Donald Trump shocked both Republicans and Democrats when he stated during the second presidential debate of 2016 that if he were president, Hillary Clinton would be in jail. “If I win, I am going to instruct my Attorney General to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Trump said, referring to Clinton's email scandal. When Clinton later remarked that it's "awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Trump fired back: “Because you’d be in jail."
While vowing to imprison a political opponent during a debate may be unprecedented in American politics, actually imprisoning political opponents is something that happens in authoritarian regimes with relative frequency. Politicians who jailed their opponents and critics include dictators and democratically elected presidents from around the globe. World leaders who jailed political opponents don't typically admit it, of course, but organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and even the United Nations make strong cases that these corrupt practices occur, spurring other nations to sometimes intervene to try to rescue political prisoners.