Northwestern Country in Europe (Shown in Green)
The English Riots of August resulted in the deaths of three young men, Haroon, Shazad Ali, and Abdul Musavir on August 10 who had stood against the mobs to protect their neighborhood.
People have the right to assemble in order to demonstrate peacefully their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with any of their government policies or programs, without interference or molestation by any local, national, or international entity. However, no individual, regardless of his or her grievances, has the right to attack anyone’s person or properties in expression of such rights.
Therefore, the English were within their rights to demonstrate and the government’s duty was to address the root causes of their grievances without interfering in their peaceful demonstrations. Like other large movements, there were a few who took advantage of the riots to rob and attack others. Those thugs must face justice as usual.
However, the British response has been harsh. Two youngsters are jailed for four years for encouraging riots using Facebook. Many are charged on mere suspicion of minor offenses. Over 20% of the suspects are under 18 years of age. According to British news, 70% of the offenders are jailed, compared to the normal 2% for the same offenses. Sentencing a teenager who acted in the spur of the moment to months of incarceration for a few stolen pounds would condemn the kid to a life of poverty in which no government agency or private enterprise would hire him or her due to the applicant’s criminal records. Deprived from economic opportunities, chances are that the person may become a hardcore criminal. The English judicial reaction is more in line with the authoritarian regimes than with a representative government.
How about addressing the root causes! The English Riots apparently stemmed from economic deprivation. Any one, when desperate, may resort to the unthinkable! Over 40% of the over 1000 suspects come from the poorest sectors in England. The British government could improve opportunities in these economically deprived sectors.
The best justice is compassion and considering the long term public interest before rendering a decision. I ask the English judges to decide on each case with empathy, to allow those charged with petty offenses to apologize and repay the victims without staining their records for life, and then set them free! And for the others, factor in the lack of economic opportunities.
Tariq Jahan, the father of Haroon, said: "Our three boys have died. Another 68-year-old man has died in London. Let their deaths be the last as a result of this madness."
May peace be with you!
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