Thursday, 8 September 2011

Victims on trial

For the past few months we have had an on-going case with eight of our street folks who are accused of being an "organised crime gang" and of human trafficking. Irina and I have appeared as witnesses for the defense ... the only ones so far, as opposed to more than 20 witnesses for the prosecution - all fellow street people and all approached by the same policeman and strongly encouraged to testify against the accused. It was quite a frightening experience for me, my first time on the stand and in my second language, I was quite emotional about it all.

As I have said before, it is society which has failed these young people, they are not complete innocents and I don't want to pretend they are, but guilty of organised crime and human trafficking - no, no and again no! This is a trial in which both the victims and the accused and are victims ... victims of a European society that doesn't want them.

I attend the court every time, not because I think I can actually do a lot to help, because the truth is that the odd are against them, but to show them that we care, that they are not forgotten - not by us and more importantly, not by God. The photo above is of two of the children waiting outside the court for a final glimpse of daddy before he is taken away from them again ...

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