Shows: April 7, 2009

Photo for 'Death in Detention: The Case of Ahmad Tanveer'
 

North Korea's Rocket Launch

This past weekend, North Korea launched a rocket over Japan. While North Korea insisted the rocket was a satellite, the US and other countries say that it was actually a missile, and as such was in violation of an international agreement reached in 2006 after North Korea tested a nuclear device. President Obama, along with allies South Korea, Japan and the European Union, is urging a unified response along with UN sanctions. We explore North Korea's motivations behind the launch, the Obama administration's response, and the threat of sanctions.

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Death in Detention: The Case of Ahmad Tanveer

In September 2005, an immigrant detainee at a county correctional facility in Freehold, New Jersey sent an urgent, handwritten note to a local advocacy group. In it, he pleaded for an investigation of the death of Ahmad Tanveer, a Pakistani New Yorker and fellow detainee who had died while in custody. But when the American Civil Liberties Union and New York Times began looking into what happened to Tanveer, they could find no record of his death, few details about his life, and little information about what had happened to his body. Tanveer was one of tens of thousands of immigrants currently held in detention pending deportation, and his case highlights the secrecy and lack of accountability surrounding the process. Nobody knows precisely how many people have died in detention, and facilities are not required to keep count. We’ll speak with Tom Jawetz of the ACLU National Prison Project, which filed a lawsuit to obtain documents relating to the death of Tanveer and others, about the system of immigration detention and whether policies might change with the Obama administration.

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Poet Timothy Liu on his New Book

To commemorate National Poetry Month this April, we will be joined by Timothy Liu, a long-time poet whose collection Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blown Fuse has just been published. Liu is a longtime poet, the child of Chinese immigrants, an Associate Professor at William Paterson University, and a Mormon. We’ll speak with him about how all of these experiences have influenced his work. Liu will be reading at the Asian American Writer's Workshop this Wednesday.

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This program is brought to you by Leyla Mei and Amy Paul of the APF collective.

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