The dark history of secret police
From 425 BCE to the present day
© Getty Images
It’s no secret that many governments had (and some still have) secret police forces that they used to control citizens and, more debatable, protect the state. Mostly established in authoritarian or totalitarian regimes, these police forces operate covertly to ensure the government is safe from any threats by the political opposition.
To achieve this, they engage in surveillance, use informers, and infiltrate different areas of society. But defending the interests of a government comes at a cost for its citizens: these secret police organizations are known for their use of repression and violence. In fact, many of these had the power to arrest, torture, and even kill.
Browse through the following gallery and get to know the dark history of secret police.
LIFESTYLE Animal kingdom
CELEBRITY Celebrity deaths
HEALTH Middle age