Latest tactic of hiker moms: hunger strike

By CHRIS WILLIAMS | May 19, 2011 | 5:13 PM EDT

FILE - In this May 21, 2010 file photo, American hikers Shane Bauer, left, Josh Fattal, center, and Sarah Shourd are shown in Tehran. Cindy Hickey, Bauer's mother, and Fattal's mother Laura Fattal say they're launching a hunger strike in the wake of Iran's unexplained postponement of their sons’ trial on charges of espionage. (AP Photo/Press TV, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The families of two American hikers held in Iran have made TV appearances, enlisted celebrities for help and traveled to Tehran. Their latest tactic: a hunger strike.

The mothers of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal started the hunger strike Thursday, which they hope will bring more attention to the case and pressure the Iranian government.

Bauer and Fattal have not been seen in public since Feb. 4 and their families are increasingly concerned. Shane's mother, Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn., worries they are being harshly treated and that's why the Iranians have isolated them.

Fattal, Bauer and Sarah Shourd were arrested along the Iraq-Iran border in 2009 and held on espionage charges, which they deny. Shourd was allowed to return to the U.S. last year on bail.