Authoritarian leaders worldwide are exerting their influence beyond their borders in an attempt to silence critics and subvert democracy.
The world’s authoritarian regimes understand that domestic repression alone will not ensure their survival. Over the past two decades, they have extended their influence beyond their own borders in an attempt to silence critics, subvert democratic governments, and reshape international norms and institutions to serve their own interests.
Featured Essays: Perspectives Transnational Repression in an Age of Globalization
Freedom House is conducting a 12-month research project on transnational repression, or the targeting of individuals by their countries after they have gone abroad. Transnational repression can take a variety of forms: direct targeting such as kidnappings or assassinations, manipulation of host country institutions to detain or deport individuals abroad unlawfully, limiting the mobility of individuals abroad through actions like passport cancellations, and targeting individuals by threatening their families and loved ones. Through these actions, states seek to control “their” populations even after they have gone abroad.
For the project, Freedom House is gathering cases of direct transnational repression incidents around the world since 2014, and conducting interviews with exiles and members of diasporas about how transnational repression has affected their lives. The data and interviews will be incorporated into a special report for release in September 2020. By studying this phenomenon at a global scale, Freedom House will explain the repercussions of transnational repression campaigns, and help policymakers and civil society think about how they can respond to protect activists in exile.
The project is supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation and the Achelis & Bodman Foundation.
To learn more, please contact [email protected].
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