Thursday, August 23, 2007

Human Rights

I used to think human rights was about preventing people with power like the government or a dictator from silencing people they didn't like by putting them in jail or killing them. These days I read the news and it seems to me that human rights is more about protecting the rights of people who commit crimes - even atrocious crimes.

I recently read an article about a man who forced a girl to have sex with a dog and he got a maximum of 14 years in prison for this. He apparently also sexually assaulted a lot of other under aged girls. This is a pretty stiff sentence for Sweden where rapists are hardly punished. They do go to jail but not for long - and then the rapist is let loose again to rape more women.

Don't get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for Sweden, but I don't think even the Swedes like this aspect of their legal system, because it encourages people to come to Sweden and commit crimes. Sometimes if the rapist is a foreigner he can get a lifetime ban from Sweden, like the Indian guy who raped another foreigner and killed her, then claimed to be engaged to her. As if the engagement would make his crimes any less atrocious.

I think the guy really deserved to get deported and banned from Sweden.

Then today I came across this article criticizing capital punishment and more specifically criticizing Japan for its legal system that allows this. Though I am no fan of Japanese things in general, I don't think there's any sense in protecting people who do commit crimes in the name of human rights. I mean think about the people they killed. Weren't their human rights violated just so some sick guy could feel better?