Saturday, June 27, 2009

Do the crime . . .

Just a quick H1N1 update - I believe the number of cases in Qatar is now at 15, which doesn't seem like much but on a per capita basis it means there are more cases here than in Japan. Everyone seems pretty "meh" about it though.

In other news, literally, I was looking through the paper today and there were three interesting articles about recent cases at the court:

A bus driver who was stealing fares (over time he took about $10,000). He got five years in jail.

A Filipino maid and her Indian lover who were on trial for the death of their newborn. She apparantly abandoned the baby in a dumpster after it was born, and had been hiding the fact that she had been pregnant from her employer. The coroner could not determine with certainty whether she had deliberately killed the baby so she was found not guilty in the death, but she and her lover were sentenced to three years for "illicit relations" since they were not married. Illicit relations is a charge that you see in the courts every now and then in this part of the world, authorities take things like that seriously and jail time for illicit relations is not uncommon.

Finally, a Lebanese man on charges of blasphemy. For some reason the online version of the paper doesn't have it but here's another example. I don't know what he said (and the article isn't saying) but it must have been pretty nasty -- he got seven years! Wow!

So the lesson to be learned here is that anyone reading this who is moving to the Middle East try to bear in mind that some of the laws are different in this region, and what might not be considered too serious in the West could get you in real trouble here. Blasphemy, illicit relations, even standing on a Qur'an can get you in real trouble. Remember, countries in the Middle East are Islamic nations and for civil crimes the legal system is based on Shari'a principles. None of that church/state separation as in the West.

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