Tuesday, April 10, 2012

15 Years For "Stealing" Teddy Bear In Dubai

Only somewhere like Dubai would an individual be sentenced to 15 years for stealing a teddy bear. I suppose the kid, a 20 year-old student from the Comoros Islands (off the coast of Africa), is lucky he won't actually lose one of his appendages, since under Shariah law thieves can lose both hands. But 15 years?  And since he claimed he was innocent, the courts could have showed some mercy since they had the option of sentencing him from 3 to 15,  but 15 years it is.

Apparently he stole the bear from a booth in a shopping mall, and then attacked a Pakistani worker who attempted to detain him. But according to the young man's lawyer, he was simply walking to his car when he saw a teddy bear on the ground and grabbed it.

Whether he did indeed willfully steal the teddy bear is irrelevant. What's notable is the severity of the sentence for a relatively harmless action.  And what if he is innocent?  Fine the kid, deport him (which is also a possibility), but 15 years is overkill.

On April 24, the student will find out his fate when the judge passes his verdict.
His lawyer argued that it made no sense for a person to steal an object worth 25 dirhams when he is able to afford a car.

No comments: