Hikers being held in Iran call loved onesby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Three American hikers being held in Iran were able to call home on Tuesday to let their loved ones know they are OK.
Cindy Hickey, of Pine City, received a call from her son Shane Bauer Tuesday morning. The call lasted only for about a minute, but it was enough time to quell Hickey's biggest fears.
"I've been extremely concerned because no one independent has seen him for 4 1/2 months," Hickey said Wednesday. "It answered those questions that I wake up in the middle of the night wondering: Is he OK? Is he alive? Hearing his voice made me hope that things will start moving."
Hickey and family members of the other hikers -- Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal -- have said the three were hiking in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region in July when they accidentally crossed the border into Iran.
Irani officials arrested the three and said they had suspicious aims, but their families refute that.
Hickey and other family members have applied for visas to be able to travel to Iran to see their loved ones. So far, Irani officials haven't responded to the request.
Hickey said Bauer told her that he and Fattal share a cell and the two see Shourd twice a day. Bauer also reported the food is good, she said.
"He said he's strong, and he sounded strong to me," Hickey said. "He also was just elated to be able to talk to us."
The families of the three hikers have mounted support for their efforts on a Web site that includes photos, video and a countdown of how long the three have been detained.