Friday, April 24, 2009

Prisoners in Iran and North Korea

It is impossible to understand fully how terrifying it must be for these three women - two in North Korea and one in Iran - to be behind bars in those countries. I hope that they are all proven innocent of all charges and released very quickly.

What surprises me about these cases is not that they have happened, but that a) we are surprised and b) it took so long for these kind of cases to emerge.

Regardless of whether there is any merit to any of the charges, North Korea and Iran are able to use the fact of these incarcerations to their advantage in all matter of negotiations in which they are involved.

I fear we will see more of this whether it results from the fair and equal application of laws that have been violated or simply because people find themselves in a country which chooses to deploy this tactic as a negotiating tool.

In either case, it makes the task of overseas reporting tremendously more challenging and we are likely to see less of that.

Everyone sadly loses in the end, I think.

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