Muhammad Ali Asks Iran to Release U.S. Hikers
Caroline Lorraine

Mar 16, 2011, 16:33

Muhammad Ali has delivered a petition to Iran asking for the release of two American hikers who have been held on charges of espionage since 2009.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were arrested after they accidentally crossed into Iran while hiking in Iraq 18 months ago. A third American, Sarah Shourd, was also arrested but was released in September on $500,000 bail.

Ali, a well known boxing champion and U.S. Muslim, released a letter to The Associated Press on Wednesday in which he asks for the release of the two hikers. The second of two letters Ali has sent to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, he sent this one back in February when the hikers first went to trial.

"Please show the world the compassion I know you have in your heart," the 69-year-old wrote.

Ali�s wife, Lonnie Ali, told the AP that her husband was asked to intervene by the late John Arum, son of boxing promoter Bob Arum, who died in a climbing accident just before Shourd was released.

"We felt we could at least send a letter on their behalf. So that's what we did and we followed up with this letter," Lonnie Ali said, noting that they have not received a response.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor