10 Reasons Behind Arab Spring

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libya political dissent
Libyans stamp a portrait of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in Benghazi, Libya. Peaceful protests against the regime escalated into a full-blown revolt when pro-Gaddafi forces launched a violent crack down on unarmed civilians in various Libyan cities on 17 February. Photo - John Moore/Getty Images

Political dissent refers to any expression which conveys public dissatisfaction over the policies of the government. It may come in both violent and nonviolent forms including protests, civil disobedience, strike, lobbying. The violent expressions may include self-immolation, rioting, arson, bombings, assassinations and armed revolution.

The lack of political dissent is the hallmark of any repressive government. Dictatorships and authoritarian regimes tend to punish any form of political dissent and are quick to quell it effectively. The suppression of freedom of speech is the first target of such government that denies an individual or group of individuals to speak freely without censorship, limitation or punishment.

Similarly, the freedom of assembly and association is the individual’s right to come together with the others to express, promote, pursue and defend common interests collectively. Any given authoritarian regime would deny this basic right to its citizens and violators would be punished sternly by employing the services of the notorious secret services and police forces. Jails and prisons in authoritarian states are full of political prisoners at any given time. Also, there is no existence of a viable political opposition group or movement.


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