Ore. friends mark imprisoned hiker's birthday

Published:

 

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (AP) -- Former colleagues of Josh Fattal gathered in Oregon on Saturday to celebrate his 29th birthday -- and mark his second in prison in Iran.

Fattal is one of two young American hikers the Iranian government has been holding since July 2009. A third was released last year.

Before he went hiking near the Iraq-Iran border, Fattal worked three years on sustainable farming practices at the Aprovecho (a-pro-VEH-cho) Research Center in Cottage Grove, south of Eugene.

His brother, Alex, has been rallying support for the hikers, including a fast among family members and friends, and came to Cottage Grove.

Organizers tell the Eugene Register-Guard they plan games that Josh enjoyed, such as three-legged races, and at dusk to float prayer boats with candles along the river through town.

___

Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com