Transnational Repression

When foreign governments stalk, intimidate, or assault people in the United States, it is considered transnational repression. You can get help to stop it.

Office of Partner Engagement director Robert Contee delivers a public service announcement about Transnational Repression.

Transcript / Visit Video Source

Some countries’ governments harass and intimidate their own citizens living in the U.S. These governments may also target naturalized or U.S.-born citizens who have family overseas or other foreign connections. This violates U.S. law and individual rights and freedoms.

Transnational repression may take the following forms:

  • Stalking 
  • Harassment
  • Hacking
  • Assaults
  • Attempted kidnapping
  • Forcing or coercing the victim to return to the country of origin
  • Threatening or detaining family members in the country of origin
  • Freezing financial assets
  • Online disinformation campaigns

Governments use transnational repression tactics to silence the voices of their citizens (or non-citizens connected to the country), get information from them, or coerce them to return to the country of origin.

Who Is Targeted

Foreign governments typically target:

  • Political and human rights activists
  • Dissidents
  • Journalists
  • Political opponents
  • Religious or ethnic minority groups

If you are in the U.S., including a U.S. territory, your freedom of speech is protected, regardless of your citizenship.

View the FBI Threat Intimidation Guide, which provides additional information about types of threats and what to do if you've been threatened, in English and other languages. 

How to Report

  • Contact the FBI online at
  • Call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

Examples and Related Press Releases 

Some press releases are available in other languages. See translated press releases section below.