Video shows hikers’ ‘lightness of heart’ before Iran prison, mom says

<div data-recalc-dims=An undated family photo shows Sarah Shourd, one of three U.S. hikers detained in Iran since July 31.

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On Tuesday, the counter at the Web site Free the Hikers was at 88 days.

Switzerland’s ambassador to Iran paid the three a consular visit in September and said they were in good condition, but they have had no direct contact with relatives, the families said in a news release. Switzerland handles U.S. consular matters in Tehran, as the United States and Iran have no diplomatic relations. The Americans entered northern Iraq from Turkey on July 28 during a planned five-day hike. Bauer and Shourd had been living in Damascus, Syria; Fattal was visiting. They set out to hike in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region. Meckfessel, who spoke with Bauer the morning of their hike, said his friends did not know they were near the border and made “a simple and regrettable mistake” by crossing into Iran. Relatives have said the three accidentally strayed into Iran across an unmarked border. Authorities in Iran charged the three with illegally entering the country, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.