Same Questions & Same Suggestions

Crimes today are such that they can be ignored only at society’s peril. Whether in the West or in the East, crime has definitely taken a turn for the worse, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.

Crime has been on the rise for some time now. That’s perhaps no news. But that it has found new patrons in our times has not been widely noticed. That is because its new escorts are to be found in high places.

News pieces like: “Two police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a family dispute in an apartment complex” – do not seem to be disturbing. This is because the neglect of law and order is monumental no more.

But crime has taken a new turn: For example “the accused when chased by the police, not only shot them dead but also his own mother, who tried to disarm him, and, finally, turned the gun on himself.” This is a new turn.

To relay a crime of the high places: “Cypriot court looks into the case of a British coal-miner accused of murdering his wife.”

“A Nigerian politician, wife, and a doctor guilty of organ trafficking to UK,” is a fresh turn.

Liberated women cannot be left behind: A 41-year-old woman sexually assaulted a man while he slept. A judge said there was “no distinction between male and female rape” and jailed her.

Another news headline says: “The United States remains one of the most dangerous wealthy nations for a woman to give birth.”

These are the kind of crimes which cannot be ignored without promising the societies peril. The news at the political level is not pleasing either. Writes a columnist: “Hyper-personalized, populist rule achieved by gutting institutional checks and balances is how democracies have devolved into mobocracies.”

“The prime minister, a master of the political maneuver, has simply lied to too many people too many times,” says the title lines of a new kind of crime. It promises bloody days to the people.

One of the analysis agrees that the reforms would allow a prime minister to dismantle democracy. If the proposed judicial changes go through, the parliament would gain the power to override Supreme Court decisions.

As these lines are being written, a US district judge will decide whether E. H. – the disgraced founder of a medical testing company, can delay the start of her eleven-year prison sentence while she appeals her conviction –in part due to her two young children.

But crimes against civilians are not specific to the West. Tigray schools in Ethiopia are to re-open after three years, having been shut down because of the regional conflicts between Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the central government. During the civil war, many schools were looted and destroyed.

In the meanwhile, the International Criminal Court in Hague has issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin. It accuses him of being responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, including the unlawful deportation of children. Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Ms. Maria Lvova-Belova, is also subject to an arrest warrant.

Mass burial sites have been found in several parts of Ukraine previously occupied by Russian troops, including some holding civilian bodies showing signs of torture. In March 2022, Russian forces carried out an air strike on a theatre in Mariupol which was being used as a refuge for children.

And religious organizations are no exceptions. A US Christian group has been accused of covering up sexual abuse of minors. Lawsuits claim International Churches of Christ leaders failed to report as well as plotted to conceal abuse of women and children.

We ended last month’s editorial with a question and a suggestion. We feel that this piece ought to end with the same question and same suggestion.

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