Political Prisoners and Their Stories

 What is a political prisoner? A political prisoner is someone who is imprisoned because their beliefs or ideas are not aligned with that of their government. Around the world, there are almost a million people who are in jail for their beliefs and political ideology. Having a belief system and defending one's ideas is not a crime, however, these people are treated as criminals and many, if not most, are subject to violations of basic human rights. They go through abuse, and torture, and are kept in inhumane conditions.

Gratefully, there are prisoners that are eventually released or negotiated for, that get to go home to their families. Many of them, like Mohamed Soltan, for example, turn around and dedicated their lives to helping others that are unjustly imprisoned. Here are more inspiring examples of political prisoners and their accomplishments.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi was born in Burma (now Myanmar). Her father was very loved there, as he was one of the leaders of the country's independence. She grew up partially in India, where her mother was an ambassador and was influenced very much by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.

After living in England, being married, and having two sons, she returned to her country to help her ill mother. While she was there she began working for democracy and peace, as the country was under military rule.

She decided to lead a revolt against the dictator General Ne Win by speaking for democracy. She organized demonstrations and asked for democratic reform. However, in 1989 she was restricted to house arrest and spent nearly 15 years under such conditions.

She was accused of being dangerous to the country's stability. The government offered for her to be freed on the condition that she leave Myanmar forever, and she was also offered the opportunity to go to England to visit her husband, who was dying from cancer. However, she decided to stay, out of fear that she wouldn't be allowed back into the country. She spent her time reading books her husband sent to her, playing the piano, and occasionally receiving visitors.

She received Nobel Prize in 1991 and according to Forbes ranked 61/100 of the most powerful women in the world in 2014.

Peter Biar Ajak: An Inspiring Survivor

Peter Biar Ajak was born in South Sudan. He attended several universities in the US, earning several degrees. He became a strong voice advocating for free and fair elections in his country.

In July 2018 he was sent to prison until January 2020 because of his ideas. However, his life was in danger, at risk of being executed as a “dissident”. The US authorized emergency visas for him and his family and they arrived safely in the country just a few months after.

Peter Biar Ajak has written hundreds of articles about South Sudan and continues to work hard, calling for the intervention of Human Rights and International Organizations to fight for democracy and freedom for his people in South Sudan.

Political Prisoners and Their Stories Political Prisoners and Their Stories Reviewed by Pravesh Maurya on May 28, 2022 Rating: 5

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