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Rape As Punishment
21 November, 2008, 12:24 am
Filed under: Politics, Social | Tags: , , ,

Rape incidents in prison are so much taken for granted by prisoners and the general public alike that few have considered the historical or sociological aspects of the practice.

It has often been said that prison staff tacitly tolerate prison rapes as a form of control. Whether they are consciously aware of it or not, they are simply following a long historical tradition of rape as punishment.

In the Arab countries, for centuries, an intruding man caught in the harem was turned over to the slaves to be used for their sexual pleasure. Rape of captive soldiers in war was common amongst Arabs, Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The tradition apparently continues, with a recent report of the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva documenting the rape of numerous teenage Palestinian boys in Israeli military detention centers, as part of both punishment and interrogation routines.

In England, as well as in the early American years, prisoners left in the stocks or pillory overnight were often raped. The punishment was virtually an invitation to rape, with the prisoner firmly anchored and unable to turn his head to see who was behind him.

The general knowledge of such assaults occurring would suggest that judges were just as aware that they were imposing rape as punishment as were Arab harem keepers who more directly imposed rape as punishment.

In the modern era, prison administrators have often been accused of tolerating, and sometimes deliberately creating, rape situations. In addition to the punishment aspect, prison staff have better control of the population by tacitly consenting to rapes. On the one hand, there is the threat of being placed in a rape vulnerable position, and on the other hand it is a way of keeping the more aggressive prisoners calm and happy, since if they weren’t raping they might be rioting. Even in prisons where rapes are rare or nonexistent, there is the constant threat of being transferred to a prison where rape is common–a threat which is sometimes made outright by staff.

The practice is international. One Middle Eastern country having large numbers of Americans arrested on drug charges, officially punishes disciplinary infractions within the prison by chaining one ankle to the bed for 24 hours. The official explanation is that for that day he is being punished by being restricted to bed and is not able to wander around using the various recreational facilities and television. The true situation is that by being chained to the bed, the real punishment is that the prisoner is unable to defend himself and is available all day to any of his 150 dormitory mates who might want to rape him, and that almost all would want to. That is why the punishment is only for one day.

In America, judges frequently sentence a young first offender to a very short prison term, such as 30 to 90 days, followed by five or more years of probation. One must wonder when this is done if the judge hasn’t sent to criminal to prison just long enough to ensure that he is raped before release. Although there is no direct link between these sentences and rape as punishment, one must assume that most judges are aware of the general rape situation in American prisons, and the almost certainty that such a prisoner will be raped. It may be less direct than an overnight sentence to the stocks or pillory, but the unspoken sentence of rape is still there.

Our society is carrying on the long historical tradition of rape as punishment–but is forgetting the dangers that these sexually abused young men create when they are released back into society. Unfortunately, so few are willing to come out and admit to having been raped that they only help the trend to continue.

 

What kind of punishment is this? The part on keeping aggressive prisoners calm and happy, I think it is just an excuse! I believe there are other better and healthier measures to take than resorting to rape. What good will it do to both the victims of rape and rapists? Rapists will just fall into the trap of sexual sin while the victims will hold on to that shameful act for the rest of his life, unable to fully raise up his head and walk. So glad there is an organisation trying to put an end to such absurd act – Stop Prisoner Rape. I pray that one day all these will come to an end despite its long history and people’s mentality may have settled that it is just another strange tradition of the past.

 

Reference: Rape As Punishment



Justice Over Mercy
14 November, 2008, 3:48 pm
Filed under: Politics, Religion | Tags: ,

According to Islamic law, theft is punished by imprisonment or amputation of hands or feet. In this case, an 8 year old Iran boy was caught stealing bread from a market and was punished by crushing his hands with a lorry.

 

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My heart goes out to this poor boy.

 

I wonder what if a non-Islamic tourist goes to Iran and steals something. Will his hands be crushed too?

 

Reference: Islamic Law – Penalty



Education System Going 24/7
28 May, 2008, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

What happens if the government decides to set up morning and night sessions of schooling to meet the needs of morning and night people respectively? I personally can see many advantages of it.

 

This will definitely maximise each person’s ability to study and absorb the knowledge that they are capable of and counters the problem/whines we often hear, “I’m just not a morning person!”. With the country having to run 24/7 (ie. streetlights, public services, etc. operating non-stop), it will reduce the crime rate as there will no longer be quiet and dangerous nights with more people awake. Economically, it is brilliant too as production and consumption in the country will never stop! (Wow, can you imagine?) Now, night shifts are never lonely again. Nurses, forex dealers, security guards, hotel managers (and the list just goes on), will not dread another night shift that they are cursed with. After this system ripens, these students who undergone the night education are nurtured to be at their best at night and with Singapore’s IR coming up, we surely need more nocturnals. Customer services and helplines especially, will operate 24/7 and people will have greater confidence in the night shifts people for they know, it is not another slacker, dozing off on the job.

 

Inevitably, there are just a few bad effects of this of course. There will no longer be peaceful nights, but think about it, even the afternoons when the city is still awake, seem to be quite sleepy too. Therefore, the morning breed’s sleep will not be affected. Also, a really weird division between the morning and night people will form, but fret not! With facebook and more healthy online interaction, eventually these two species will be able to meet. Unfortunately, the excitement of staying up through the night will be lost since the owls will say “No big deal, I’ve been doing that my whole life.”

 

And the question, “So how do you know if you’re a morning or night person at such a young age?” Well I say, this system can just start after the primary or lower secondary education and the true nocturnal will suffer slight “jet lag” if he or she decides to take the path of the night clan.

 

If such a revolution happens, the new generation will greet each other with “Hey, I’m from morning. How about you?” or “Eh, morning night? I morning.” (That is if our Singlish culture survives till then)