Families: Iran's accusations against hikers untrue

AP News
Posted: Nov 09, 2009 2:57 PM

The families of three American hikers accused of espionage by an Iranian prosecutor say the allegations are untrue and that their loved ones should be freed.

In a group statement released Monday, the families said the accusations are "entirely at odds" with the kind of people Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal are.

The Iranian government arrested the Americans on July 31 while hiking near the Iraqi border. Their families say the three accidentally strayed across the border from Iraq.

It's not clear if the three have been formally charged, but a senior Iraqi prosecutor has accused them of espionage. That's a signal that Tehran intends to put them on trial.

The families also asked the Iranian government to show compassion and release the three without delay.