The New York TimesThe New York Times

Opinion | Repression Without Borders

28 Aug 2021 · 6 min read

Smiting foes wherever they may be has a firm place in mythology, literature and history. The meddling Greek gods. James Bond’s license to kill. Joseph Stalin’s hit man who finally caught up with Leon Trotsky in Mexico City. Given this legacy, it is fair to ask why human rights organizations are now raising an alarm about authoritarian leaders who hunt down dissidents far from their borders.

The reason is that the scope, scale and impunity of transnational repression by a new breed of strongmen — intimidating, detaining, assaulting, kidnapping, deporting or assassinating exiled critics — have grown exponentially with globalization, digital connectedness and new methods of surveillance.

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