The writer's family was living in Egypt, in exile from Libya, when Matar's father, a prominent opponent of the Qaddafi regime, was kidnapped, taken back to Libya, and imprisoned. That was in March 1990, and it was the last time Matar saw his father. After the revolution in March 2012, Matar returned to look for his father or at least try to find out what became of him.
Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari was arrested in Tehran in 2009 while covering Iran's election protests. He explains how he endured 118 days in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, where he was repeatedly interrogated and tortured — and how he now views his homeland.
Newsweek correspondent Maziar Bahari was arrested in Tehran a year ago while covering Iran's election protests. He explains how he endured 118 days in Iran's notorious Evin Prison, where he was repeatedly interrogated and tortured — and how he now views his homeland.
During his lifetime, South African poet Dennis Brutus made incredible contributions to the fight against apartheid. Brutus died on December 26, 2009, after successfully battling segregation in athletics with global recognition. Fresh Air remembers the life and achievements of Brutus in this interview from 1986
This interview was originally broadcast on April 22, 1986.
While on assignment in Sudan, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Paul Salopek was captured by pro-government militias, then charged with spying and imprisoned for 34 days. He writes about his experience in April's edition of National Geographic.
A rebroadcast of a 1994 interview with Chinese-American human rights campaigner and scholar Harry Wu. He is currently being held on espionage charges in China. He was detained on June 19 when he attempted to enter the country. Wu had made several secret trips to China under an assumed identity to document human rights abuses in Chinese prisons. Wu himself was held for 19 years in Chinese labor camps from 1960 to 1979. When he was released he emigrated to the U.S. (Rebroadcast of 01/11/1994)
South African playwright Athol Fugard. He still makes his home in South Africa, though he writes plays which confront the apartheid system; his plays were the among the first to bring white and black actors on stage together. Perhaps his most well known play was "Master Harold and the Boys"; his latest work was 1993's "Playland." (Rebroadcast of 02/18/1986)
Harry Wu is a resident scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He came to the U.S. from China where he was held in a prison labor camp for 19 years. The son of a wealthy banker, Wu was a newly graduated college student when he was arrested in 1960 and denounced as an "enemy of the revolution." In the camps he endured torture, starvation, and he learned to "stop thinking in order to survive." In 1979 he was released.
Wu Ningkun, author of a new personal and political memoir, A Single Tear, talks about surviving three decades of Communist rule in China. Wu was born in China, went to college in the United States, and returned to China in 1951 with hopes that the new Communist regime would benefit his country. Instead, he was labeled counter-revolutionary for teaching works by Western authors and sentenced to serve time at various labor camps and prisons. He now lives in the United States with his family.