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Barbara Boxer calls on Iranian president to release jailed former UC Berkeley students

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Three hikers – all former UC Berkeley students - are still in an Iranian prison, nine months after they strayed over the Iranian border with Iraq. California’s junior Senator today called on Iran’s President to let the trio go free.

Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer called on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal immediately. Boxer said “enough is enough.”

"Given all the problems between our two countries," she said, "this would be one way for everyone to come together and separate this out and show some humanity on their side."

Iran has charged them with spying. Senator Boxer denied it. "Every single thing that I know says these three schoolmates from Berkeley were on this beautiful hike...there isn’t one shred that I’m aware of that would indicate anything other than that."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad is in New York this week for meetings on nuclear arms issues. So are the mothers of the imprisoned hikers, who are trying to meet with the Iranian President before this Mothers Day weekend.

Boxer said the parents have been allowed one short phone call with their children. She said at a minimum, Iran should grant the families visas so they can visit the hikers in prison.

The Swiss Ambassador, acting as intermediary between the US and Iran, reports two of the hikers are having health problems.