“My name is Mohamed Omar Cheikh, I am from Somalia, problem place. I am here one year now. They say they not take me back, they keep me one year. Somalia problem, fight, everything. I stay here. No free, no nothing”, and then he cried.
Mamadou from Chad.
Ali, also from Somalia. Also: inside the prison for one year, “They keep me for nothing.”
Karimian, from Baghdad, “Shlonek?”
Mamadou, “I do 7 months, I am from Chad.”
Imrad Khan, “From Pakistan.”
“My name is Sayed Hassan, I am from India, I am coming here before 9 months. The motherfuckers say, you say you want asylum? I’m coming here, I want asylum. He keeping me here in prison. After he say you are not from India.”
What is the worst that happened to you in this prison?
Mamadou from Chad asked if he could speak French. Yes of course you can!
“Ma chambre sentait pas bien.” My room didn’t smell right. He moved to another cell, but he received no mattrass. So he slept on the ground for one month. He lost his hair.
“We were put in isolation for talking with you.” another brother told us.
-- While the audacity of a band of Somali pirates who hijacked a ship full of weapons has grabbed the world’s attention, it is the slow-burn suffering of millions of Somalis that seems to go almost unnoticed.
The suffering is not new. Or especially surprising. This country on the edge of Africa has been slowly, but inexorably, sliding toward an abyss for the past year and a half — or, some would argue, for the past 17. United Nations officials have called Somalia “the forgotten crisis.” --
in: The Guardian -- A report on cannabis prepared for next year's UN drug policy review will suggest that a "regulated market" would cause less harm than the current international prohibition. The report, which is likely to reopen the debate about cannabis laws, suggests that controls such as taxation, minimum age requirements and labelling could be explored.
There are, according to the report, now more than 160 million users of the drug worldwide. "Although cannabis can have a negative impact on health, including mental health, in terms of relative harms it is considerably less harmful than alcohol or tobacco," according to the report. "Historically, there have only been two deaths worldwide attributed to cannabis, whereas alcohol and tobacco together are responsible for an estimated 150,000 deaths per annum in the UK alone."
The report, compiled by a group of scientists, academics and drug policy experts, suggests that much of the harm associated with cannabis use is "the result of prohibition itself, particularly the social harms arising from arrest and imprisonment." Policies that control cannabis, whether draconian or liberal, appear to have little impact on the prevalence of consumption, it concluded. -- /snap/ [link]
“We just saw a big ship,” the pirates’ spokesman, Sugule Ali, said in a telephone interview. “So we stopped it.”
The pirates quickly learned, though, that their booty was an estimated $30 million worth of heavy weaponry, heading for Kenya or Sudan, depending on whom you ask.
In a 45-minute interview, Mr. Sugule spoke on everything from what the pirates wanted (“just money”) to why they were doing this (“to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters”) to what they had to eat on board (rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food”).
He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”
¶ Wednesday, October 01, 20080 CommentsLinks to this post
You know Stone's 'Hidden History of the Korean War'?