Cindy Hickey, Laura Fattal, and Nora Shourd — the mothers of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal, and Sarah Shourd, the three American hikers detained in Iran — spoke to the Associated Press on 17 May 2010:
Laura Fattal, the mother of Josh Fattal, said:
We had to maintain this great optimism throughout these nine and a half months. This humanitarian gesture by Dr. Mottaki, the Foreign Minister of Iran — he has said this is a humanitarian gesture he is providing the mothers to visit Iran and Tehran to see our kids. . . . I’m just hoping — and I’m sure that Nora and Cindy are feeling the same — that if there is an extension of humanitarianism, to extend it to the release, you have three extremely grateful mothers.
The hikers’ moms are leaving for Iran today, to see their children and personally appeal to the Iranian leaders for their release. All well-wishers of the Iranian nation, as well as friends and families of the hikers, should wish the moms success.
If Iran can make such a “humanitarian gesture” as issuing humanitarian visas, though, why can’t the United States do the same? Adriana Pérez and Olga Salanueva, wives of Gerardo Hernández and René González, two of the five Cuban anti-terrorists unjustly imprisoned in the United States, have been denied visits to their husbands in prison for eleven years. Why not humanitarian visas for Adriana and Olga?
For more information about the hikers, go to <freethehikers.org>. See, also, Scott Campbell, “Why You Should Care about the Three Americans Held in Iran” (MRZine, 23 April 2010); and Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Michael Hardt, Cindy Sheehan, and Cornel West, “Statement of Solidarity with Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal, Who Have Been Unjustly Detained in Iran since July 31, 2009” (MRZine, 10 May 2010). For more information about the Cuban Five, visit <www.thecuban5.org>. According to a Cuban News Agency report published on the same day as the AP interview above, “Olga Salanueva said that the legal possibilities are practically at its end. She said that international pressure will be the only way for Fernando, Rene, Antonio, Ramon and Gerardo to be freed.”