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Exile means to be away from one's home (i.e. city, state or country), while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened by prison or death upon return. It can be a form of punishment.[1]

It is common to distinguish between internal exile, i.e., forced resettlement within the country of residence, and external exile, deportation outside the country of residence.[citation needed]

Exile can also be a self-imposed departure from one's homeland. Self-exile is often depicted as a form of protest by the person that claims it, to avoid persecution, an act of shame or repentance, or isolating oneself to be able to devote time to a particular thing.


Government in exile

During a foreign occupation or after a coup d'état, a government in exile of a such afflicted country may be established abroad. One of the most well-known instances of this is the Polish government-in-exile, a government in exile that commanded Polish armed forces operating outside Poland after German occupation during World War II. Another example was the Free French Forces government of Charles De Gaulle of the same time.

Nation in exile

When large groups, or occasionally a whole people or nation is exiled, it can be said that this nation is in exile, or Diaspora. Nations that have been in exile for substantial periods include the Jews, who were deported by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II in 597 BC and again in the years following the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem in the year AD 70. Similarly, though an Armenian Diaspora had existed for centuries, the Western Armenians were exiled "en masse" following the events surrounding the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Survivors were scattered throughout countries in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Their descendants number approximately 2 million people today and are actively militant for the Armenian cause.

After the partitions of Poland in the late 18th century, and following the uprisings (like Kościuszko Uprising, November Uprising and January Uprising) against the partitioning powers (Russian Empire, Prussia and Austro-Hungary), many Poles have chosen – or been forced – to go into exile, forming large diasporas (known as Polonia), especially in France and the United States.The entire population of Crimean Tatars (200,000) that remained in their homeland Crimea was exiled on 18 May 1944 to Central Asia as a form of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment on false accusations. At Diego Garcia, between 1967 and 1973 the British Government forcibly removed some 2,000 Chagossian resident islanders to make way for a military base today jointly operated by the US and UK.

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