October 25, 2010

"Stop violence" with... violence. P.S. re recent abuse and violence scandals in Armenia

via Unzipped

Starting with the case of that Nubarashen school pedophile teacher, then army and school abuse videos, and then the highly publicised recent domestic violence case, what I noticed - not infrequently - that some people, even among ‘stop violence’ campaigners, in the heat of emotional debate call for lynching of those suspected in abuse or violence.

Yes, it’s understandable that emotions may run high, and things may be said (but not meant to) in the midst of heated debate or as an immediate emotional reaction to horrific crimes.... But you simply can’t fight violence with violence. This will not solve any problems. Instead, it will ensure a vicious circle of everlasting violence.

Let’s take a very recent example of domestic violence in Armenia, that rightly resulted in an outrage, and petition was launched (I supported and signed it) calling for law against domestic violence.

In total, there were 3196 signatures with/without comments, now passed to the prime minister.

A friend of mine disturbed by certain comments posted on the petition 'Armenia Must Pass Domestic Violence Legislation', compiled a list of all of those signatories (28 in total) who "wished bodily violence and death upon the husband and/or mother-in-law of Zaruhi Petrosyan". He rightly pointed out that “we need to prevent domestic violence, not practice lynch mob rule”.

It is also disturbing that a person (e.g. petition signatory 3179, screenshot below) would use a slanderous and bigoted term about a sexual minority group to express his anger over a domestic violence issue. This ‘injustice by injustice’ approach totally devalues his own signature.

Thankfully, 28 comments make up less than 1% of the total number of signatories.

Interesting geographical distribution of such comments: 22 of the 28 comments came from California(!); 2 from Armenia; 1 from Turkey, Australia each; and 1 from the states of Wisconsin and Florida each. As friend commented, “Americans seem to be the most 'stop violence with violence' people...in a country where the death sentence is practiced regularly, but I am not sure about in California....”

Below are just few selected extracts to demonstrate the point.
No. 3,152 They should be thrown in jail and beaten so it's a lesson to others.
No. 2,787 I would beat the living hell out of this prick and set his mother on fire!
No. 2,763 That man and his disgusting mother should be beaten the same way and crushed to death.
No. 2,553 Maybe it's not only time to sign a petition, maybe it's time to personally fight back. Go get your bats and your guns, grab your pots and your pans, they work too, and turn around and do what Madea says. Beat them back!!
No. 2,406 This mother and son should be charge with first degree murder and death penalty sentense for them they should hang in middle of town
No. 1,815 Put a piece of cloth in his mouth take him toYerevan city square and pull his nails in front of the public then hang him
Or, for example, No. 484:
In the past, I heard of Arab females being stoned to death and even seen a true story about it "The Stoning of Soraya M". But I never heard an Armenian version of it. I can't believe beating an individual to death still occures with a mother-in-law having to be the main suspect.
Saying that, and presumably considering it deploring, she then continues:
It's sad to say, but in my personal opinion I believe she should get beaten the same way and let along to die. Don't only stick a dirty peice of cloth in her mouth, but stick in up her ass. The mother-in-law as well as her xangarvats son need to die exectution style. The best method for these types of people is Iranian style "stone to death".
Rule of law, education, trainings, changes in law, and similar measures... that's what I'd like to see instead.