Monday, September 26, 2011

  • Freed U.S. Hiker Shane Bauer: Iranian Guards Cited Guantánamo, CIA Prisons to Justify Mistreatment

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    U.S. hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer arrived Sunday to New York City after being held more than two years in an Iranian prison on allegations of spying and trespassing. Last night was their first night to sleep in the United States. The hikers were released last week, then taken to Oman, where they were joyfully reunited with their families. Their ordeal began in July 2009, when along with Sarah Shourd they were arrested while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border. Bauer and Fattal addressed reporters at a press conference yesterday in New York City, in their first extended comments since being released. They did not take questions, but some of their family members did. During the news conference, Democracy Now! questioned Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey, and Fattal’s mother, Laura, along with Sarah Shourd. "In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantánamo Bay. They would remind of us of CIA prisons in other parts of the world and the conditions that Iranians and others experience in prisons in the U.S.," says Shane Bauer. "We do not believe that such human rights violations on the part of our government justify what has been done to us. Not for a moment. However, we do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran, to act in kind." [includes rush transcript]

  • Occupy Wall Street Protest Enters Second Week; 80 Arrested at Peaceful March

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    It is day 10 of the "Occupy Wall Street" campaign. On Saturday, more than 80 protesters were arrested as hundreds took part in yet another march to Wall Street. Many of them were committing civil disobedience by walking in the street, but some say they were on the sidewalk when officers with the New York City Police Department used nets and physical force to break up the crowd. Videos uploaded to YouTube show officers pepper-spraying protesters in the face from close range, punching demonstrators and dragging people through the street. Since Sept. 17, thousands have gathered near in New York City’s financial district near Wall Street to decry corporate greed. Many have said they have been inspired by other popular uprisings from Spain to the Arab Spring. On Sunday, protesters issued a communiqué calling for the resignation of the NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and for a dialogue with Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Thanks to Democracy Now!’s Ryan Devereaux and Jon Gerberg for this report. [includes rush transcript]

  • Martina Correia on Execution of Troy Davis: "My Brother’s Fight Will Continue"

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    The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says Georgia’s execution of high-profile death row prisoner Troy Davis last Wednesday may have violated international law, citing serious concerns that the rights of Davis to due process and a fair trial were not respected. We speak with Davis’s older sister, Martina Correia, one of his most steadfast advocates. "I know the fight is not over," says Correia. "Millions of people from around the world are very upset by this. Troy’s case is going to be a catalyst for change in the death penalty, particularly in the South." The funeral for Troy Davis is planned for October 1 in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia. [includes rush transcript]