ඇමරිකාවේ හා අපේ වැඩ

Posted on September 20, 2009



අපට මානව අයිතිවාසිකම් කියා දෙන්නට එන ඇමරිකානුවන් ඉරාකයේ මානව අයිතිවාසිකම් රකින්නේ දැයි අපේ අය ප‍්‍රශ්න කරති. ඒ ප‍්‍රශ්න කිරීම යුක්ති යුක්ත ය. එහෙත් ඔවුන් එසේ ප‍්‍රශ්න කරන්නේ ඇත්ත තත්වය දැන ගනු රිසියෙන් ද නැතිනම් ඇමරිකානුවන් හෙළා දකිනු රිසියෙන් දැයි හරිහැටි පැහැදිලි නැත.

ඇමරිකානුවන් ඇත්තටම ඉරාකයේ මානව හිමිකම් සම්බන්ධයෙන් කෙතරම් තැකීමක් කරන්නේ දැයි ඇත්තටම දැන ගන්නට කැමති අයගේ ප‍්‍රයෝජනය සදහා පහත සදහන් ප‍්‍රවෘත්තිය උපුටා දැක්වීමට කැමති ය.

ඉරාකයේ තරුණියක් දූෂණය කර ඇය ඇතුළු පවුලේ අය මරා දැමීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඇමරිකානු අධිකරණයක් මගින් දඩුවම් කරනු ලැබූ සේවයෙන් ඉවත් කළ සොල්දාදුවෙකුගේ කතාව එයින් දැක්වේ.

දඩුවම් දීමෙන් අවසන් නොකර මේ තත්වය වළක්වා ගැනීම සදහා මැදිහත් වීමේ වැදගත් කම ද එහි සදහන් ය.

Former U.S. soldier Steven Dale Green received life in jail on Friday for raping and murdering 14 year old Abeer al-Janabi, as well as murdering her mother, father and six year old sister in Baghdad.

According to Al-Jazeera, Green led a group of U.S. soldiers who planned the attack over a game of cards and whiskey. Three soldiers were given life sentences with eligibility for parole in 10 years, and a fourth soldier who kept watch while the others attacked received a 27 month long jail sentence.

While Green apologized to the al-Janabi family in May, his defense attorneys claimed that military leaders had ignored his complaints about emotional stress. Green added, “You can act like I’m a sociopath. You can act like I’m a sex offender or whatever. If I had not joined the Army, if I had not gone to Iraq, I would not have got caught up in anything.”

Incidentally, by the time charges were pressed in June 2006, a month after the rape and murders, Green had been honorably discharged with a personality disorder and returned to the U.S. He was therefore tried as a civilian, not as a soldier. He is the first person to be charged under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, passed in 2000, which allows former members of the military to be tried for crimes committed overseas.

This story raises the issue of mental health services for soldiers. There is no excuse for rape, no matter the stress level, but if soldiers were to receive better access to care, perhaps less disturbing behavior such as that of Green and the other four soldiers would occur. The New York Times recently reported that soldiers will soon be required to receive training in “emotional resiliency” by emphasizing cognitive behavioral therapy to combat the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicide that soldiers face.

More focus on soldiers’ emotional health is imperative also for the sake of the innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan. While Abeer al-Janabi’s rape and murder made headlines, there are undoubtedly countless other victims who have remained silent and without justice.

Read more: iraq, human rights, sexual violence

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