Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The right to survive: Italy's supreme court frees a convicted homelss man

The supreme court of Italy has overturned the conviction of a homeless man caught stealing sausages and cheese from a supermarket, saying the man was in' desperate need 'and concluded that food theft is no crime for the hungry.

 The court ruled that the man" acted out of immediate need" and therefore had not committed a crime.

This ruling is spectacularly interesting having read numerous stories on social media especially
about Africa where it is the norm to jail the very poor people that the society have failed to protect.

I was a bit shocked today at similar stories also making headlines in Nigeria tabloids where some states are sponsoring bills to execute about 90 of its citizens in 21st century.

 I don't have much information about their offences, however, my concern is  the state sponsorship of such bills instead of state support to eradicate such obselete laws.

According to 'the Guardian' newspaper, Carlo Rienzi, President of Codacons, an enviromental and consumer rights group  has hailed this human rights ruling in Italy, adding that the real offence was caused by the state, for its abandonment of poor people, whom it turned into food thieves.

In his words: "The supreme court has established a sacrosanct principle: a small theft because of hunger is in no way comparable to an act of delinquency, because the need to feed justifies the act. ..The economic crisis has increased the number of citizens forced to steal in supermarkets to make ends meet"

It's my desire that those in governance will become human for once and respect poor people's right to live instead of using the judicial system as institutions for oppression.

I'm yet to see in africa where it is a death penalty for stealing billions of public funds. It's always the blood of the very poor that is spillied to appease the gods.

Lets give this ruling the much publicity it deserves with the hope that it could win the hearts and minds of the very people who make decisions that benefit only the smallest percentage of the society.

Uche Okeke.

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