Tue, Sep 11, 2012 - Page 10 News List

US sheriff describes Amish beard-cutting scene
阿米希聚落剪絡腮鬍事件 美國警長提供證詞

A traditional Amish buggy is pictured on the road near the Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana.

Photo: Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times

The sheriff in a county with one of the US’ biggest Amish settlements testified last Wednesday that residents were upset and screaming after a community leader had his beard and hair cut by fellow followers of the highly traditional religion in a nighttime home invasion.

“There was a lot of screaming and yelling,” Ohio’s Holmes County Sheriff Timothy Zimmerly testified in the federal trial of 16 defendants in the attacks last year in Ohio.

Zimmerly said he went to the home of an Amish bishop after the attack and found his hair unevenly chopped to the scalp, leaving it bloody.

“There was a lot of hair laying on the floor,” he testified as Amish watched from the public gallery, the women wearing white bonnets, the men wearing jeans and suspenders. “They were excited, very upset.” The defense has tried to portray the attacks as internal church disciplinary matters, not a religion-based hate crime as prosecutors contend.

Attorneys for the defendants have not denied that the hair cuttings took place and said in opening statements that members of a breakaway group took action out of compassion and concern that some Amish were straying from their beliefs. Those accused of planning and taking part in the attacks targeted the hair and beards of Amish bishops because of its spiritual significance in the faith, prosecutors said. Most Amish men do not shave their beards after marriage, believing it signifies their devotion to God.

Prosecutors say there were five attacks last year, orchestrated by Sam Mullet Sr. All of the defendants could face lengthy prison terms if convicted on charges that include conspiracy and obstructing justice.

Mullet has denied ordering the hair-cutting, but said he did not stop anyone from carrying the act out.

Defense attorneys also contended that the Amish are bound by different rules guided by their religion and that the government should not get involved in what amounted to a family or church dispute.


美國其中一個擁有最多阿米希族群聚居的郡,其警長上週三作證表示,一位社區長老 在一起晚間強闖入屋的事件中,被同屬高度遵循傳統宗教的同袍追隨者,剪掉鬍鬚與頭髮,此事件讓該地居民感到難過並驚呼連連。









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