What's the difference between many human rights violation accusations and baseless conspiracy theories? For example, I often encounter human rights violations accusations against the Russian government - that it supposed abused the legal system and the state TV system to discredit and jail various political activists, and so on. How exactly is this different from baseless conspiracy theories? The charges presented weren't political at all - they were "hitting a journalist", "participating in a corruption scheme", "planning violent riots", etc. Yes, virtually all the top activists who participated in the recent anti-Putin protests were detained. But these charges don't seem to be political at all. How exactly can one deduce that there was actual legal system abuse from that? And why do even highly respected human rights groups (ex: Amnesty International, Freedom House, etc.) throw such baseless accusations?