Political repression

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Political repression is the act of a state entity controlling a citizenry by force for political reasons, particularly for the purpose of restricting or preventing their ability to take part in the political life of a society thereby reducing their standing among their fellow citizens. [1] [2]

Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.

Society Social group involved in persistent social interaction

A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions; a given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

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It often is manifested through vicious policies, such as human rights violations, surveillance abuse, police brutality, imprisonment, involuntary settlement, stripping of citizen's rights, lustration and violent action or terror such as the murder, summary executions, torture, forced disappearance and other extrajudicial punishment of political activists, dissidents, or general population. [3] Political repression can also be reinforced by means outside of written policy, such as by public and private media ownership and by self-censorship within the public.

Human rights Inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled

Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture and execution.

Surveillance abuse is the use of surveillance methods or technology to monitor the activity of an individual or group of individuals in a way which violates the social norms or laws of a society.

Police brutality crime

Police brutality is one of several forms of police misconduct which involves undue violence by police members. Widespread police brutality exists in many countries and territories, even those that prosecute it. Although illegal, it can be performed under the color of law.

Where political repression is sanctioned and organised by the state, it may constitute state terrorism, genocide, politicide or crimes against humanity. Systemic and violent political repression is a typical feature of dictatorships, totalitarian states and similar regimes. [4] Acts of political repression may be carried out by secret police forces, army, paramilitary groups or death squads. Repressive activities have also been found within democratic contexts as well. [5] [6] This can even include setting up situations where the death of the target of repression is the end result. [7]

State terrorism refers to acts of terrorism conducted by a state, whether against foreign targets or against its own citizens. There is some disagreement about how to exactly define what is and what is not state terrorism, see "Definition" section below for details.

Genocide is intentional action to destroy a group of people in whole or in part. The hybrid word "genocide" is a combination of the Greek word γένος and the Latin suffix -caedo. The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe;

Crimes against humanity deliberate attack against civilians

Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg trials. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.

If political repression is not carried out with the approval of the state, a section of government may still be responsible. An example is the FBI COINTELPRO operations in the United States between 1956 and 1971. [8] [9]

Federal Bureau of Investigation Governmental agency belonging to the United States Department of Justice

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice, the FBI is also a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community and reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leading U.S. counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and criminal investigative organization, the FBI has jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crimes.

COINTELPRO Series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations

COINTELPRO (1956–1971) was a series of covert, and at times illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed subversive, including feminist organizations, the Communist Party USA, anti–Vietnam War organizers, activists of the civil rights movement or Black Power movement, environmentalist and animal rights organizations, the American Indian Movement (AIM), independence movements, and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader New Left. The program also targeted the Ku Klux Klan in 1964.

In some states, "repression" can be an official term used in legislation or the names of government institutions. For example, the Soviet Union had a legal policy of repression of political opposition defined in the penal code and Cuba under Fulgencio Batista had a secret police agency officially named the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities".

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Article 58 of the Russian SFSR Penal Code was put in force on 25 February 1927 to arrest those suspected of counter-revolutionary activities. It was revised several times. In particular, its Article 58-1 was updated by the listed sub-articles and put in force on 8 June 1934.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometers (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

In political conflict

Political conflict strongly increases the likelihood of state repression. This is arguably the most robust finding in social science research on political repression – civil wars are a strong predictor of repressive activity, as are other forms of challenges from non-government actors. [10] States so often engage in repressive behaviors in times of civil conflict that the relationship between these two phenomena has been termed the "Law of Coercive Responsiveness". [11] When their authority or legitimacy is threatened, regimes respond by overtly or covertly suppressing dissidents to eliminate the behavioral threat. State repression subsequently affects dissident mobilization, though the direction of this effect is still an open question. Some strong evidence suggests that repression suppresses dissident mobilization by reducing the capacity of challengers to organize, yet it is also feasible that challengers can leverage state repressive behavior to spur mobilization among sympathizers by framing repression as a new grievance against the state. [12]

Civil war war between organized groups within the same sovereign state or republic

A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within the same state or country. The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region or to change government policies. The term is a calque of the Latin bellum civile which was used to refer to the various civil wars of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC.

Violence

Political repression is often accompanied by violence, which might be legal or illegal according to domestic law. [13] Violence can both eliminate political opposition directly by killing opposition members, or indirectly by instilling fear.

Intolerance

Political repression is sometimes accompanied with intolerance. This intolerance is manifested through discriminatory policies, human rights violations, police brutality, imprisonment, extermination, exile, extortion, terrorism, extrajudicial killing, summary execution, torture, forced disappearance and other punishments against political activists, dissidents, and population in general.

State terrorism

When political repression is sanctioned and organized by the state, situations of state terrorism, genocide and crimes against humanity can be reached. Systematic and violent political repression is a typical feature of dictatorships, totalitarianisms and similar regimes. In these regimes, acts of political repression can be carried out by the police and secret police, the army, paramilitary groups and death squads. Sometimes regimes considered democratic exercise political repression and state terrorism to other states as part of their security policy. [14]

See also

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PIDE

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References

  1. Davenport, Christian (2007). State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace New York: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Davenport, Christian, Johnston, Hank and Mueller, Carol (2004). Repression and Mobilization Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  3. Kittrie, Nicholas N. 1995. The War Against Authority: From the Crisis of Legitimacy to a New Social Contract. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  4. Serge, Victor, 1979, What Everyone Should Know About State Repression, London: New Park Publications.
  5. Donner, Frank J. (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN   0-394-40298-7
  6. Donner, Frank J. (1990). Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN   0-520-05951-4
  7. Haas, Jeffrey. The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther. Chicago, Ill.: Lawrence Hill /Chicago Review, 2010.
  8. COINTELPRO: The FBI's Covert Action Programs Against American Citizens, Final Report of the Senate Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Activities.
  9. Cunningham, D. 2004. There’s something happening here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI counterintelligence. Berkeley: Univ. of California.
  10. Hill, Daniel W.; Jones, Zachary M. (2014). "An Empirical Evaluation of Explanations for State Repression". American Political Science Review. 108 (3): 661–687. doi:10.1017/s0003055414000306.
  11. Davenport, Christian (2007). "State Repression and Political Order". Annual Review of Political Science. 10: 1–23. doi:10.1146/annurev.polisci.10.101405.143216.
  12. Ritter, Emily Hencken (2014). "Policy Disputes, Political Survival, and the Onset and Severity of State Repression". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 58 (1): 143–168. doi:10.1177/0022002712468724.
  13. "Los Derechos Humanos y la trata de personas" (PDF). www.ohchr.org. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
  14. Patricia., Scipioni, Estela (2000-01-01). Torturadores, apropiadores y asesinos : el terrorismo de estado en la obra dramática de Eduardo Pavlovsky. Edition Reichenberger. ISBN   9783931887919. OCLC   477299442.

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