An American Man Was Killed On An Island Inhabited By A Tribe Known To Resist Outside Contact In The Andaman And Nicobar Islands. And, His Body Still Lies There.

India Today reports. The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who sources said was a Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed…. The Sentinelese is a sensitive tribe living in that area for 60,000 years…. “[Chau] was attacked by arrows but he continued […]

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An American Man Was Killed On An Island Inhabited By A Tribe Known To Resist Outside Contact In The Andaman And Nicobar Islands. And, His Body Still Lies There.

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India Today reports. The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who sources said was a Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed…. The Sentinelese is a sensitive tribe living in that area for 60,000 years…. “[Chau] was attacked by arrows but he continued walking,” news agency AFP...

India Today reports.

The American was identified as 27-year-old John Allen Chau, who sources said was a Christian missionary who wanted to convert the Sentinelese tribe that inhabits the island where he was killed…. The Sentinelese is a sensitive tribe living in that area for 60,000 years….

“[Chau] was attacked by arrows but he continued walking,” news agency AFP reported, quoting sources. Local fishermen also saw the Sentinelese tying Chu’s body to a rope and dragged it along the ground…. The North Sentinel Island, where Chau’s body is still lying, is home to the Sentinelese, an indigenous tribe that furiously rejects outside contact. The Indian law protects the Sentinelese people, whose number is estimated to be under 50….

They cannot be prosecuted and any contact with them or entry into areas inhabited by them is illegal….

There have been 7 arrests for murder, but those arrested are not Sentinelese, but “local fishermen who allegedly helped Chau reach the North Sentinel Island.” It’s interesting from a legal standpoint that the fishermen can be accused of murder for getting the victim close to the people whose direct action, killing him, is not considered murder. Or perhaps it is murder but: 1. The Sentinelese are immune from prosecution, 2. It would violate due process to prosecute them, or 3. There’s no legal way to approach them to arrest them.

This makes me think of the case of Chief Oshkosh of the Menominees and a movie that made a big impact on me when I was young, “Dingaka” (blogged here).

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