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The Big Answer

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Political Prisoners

an article by our site

The military now have a dominant position in about half the governments of developing countries. Military-dominated governments and theocracies are most likely to resist change, thereby fostering future civil violence and rebellion. Countries ruled by the military or religious leaders are the most repressive, with little political freedom and no free press, and 90 percent of their people do not have full voting rights. Authoritarianism is the common denominator here. Some people have gotten it into their heads that they should tell others what to do and back it up with force, violence, threats, oppression. Countries need leadership, but rarely do dictatorships, oligarchies, theocracies, or military-dominated governments act in the best interests of the people. They act in their own interests: acquiring and holding power, wealth, and control.


The best example of this in recent memory is North Korea, whose leaders do absolutely everything for their own self-aggrandizement and nothing for their long-suffering, severely oppressed people. Like Saddam Hussein, Hitler, the Inquisition, and Nazi Germany, they are an ugly embarrassment to the human race. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and current dictator Kim Jong-un is the poster child for corruption. Example: On 7 March 2013, North Korea announced its intentions to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States. In spite of all his insane bluster and saber rattling, Kim Jong-un is merely trying to assert his control over North Korea, and has no endgame other than gaining recognition. “Aren't I hot stuff, and aren't I ever so powerful and isn't my weenie the biggest of anyone ever,” brags the sociopathic Kim Jong-un, according to his doltishly stupid actions. Is he really this clueless or is he a product of inbreeding? Who can say?

Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and current North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is the poster child for corruption
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and current North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is the poster child for corruption

“Many international human rights organizations accuse North Korea of having one of the worst human rights records of any nation. Amnesty International reports of severe restrictions on the freedom of association, expression and movement, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment resulting in death, and executions. The organization demands the closure of prison camps, where 200,000 political prisoners and their families exist in ‘the most inhuman conditions imaginable.’ North Koreans have been referred to as ‘some of the world's most brutalized people’ by Human Rights Watch, because of the severe restrictions placed on their political and economic freedoms.” (Source: North Korea.) "Amnesty International campaigns for the release of prisoners of conscience, which include both political prisoners as well as those imprisoned for their religious or philosophical beliefs. To reduce controversy, and as a matter of principle, the organization's policy applies only to prisoners who have not committed or advocated violence." (Source:

Those people who are opposed to military-dominated governments, theocracies, and repressive governments often become political prisoners. The following figures represent a few 20th Century tallies from Amnesty International, and do not intend to represent the actual number of political prisoners in the 20th Century world by a long way, especially when you consider the actions of Stalin and Hitler. In the 21st Century, North Korea has at least 200,000 political prisoners all by themselves, although they don’t admit it. And there are thousands more scattered across the globe.

1974: 3650 prisoners taken or being investigated; 1402 released

1978: 4726 prisoners taken or being investigated; 1801 released

1987: 4247 prisoners of conscience taken (persons jailed for expression of their beliefs, with no criminal charges); 1952 released

There are 2000 cases documented (in 73 countries) of torture, detention without trial, detention with medical neglect, arbitrary arrest, extra-judicial killings, and unfair, rigged trials. Historically, examples include British convicts sent to Australia in the 1700-1800's, the former Soviet Union’s dubious psychiatric diagnoses that were sometimes used to confine political prisoners in Gulags or worse, and Germany’s WWII habit of spreading fear by kidnapping persons in occupied countries and sending them to unacknowledged concentration camps so their relatives would behave submissively, not aggressively, about German occupation.

Thousands of political prisoners were thereby liquidated, which of course is a tiny amount compared to the millions of military prisoners (Jews and Soviets, mostly) Hitler murdered. The definition of political prisoners as opposed to military prisoners is a matter of opinion, since the definition of the former is “someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country” while the latter means incarcerated enemies. Jews being oppressed obviously opposed Nazi oppression privately but not publically, usually, but Jews were defined as the enemy by the warped mind of Hitler so that made them both types of prisoners—the lines blur and there's lots of debate.

The U.S.'s policies exemplify supporting the rich against the poor
The U.S.'s policies exemplify supporting the rich against the poor

Arnold Toynbee said: “America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in the defence of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for: Rome consistently supported the rich against the poor…and since the poor, so far, have always and everywhere been far more numerous than the rich, Rome’s policy made for inequality, for injustice, and for the least happiness of the greatest number.” (Source: America’s Gulag: Obama Sentences Political Prisoner Lynne Stewart to Death)