Dr. Joseph Bottum is a widely published essayist and poet, and religious scholar living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and many other newspapers, magazines, and journals, while his books include The Pius War and his latest poetry collection, The Second Spring.
The former literary editor of the Weekly Standard and former editor in chief of First Things, Dr. Bottum holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Boston College. He has been a monthly columnist for Crisis magazine, hosted for three years the nationally syndicated radio show "Book Talk," and done commentary for television networks from EWTN to the BBC, including NBC's "Meet the Press" and the PBS evening news.
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Saeed Shirzad a 27-year-old children's rights activist, was arrested in Tabriz, Iran on June 2, 2014. Shirzad was charged with "taking part in human rights activities and collaborating with Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran." After more than 14 months in prison, he was given a trial, but his lawyer was not allowed to attend or to access his file. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Saeed was kept solitary confinement in Evin Prison and later transferred to Rajai Shahr prison, where he was subjected to physical and psychological torture.