Hope remains high for family of Josh Fattal

May 11, 2011 8:31:09 PM PDT
Action News spoke with Josh Fattal's family at their home in Elkins Park, Montgomery County.

The family of Joshua Fattal is reeling after receiving news in the wee hours this morning that Fattal and Shane Bauer's trial did not resume today in Iran.

It's the second time it's been postponed since November with no explanation.

"Nobody has heard from them since November. We are very worried that something terrible could have happened to them. We're very worried that they could be on a hunger strike," Joshua's brother Alex said.

"At this point, it's just not ridiculous and absurd, it is cruel and inhumane," Joshua's mother Laura said.

Fattal and Bauer have been in captivity for almost two years.

They, along with Bauer's fiancee, Sarah Shourd, are charged with espionage.

The three maintain their innocence, saying they accidentally wandered into Iranian territory while hiking in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Shourd was released eight months ago for medical reasons and has refused to return for trial.

"Iran perfectly knows their innocent; the entire world knows their innocent," Alex said.

With no diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran, the Fattal and Bauer families have little hope the two can receive a fair trial, so they are now hoping world pressure will result in their release.

They have turned to the Internet, creating the website freethehikers.org.

It contains testimonials, information regarding their capture, and two petitions to free the hikers. In all, nearly 20,000 people have signed.

It is that support that has helped this Elkins Park family work tirelessly to free the men.

"I still have hope. I still have hope there could be a humanitarian release, but it has to happen now. We can't stand the word 'soon' anymore," Laura said.

LINK: freethehikers.org