Meghan Daum wrote an excellent article in the LAT: 'The story of Shane Bauer, Josh Fattal and Sarah Shourd, the American hikers who in July 2009 crossed the border — inadvertently, all evidence suggests — from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran and were imprisoned for espionage, is back in the headlines. Shourd, who was released in September on humanitarian grounds and after paying $500,000 in bail, has been promoting a "rolling hunger strike" to remind us that Bauer and Fattal remain in Tehran's Evin Prison without a trial date or access to their lawyer.
A website set up to tell the hikers' story includes testimonies by President Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as a video from Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) urging Bauer's and Fattal's release. A Facebook community dedicated to their plight has 27,000 members advocating their freedom.
But to read just about anything else online about the case is also to encounter a strikingly different sentiment, in the form of indignant bloggers and commenters characterizing the hikers as "morons," "idiots" and "self-indulgent wackos" who have no one but themselves to blame for their imprisonment in Tehran. So vehement is this disapproval that it lends itself to its own coinage and category. Call it "hiker hate." It may represent a minority opinion (nutty comments usually do), but it sure doesn't seem like it.'
I found and liked the "Free the Hikers" facebook page after reading the article.
PS: I missed this last month: "Muhammad Ali Joins Families Urging Release of Jailed US Hikers in Iran"