A political crime is any illegal action by an individual, group, or government that has a political motivation or impact. This type of crime most often includes actions taken by or against governments. However, individuals and groups may also target each other for political purposes.

Several aspects of the definition require clarification. The initial issue, illegality, involves the violation of a country's domestic law or accepted practices in international law, including human rights standards. There are four complications in defining illegal actions in this manner.

First, a problem can exist when domestic law is not consistent with international law and human rights norms. Governments typically will follow their own laws first, especially if it is in their interest to do so. However, increasingly, the international norms ...

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