Repression

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(from L. repressio, action and effect of repressing, detaining). System of sanctions and discrimination exercised against internal and at times external adversaries of an existing regime, which views them as disloyal or subversive elements. R. is also at times exercised against particular ethnic or religious groups, students, intellectuals, or other social groups. R. is a discriminatory sanction that is distinct from judicial sanctions and administrative measures, which prosecute ordinary criminals in accordance with the penal code in order to protect the safety of citizens. However, national laws and particularly administrative measures in many cases violate human rights and display markedly repressive characteristics. The rampant corruption in judicial systems and administrative bodies, civil and armed forces, as well as social prejudices based on ethnocentrism, race, religion, etc., are transforming the struggle against crime into repressive campaigns that are directed against the poor, dissidents, minorities, etc. There are a broad array of repressive measures ranging from the blow from a policeman’s club to legal proceedings and trials, incarceration, involuntary deportation and even the physical elimination of adversaries.