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   Undertoad  Monday May 20 11:05 AM

5/20/2002: Sierra Leone voter



In the thread two days ago featureing the Sierra Leone mental hospital, Sycamore pointed out the website www.galbe.com, which features African news images. Upon visiting we are welcomed with this image (at least as of yesterday), which is really awesome. Their caption:

"Freetown, Sierra Leone, 14th May 2002.

"Ismail Darramy, whose hands were cut off by Sierra Leones rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) after he voted for incumbent President Ahmad Kabbah in 1996, smiles defiantly as he votes again for Kabbah using his big toe."

Boy, that's what it's all about, isn't it?



dave  Monday May 20 11:16 AM

I've seen what must be hundreds of images of Sierra Leone residents with severed hands. It seems like every picture from the country has a handless person in it. Which makes me think about what a fucked up species us humans are. We know that it's wrong; there's no reason for us to cut another's hands off; and yet, there are those of us who will do it.

I'm glad that, for the most part, we don't have that sort of thing in the US. Same planet, worlds apart. It's saddening.



warch  Monday May 20 01:22 PM

Quote:
I'm glad that, for the most part, we don't have that sort of thing in the US.
You're welcome. I voted against the hand severing. Seriously, I get grumpy when I see apathetic US non-voters.


Nic Name  Monday May 20 02:50 PM

FAQs

Quote:
It has been described as one of the most brutal conflicts in recent times: the war in Sierra Leone. It raged for 9 years and reached a climax when rebels invaded the capital Freetown on January 6, 1999. Human rights organisations have described the human rights abuses that took place over the next three weeks as among the most serious in modern-day warfare. Many people in the provinces have known nothing more than unimaginable brutality for the past 9 years.

In July 1999, the government and the main rebel group, the RUF, signed a formal peace accord. It includes a blanket amnesty for all human rights violations committed during the war, even for crimes against humanity. Human rights organisations have protested, but after 9 years of war, many Sierra Leoneans yearn for only one thing: peace.

Radio Netherlands' Eric Beauchemin was in Sierra Leone in November and December 1999.



Tobiasly  Monday May 20 03:15 PM

In another couple years, photos of this guy voting will be x-rated



Undertoad  Monday May 20 04:04 PM

That depends on what order they cut stuff off.



elSicomoro  Monday May 20 06:34 PM

When I first saw that image on the site last night, it caught me off guard...but I like the concept behind it. It conveys inspiration to me.

I worked with a gentleman from Sierra Leone when I lived in DC. I didn't ask him a whole lot of information, but he mentioned that his parents and other relatives were still over there. You could see the pain in his face when he mentioned this. This was almost 3 years ago, and I believe at the time, the war there was still raging. He also had an 8-year old son with him here. Hopefully, that child will never have to suffer the fate that other children his age did.



sypher  Monday May 20 07:32 PM

I think its great he's still smiling

Kinda puts my issues in perspective!

Seriously though, this is fscked up, and i feel for this guy being able to smile, i guess he can't get access to meaningful prosthetics.

Just to put this into my perspective (and i know its incomparable) but i was the ONLY person in my circle of friends to vote at either the most recent general and local elections.

I realise it means very little as an individual these days to vote in a 'democracy', but what has happened to the guy in the IOTD is barbaric, if the story behind it is correct.

I dont think sending money or charity over there will help these guys out, but maybe a team of SAS or Delta force could 'realign' their 'leaders' perspective on humanity?

I bet this image never made (makes) the papers over here in the UK.

Just my 2p.

Syph.



Nic Name  Monday May 20 08:11 PM

From the Beeb

Special report: Sierra Leone's civil war





And some of the pictures of victims at Sierra-Leone.org are too brutal to post in the public press or the Cellar.



sypher  Monday May 20 09:01 PM

Re: I think its great he's still smiling

This kind of stuff makes me but there is little we can do to help is there not?

Sending money to them, who would benefit?

There is much corruption, in fact that is all there is it seems from the few reports i have seen tonight.

I went to look at some things after seeing the IOTD, and although I WANT to help them, i am not brave enough to go there and do it, i am afraid, and that is what they need, western people over there to report more of what is going on and shame their people to take action.

I should lobby my countries parliament (opens google).

Something should be done.



Nic Name  Monday May 20 09:11 PM

Red Cross Society

The Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, with support from the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), has launched a scheme to employ Freetown's amputees. They register the names of the amputees, along with their prior experience, qualifications and the type of work they would like to do. The information is sent to potential employers.

According to Steen Wetlesen of the IFRC, "the response from the government and the business community has been very positive". Speaking to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Wetlesen said, "amputees can get jobs as security guards, teachers, meter readers, guards and gatekeepers." Already a local company has hired six male amputees.

Because of the large number of amputations and other wounds people suffered, Handicap International will remain in Sierra Leone for the foreseeable future. It has already drawn up plans to set up workshops in two other cities - Bo and Makeni - when the security situation permits. Handicap International is also training Sierra Leoneans to become technicians to manufacture the limbs.

Handicap International



bluebomber  Tuesday May 21 09:04 AM

Re: I think its great he's still smiling

Quote:
Originally posted by sypher
Just to put this into my perspective (and i know its incomparable) but i was the ONLY person in my circle of friends to vote at either the most recent general and local elections.

I realise it means very little as an individual these days to vote in a 'democracy', but what has happened to the guy in the IOTD is barbaric, if the story behind it is correct.
Speaking from a US perspective, with the 2000 elections still fresh in our memory, it very much *does* mean something for an individual to vote. Chads aside, if another few hundred individuals had turned up at the polls in Florida (or if a few hundred had stayed home), the world would be a different place. (I'm not saying necessarily better or worse, just different.)

I try to make it a point to vote in every election (local, state, and national), although I have missed one or two local elections. If you look at election results in New Hampshire, you'll find that there are a number of local elections that were decided by less than a hundred votes. Several were overturned on recount (including a tie that was decided in a recount).


mitheral  Tuesday May 21 10:10 AM

Re: Re: I think its great he's still smiling

Quote:
Originally posted by bluebomber

<SNIP> you'll find that there are a number of local elections that were decided by less than a hundred votes. Several were overturned on recount (including a tie that was decided in a recount).
My favourite Voting Counts story:

On 18 January 1961, in Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania), the Afro-Shirazi Party won the general elections by a single seat, after the seat of Chake-Chake on Pemba Island was won by a single vote.

Now I don't know how many people didn't vote in that election but you can bet all those who didn't like the result and didn't vote were kicking themselves.


russotto  Tuesday May 21 03:32 PM

One recent local election in PA was a tie and was decided by a coin toss.



lawman  Tuesday May 21 05:35 PM

coin toss indeed

I vaguely recall a recent election in Old Crow, Yukon that was tied and recounted, still tied it went to a flip of the coin.... although not as contentious as Sierra-Leone et al, here are the votes cast for each of Yukon's electoral districts..... most were won by under 200 votes, one was within 8.

http://www.gov.yk.ca/leg-assembly/el...elections.html

it is a small jurisdiction, but it does show that each and every vote counts... (no comment here about the collegiate voting rules in the US....



Nothing But Net  Tuesday May 21 09:58 PM

I guess this guy is lucky (in a way) they only cut off his hands.

In Chad, they hang you...



Griff  Wednesday May 22 07:23 AM

*groan*



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