Someone imprisoned for his or her political activity / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A political prisoner is someone imprisoned for their political activity. The political offense is not always the official reason for the prisoner's detention.
There is no internationally recognized legal definition of the concept, although numerous similar definitions have been proposed by various organizations and scholars, and there is a general consensus among scholars that "individuals have been sanctioned by legal systems and imprisoned by political regimes not for their violation of codified laws but for their thoughts and ideas that have fundamentally challenged existing power relations". The status of a political prisoner is generally awarded to individuals based on declarations of non-governmental organizations like Amnesty International, on a case-by-case basis. While such status are often widely recognized by the international public opinion, they are often rejected by individual governments accused of holding political prisoners, which tend to deny any bias in their judicial systems.
A related term is prisoner of conscience, popularized by Amnesty International. It describes someone who was prosecuted because of their personal beliefs.
Some prisons, known as political prisons, are focused or even dedicated solely to hosting political prisoners.