A question of justice
I have been reading the comments posted by readers of this website regarding the death of Esther Wanjiru Mwikamba.
On Monday, a man was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of assault leading to death after he attacked Esther in Dubai, merely because she came to the aid of a friend who was being harassed.
I am not surprised that some people are critical of the sentence, given that her attacker could have been jailed for up to 10 years. Many think he should have got even more than that.
Such reactions are often, although not always, based on the reader's expectation of what would have happened in their home country.
For instance, I am British and often surprised when someone is jailed for 10 years or life for crimes involving prescription drugs or hashish. These are also illegal in the UK, however the sentences are lower. Equally, bounced cheques and extramarital affairs are handled by civil courts in the UK rather than criminal ones.
Of course, a UAE national would be equally surprised to pick up an English newspaper and find that a drug dealer was sentenced to 100 hours of road sweeping or that a Premier League footballer could have his adulterous liaisons splashed across the front page and suffer little more than a slap on the wrist from his club.
Of course, you have abide by the laws of the land where you live, otherwise we would all be picking and choosing the ones that we wanted to obey and those that we don't. It would be chaos.
However, this does not mean we shouldn't question the laws. After all, this is how a country develops, by looking for weaknesses and addressing them.
A good example is the new child protection law that is going through government. It was identified that the current legislation is inadequate and something has been done to address that.
If no one had spoken up, more children would suffer the fate of eight-year-old Wadiyma - after whom the law has been nicknamed.
So, keep on expressing your views on the judicial system and the law, so that questions keep on being asked and UAE legislation, therefore, keeps on being strengthened.
Simon Pluckrose is Head of News at Al Sidra Media, which publishes 7DAYSinDubai.com, 7DAYSinAbuDhabi.com and 7DAYS