Proposed US Legislation Seeks to End Foreign Government Intimidation of Diasporas

Congress is moving to introduce legislation that would empower the U.S. government to tackle the growing phenomenon of transnational repression.

The limited media attention that diasporic communities from developing countries attract tends to focus on the impacts they can have back home, such as through sending remittances and investment.

Their ongoing vulnerability to intimidation by authoritarian governments of their countries of origin has often been ignored. Yet the extreme sensitivity of authoritarians to online dissent from abroad shows that diasporas can punch beyond their weight in political terms.

They can serve as sources of political funding for opposition parties, and members of the diasporas often have access to independent courts to pursue claims against authoritarian regimes. Social media use means that they can potentially reach dispersed though significant audiences.

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