- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Yusuf Islam, the British musician formerly known as Cat Stevens, is calling for the release of two American hikers charged with spying in Iran.

A video of Islam pleading for Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal to be freed on humanitarian and justice grounds has been posted on YouTube. He says they should be released if there’s no clear evidence they’re anything other than hikers.

Another prominent western Muslim, former boxing champ Muhammad Ali, has written to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei twice on the hikers’ behalf.

Fattal and Bauer were arrested in July 2009 while hiking in northern Iraq near the Iranian border. They’re set to face trial May 11. A third hiker, Sarah Shourd, was released on bail in September.

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Online:

Yusuf Islam’s video statement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v1vUlMnlMlzM

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