Siblings of the three hikers who have been imprisoned in Iran after accidentally wandering over the border last year have started a compelling personal appeal on YouTube to raise awareness for their cause. Alex Fattal, brother of hiker Josh Fattal, produced this video asking for video responses to make an appeal to the Iranian government to free the three UC Berkeley graduates, who haven't been heard from directly since their imprisonment almost six months ago.
If you haven't heard of the plight of these three hikers, it's worth checking out their webiste at freethehikers.org. The three hikers, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, were hiking (with visas) in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, which have become attractive to Western tourists of late, when they accidentally wandered over the border into Iran and were imprisoned, according to news reports. Unlike the case of Laura Ling and Euna Lee in North Korea last year, the case of these three hikers hasn't attained as much national attention - which is presumably part of the reason for this grassroots effort to raise awareness for their cause.
Their goal is to collect video responses from people by January 31st (the official 6 month anniversary) to raise awareness for the cause. The siblings have also set up a website at where you can learn more about their cause. A fourth friend, Shon Meckfessel, who was travelling with the group but stayed behind on the day they were captured due to an illness, is quoted on the website about the video call-out:
“If ever there was even the slightest doubt that we were in Iraqi Kurdistan to relax and have fun, this should surely remove it. I hope the Iranian authorities see these clips, realize my friends are harmless young people who may have made a simple mistake and let them come home.”