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To think that sometimes, no, actually, it's not a case of 'their country, their rules'?

(33 Posts)
MissionItsPossible Fri 26-May-17 19:22:40

I'm not sure about posting full articles here so will just post the part that the thread is mostly about. (I've tried to bold this and it's not happening for some reason. Oh and it's about the current situation in Chechnya):

Former detainees gave harrowing accounts of their treatment.
‘It was like a chain. They get one person, go through his phone, torture him, make him name some others, get those others, and so it goes… In the place where I was held, we were four [gay men] at first, but several days later we were already 20.
‘At night, when we were left alone, I tried to convince the new arrivals to buck up, deny everything, not name anyone.
‘I kept telling them that the more people we name, the more information we give, the longer we’ll spend in this hell hole, the longer we’ll be tortured… I was telling them, can’t you see, those who talk are tortured even harder…
‘But the torture was bad–the beatings, and the electric shocks especially–very few could bear it without breaking.'
On the subject of electrocutions, a detainee said: ‘They turn the knob, electric current hits you, and you start shaking. And they keep turning the hellish machine, and the pain is just insane, you scream, and scream, and you no longer know who you are…
‘Finally, you faint, it all goes dark, but when you come to your senses, they start all over again. And once they’re done with you and you get your bearings, you hear other inmates screaming, and the sounds of torture are just there all day, and at some point, you start losing your mind.’
They [officials] took us [the interviewee along with other inmates presumed to be gay] to this place and our male family members were there, fathers, brothers, uncles…
‘So, they are there looking at you and they [officials] shout abuse at you, call you names, the most offensive names, and they order you to step forward, admit it to your relatives, admit that you’re gay. And you know they’re likely to kill you if you don’t or they’ll just keep torturing you…
‘Then, they chastise your family members, tell them they brought shame on the family by rearing a pervert, that it’s a huge stain on family honor, a stain that needs to be cleansed… They wouldn’t say it directly but we all knew what it meant.’

So I was at work today and read the article above and gave some people sitting near me an outline of it and commented that it was disgusting and more needs to be done about it and someone said "Well it's their country so it's their rules. Would you dictate what other people can wear in other countries or what religion they could practice?" and a couple of other people agreed (with him). I replied by saying "There's a bit of a leap between clothing and religion against torturing someone by electrocuting them to death" (doesn't mention it in the excerpt but 3 people have reportedly been killed). He said "They know the risk of living in that country and if they choose to take it then it's on their own heads". He then said (And this is the part which is really asking AIBU): "It's people thinking like you that cause wars" hmm

AIBU to think that he was wrong? To give context, it wasn't an angry or heated exchange at all and I wasn't offended by what he said but I didn't and don't agree. He compared it to the situation with Gaddaffi and "if we hadn't interfered when we weren't wanted then we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now". I just don't equate the two situations. To me, one was for political and financial gain whereas the other would be a case of human rights. Thought I'd post here and see your opinions?

ddssdd Sat 27-May-17 07:18:41

Yes, he was wrong. It may be their country, but the people that were tortured didn't make the rules.

ddssdd Sat 27-May-17 07:22:06

Sorry, op, just re-read your post and missed the bit about the men being tortured being gay.

I'm not sure how your colleague made the distinction, to be fair. Being gay isn't a choice, and even if it was, it doesn't warrant any of that. It's harrowing sad

Redredredrose Sat 27-May-17 07:24:34

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

YANBU. Cultural relativism to excuse human rights abuse gets my goat.

Guitargirl Sat 27-May-17 07:24:47

Your colleagues were being ridiculous, incredibly naive and ill-informed. That is why I try desperately not to discuss politics or world events with work colleagues. It is just not worth the rise in blood pressure.

Jupitar Sat 27-May-17 07:29:09

Yes something should be done to help, as long as it doesn't involve bombing or invading the country.

It's easy to say people should leave the country if they're gay but its probably not that easy.

BeesOnTheWing Sat 27-May-17 07:43:56

If the country does interfere abroad the " narrative" of Corbyn and his fellow travellers tells us to expect "blowback" i.e murdered children.

So no beyond supporting amnesty international my belief is we are no longer welcome to interfere around the world.

It appears the likes of the Libyan father of the suicide bomber in Manchester was supported by UK government , firstly in being granted asylum in UK as an enemy of Gaddaffi, secondly they are alleged to have aided exiled Libyans to fight the regime at its downfall. Marvellous innit.

coconuttella Sat 27-May-17 07:52:04


Such a glib attitude to such suffering is appalling. Is this person often such an insensitive dick?

It also doesn't follow that it's either 'go to war to change them' or 'meh, their country, their rules'.

Jupitar Sat 27-May-17 07:54:38

Corbyn and his fellow travellers

By fellow travellers I take it you means Boris Johnson and David Cameron as they have both stated in the past that the invasions of Iraq and Libya resulted in more terrorism. Even Tony Blair now admits that he didn't foresee the problems invading Iraq would cause, and that Isis would take advantage of the power vacuum.

Dawnedlightly Sat 27-May-17 08:00:24

The distinction is Human Rights. Ask your colleague if we should ignore fgm because it's 'their country, their rules'. Should the world have ignored apartheid for the same reason?
'Their country their rules' is a valid response for everything shutting down at lunchtime in France for eg. or even no Alcohol in Saudi Arabia, anything bigger and its irrelevant.

BeesOnTheWing Sat 27-May-17 08:36:43

No I was drawing on my own background among left wingers in the 80s.

I realise the leftist ideas of that time have been adopted by Cameron. His sister in law , a Labour voter, DID vote for Cameron. He's not considered a right winger at all is he? More Liberal in the US sense. Cameron would likely be a Democrat in the US.

Rdoo Sat 27-May-17 09:17:02

If the country does interfere abroad the " narrative" of Corbyn and his fellow travellers tells us to expect "blowback" i.e murdered children.
So when is Theresa May sending in troops to sort this out? Will she send them to Saudi Arabia first, where she has recently visited, because they're hardly known for their gay rights.

BeesOnTheWing Sat 27-May-17 11:09:34

The UK can't be the world's policeman. The leftist political activists that I knew had the mentality that we are wicked imperialists for even thinking that way.

So they would turn perhaps to the UN. The UN give prominent roles to the Sauds in human rights. Hmm. Not much to hope for there imo.

I am not well informed but as far as I know "we" don't go in and sort out fgm in Egypt where it's widespread, do we?
Sonfar as I know we appear to have a very softly softly "educational" approach to fgm in the UK.

Leavesandburies Sat 27-May-17 11:12:26

Their country, there rules is limited to things that are not human rights violations. Where human rights are being violated, it's everyone's business to stand up.

BeesOnTheWing Sat 27-May-17 11:29:12

Yes but the practicalities of how to effect a change remain.

The man in the op saying it's the risk they take living in that country is the only bit I would have taken issue with.

I think his fearful sentiment towards the op about starting wars should be looked at with understanding.


It was his emotional response and consistent emotionally with the "keep your western noses out" Zeitgeist.

In the weight of opinion of the contributions on this thread though he is ill informed and wrong but I can see how he's got to this stage.

Ylvamoon Sat 27-May-17 11:40:40

In principal I do agree with you... thinking like this is wrong!
But on a practical level, there is very little you can do.
And your college is right -to some extent- meddling with other countries that don't share our values does lead to war .... Afghanistan? Iraq? Does this ring a bell?

TheStoic Sat 27-May-17 12:01:50

I agree with you, OP. Some things are just wrong. Not sure how anybody can defend, or even just brush off, things like this.

MissionItsPossible Sun 28-May-17 17:30:57

Thanks for the replies guys. To some extent I do agree with what my colleague said about interfering in other counties affairs and ultimately turning ia bad situation into a worse situation but to me this isn't the same thing, it's not about war it's about human rights. Reading the following, how is this defensible?

The report says Police in Chechnya have rounded up, beat, and humiliated dozens of gay or bisexual men in an effort to purge them from Chechen society. It concludes that the men were held, ‘In secret locations for days or even weeks, and tortured, humiliated, and starved them, forcing them to hand over information about other men who might be gay. ‘They returned most of the men to their families, exposing their sexual orientation and indirectly encouraging their relatives to carry out “honor killings.” Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has denied that the purges have taken place. A spokesperson claimed in April that reports were ‘absolute lies and disinformation’ and there were no gay men in Chechnya. ‘You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,’ said Alvi Karimov. ‘If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.’ The Human Rights Watch report says that any Russian investigation into the purges will be hampered by the fact that victims will be unlikely to want to speak to any Russian authorities about their experiences for fear of reprisals.

As already mentioned it wasn't an argument or an angry conversation it was quote normal but glad most people on here seem to be on my side! I just thought it was appalling and dismissive.

Dawnedlightly Agree 100% and will say that if it comes up in conversation again

grasspigeons Sun 28-May-17 17:40:11

Whilst I am sure these people would rather live peacefully in their own country, there is the rainbow railroad trying to get those with their lives at risk out for people wanting to do something that isn't war

cunningartificer Sun 28-May-17 17:53:29

That is a horrifying report. Of course we should try and do something about it. There are quite a few stages between ignoring evil and invading a country and surely it is worth at least discussing what they might be. I agree that it can be frustrating discussing any kind of political ideas with work colleagues, but despite his reaction your horror and engagement with the issue may have planted a seed for the future. Well done.

DopeyDazy Sun 28-May-17 18:10:36

Its fa to do with us dont know why we try to sort other peoples troubles out. Its like interfering in a marital row and both turn on you.

Dawnedlightly Mon 29-May-17 10:43:05

^^ Dopey I do hope you mean bickering, not abuse, because that view kept domestic abuse hidden for generations and is not what most people, quite rightly, think now.

DJBaggySmalls Mon 29-May-17 10:52:30

If you dont want to interfere with the rights of oppressive right wing regimes, then common decency means you accept their unwanted citizens as refugees.
Either that or you condone govts murdering their undesirables.

Birdsgottaf1y Mon 29-May-17 11:03:09

""Dawnedlightly Agree 100% and will say that if it comes up in conversation again""

I'm from a mixed heritage family and i'm 50 (so worked before the diversity laws came in and had to suffer extreme Racism and Sexism).

It isn't worth getting into an argument with people that you are forced to be in the company of, because you work with them.

It may be you that gets the warning, because you are asking for their opinions.

All Human Rights violations should be tried to be altered through education and when Trade agreements are happening, or if the leaders fancy being a guest of our PM/Queen. It's annoying that people who support harsh regimes can buy one of our Historical Listed Buildings or, buy into Sport.

We've tolerated Sexism in the form of Rape, Child Abuse, Torture and Murder and I don't doubt that Gay Men will get more Human Rights quicker than the Women's issues will.

The stuff that comes out of North Korea's concentration camps,is chilling, but there has been no major reaction to it.

Making life difficult at work isn't going to help anyone, tbh. I'd shut down any crap that was said, but I wouldn't bother discussing such matters with work colleagues.

MissionItsPossible Mon 29-May-17 11:11:03

Birdsgottaf1y Completely understand your point. It wasn't a heated exchange or an argument at all but you're right and it's not worth bringing up stuff like this at work in the long run

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