Pod Hostage Diplomacy

Michael White, American, US Navy veteran and former hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy

April 06, 2022 SenseOfDuty Media Episode 31
Pod Hostage Diplomacy
Michael White, American, US Navy veteran and former hostage in Iran | Pod Hostage Diplomacy
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Michael White is an American citizen from Southern California. Michael served in the US Navy for 15 years and is one of 5 siblings, all of whom have served in the US Armed Forces. In 2012, Michael met his fiancé-to-be, Samaneh Abbasi on a Yahoo chatroom. He then travelled to Iran a total of three times to visit her. During Michael’s third trip to Iran in 2018, he was arrested by the Iranian authorities on false charges and wrongfully imprisoned for 683 days. In June 2020, Michael was released in a prisoner swap deal between the US and Iran. 

On this week’s episode, we have the honour of speaking to Michael himself. He walks us through his arrest, being tortured in prison, being forced to write a false confession, being put through a sham trial and being sentenced to 15 years in prison on false charges, getting COVID19 in prison as a cancer survivor who was still recovering from the effects of his chemotherapy before visiting Iran, assistance from the Swiss Embassy, being granted medical furlough and eventually being released in a prisoner swap deal. Michael also talks about his depression and difficulty reintegrating into society after coming back to the United States which led him to think about taking his own life. 

Michael is now suing the Iranian authorities for $1 Billion US Dollars to get compensation for what they did to him. We also discuss what the US government, news media and the public can do to prevent Iran from doing this again.

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Intro
Who is Michael White?
Walk through of how Michael was arrested
Where was Michael held?
The conditions Michael was held in
Was Michael tortured?
Samaneh Abbasi’s role in Michael’s arrest
Support from the Swiss Embassy
The unfair trial and sentence
Michael’s mother campaigned for his freedom
Getting COVID19 in prison
The day Michael was released
What it was like when Michael came home
Michael is suing the Iranian authorities
What can the US government do better?
What can journalists and the news media do to help?
What can the American public do to help?