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Local Businesses Contribute To Help Free 2 Hikers Detained In Iran

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two American hikers — including a Montgomery County native — have been in prison in Iran for more than 500 days, accused of spying.

The families of the men, Josh Fattal (photo, right) and Shane Bauer (photo, left), being held are getting some help from local businesses to boost the fight to bring them home.

“It’s been really, really difficult to be living through 17 and a half months with Josh and Shane still in detention.”

Josh Fattal’s mother, Laura, who lives in Elkins Park, puts on a brave face — but the mom in her makes it clear that no part of their ordeal has become routine.

“It is a heartbreak that this event has taken on such dimension. I don’t sleep through a night, my husband does not sleep through a night,” she said.

Several restaurants in Elkins Park, Dresher, Jenkintown, and Mt. Airy have pledged to donate a portion of the money they bring in to the “Free the Hikers” movement.

“I hope that they get out. It’s just such an injustice.” said Peggy Zwerver with Earth Bread & Brewery.

As for Laura Fattal, she’s heard little lately from the Iranian government, but holds out hope for a humanitarian release like that granted to Sarah Shourd (photo, center), their hiking partner and Shane Bauer’s fiancé. And she keeps writing to her son every day, even if the words are more therapeutic to her than they might be to him.

Reported By Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio.

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