Political Prisoners

The Leonard Lopate Show

A Former Iranian Political Prisoner on Human Rights in Iran

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mehdi Arabshahi, was president of the largest student organization in Iran, the Daftar Tahkim Vahdat, and a former political prisoner who fled Iran after being held in solitary confinement for 100 days. He and Gissou Nia, Executive Director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, discuss the status of human rights in Iran. Over the last few years, there have been a significant rise in human rights abuses in Iran with 624 executions in 2013, and over 75 executions since January 1, 2014, and more than 800 human rights defenders imprisoned; figures that are on the rise each and every day. Recently, UN Secretary General’s offered a sharp rebuke of Iran’s President Rouhani for failing to improve human rights in Iran since taking office in August.

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The Takeaway

Surprise Pardon: Putin Frees His Rival Khodorkovsky

Friday, December 20, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin has freed one of his most significant political rivals, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the famed Russian oil tycoon, oligarch and Kremlin critic, who has been in prison for 10 years. Putin cited "humanitarian principles" for the unexpected pardon. The move comes just ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Joining The Takeaway to discuss Putin's sudden change of heart is Bob Amersterdam, former defense attorney for Mikhail Khodorkovsky who was at his trial ten years ago.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Movement to Free Oscar Lopez Rivera

Monday, December 09, 2013

Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican nationalist who has been in prison for 32 years for "seditious conspiracy." Juan Gonzalez, co-host for "Democracy Now!" and columnist for The New York Daily News, talks about his case and why activists are pushing for President Obama to pardon Rivera so he can be released by Christmas. Rivera had refused a 1999 pardon from President Clinton.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Escape from Camp 14: North Korea's Political Prisoners

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Blaine Harden tells his story of Shin Donghyuk, who was born and raised—then escaped from—one of North Korea’s political prison camps. In Escape from Camp 14, he offers a narrative of Shin's life and remarkable escape and offers an inside account of one of the world's darkest nations.

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Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts: The Power of Love

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two gripping short tales about the power of love.