Here are seven presidents who rose from prisoners to becoming the leaders of their nations.
1. Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi [India]
She later won a bye-election in 1978 but was arrested along with her son Sanjay Gandhi by the Janata government on some trumped up charges but was released after the collapse of the Janata coalition.
In 1980, Indira Gandhi once again became Prime Minister but was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984 for ordering the storming of the Harmandir Sahib as a countermeasure to the Punjab insurgency.
2. Fidel Castro [Cuba]
Released in 1955 they traveled to Mexico, where they metErnesto “Che” Guevara who helped them mount a series of successful military campaigns, that eventually led to the collapse of General Fulgencio Batista’s government in January 1959.
Manuel Urrutia was then installed as president while José Miró Cardona became prime minister. But after just a month Miro resigned, and Castro was sworn in as prime minister at the age of 32.
3. Dilma Vana [Brazil]
The Mensalao corruption scandal in 2005, saw her become the Chief of Staff of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and in March 2010 she resigned to run for president.
Dilma Rousseff became Brazil’s first female president in 2010 and was re-elected again in 2014, but was suspended by the senate for six months on 12 May 2016, before she was finally impeached on 31 August 2016.
4. Kim Dae Jung [South Korea]
In 1985, Kim returned to South Korea and was once again put under house arrest, before losing the first transparent elections held in a long time by dictator Chun Doo-hwan after succumbing to pressure.
Finally, after trying four times, Kim Dae-Jung defeated Lee Hoi-Chang and was sworn in as the eighth President of South Korea on 25 February 1998.
5. Nelson Mandela [South Africa]
He was sentenced to life in prison in 1962 for conspiring against the state after his militant group Umkhonto we Sizwe, launched a sabotage campaign against the government but was freed in 1990 after serving 27 years.
In 1994 Mandela became the first black President of South Africa after winning a multiracial general election. A true statesman, he only served one term before handing over the reins to Thabo Mbeki.
6. Patrice Lumumba [Congo]
He only lasted three months as Prime Minister before being ousted in a military coup fronted by Mobutu Sese Seko but orchestrated by the US, England, and Belgium their former colonial lords.
Lumumba’s believed to have been shot multiple times, before his body was dissolved in acid, by the Belgian military in a bid to cover a full-scale investigation. Belgium later apologised in 2002 for its role in his death.
7. Olusegun Obasanjo [Nigeria]
In 1995, Obasanjo an outspoken critic of the Abacha regime was arrested on trumped up charges of plotting a coup but was released after the sudden death of Abacha in June 1998.
After his release, Olusegun Obasanjo contested for and won the presidential elections held in 1999, under the Peoples Democratic Party and also won a second term in 2003.