and US actress Mia Farrow, have called for the release of three US hikers held in Iran on the occasion of Iranian Mother’s Day.

The activists, all mothers, signed a statement calling on Iranian authorities to release Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, who were arrested in July 2009 after straying over the Iraqi border into Iran.

“On the occasion of Mother’s Day in Iran, we urge the Iranian authorities to use this happy occasion to demonstrate the values of mercy and compassion and release Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd on humanitarian grounds,” said the statement.

“These three young people have been denied their freedom for too long. It is high time they came home to their families,” it added. “Individual citizens should not pay the price of tensions between nations or be used as bargaining chips.”

Among the signatories to the statement are Louise Arbor, the former United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and Mairead Maguire and Betty Williams, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for their work fostering peace in Northern Ireland.

Other signatories include Ela Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, Cindy Sheehan, a US anti-war activist, and Clara Rojas, a Colombian lawyer who was held by FARC guerillas for six years.

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