U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and three other senators will hold a news conference at 8:30 a.m. this morning to urge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to release three American hikers who have been detained for more than nine months.
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who all graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, have been held in Iran since July 31. Their family members and friends say they were detained after they crossed an unmarked border into Iran while hiking in Iraq's Kurdistan region.
But Iran has accused them of espionage and plans to prosecute them.
Joining Boxer at the news conference at the U.S. Senate Radio-TV Gallery at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time will be Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).
President Ahmadinejad is at the United Nations in New York this week for a conference regarding the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
According to Boxer's office, Bauer, Shourd and Josh Fattal have been allowed only one phone call home since their detainment, have had little contact with the outside world and are grappling with various medical ailments.
Boxer's office said Iran has not yet granted visas requested by the detainees' families and the detainees haven't yet been formally charged or given access to their lawyer.