A dissident is a person that speaks out against the established order. The term is most often used for those who question dictatorships, especially communist dictatorship. In totalitarian societies dissidents are often punished. In the Soviet Union they were often sent to Siberian Gulags. In democratic societies dissidents are supposed to be free from such government pressure, but there have been noted instances of persecution, such as the witch hunts for communists in the 1950s in the United States.
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