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Thread: Japan's backward legal system

  1. #26
    Regular Member Shooter452's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    ...and they are the biggest polluters in the world.
    I question that conclusion.

    The magnitude of pollution that occurred in the ex-Soviet Union might well eclipse anything done by the United States. The world is still discovering the air, water and soil pollution that remains there, and is still being committed by the Republics.

    But none of this changes the fact that the US is a producer of pollutants and is not terribly eager to deal with that problem. I do not regard the Kyoto accords as being substansive, insofar as the entire Third World is excused responsibility for the pollution that it creates and might create in the future.

    And yet, we stray from the issue of the law. I am still appalled that the USA should cast rocks of this size while residing in a house of brittle windows such as we have!

    Still....

    Avarus animus nullo satiatur lucro

  2. #27
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Oh my, why so aggressive? Do I smell some personal issue there?


    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    Depends on what porn you watch. Again I ask you, is watching simulated rape porn as a child ok? Is watching porn with violent imagery and storyline ok? Porn where women are ravaged by 20 plus men is ok for kids? At least better than Disney? Please tell me straight yes or no
    How could I say a straight yes or no? It depends. Porn in general is not a problem, I'm not aware of any studies into particular varieties of porn. As long as kids watch this stuff under supervision, it shouldn't pose much of a problem, though. That's what parents are there for: telling their kids what's right or wrong.

    You mean to say that exposing these forms of porn to kids would not have negative developmental effects? Boy thats rich.
    Did I say so? Please quote that particular passage.


    Sturm and drang, back this up or start talking sense.
    You know the meaning of "IMO"? I'll look for some studies, but as I said it's just IMO, anyway.

    I think there are problems in exposing kids, especially boys already being raised to believe women are beneath them to imagery that shows women way beneath men, as nothing more than objects. We aren't just talking playboy nudes here. We are, in japan, potentially talking about images that involve women tied up, crying, looking shamed or humiliated or worse. Thats natural and ok too show too children? Ha.
    Misrepresenting me again? Nowhere did I say that humiliating pics are natural. That these pics as such have a negative effect on children is highly doubtful (maybe you could quote some studies to support your point?). You should not confuse cause & effect. The pics are only the effect, not the cause.


    Addendum:
    There don't seem to be any studies on WD stuff in particular, & only a few on cartoons in general. There is one interesting study (only on violence in cartoons) I stumbled across, though:
    Kaj Björkqvist, Kirsti M.J. Lagerspetz (1985). Children's experience of three types of cartoon at two age levels. International Journal of Psychology, 20, 77-93.

    "In many children's cartoons, the heroes, such as Woody Woodpecker and Donald Duck, behave extremely aggressively. Due to their identification with such heroes, children may be expected to attain a more permissive attitude towards aggressive behaviour. In that way, identification with aggressive film heroes can enhance subsequent aggressive behaviour due to a change in attitudes towards vioIence"
    Last edited by bossel; Mar 11, 2005 at 11:41. Reason: addendum

  3. #28
    Regular Member Shooter452's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka

    If they wanna be big world players with the world they take criticism from others, simple enough.
    Since when does anyone's position in the "new world order" make them liable to meet certain requrements of "legal minimums?" And exactly where does the USA--standing so deeply in the dry and locked concrete of Sovereign Immunity as we are--get off expecting everyone to "get like us?" BTW, "like us" ain't so great, according to human rights watchdog groups like Amnesty International (hey, I don't like them either, but they at least are non-partisan, a claim that the Congress cannot make!).
    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    I disagree. Japan has a very ingrained culutural belief in keeping system, even if broken because thats the 'way' something is done. Heaven and hell need to be moved to invoke change in Japanese public services and systems and the legal justice system, which is a majorly flawed beast, is one such example. Don't tell me a justice system which automatically prejudices against foreigners, which allows Judges to freely admit their judgements are made only to keep their 99% guilty record and which accused people have very little rights 'works'.
    .
    And this is the business of outsiders exactly how? In fact, I don't understand this conversation at all, Pook. At the very beginning I pointed out how I personally do not like the Nippon system of jurisprudence, and why--reasons not unlike your own, I might add--but that it is their system and if they want to change it they will. The fact that it is unlikely, difficult, whatever does not alter my statement one bit, nor does it explain your objection very well. When they think it is necessary, they will change it. If you have any problems with that, do not travel to Japan. If you must set foot on Japanese soil with your reservations I would recommend pre-paid legal services or counsellor insurance before you clear customs.

    I concur with all of your objections. I saw them work up close and personal and I would not want to be accused of a crime in Japan because I know that I would never receive some/most/all of the legal protections to which I am accustomed. I know of at least two cases in 1979 when the court in Naha handed down decisions of guilt that were based solely on the facts that one defendant was Black and that both were gaijin. When the JAG representative offered evidence that suggested the plain old everyday innocence of both accused, it was ruled inadmissable because (a) the JAG officer had no standing in Japanese court and (b) the local prosecutor had not found that evidence themselves ("If we don't discover it, it don't exist!"). Those two kids--well, they ain't kids no longer, are they?--are probably still inside, if they are still alive.

    And that means what? Nada. We were there as guests with rules of conduct plainly stated on our arrival in extensive indocrination classes "...welcome to Japan...hope you have a nice time...stay on base if you know what is good for you!" These two defendants went on liberty out in town and were accused of taking liberties they shouldn't. In Japan, that is end-of-story.

    BTW, staying on base will not save you. I heard of a case where the JP's hauled some USAF master sergeant "downtown" and it took the assembled authority of the entire military legal community to convince the Japanese judge that he could not have been guilty since he had been over the China Sea in a C-141 at the time that the crime was committed! The judge finally relented and let yon MSgt go, but it had been easier to convince Pharaoh than it was to convince him!

    So, getting back to my original statement, what actually sticks in your craw?
    Last edited by Shooter452; Mar 26, 2005 at 02:39. Reason: Spelling errors

  4. #29
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Sorry, have't had time to refute everything.

    But put it this way.

    If America, Australia or England had a legal system that actively and obviously discriminated against foreigners and non-japanese by race, skin colour or what have you would a Japanese person living in those countries have a right to complain and find the rules unfair? Would you hold it against the Japanese community for having siad things tick in their craw, even if they were honest law abiders in said country?

    If shops displayed 'No Japanese' signs should a Japanese person be ok with that? if single mothers with Japanese ex-spouses could remove EVERY right father had in terms of his child should the Japanese father be ok with that? If a Japanese man was arrested, detained for 23 days with no explanation and given legal concil that was exceptionally shoddy, with no translaters or access to them, should they ok with that? If that man was then convicted of the crime, even though he didn't commit it, because the judge openly disliked Japanese and didn't want to taint his 99% conviction rate, should the Japanese be ok with that? If he is ever released, the convistion overturned, should he be ok with the police never apologising to him and compensation being laid out??

    You would tell Japanese not to travel to your country I wager? You would tell them that arguing for change isn't on?

  5. #30
    Heimin
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    Any European would think that a judicial system that allowed the death penalty would be "backward."

    But I think Japanese don't need to fix anything that's not broke. Their system works for them. They get criminals off the street, and off this earth when necessary.

  6. #31
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy_Brown
    Any European would think that a judicial system that allowed the death penalty would be "backward."

    But I think Japanese don't need to fix anything that's not broke. Their system works for them. They get criminals off the street, and off this earth when necessary.
    But a few innocent people, including foreigners, getting put away as well is ok?

  7. #32
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Which innocent people are you referring to?

  8. #33
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC1
    Which innocent people are you referring to?
    People like Govinda
    http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/ge...20050325a6.htm
    http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index...pen&of=ENG-JPN
    http://www.phaseloop.com/foreignpris...-japan05a.html

    Or PAtrick Loughlin
    http://www.freepatrick.org.uk/

    You think in a legal system where evidence is ignored, judges pride themselves on 99% conviction rates and unfair treatment to foreigners that innocent people don't slip through?

    The system is inherently broken.

  9. #34
    Heimin
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    Do you think every single person who sits in prison in the U.S., UK, Canada, or Australia is guilty? Might be a few innocent ones there as well.

  10. #35
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy_Brown
    Do you think every single person who sits in prison in the U.S., UK, Canada, or Australia is guilty? Might be a few innocent ones there as well.
    But what about the fact that 99% of criminal cases brought to trial in Japan end with a conviction ? (see sources). That's a far cry from anything seen in Western countries. It's almost like saying that any suspect is guilty.

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  11. #36
    Go to shopping PopCulturePooka's Avatar
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    Exactly Big Mac!


    And don't try and peddle crap that they just have better investigators, evidence clearing etc.

  12. #37
    Heimin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    But what about the fact that 99% of criminal cases brought to trial in Japan end with a conviction ? (see sources). That's a far cry from anything seen in Western countries. It's almost like saying that any suspect is guilty.
    Maybe that means if the prosecutors don't think they have enough to convict, they don't take it to trial. DAs in the U.S. work like that all the time.

    If the evidence is there, why shouldn't a suspect be convicted?

    In the U.S., jurors often will either convict or acquit on purely emotional reasons rather than on facts and evidence.

    Besides, I don't intend to commit crime in Japan when I go there. I have nothing to worry about.

  13. #38
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy_Brown
    Besides, I don't intend to commit crime in Japan when I go there. I have nothing to worry about.
    I see it the other way round. Considering the tendency of the Japanese police to suspect foreigners first (even Westerners, as my having my bicycle registration checked 6 times in the last 2 years confirms), and the fact that in many cases there is no evidence apart from a confession exhorted by the police after depriving the suspect of sleep for days and refusing them access to a lawyer or any communication with their family or embassy (if they are foreigners), how could you not be afraid of being mistakenly arrested by the Japanese police, which means nearly automatical conviction.

  14. #39
    Heimin
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    I'm not convinced.

    The fact that many foreignors in Japan DO commit crime doesn't help. Then the police are doing a good job if they ethnically profile. I'm generally dressed in a suit and tie and have a neat appearance when I go to Japan. I have never felt the cops had their eyes on me, ever.

    The jury system in the U.S. has many problems of its own. Defense attorneys usually don't want people who can think analytically. Many jurors are simply stupid people who don't follow the rules. Just recently, a conviction was overturned in Colorado because a woman had brought a Bible to deliberation and kept quoting from it ("an eye for an eye"). Lastly, many jurors don't want to be there--they don't really care about what's going on. They're there because they have to. I would rather have my fate in the hands of a PANEL of judges who know the law.

    If you feel so strongly about it, why in the world do you stay in Japan?

    I also don't buy your argument that you criticize Japan to try to improve the country. Improve it to your own liking? The only ones who should feel they need improving and actually do it are the Japanese themselves. A colleague in Japan once told me he was so upset by the Japanese TV show "Soko ga Hendayo", where a studio full of Gaijin scream and complain about what's wrong about Japan. My Japanese colleague said "Why don't these people just leave? I would never go to the U.S. and criticize the country on their own TV.""

  15. #40
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Leroy, I think you react like this because you are American. I have noticed that Europeans people tend to accept easily criticism, even coming from a foreigner, while many American people don't accept criticism of their country for patriotic reasons (a concept that doesn't have any meaning to me), and especially don't like criticism from foreigners, always saying ""Why don't these people just leave?".

    Please have a look at the thread entitled Do you accept easily foreign criticism about your country's system or government ?. I see you haven't voted at this poll yet. You will see however that people who disapprove of criticism of their country, or except counter-criticism in return are almost all Americans, while most Europeans chose "I am completely open to criticism from abroad and also criticize my own country a lot".

    Knowing that, I would actually be afraid of criticising the US openly while living in there (especially given the high number of religious fanatics in some regions). But Japanese people usually don't mind criticism (partly because they have little freedom to express their own frustrations about the government due to the honne/tatemae culture), and I was told many times that they like knowing how foreigners see their country and what they think could be improved.

  16. #41
    tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai nurizeko's Avatar
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    The police

    The Japanese police has legally the right to arrest someone just on the grounds of suspicion of crime, without evidence, and keep them in the police station for up to 20 days. The arrested does not have the right to contact anybody, not even a lawyer, their family or work. Consequently, people mistakenly arrested (and there has been lots of cases) may have to endure interrogation and bad treatments for 3 weeks, lose their job as they don't show up without excuse during that period, and eventually have their life ruined, just because of the police's error or abuse.
    this is the biggest point of concern for me, simply because out of all the laws, these ones are ones which have no valid excuse, and most basic assaults on basic human rights.
    this kind of treatment belongs back in pre-ww2 in the west, i just find it fairly medieval.

  17. #42
    Regular Member Shooter452's Avatar
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    You lost your wager.

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstHousePooka
    Sorry, have't had time to refute everything.

    But put it this way.

    If America, Australia or England had a legal system that actively and obviously discriminated against foreigners and non-japanese by race, skin colour or what have you would a Japanese person living in those countries have a right to complain and find the rules unfair? Would you hold it against the Japanese community for having siad things tick in their craw, even if they were honest law abiders in said country?

    If shops displayed 'No Japanese' signs should a Japanese person be ok with that? if single mothers with Japanese ex-spouses could remove EVERY right father had in terms of his child should the Japanese father be ok with that? If a Japanese man was arrested, detained for 23 days with no explanation and given legal concil that was exceptionally shoddy, with no translaters or access to them, should they ok with that? If that man was then convicted of the crime, even though he didn't commit it, because the judge openly disliked Japanese and didn't want to taint his 99% conviction rate, should the Japanese be ok with that? If he is ever released, the convistion overturned, should he be ok with the police never apologising to him and compensation being laid out??

    You would tell Japanese not to travel to your country I wager? You would tell them that arguing for change isn't on?
    If you were predicting my words, you guessed wrong, pook.

    What I would say is if you don't want to lose, don't gamble. If you are afraid of being unjustly accused and convicted (not an unreasonable fear in Japan) stay off Japanese soil.

    I had no choice. I went there in the performance of my duties. I figure it was worth the risk because I learned much about Okinawa, the Ryukyan people, and Japanese in general. I also learned how it feels to be a second-hand citizen. But I can say this retrospectively, now in the safe environment of North Carolina. I did not get arrested.

    I would like to travel back to Okinawa some day. If I go, I will leave CONUS knowing full well what risks I take. I will not rant about how the legal systems of Japan are not to my liking. And I will not spend much time worrying about things that I cannot control.

    Dura lex, sed lex.

  18. #43
    Regular Member Tim33's Avatar
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    Indeed many of these laws and problems are unjust but as where most countries in the past and many of todays. you can say japan is wrong or backward because of this. Japan has progressed in many ways very quickly. Maybe to quickly to keep up with itself in all areas. But society takes time to change.

    As for porn and woman being degraded. That happens all over the world.

    As for porn in relation to being located next to the disney section. I went to barcelona this year just after christmas, i went to a newsagents and found on the bottom shelf next to childrens comics and magazines lots of porn. Bondage, S&M even granny porn. So this is not just a japanese problem.

  19. #44
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    Basically I think we all know that Japan is a truly backward country when it comes to anything to do with human rights (any HUMAN) These primitives are not averse to selling their own children. Just have a little look into their history.

  20. #45
    Regular Member Shooter452's Avatar
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    Unfair

    Quote Originally Posted by celtician
    Basically I think we all know that Japan is a truly backward country when it comes to anything to do with human rights (any HUMAN) These primitives are not averse to selling their own children. Just have a little look into their history.
    And also it is largely untrue. The Japanese are a sophisticated culture. Their legal system is finely tuned to their needs.

    They define "human rights " differently than do Amercians. I do not need to agree with them to defend their right to be different. I would not want to be a woman in Japan, but if the women of Japan want change, they know how to get it. It must suit them on some level to be the way they are.

    As far as selling their children...maybe in the previous eras this was true. But I have yet to see an example of that. When I was last in Japan (Okinawa in 1980) the big argument about children--foundlings in this case--was resistance to allowing gaijin to adopt orphans and remove them from Japan. Do you have any documented specific examples of this, celtician? It would interest me to read them.

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  21. #46
    Regular Member Tim33's Avatar
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    Why is giving up your child to someone else so wrong. Maybe the people did not want a child and saw the opportunity to give it to a wealthier family. Maybe this child would grow up with a better standard of life by doing this. Would it be wrong to want your child to grow up with the best life that can be given.

    Maybe they should just have an abortion and kill it instead and then no one ends up with a child???

    Just an alternative look at it but
    It may be seen that by not offering your child to this better life you are actually being selfish in as much as holding your child back in life to have it as your POSSESSION.

    Quote Originally Posted by Celtician
    Basically I think we all know that Japan is a truly backward country when it comes to anything to do with human rights (any HUMAN) These primitives are not averse to selling their own children. Just have a little look into their history.
    I think this is a serious error in judgement and i in no way see the Japanese as backwards. I think you are seriously misguided if you also cannot see deeper then the surfac.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter452
    And also it is largely untrue. The Japanese are a sophisticated culture. Their legal system is finely tuned to their needs.

    They define "human rights " differently than do Amercians. I do not need to agree with them to defend their right to be different.
    Agreed, all cultures are differnt and have varying societies to suit there needs. It is wrong to say they are backward because of this.
    You may not agree with all there laws and ways of working but im sure they do not agree with yours either. Does this make you backwards??

  22. #47
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The police

    The Japanese police has legally the right to arrest someone just on the grounds of suspicion of crime, without evidence, and keep them in the police station for up to 20 days. The arrested does not have the right to contact anybody, not even a lawyer, their family or work. Consequently, people mistakenly arrested (and there has been lots of cases) may have to endure interrogation and bad treatments for 3 weeks, lose their job as they don't show up without excuse during that period, and eventually have their life ruined, just because of the police's error or abuse
    But what about the fact that 99% of criminal cases brought to trial in Japan end with a conviction ? (see sources). That's a far cry from anything seen in Western countries. It's almost like saying that any suspect is guilty.
    ...and the fact that in many cases there is no evidence apart from a confession exhorted by the police after depriving the suspect of sleep for days and refusing them access to a lawyer or any communication with their family or embassy (if they are foreigners), how could you not be afraid of being mistakenly arrested by the Japanese police, which means nearly automatical conviction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shooter452
    I would like to travel back to Okinawa some day. If I go, I will leave CONUS knowing full well what risks I take. I will not rant about how the legal systems of Japan are not to my liking. And I will not spend much time worrying about things that I cannot control.
    The Japanese are a sophisticated culture. Their legal system is finely tuned to their needs.
    Since I have a "little" experience with this, let me add my two yen's worth. While most of what Maciamo has written is true and I agree with Shooter452's argument, let me point out what a detective friend once told me. Remember this is what I was told, not my own opinion or research:

    The Japanese do alot of painstaking investigation before they make an arrest and their evidence is usually rock solid. A person may be hauled in for questioning, but must be let go within 24hrs if there is no evidence to hold him any longer. A person, when arrested for a crime, may be held for up to 30 days without so much as seeing a lawyer or being allowed to make a phone call to let others know where they are. Before 30 days they either have to be indicted by the equivelant of a district attorney or let go. A person may be hauled in as many times as necessary for questioning. Japanese police are not allowed to physically abuse any persons in their custody.
    Now before you argue with me, I know their are exceptions to what I have quoted above (which is over 18 years old) and I have read of the others serving time there even though they may not have comitted a crime.

    I had the unfortunate experience of being arrested in Japan for posession of hashish which I will relate in more detail in the Stories Thread later on. (I was turned in by another gaijin whom I only knew by face only!) They entered my house with a legitimate search warrant, but seeing the inevitable, I turned over what little I had. Through it all they were professional and polite. I was promptly arrested and held for two weeks while they questioned me on a daily basis with everything being taken down in long hand. I was not allowed a phone call or to see a lawyer until I was indicted. After indictment I was allowed bail and to make a phone call.

    I was visited by personnel from the American Embassy only because my family in the states had contacted them when they couldn't get in touch with me. They informed me that they couldn't help me, but they would let my family know that I was alright. They also said I was on my own in this case.

    During my stay I was never once treated harshly or spoken to in a loud voice by any of the detectives or guards. This surprised me as I had heard many horror stories about being arrested in Japan.

    I was never deprived of sleep, I was given three meals a day, allowed access to English novels and books (apparently I wasn't the first one), and was allowed a bath three times a week. Not once was I abused either verbally or physically by the detectives, guards, or my Japanese cell mate. In fact the guards let us listen to the baseball game on the radio at night and even let us out to smoke when they weren't supposed to.

    I must honestly say they were fair and so was the judicial system. I think I was treated better there than I would have been in the states. Although I do not have any experience with being arrested in the US I have also heard the horror stories. However, I do not agree with their system of not allowing one to make a phone call when arrested, but it is their country and their laws and I broke them. Therefore I had to suffer the consequences. But again I say they were fair in their treatment.

    Believe it or not, in the end, I was allowed to remain in the country, allowed to return at will and only received a suspended sentence. (Luckily my detective friend never knew I was arrested and if he did, he never let on.) For the full reasons why and why I was allowed to remain in the country you'll have to wait for the full story. Suffice it to say I was not treated harshly or abused.
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  23. #48
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celtician
    Basically I think we all know that Japan is a truly backward country when it comes to anything to do with human rights (any HUMAN) These primitives are not averse to selling their own children. Just have a little look into their history.
    This can be said of any country. I come from a country that does not have the death penalty. Could I say that the US legal system is backwards because they execute people and infringe their human rights? Most Americans would jump onto their high horse and say that their legal system is fair and they have legal rights. Remember 50/40 years ago the US southern states discriminated against the colour of a persons skin. I would say that is infringement of human rights. George Bush Snr regards anyone who doesn't believe in God shouldn't be regarded as a true US citizen. I can say the same about my own country and it's treatment of terrorist belonging to the various Irish republican groups. Just because a countries mindset is not the same as your own does not give you the right to call a country backwards. That breeds intolerance.
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