Political Repression

Topics: Human rights, Torture, Universal Declaration of Human Rights Pages: 8 (2344 words) Published: October 16, 2013
Political Repression

The subject of my paper is on the abuse of human rights caused by political repression. I will be explaining this statement through the following arguments. First, some governments train ex-soldiers and teenagers in the art of torture. Second, victims are usually kidnapped and stripped of contact to family. Third, any type of repression can be used to extrapolate information from victims. The purpose of political repression is to prevent challenges towards social and political power (protests, social movements) (Earl 262).

Political repression is defined as mistreatment of an individual or group through repressive actions (imprisonment, stripped of basic human rights, harassment, and torture) on territorial boundaries which violate human rights because of the failure to maintain person integrity and security (262).

Political repression is performed by individuals who are specially trained for this task. They are recruited through three routes; first, the career advancement path where a person in military is assigned to a special forces unit that performs torture (Crelinsten 44). This is important because individuals who are ambitious and want to advance further in their career have motive to perform as asked of with no complaints regardless of the task. In fact, supervisors “favored those who had displayed the most care and zeal in accomplishment of their duties” (44). This shows how careful the government is with their choices on who is fit for performing torture and is


important to my thesis because it provides an example of the kind of people the victims will be dealing with, “ferocious and reliable” (45).

The second pathway is through conscription. The government chooses conscripts who “are lower class, poorly educated, and come from families that share ideological orientation of the regime of power. In some cases conscription is really akin to kidnapping, whereby youths are rounded up as they come out of a cinema and taken off to basic training” (45). This is important because youths are chosen because they are more likely to obey orders and not question what may be asked of them. By targeting lower class and poorly educated people the government is taken individuals who will not matter if deemed missing and individuals who will be grateful for this chance to have a job. Human rights are violated the moment a teenager is kidnapped but there is nothing the person or his family can do since the government is doing the kidnapping.

The third route to torture is serendipitous (45). It involves people already working within the military or police force (surveillance unit, kidnapping unit, and rail police) and are seeking a transfer whether it is to be closer to family, or more pay (45-46). This route is the governments way of doing you a favor by meeting your needs in your job transfer and putting you in a position to become a torturer or possibly risk losing your job. This important to my thesis because provides an example of the situation the torturers are in and the risk they take for not performing their task.

There are three different types of torturers; first there is the zealot who seems to be detached from what they are doing and in complete control of their feelings (57). This is quite disturbing because of the lack of empathy present in these people, it is almost comparable to a sociopath.


The second type is called the professional “who is career-oriented and wants to do a good job (for a soldier it is very important)” (57). This is a type that seems to understand what they are doing and might grow uneasy at certain times during torture but value their rank more than their actions (59). The third type is called a sadist, it groups torturers who derive pleasure from what they are doing, they are considered bad at their jobs because they lose mastery of their victims (kill them) (59-60). This type is a result of the training process in which the cruelty...
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