US State Department: Iran grants Swiss access to detained hikers

US State Department Ira

October 30, 2009 21:17

Iranian authorities have allowed a Swiss diplomat a second visit with three detained American hikers, who were arrested for illegal entry near the Iraq border in late July, according to the US State Department. Spokesman Robert Wood said Friday that "after repeated requests," the Swiss ambassador to Iran was granted consular access to Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal on Thursday. He could provide no details, citing privacy concerns. The Swiss, who represent US interests in Iran, were first allowed to visit the jailed trio in late September. Bauer, Shourd and Fattal were arrested on July 31 after straying over the Iranian border while hiking in northern Iraq. All three are graduates of the University of California, Berkeley. The US government and their families have repeatedly appealed for their release, saying they were on vacation and did not mean to cross the border.

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