Father of Minn. native held in Iran happy to see son on TVby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The father of a Minnesota native being held in Iran said he's waiting anxiously to hear more news from the Middle East.
Al Bauer lives in Shakopee. His son, Shane Bauer, was one of three Americans detained by Iranian authorities last July after they allegedly crossed the border while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Bauer said he checked his e-mail this morning to learn that the mothers of the three hikers had been allowed to see their children. Video of the reunion was captured and shown on TV.
"We were hopeful, but we didn't know if they would be able to see the kids or anything," Bauer said. "To see this is fabulous."
Bauer has since heard his son's voice and seen his image many times.
"I still can't watch him without crying," he said.
Bauer said Shane looks a little more skinny, "but, you know, it's been 10 months already, so we all change in that time."
Bauer said he hopes to receive more news from Shane's mother, Cindy Hickey of Pine City, and the rest of the group. He said he and other family members of the hikers are keeping their phones nearby.
"We're waiting anxiously," he said.
Bauer said he spoke with his son before the three went on their hiking trip.
Shane told him it was a safe spot with nice waterfalls. "Everyone else has gone there for vacation," he said.
The families of the three hikers are hopeful they will be released. Bauer said he knows that's the Iranian government's decision, but he said the visit is a breakthrough in a case that's stayed the same for months.
"It's something positive happening," he said. "It's so much better than nothing."
(MPR's Tim Nelson and Tom Crann contributed to this report.)
- All Things Considered, 05/20/2010, 4:50 p.m.