Here is a list of political activists who have been imprisoned and/or seriously harassed by governments for speaking truth to power. The list is, of course, far from complete. These are just the ones I know about from the top of my head. Some people still think that we live in a free society under the rule of law. This post is an attempt to wake these people up.
- Barrett Brown is facing over 100 years in prison for posting a link to the Internet. As if this was not outrageous enough, the US government are now going after his mother, ostensibly for placing a couple of laptops in a kitchen cabinet.
- Adam Kokesh is a freedom activist running his own alternative media operation. The US government has been harassing him for some time and now they have imprisoned him for making a short video clip of himself loading a gun in central Washington DC.
- While not technically a prisoner at the moment, Edward Snowden would be one if the US government had its way. His crime, of course, is telling the truth about abuse of state power. However, as Snowden himself points out, telling the truth is not a crime.
- Chelsea Manning is a former US government employee and whistle-blower, much like Edward Snowden after her. She is currently serving a 35 year term in military prison for turning over classified files to Wikileaks.
Aaron Swartz was found hanged in his apartment after years of harassment by the US government. He was involved in many kinds of activism, but what they finally focused on to silence him was giving the public access to academic papers.
- Jeremy Hammond is being held in solitary confinement, awaiting sentencing (Nov 15) for being involved in the Stratfor leak (the one Barrett Brown linked to). He is facing up to 10 years in prison.
- Mikhail Khodorkovsky is a businessman who started talking about the rampant corruption going on in his native Russia. When he started making moves to mount a political challenge against Putin, he was imprisoned on charges of tax evasion.
- Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm and others being punished for creating one of the wonders of the modern world, The Pirate Bay. Svartholm is now facing extradition to Denmark to stand trial for a crime he was acquitted of in Swedish court.
If you know about additional political prisoners or activists being persecuted by governments, send me an email and I will add them to the list!