Justice Ayah Paul Abine, detained Supreme Court judge sent on retirement while facing trial, has written to some 12 Anglophone detainees held in a gendarmerie underground prison. The detained politician and human rights defender, through the message, tries to raise hope for the detainees with whom he is held in similar degrading conditions.
“I feel what you feel for I am in this mess with you all. I wish I could take your place and carry the cross for all. For I have lived my life, full of sacrifices for the general interest with NO REGRETS.
But at any thought of you all, my heart bleeds vis-a-vis the unjust torments you undergo, you the young leaders of tomorrow. Oh, how your families miss you dearly; how much your kids/wives/kindred have missed your warmth, protection and security, for months.
I pray for you all daily, hoping in confidence that the Most High incorruptible judge will grant you all HIS divine and incorruptible justice at HIS appointed time; FOR HIS TIMING IS PERFECT. May HE keep renewing the resources and the strength of your families, well-wishers, aids and sympathisers, as they share your cross.
By daring to smuggle out evidence of their nerve splitting conditions in that hole, the detainees have a told the world, the press, that silence is a crime against humanity. As Ellie Wiesel says, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”.