Monday, July 24, 2006

Justice for Saah Samukai

At last! After a lengthy trial, three suspects were convicted today for the murder of Saah Samukai.

After Saah's funeral last October, we stood with his mother in the hospital and didn't know what to say (see "Heaven Cried Too"). Back then I don't think we even believed justice was possible; people literally do get away with murder here all the time. Case in point: the convicted men are only three of the 11 armed robbers that attacked the Samukai family that night, and if Mrs. Tamba (as I call Saah's mother) had not thrown acid on one of them, they may never have been caught.

I didn't know what to say that day in the hospital, but a month later, when I saw an ad in the paper for a short-term media consultancy on an arms control project, I knew what I had to do to be a part of the solution. That short-term consultancy has turned into a full-time communications job and news of the verdict makes it extra sweet.

Although the frontpage headline of the Daily Observer says the killers face hanging, it's hard to believe that they will have to pay for their crime. Is this really the beginning of a new day in our justice system? Will there really be justice for Saah Samukai? We can wait and see, or we can rise up - individually and collectively - to make sure justice is served.

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