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.
一輛傳統阿米希馬車,行經印第安那州納帕尼鎮阿米希族村莊附近的馬路上。

Photo: Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報林亞蒂

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.

(AP)

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。

俄亥俄州的赫姆斯郡警長提摩西‧齊莫利在聯邦法院審判庭上,為去年在俄亥俄州發生共十六位被告的攻擊事件作證。

齊莫利表示,他在事發後到這位阿米希長老家中,發現他的頭髮被剪得亂七八糟,造成頭皮流血。

在公眾旁聽席上阿米希族群的眾目睽睽下,警長作證表示:「當時滿地都是頭髮。」阿米希女子頭戴白色傳統頭巾小帽,而男子則身穿吊帶牛仔褲。「他們情緒激動,非常難過。」檢察官表示,被告及其辯護律師則一直試圖要將這些攻擊,描繪成是一樁教會內部的管束問題,而非宗教仇恨犯罪。

被告辯護律師一直沒有否認有剪髮的舉動,並公開表示這群阿米希的支派團體是出於憐憫以及對阿米希人正逐漸偏離信仰的憂心,才做出行動。而檢察官表示,那些被告正因為頭髮與大鬍子代表著阿米希人宗教上重要的信仰,因而直接攻擊阿米希長老們的這些部位。大部分阿米希男子結婚後就不再剃鬍鬚,因他們相信這麼做代表對上帝的虔誠。

檢察官表示,去年就有五起由老山姆‧莫列特為首腦的類似攻擊事件。所有被告若被判包括串謀罪與妨礙司法等罪名,將可能面臨長期的監獄刑期。

莫列特矢口否認教唆剪髮,但他表示他也沒有阻止任何人做這件事。

辯護律師們堅稱阿米希人有其自成一格的宗教規範,因此政府不該插手干涉這些家庭或教會的爭端。

(美聯社/翻譯:林亞蒂)

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