Shane Bauer placed Thanksgiving call to mom in Pine City

Shane Bauer, above, and Josh Fattal are due to stand trial as spies in February.

Shane Bauer, above, and Josh Fattal are due to stand trial as spies in February.

Minnesota native and freelance journalist Shane Bauer, along with friend Josh Fattal, have now been held captive in Iran longer than the American embassy hostages.

Iran has accused the two of being spies after detaining them on the Iran-Iraq border in July 2009 -- a charge they deny -- and it sounds like they are being increasingly cut off from their families.

At least on Thanksgiving they got to call home.


According to Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey, of Pine City, her phone rang early Thursday and she able to speak with her son for about five minutes.

Fattal's mom took her call at home California. Bauer's fiancee, Sarah Shourd, who was released by the Iranians in September for health reasons, was staying with the Fattals and spoke to Josh, according to a statement from the families.

"We were relieved to speak to Shane and Josh, particularly during the Thanksgiving Holiday. We hope that their calls home bode well for their release on humanitarian grounds during this holiday season.

"At the same time, Shane and Josh told us that have become increasingly cut off since Sarah was freed. In the more than 10 weeks since Sarah's release, Shane and Josh have received only two letters each from our families, while we continue to write to them every day. They are able to spend significantly less time outside their cell in the prison yard each day and have not received the books we send them. We are deeply concerned about their increased isolation and trust that these restrictions will be reversed.

The families said that Bauer and Fattal have heard nothing about the process surrounding their trial, which Iran says will start in February.

Read the full statement by clicking here.