Looking for a parking lot in Queens, I noticed that pedestrians waiting for a car that hadn’t arrived yet were guarding the available space. What is your occupation?
If you are like most people, you will continue to drive. However, in 1987, Afghan envoy Shah Mohammad Dost pulled and demanded that pedestrians surrender the parking lot immediately, claiming that being a diplomat gave him the right to take it.
And when she refused, he drove to her and took the place anyway.
Margaret Curry, 42, was sent to a hospital in Flushing, Queens, after being attacked by Dost’s ’78 Lincoln. Curry later recovered from her injury, and Dost wasn’t even asked about her attack— Thanks to his diplomatic immunity..
There are about 100,000 diplomats, including dependents currently living in the United States — and some like Dost. Violated local law and faced zero results..
According to the new book, loopholes lead many diplomats to fool the system.Perishable: Who gains power and how it changes us(Scribner), by Brian Klaas explaining using a simple example of a parking violation How they abuse their power..
“In the five years from 1997 to 2002, UN diplomats were quoted with more than 80 unpaid parking violation tickets per day,” Klaas wrote.
Former mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to bully them and pay, and in 1997 he Blame the United Nations “Behaves like the worst kind of dead beat.” However, Giuliani’s harsh words had little effect.
The problem was not that diplomats could not issue parking violation tickets. It’s far from that. From 1997 to 2002, they won a total of well over $ 18 million in tabs. However, while parking law can be applied to foreign representatives, Sean Murphy, a professor of international law at George Washington University, told the post that “there are restrictions on enforcement.”
Thousands of diplomats from more than 100 countries are stationed in New York, but the people who received the tickets had something in common. 2006 survey found. Between 1997 and 2002, diplomats from countries like Sweden, Norway and Japan did not violate parking. However, Kuwaiti diplomats had an average of 249 parking violations per diplomat, and one received two tickets a day throughout the year.
The other top 10 worst criminals were from places such as Kuwait, Egypt, Chad, Sudan and Bulgaria. Annual ranking of corruption Edited by World Bank researchers.
The study concluded that the willingness of diplomats to engage in corruption was “not an indicator of their own personal values, but a norm or culture of their home country.” In other words, “illegal hoodies come from a society where authorities are taught that the rules do not apply to them,” Klaas wrote.
In 2002, Mayor Bloomberg began the “three strikes, you’re out” rule, towing diplomatic vehicles related to parking violations and confiscating their characteristic red, white and blue plates. Three years later, diplomat parking violations were reduced by 90%. And of the few tickets issued to diplomats, 87 percent were paid in full.
“Culture is important, but results are important,” Klaas writes.
However, usually Diplomatic crime It’s not easy to handle.
Under the Vienna Treaty Ratified in 1961 In 187 countries, diplomats “shall not be liable for any form of arrest or detention.” This is essentially a “jailbreak” card that protects them from criminal charges against everything from domestic violence to money laundering to littering.
A raincoat shoplifted at a department store in New York? Iran’s envoy Just did it Do you claim that German Shepherd, who bite several neighbors in Pelham, NY, is immune-protected and that behavior against dogs leads to “potential international consequences”? A representative from Barbados had the discussion (Won) 1975. Would you like to smuggle 40 kilograms of cocaine from Mexico to New York on a diplomatic pouch? Ecuadorian diplomats have tried it (and So I ran away)year 2012.
In 1984, six Iranian diplomats abused sheep on the streets of London, and British authorities were unable to impose animal cruelty on them.
Or, in 2010, on United Airlines from Washington DC to Denver, Katari diplomat Mohammed Armadadi lit a pipe in the toilet and “lighted his shoes” after facing him (reference to shoe bomber Richard). Lead when joking about). When the plane landed, a bomb detection dog and an explosion expert were brought in, but Al Madadi was soon released.
Or, even though a Zaire (now the Republic of Congo) diplomat refused to pay the rent for the skyscrapers of Manhattan that had been occupied since 1982 and paid the landlord more than $ 400,000 10 years later, diplomacy. Claimed privilege and refused to pay or move out. (They finally left in 2005 without paying a penny.)
Ask diplomatic experts and they have a favorite story. Craig Barker, Dean and Professor of International Law at the University of London Southbank, mentions the “classical bizarre incident” of 1984. In this case, a Nigerian diplomat and an Israeli conspirator I tried to kidnap A former Nigerian minister exiled to London hid him in a crate for transportation.
“The crate wasn’t completely marked up as a diplomatic bag,” Barker said. “British authorities chose to open them and found opposition and Israeli anesthesiologists inside.”
More recently, crimes ranged from involuntary slaughter to more mild violence in August 2019 when U.S. diplomat’s wife, Ansakurus, beat a 19-year-old motorcyclist in Northamptonshire. is. 63 Old Xiang, the wife of the Belgian ambassador to Korea, slapped several employees after she accused her of shopping at a boutique in Seoul last April.
Both women claimed diplomatic immunity, and Sakurus faced a proceeding in the United Kingdom later this month, but both were (so far) released from Scotland.
The headline may be shocking, but statistically, cases of diplomat misconduct are rare, Barker said.
“In 2018, when the numbers were available, there were only three’serious’crimes committed by those with diplomatic immunity,” he said. “The serious thing is all the cases that could be sentenced to more than 12 months.”
The general public generally does not approve diplomatic immunity. Back in 2013, YouGov poll41% of Americans believed that diplomats should be prosecuted for crimes. New in response to the Sakurus incident in 2019 YouGov poll It turns out that 63% of Americans and 84% of British believe that immunity should be revoked.
But experts say it’s not that simple.
“The holiness of diplomats and diplomatic missions is the foundation of peaceful relations between nations,” said Joshua, a foreign policy expert and prominent fellow at the Washington-DC-based Institute for World Affairs. Murafuchiku says. “Hostile nations enable the communication they often want to do, without fear of their representatives being molested.”
In other words, the Vienna Treaty was not intended to protect criminals. For 15,000 American diplomats serving in more than 150 countries, it provides protection from imprisonment in prison if the host country suddenly decides to punish the United States for political reasons.
“Thankfully, that protection usually doesn’t lead to the ambassador wandering around as a serial killer,” Klaas wrote. But he said, “When we say’no one is beyond the law’, that’s not true. Some people do.”
And when people are beyond the law, they can do some very bad things.
In 1967, just five years after the Vienna Convention became international law, Sri Lankan ambassador to Burma, Sao Boonwaat, suspected that his wife was having an affair. So he shot her and burned her body at her funeral crematorium in her backyard.
When Sri Lankan police arrived, Boonewart informed them that his home was Burmese territory. He soon returned to his home country According to the senior deputy inspector“No one seems to know if he went to jail.”
How Diplomatic Immunity Can Escape Envoys from Crazy Crime
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