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Josh Fattal, Iranian prisoner, calls home

The hiker has been imprisoned for more than 20 months, but this was just the third time he had been allowed to call home<br />

Elkins Park native Josh Fattal was allowed rare contact with the outside world when he and fellow imprisoned American Shane Bauer, both jailed since July 2009 in a Tehran prison, got the chance to phone home to their families in the States on Sunday, according to a release on FreetheHikers.org today.


Fattal spoke with his father Jacob while Bauer reached his mother, Cindy Hickey, and left a message for his fiancee, Sarah Shourd, who until earlier this year, was also imprisoned in Tehran after the three were taken into custody while hiking along the mountainous border region between Iraq and Iran.


"As much as we welcome the calls after six months of silence, they have by no means lessened our concern for Shane and Josh and their mental welfare in light of their awful isolation," the families said in a joint statement.


In a setback two weeks ago, the trial for the two men set to begin in an Iranian court was inexplicably postponed without notice. No reason has since been given for the delay.