Panels & Workshops

Silencing Critics: Authoritarian Hostage-Taking

June 3, 2024

Hostage-taking has become a favored foreign policy tool of authoritarian regimes to silence dissidents. Hostage-taking can involve enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and numerous other human rights violations. It’s an issue at the nexus of security and human rights, and democracies must develop viable deterrents. Hear from people on the front line of this struggle, including former hostages and a member of the US government, to discuss best practices and solutions moving forward.


Jorge Toledo

Artist and former Venezuelan hostage

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Former Iranian hostage

Ambassador Roger Carstens

Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs

Paul Rusesabagina

Humanitarian and real-life hero of “Hotel Rwanda”

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