Talk:Prisoner of conscience

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I think the law has to walk a fine line here. Logically you can believe what you like - and as long as you don't tell anybody what you believe then nobody can prosecute you for it. Logically you can only get in trouble for what you say. And most of us would (I suppose) say that people are free to say what they like - but that the law should intervene when people's beliefs lead them to violent actions. The problem arises when the things that some people say can, in themselves, be regarded as violent actions; or when what people say incites others to perform violent actions. But certainly can be a tough call.--Bobbing up 16:01, 20 November 2007 (EST)

In the US, the law tends to fall on the side of protecting such speech anyway, so unless someone is causing a disturbance likely to cause harm, they will seldom see prosecution. That hasn't stopped others who have gone well past that line from claiming the status, however. Which is more my point: not so much about what the law should be, but what people will try to pull. Researcher 17:09, 20 November 2007 (EST)

PoC vs Political prisoner[edit]

I think this article confuses prisoners of conscience with political prisoners. A political prisoner is anybody who gets imprisoned for political reasons, whether justly so or not. Terrorists, coup plotters and violent racists who are imprisoned are political prisoners. Prisoners of concience however are a subset of political prisoners, who are imprisoned purely for their beliefs (usually including ethnicity, sexual orientation and the like) and who have not commited violence. So somebody locked up for racist hate speach could arguably be considered a prisoner of conscience, but somebody locked up for racist violence is by definition not a prisoner of conscience. M the T (talk) 00:18, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually, no. People like Nelson Mandela, arrested by the National Socialist Party during Apartheid and human rights activists such as Ali Salem Tamek are considered political prisoners, and were arrested and harassed purely for their beliefs, and they did not commit violence or criminal acts. (talk) 19:41, 21 December 2015 (UTC)