prisoner release

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Sources: US Kept $400M Until Iran Freed Prisoners

They waited until plane was 'wheels up,' insider says

(Newser) - Administration officials insist that a $400 million cash payment to Iran on the same day Tehran released US prisoners was not a ransom—but sources tell the Wall Street Journal that it was certainly treated like one. Officials and other insiders say the US held onto the cash until a... More »

Israel to Release Longtime Prisoners Amid Palestine Talks

Some have been 'in jail for decades': minister

(Newser) - With Israel-Palestine talks potentially beginning next week , Israel will release some "heavyweight (Palestinian) prisoners in jail for decades," says top minister Yuval Steinitz. Details are fuzzy, but it's possible 350 prisoners could be released over several months, a Palestinian official tells the BBC ; some 100 of them... More »

America's Longest-Serving Female Inmate Freed

Betty Smithey spent 49 years in prison for murdering 15-month-old

(Newser) - With the help of a cane, Betty Smithey walked out of prison yesterday after 49 years behind bars, following the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency's declaration that she was no longer any threat to society. It was a day that for decades seemed unlikely to ever come. Smithey was... More »

Cuba to Free 2,900 Prisoners

But American Alan Gross not among those to be released

(Newser) - With a nod to Pope Benedict's upcoming visit to the country, President Raul Castro yesterday announced that Cuba would pardon 2,900 prisoners, a group that includes some convicted of political crimes, many inmates over the age of 60, and a number of women. He referred to the act... More »

Suu Kyi Told She 'Could Go This Day'

Pro-democracy leader set for freedom in coming days

(Newser) - Rumors are swirling that Aung San Suu Kyi will be released today, according to the AP , but the Guardian reports that she will spend another night under house arrest. She was told she "could go this day," says the co-founder of her National League for Democracy party, but... More »

Slovakia Takes 3 Gitmo Detainees

Transfer based on EU-US agreement designed to help close prison

(Newser) - Three detainees from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay were moved to Slovakia over the weekend, bringing the total number of detainees at the Cuban base down to 193. Neither that nation nor the Justice Department, at Slovakia’s urging, would disclose the former prisoners’ names or nationalities, Reuters reports.... More »

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