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They are natural-born-leaders with a never-ending thirst for power. Through force and deceit, they rise through the ranks towards radicalism—eliminating anyone who stands in their way. Every Tuesday, delve into the minds, and motives, behind some of the world’s most infamous leaders in Parcast’s original series, DICTATORS. Each dictator is analyzed in 2-part episodes...with the first giving insight into their rise to power, and the second chronicling the impact of their downfall. Dictators i ...
 
The Human Rights Foundation's original audio content serves as a storytelling platform for some of the world's bravest activists, artists, policy-makers, business leaders, and technologists. Our podcast provides those who risk their safety in return for a chance to raise the world's awareness of human rights issues, and the incredibly important work that is being done to address them.
 
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show series
 
In this episode of Dissidents and Dictators, the Human Rights Foundation’s (HRF) International Legal Associate Michelle Gulino speaks with Russian pro-democracy activist and opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza about the rise of government repression in Putin’s Kafkaesque Russia. Under Putin’s rule, Russia has become one of the most repressive cou…
 
From the creators of Real Dictators comes a brand-new weekly show. Short History Of... gives you a front-row seat as history's most incredible moments play out right before you. In this taster episode, we're in Cuba. It's October 1962. Three men – Kennedy, Khrushchev and Castro – hold the fate of the planet in their hands. A dispute over missiles s…
 
By early 2011, Libya is changing. The Arab Spring has started and leaders across North Africa and the Middle East are already succumbing to people power. The Gaddafi regime suddenly needs to tread very carefully indeed. A young lawyer from Benghazi organises a protest that will soon spread like wildfire. Before long, it will become something else e…
 
On September 11th, 2001, life in the West is transformed in an instant. Amidst the fall-out, Gaddafi spots an opportunity. To the surprise of many, he makes it his mission to rejoin the international fold. A new phase of surreal diplomacy begins as the Libyan dictator pitches his Bedouin tent on the front lawns of palaces and parliaments across the…
 
In the autumn of 2020, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a 44 daylong war over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, leading to thousands of civilian and military casualties, as well as more than one hundred thousand refugees. Despite a peace agreement, historical grievances, wartime atrocities, and nationalistic rhetoric have spurred continued v…
 
In 1988, Gaddafi takes his terror to the skies, bringing down a passenger flight over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Boeing 747 - en route from Frankfurt to New York, via London - is destroyed with 270 fatalities. Gaddafi has reached a new level of villainy. Staffers at the Pentagon team up with Hollywood executives to shore up public opinion against the…
 
Gaddafi takes his terror onto the streets of London and Berlin. It seems nowhere is beyond his reach as Libyan agents hunt down his opponents across the globe. The Reagan administration launches retaliatory airstrikes, targeting the dictator and his inner circle. With the stakes higher than ever, the Libyan security network continues to stamp out d…
 
In Munich, West Germany, in the summer of 1972, there is a buzz of expectation. The city is preparing to host the Olympic Games. It’s a symbolic welcoming of the country back into the international fold. But this festival of sport will soon become a terrifying nightmare. The Munich massacre is one of many terrorist attacks to which Colonel Gaddafi …
 
Having seized power without a shot being fired, Muammar Gaddafi can’t quite believe his luck. Still in his twenties, he now finds himself leader of an oil-rich country. The pistol-toting ‘Colonel’ wastes no time kicking out the Americans and the British, wresting control of the petrochemical industry, and instigating a ‘Vengeance Day’ to deal with …
 
As the world prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) seeks to hold the Qatari government accountable for labor and human rights violations against migrant workers building the infrastructure for the event. Thousands of migrant workers have died on Qatari construction sites, and there are numerous …
 
In the 1960s, Libya gets rich on oil. But this new-found wealth is soon being siphoned off by the elites. As a result, many citizens begin to question their King’s authority. Among these dissenters is young Muammar Gaddafi. After joining the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi, Gaddafi is sent to England, where he roams the streets of Swinging Londo…
 
‘Brother Leader’, ‘King of Kings’, ‘Falcon of Africa’… ‘The Most Dangerous Man in the World.’ Colonel Gaddafi was the Libyan tyrant who abused his people on an industrial scale, until he was murdered by them as they rose up against his rule. He was the revolutionary leader who freed his country from the shackles of empire only to squander its riche…
 
With millions being arbitrarily detained and imprisoned in labor camps in the Xinjiang region of China simply for speaking a different language and practicing a different culture, Silence Is Not An Option. Sit down with our panelists for a chance to listen to three individually unique stories all with the same end goal, to free their family, friend…
 
In 1959, Franco marks 20 years as leader of Spain. Now, he embraces capitalism and paints himself as a moderniser. The country experiences rapid economic growth and becomes a leading holiday destination. Meanwhile, the regime tries to stamp out the embers of Republicanism wherever they still burn. Later, as he suffers ill health, Franco plans his o…
 
The White Terror continues as Spain’s self-proclaimed strongman assumes power in Madrid. Herding his defeated enemies into concentration camps, Franco uses them to realise huge architectural projects, including the Valley of the Fallen. Declaring the start of a ‘glorious’ new era, ‘El Caudillo’ commissions a movie to tell the story of his own life.…
 
Moderator: Alex Gladstein, Human Rights FoundationPanelists:Dr. Darren Byler: Anthropologist and Uyghur technopolitics expertMegha Rajagopalan: Buzzfeed international correspondent and investigative journalistBethany Allen-Ebrahiminan: Axios China reporterWhat is unfolding in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (also referred to as East Turkestan…
 
When Spain erupts into civil war in July 1936, Franco finds himself marooned far away in the Canary Islands. Two men meet for lunch at an upscale London restaurant, where they finalise a daring plan to assist him. Back on Spanish soil, Franco begins the process of conquering his homeland, butchering his enemies as he goes. He is aided by two key al…
 
The Long-Arm of AuthoritarianismModerator: Jenny Wang, Human Rights FoundationPanelists:Dr. Sean Roberts, Director of International Development Studies Program at George Washington University's Elliott School of International AffairsDr. Timothy Grose, Associate Professor of China Studies at the Rose-Hulman Institute of TechnologyAlex Chow, Hong Kon…
 
In 1917, Franco is an up-and-coming army officer. He returns to northern Spain to assume command of a battalion. He starts attending Mass at 7AM every morning, as he begins a courtship with Carmen - a schoolgirl at a local convent. But before long, Franco is on the move once again. After an encounter with a charismatic army superior, Franco joins t…
 
Today, Spain is Europe’s holiday capital. But beyond the sun-kissed veneer lie sinister secrets. When you think of European dictators two names usually spring to mind: Hitler and Mussolini. Francisco Franco’s name is often overlooked. Today, Spain is a vibrant democracy. But in living memory - from 1939 to 1975 - General Franco ruled the nation as …
 
A discussion with democratic leader of Belarus, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on the future of the democratic movement and human rights in Belarus along with:Michael McFaul: Former U.S. Ambassador to RussiaBill Browder: Magnitsky Act ArchitectGarry Kasparov: Chairman of the Human Rights FoundationModerator: Roberto González, Chief Legal Officer at the H…
 
In the final part of Hitler’s Early Years, the Nazi leader completes his journey from obscurity to treason. At the age of 34, Adolf Hitler launches his very own assault on power: the Munich Putsch. The aim is to seize control of Bavaria before marching north and taking the German capital, Berlin. Hitler dispatches SA shock troops to storm locations…
 
The Nazis’ media operation goes up a gear, as they seek to turn Hitler into an iconic, national figure. In a secret autobiography, Hitler directly compares his own political rise to Jesus’s resurrection. Two crises unfold in tandem, as French and Belgian troops cross Germany’s western border while the economy goes into meltdown. Knowing they stand …
 
Dictatorial regimes from Russia to Saudi Arabia to China are investing millions of dollars into hosting major sporting events and investing in teams in free societies, in an effort to improve their human rights images internationally and pivot the global eye away from their repressive measures. Countries like Saudi Arabia and China have been leadin…
 
After observing a failed coup in Berlin, Hitler takes one vital lesson: he needs an army of his own. The Nazis create a paramilitary unit - the Sturmabteilung, or the SA. These hooligans turn Munich upside down as they take National Socialism onto the streets. Hitler begins assembling an executive team of allies and deputies, including an army insi…
 
Hitler is sent undercover by the Bavarian Army to infiltrate a band of extreme nationalists. But their message resonates deeply with the spy, and he breaks cover to join their ranks. This German Workers’ Party will soon become the Nazi Party, and this new recruit will become their leader. Under his new mentor - a playwright and morphine addict call…
 
Hitler gets the news he’s been dreading, as he learns that World War One has ended. The German people wrestle with the reality of defeat. Revolutions break out across the land, as the Kaiser’s regime is swept away. Discharged from hospital, Hitler returns home to Munich. While most troops are demobilised, Hitler is desperate to remain a soldier. He…
 
Authoritarian regimes around the world, such as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, are increasingly using technology to spy on journalists, dissidents, and activists. From basic phishing emails to sophisticated malware, these methods violate personal privacy and endanger the lives of individuals who dare to stand up against dictators and freely expre…
 
In June 1914, an assassination on the streets of Sarajevo disrupts the delicate balance of power in Europe. With Archduke Franz Ferdinand dead, the First World War explodes into action. Adolf Hitler, meanwhile, relocates to Munich. After dodging the Austrian draft, he soon embraces life as a German soldier. But then, while serving in Flanders in 19…
 
You may know something of the Hitler story. But there’s a decent chance you don’t know the half of it. We begin a deep dive into the early years of a man who became the very embodiment of evil. Peeling away Hitler’s own myths about his childhood, we explore how he emerged from obscurity to begin his political journey. The future German Führer isn’t…
 
Dictatorships often use professional sports to cover up their crimes and establish international legitimacy. In Belarus, the regime of Alexander Lukashenko is particularly invested in Ice Hockey as a means of promoting his regime. However, in January Belarusians convinced the International Ice Hockey Federation to cancel the Ice Hockey World Champi…
 
From the creators of Real Dictators comes Real Narcos, the show that takes you to the front line of the war on drugs. For Season 2, we're in Mexico. In 1985, Kiki Camarena is a US DEA agent on the trail of Félix Gallardo - the man known as the Mexican Godfather. But Camarena's kidnapping at the hands of the cartel will send shockwaves around the wo…
 
In the final part of this story, the walls are beginning to close in on Japan’s wartime Prime Minister, General Hideki Tojo. He opts to take hands-on control of the remaining armed forces, despite minimal battlefield experience, and hatches a rogue scheme to knock the British out of the War. Staring down the barrel of defeat, Emperor Hirohito weigh…
 
Japan attacks the US naval base at Pearl Harbor in the opening salvo of the Pacific War. Caught unawares, President Franklin D. Roosevelt responds by ratcheting up America’s military capabilities at an astonishing rate. Already Prime Minister of Japan, Hideki Tojo now moves to take every significant government post for himself. As Japanese troops s…
 
We return to Japan and the story of the workaholic army officer who rose through the ranks to lead his nation into total war. Hideki Tojo restores discipline to the military following the Aizawa Incident. He is promoted to Major General and rewarded with command of the secret police - the Kempeitai. The Imperial Japanese Army invades China and emba…
 
Ahmed Gatnash, host of "The Arab Tyrant Manual" podcast and Founder of the Kawaakibi Foundation, moderates a discussion between HRF Chairman Garry Kasparov, Areej Sadhan, sister of jailed Saudi dissident Abdulrahman al-Sadhan, and investigative journalist Karim Zidan on the Saudi regime's investments in sports and entertainment to distract from ong…
 
Saudi Arabia just announced the “Labour Relation Initiative” set to be implemented in March 2021 which will ease foreign workers contractual restrictions. This podcast will provide an overview of the Kafala sponsorship system in Saudi Arabia and the implications of the announcement. In a fireside chat, Executive Director of the Saudi American Justi…
 
General Hideki Tojo was the man who led Japan into World War 2 and oversaw some of the most horrific war crimes in recorded history. Tojo did not hold absolute power - his means of imposing his will were more nuanced than that. But he more than earns his place at this table. Ruling under a compliant Emperor, Tojo gathered power to himself. This is …
 
How should the rest of the world, and especially the world's democracies, react to China's bid to harness AI for ill as well as good? How do we strike the right balance between vigilance in defense of human rights and national security and xenophobic overreaction?PanelistsChristopher Balding | Associate Professor, Fulbright University VietnamAnja M…
 
How should we think about China's growing influence in the realm of AI and the attendant geopolitical risks and implications? This session will explore China’s bid through Huawei to build and control the world's 5G networks, and what that implies for human rights and national sovereignty and security; China's export of surveillance technology to au…
 
The Ethics of Doing Business with China and Chinese Companies:What dynamics are at play in China's effort to establish market dominance for Chinese companies, both domestically and globally? What demands are placed on non-Chinese technology companies to participate? What dynamics are at play in China's effort to establish market dominance for Chine…
 
China’s authoritarianism has fully expanded into the digital space. Through hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras, unprecedented amounts of data collection, state-sponsored technological investment, and global research partnerships, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is aiming to become the world’s leading AI superpower by 2030. In doing so, …
 
François Duvalier has created a terrifying cult of personality around himself. Not only is he President for Life; he claims to be an immaterial being - a spirit that will hover over Haiti even after his body dies. With near-godlike status achieved, his thoughts turn to his legacy. The groundwork is laid for the President’s son, Jean-Claude, to inhe…
 
Weeks of protests have brought the regime of Alexander Lukashenko to the brink. As Belarus teeters on the verge of a democratic breakthrough, HRF’s Alexander Sikorski speaks to Andrei Sannikov, a Belarusian democracy activist and former presidential candidate about the history of activism in Belarus, the role of technology in the current protests, …
 
Ensconced in the Presidential Palace, Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier crushes an attempted coup without mercy. Spooked by this near miss, Duvalier forms his own private militia called the Tonton Macoute. They take their name from a terrifying bogeyman of Haitian mythology and will go on to kill as many as 60,000 Haitians. Desperate to prevent …
 
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