This website was started as a project of the Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross (a member of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation) in 2014 as a way of solving the problem of inaccurate prisoner lists. Thousands of hours have gone into developing this website, hosting it, and making it a valuable resource just for you. Once you register an account, you can edit pages and contribute to the database. If you have a particular affinity for a political prisoner, you can "adopt" their page and become responsible for making sure it stays up to date. Adopting pages prevents them from being edited by anybody else, but people can still leave comments.
Create a reliable, accessible database of international political prisoners to make it easier for people and organizations to engage in direct support work. From this mission, we design and build the site with the following goals in mind:
Usability – The site should be as easy to use as possible, because through use people will become directly involved in prisoner support. Usability also increases the number of people who are willing to work behind the scenes to keep the site running.
Accuracy and transparency – The information on the site should be as accurate as possible. When it is not known to be accurate, users should be notified. Our rules for what kind of content we allow should be clear and transparent to allow more time on the part of all involved to focus on our mission.
Self-sustaining – This site should be self-sustaining and should rely minimally on donations.
Exportability – The data on the site should be easy to access, export, and integrate with other sites and projects. We strive to make all data exportable for people doing similar projects.
Who We List
We only list people who meet our definition of a political prisoner. We realize many have different definitions for this, so we think it's important to delineate exactly who we do and do not list as our resources are finite. We define political prisoner broadly with the two below statements. Some people may not be clearly in the camp of any of our definitions, therefore we take some listings on a case-by-case basis and retain full discretion on who will be listed.
Definition one: “A person incarcerated or facing prosecution for actions carried out in support of legitimate struggles for self-determination* or for opposing the illegal policies of the government or its political subdivisions.” (Special International Tribunal on the Violation of Human Rights of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War in the United States Prisons and Jails, December, 1990)" *We have added the “facing prosecution” section.
Definition two: “Those persons incarcerated or facing persecution as a result of political beliefs or actions consciously undertaken and intended to resist exploitation and oppression, and/or hasten the implementation of an egalitarian, sustainable, ethical, classless society, predicated on self determination and maximization of all people’s freedom.” This is a definition crafted by Bill Dunne that we have borrowed.
We also list all whistleblowers, prisoners of conscience and people imprisoned for their speech or political views/affiliations. In general we seek to only limit who may not be on this site through very narrow exemptions which will be crafted as the site grows. In other words, we start from a presumption of acceptance.
We do not include the following people in our definition currently though they may be added later if there is capacity to do so:
Social prisoners who have become politicized while in prison, jailhouse lawyers, etc.
Prisoners who are members of movements in the revolutionary left but whom are imprisoned for acts which were not undertaken as part of a liberatory struggle
“Social” prisoners i.e. prisoners who are in for crimes that are not political or in furtherance of the goals stated in our definitions of political prisoners
We do not include the following people in our definition of political prisoner for the purposes of this site and never will:
Any followers of nazism, fascism, or who are openly racist, homophobic, sexist, nationalist, etc. We will also not include anyone who cooperated with prosecution against others.
This site takes a lot of work and dedication to keep working. We need talented volunteers to maintain it with us, do outreach, and help us do all the tasks that come with a project of this scale. If you would like to get involved, please see our "Get Involved" page.