Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Another loophole: diplomatic immunity, aka extraterritorialism

I have the time.com app on my so-called "smartphone". I came across an article that spoke about a man named Raymond Davis who "allegedly" killed two Pakistani citizens and was being held in the country. I would not be surprised if this story becomes a lifetime movie because what saved Davis was Sharia Law. 

This entire story seems fictitious because there are so many layers in order to arrive at the truth. Here is what makes it complicated. At first, Davis was a diplomat. Diplomats--as I know from growing up around TCKs whose parents worked at the American Embassies--have a great shield that protects them known as Diplomatic Immunity.

Diplomatic Immunity can be abused. Those with this protective status cannot be held to the laws of the country they reside in or visit. There were stories that I heard of diplomats who had speeding and driving under the influence tickets issued by the host country, but that the said country could not collect on because the diplomat could use their right: diplomatic immunity.

Supposedly, Davis was a diplomat--at first--and then, CIA. After CIA, he was an employee of Blackwater--which has since changed its name to Xe. In this tangled web, I do not know who Raymond Davis is but I know that he used Islamic law in order to be freed of the killings.

Sharia law is generally used and practiced by the Wahabbis. Wahabbism is what most Western countries have an issue with. Some of the laws are interpreted in a way that justifies oppression and other crimes against humanity.   Who paid the blood money? Will other Muslim countries suggest that offenders be tried according to Sharia Law? Too many questions arise from this seemingly innocuous trial.

The British thrived in Hong Kong under the protections of diplomatic immunity because the British could commit crimes with impunity. There are circumstances where I am sure that it is needed, but in other cases, there should be oversight to ensure that it is not being abused. 

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