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Hikers' mothers go on hunger strike

Josh Fattal, 27, seen in an undated handout image from his family, has been detained along with Sarah Shourd, 31, and Shane Bauer, 27, since July 31, 2009 after they crossed into Iran by accident while hiking in a scenic area in northern Iraq. UPI/Courtesy of the Shourd, Bauer and Fattal Families
Josh Fattal, 27, seen in an undated handout image from his family, has been detained along with Sarah Shourd, 31, and Shane Bauer, 27, since July 31, 2009 after they crossed into Iran by accident while hiking in a scenic area in northern Iraq. UPI/Courtesy of the Shourd, Bauer and Fattal Families

ELKINS PARK, Pa., May 19 (UPI) -- Fearing their sons may be in danger, the mothers of two U.S. men charged with espionage in Iran say they have gone on a hunger strike.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 28, have been held in Iran for more than 21 months, and their trial, scheduled for last week, was delayed without explanation, CNN reported Thursday.

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"We have not had any news about Shane and Josh for many months, and we are terrified that they have now gone on [a] hunger strike to protest against this latest, devastating delay," said Cindy Hickey, Bauer's mother. "We're worried that they are not getting proper medical care and that their lives may be in danger."

The two men, and a third person, Bauer's finance, Sarah Shourd, were arrested in July 2009 while hiking on an unmarked border between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan. Shourd was freed last year and she will take over the hunger strike Saturday, family members said.

"Whoever is to blame for preventing our sons' release is bringing shame on Iran," said Fattal's mother, Laura Fattal. "Shane and Josh have been denied justice and compassion for far too long. Today we begin a hunger strike and stand with our sons to urge Iran to stop punishing them --and our families -- for no reason."

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