Sunday 25 April 2010

Rough Justice........

There seems to be a lot of thefts and burgularies in the area I live in Freetown at the moment and when thieves are caught the treatment they get is harsh to say the least.

A thief was caught a couple of weeks ago trying to break into a small shop near where I work - he was had battery acid poured on his privates, had his back burnt by a charcoal iron, was cut on his head and his legs with a machete and lastly had rags forced into his behind with a stick.

Last night as Brian and I were on our way to get something to eat there was a big crowd just in front of the NP (the local petrol garage that we go to to eat sometimes), there was a naked man laying on floor in a bad way - it was the same thief who had been beaten a couple of weeks ago. It turns out he's been wandering around town ever since then.

I've talked to a couple of Sierra Leonean friends about the man and their response was the same 'he's a thief and he deserves it, don't feel sorry for him'.
I felt terrible leaving the man there - but didn't know what else to do.....if I'd tried to help there was a good chance the crowd might have turned on me.
I had my eye open for him this morning and if he was around I was going to get someone to take him some clothes, but he wasn't there and no one that I've asked has seen him today. We'll see if he shows up again in the next few days.

This isn't the only instance of thieves being beaten recently - in the week when the man I've mentioned was caught there were at least two others in the same area given similar treatment. The reason people give is that if the thieves are taken to the police they are easily released and no action is taken.

Update - Hassan's Eye

I finally have an update about Hassan, the boy who got hit in the eye with a stick last November! He was due to have an operation in December, but I lost contact with his father and didn't know what had happened to him.

Hassan came to see me yesterday with his Dad - he's still having treatment on his eye, which doctors have advised needs to continue for another few weeks, after which he can have an operation which may save his sight.

I have a friend who is medically trained who is going to go to the a hospital appointment with Hassan next Tuesday so he can let me know what he thinks will be the best way forward for Hassan.

He still seems to be in a lot of pain with his eye, but it's very hard to get information directly from him because he's so shy he just won't speak! He did tell me that he's able to see light now and that he wasn't when the accident first happened - his father is hopefull that his sight will be saved.

Sunday 11 April 2010

Baby Fatmata Update

Baby Fatamata's Mum brought her back to see me today - the spots on her back have healed up completely and she's looking really well now......she's also a lot happier, although you wouldn't know it from this photo!!