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Biden's new executive order recognizes growing issue of political prisoners

President Joe Biden signed an executive order July 19 that would strengthen the State Department’s ability to "bring hostages and wrongfully detained United States Nationals home.”

The order would allow the application of financial sanctions against hostage takers or parties involved in wrongful detentions of Americans abroad.

The executive order comes after weeks of increasing pressure on the State Department to act on a number of cases of Americans in foreign detention — including that of WNBA star Brittney Griner who is being held in Russia on drug charges. Earlier this month, both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Griner’s wife about bringing the Phoenix Mercury star home.

Jason Rezaian is a Washington Post global opinions writer who writes from the experience of having been imprisoned in Iran for 544 days.

The Show spoke with him to learn his perspective on the executive order.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.