Monthly Archives: November 2011

Is it worthwhile to advocate on behalf of individual prisoners?

          Most people know the story of Mahatma Gandhi – a prisoner under the British reign of India. He spoke first; alone and devoid of any major support. Once he spoke, he gave courage to others. The courage that people have the right speak for themselves, whether in prison or not. He is just one of such examples. Nelson Mandela was another such figure. Whether a prisoner or not, if someone has to say something they should be heard.

          Under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration Article 10 “Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him”, it is clearly stated that – keyword – everyone is entitled to such rights. Even a prisoner comes under the category of everyone, no mater what their crime, how long they have been in there for or even their background. Canada prides itself when it come’s to the right to free speech – as it should considering other countries – however, would that right not be taken away if that sole individual is smothered under the scales of Lady Justice? The same individual could be the one to tip the scales for better prison conditions, better visiting hours, in short, a better life.

          Each independent individual should be able to fight for their rights. They may be in prison, however, Human Rights – birth given rights – cannot be taken away. The Canadian Constitution grants a right to free speech, and they should have access to it. Each voice is an important one. Imagine yourself in that situation; feeling the injustice, wanting to scream out, fight for real justice, and having no one to listen to you – would you feel that your one voice could have made a difference?

– Arjun K.

Sit down, kick back, relax, open your mind

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