Off topic: Against death penalty in Nigeria
Thread poster: Noemi Carrera
| | Noemi Carrera
Local time: 20:20
English to Spanish
I do not know if this is the right place to post this, but I just feel we need to do something about it.
Hola a todos, lamento molestaros con correo span, pero se trata de una causa justa. Para los que os suene a bulo, he comprobado la autenticidad del correo y es cierto todo lo que se dice en el. El Tribunal Supremo de Nigeria ha ratificado la condena a muerte por lapidación de Amina, sólo se ha pospuesto la aplicación de la condena durante un par de meses por \"permiso de lactancia\" para su hijo. Después la enterrarán hasta el cuello y la matarán a pedradas, a menos que el diluvio de condena haga recapacitar a las autoridades nigerianas.
>Mediante una campaña de firmas parecida a ésta se salvó a otra mujer en la misma situación. No se pierde tiempo y se gana mucho. No duden y háganlo por favor. Safiya iba a ser lapidada en Nigeria, porque tuvo un hijo una vez divorciada.
>Amnistía Internacional pidió tu apoyo a través de tu firma en su página web. Parece que se han recibido menos firmas esta vez. Haz circular este mensaje.
>Van a lapidar a otra mujer en Nigeria, y esta vez se han reunido muy pocas firmas. No cuesta nada meterse en
>o bien en
>y firmar. La carta ya esta hecha.
>No pienses que no sirve para nada. A la otra mujer le salvo la vida. Si lo consideras pertinente haz circular este mensaje entre las personas que conozcas sensibles a esta horrible amenaza de muerte. Se tarda 1 minuto (de reloj).
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| | Bill Greendyk
Local time: 14:20
Spanish to English
| Human rights barely exist in Nigeria || Jan 16, 2003 |
While it is true that Nigeria has made some progress in the past years in the realm of human rights, there is still a pitifully long way to go.
I was witness to this when I spent several months in Nigeria a decade ago. I was with an NGO which was trying to help the Nigerian authorities improve their prison conditions.
At that time, in the town of Abakaliki, where I was, the prison consisted of four buildings. Two of them were enormous, more like huge barns, and had large letters \"MAT\" and \"WAT\" written on a sign on the walls pf each one. This meant \"men awaiting trial,\" or \"women awaiting trial.\" since in order to even be granted a trial, one must have the funds to pay the lawyer\'s fees, and more than likely a \"fee\" to be freed. The two smaller buildings were where the previously-convicted prisoners were - men in one and women in the other.
I was allowed only allowed in the MAT building, where I witnessed something no one should ever have to see, no less experience! All of the men, some 500-600 of them, were chained together, naked, and sitting on the dirt floor in their own filth. Twice a day a bowl of rice soup was given to them. Occasionally one of the men would die, and he would be methodically unlatched from the chain and carried to who knows where. Many of the men in the MAT building told me they had been there for 10 years or more.
The most shocking event of my time spent there, however, was something which occcurred on New Year\'s Day. Each first day of the year, the local police sounded a siren which was a signal for ALL of the people of the town to assemble at the prison. There, one of the previously convicted felons was led out of the prison, naked, with a tire around his neck with gasoline in it. With the entire town watching, the gasoline was lit, and I need not describe the rest, which left me vomiting. When I left Nigeria some weeks later, I wondered whether my presence and work had really made any difference whatsoever.
I would urge anyone and everyone to sign the petition on Noemi\'s link above.
PS. Noemi, it\'s a pity that your post isn\'t in English, so that more of us could read it.
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| There are "psychiatric cells" in first world prisons too || Jan 16, 2003 |
...with prisoners chained individually to walls, sitting in excrement and hosed down once a day.
I have only heard of them, but from a reliable source. We have some housekeeping to do at home, too.
| Amnesty's Imagine Campaign || Jan 16, 2003 |
Maybe it is downright impossible to avoid human rights abuse altogether, but I believe anything we can do, even if it is small, can make a difference. Even if it is tiny, it is still a difference.
Internet helps us to collaborate with the work of organizations such as Amnesty. Amnesty USA has recently kicked off a new human rights awareness campaign called \"Imagine\" (inspired by Lennon\'s song), and even though the campaign has not been fully launched yet, there is already a webpage from which you can have access to information about human rights issues, send letters of support to help release prisoners of conscience and to protest against injustices and abuse, and know more about actions taken in the past by Amnesty that had positive results.
It is worthwhile to check it out:
| My problem with the HRAIC petition || Jan 16, 2003 |
...is that by focusing exclusively on thier \"need to monitor implementation of Sharia\" and abuses of Islam, it is feeding the polarization of Christianity vs. Islam, which is not my way to go: I\'m out to build new bridges, to help those in any society, who are working for a more compassionate society.
As beings gifted with both feelings and thought, our first duty is to preserve life.
I am left with only lips and prayers to help.
| Nigeria... Africa's extinguished hope. || Jan 16, 2003 |
I was brought up in Nigeria. We were there from before Independence, in 1960, to a few years after the Nigerian Civil War (1974).
If I was interested in topping any of the horror stories told here, and elsewhere, about the country, I easily could. I won\'t. You can imagine what happened when a place with the bare minimum of respect for the value of human life spiralled down into civil war.
Yet, before Independence, Nigeria was Africa\'s shining hope. With the largest population on the continent (one in eight Africans is Nigerian), it was to be the showpiece of just what Africa could achieve without its colonial masters. Instead it turned out to be the pattern for so many corrupt, anti-democratic regimes throughout the continent to follow.
One of the real problems with Africa is the fact that no-one with any clout has the political will to state publicly that what the continent needs IMMEDIATELY is to dissolve all those phony nations the Europeans forced on them. The map of Africa needs to be re-drawn to reflect the reality of Africa. Whether we like it or not, that reality is tribal. The nations of Africa should reflect that tribal reality. Most of Africa\'s current problems are due to tribal conflicts within these artificial nations cobbled together in conferences in Europe by the imperialists of the 19th C.
We never understood tribalism. The concept was an anathema to the Victorians and their bungled attempts to suppress it by divide and rule are still causing hundreds of deaths throughout the continent every week.
Once the reality of Africa is reflected in its new borders, then maybe these new nations could start learning to live alongside each other. It is going to be a long process. Corruption and uncontrolled development has led to a culture in which traditional African respect for human life, prevalent in the villages, has all but disappeared in the huge metropolitan areas.
When we arrived in Lagos it had a population of some 300,000 - when we left it had 3,000,000 and now it is nearing 10 million. All of that incredible growth, without any control whatsoever, was driven by an ethos of dog eat dog - and even people eat people (my mother worked in the secret files room at Police headquarters).
I weep when I think how my childhood home has betrayed its promise so spectacularly. I also have no answers, other than that proposed above. The Africans themselves have to find the solutions to their problems. We in the West have interfered enough. Of course it is horrendous that a certain interpretation of Islam should lead to the horrors Amnesty is campaigning about - but that is the tip of the iceberg as far as human rights abuses go in Africa\'s Giant.
Sorry this sounds so pessimistic, but I loved Nigeria and its people and it has broken my heart to see the direction the country has taken over the last forty years.
PS Forgot to mention that I had already signed the petition before seeing this posting.
[ This Message was edited byn2003-01-16 19:56]
[ This Message was edited by:on2003-01-16 19:56]
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I don\'t think there ever was any real intention to try to suppress tribalism. On the contrary, I find the current design of the political landscape optimizes a wilful policy of divide & conquer. It has been a clever, successful abomination of proven value, and yes, you are absolutely right: until the maps are redrawn, the vulnerability to external manipulation will continue. Let us pray.
| Afterthought || Jan 17, 2003 |
There must be a non-confrontational way to get Sharia to evolve. I mean, you could build up towards a council of ulema to downgear lapidation so the woman just gets hit with little pebbles, one by one, for a whole afternoon in public, leaving the symbolic dimension intact.
After all, in villages, it\'ll take her years to live down the reputation, which will appease some of the bloodlust hanging around any society.
Also, the girl could skip town to the city next day. Or even stick it out and clear her reputation by digging up new evidence.