It all started when I saw her smile in a picture and I noted that she is beautiful woman. But the shock came when I knew that she is no longer with us, and how – Murdered!
When her relatives spoke about her, they did so whispering and from those whispers I managed to know that she did her best to raise her daughter with love, also instilling a feeling of self confidence in her. She knew the meaning of pain and wanted her loved one not to experience this feeling. She provided her with all she possibly could. But her unexpected, tragic and violent death leaves a lonely child, and a mum will not have the chance that every mother should have to see her daughter growing up and have the opportunity to be part of her life.
The woman who was killed was also a daughter and a sister.
Years pass quickly and the murderer was sentenced to life imprisonment, everyone was happy till my last visit to Malta.
My several visits to Malta gave me the possibility to understand the Maltese language, and I could comprehend a Maltese programme that spoke about prisoners who had a life sentence.
As a journalist I wanted to compare these kind of programmes in Europe with those in my country (Egypt), and to know how is the life of murderers in prison.
I would like to point out that I’m against capital punishment but with such a brutal murder like this one, I started doubting my belief to be against.
The savage cruelty shown by that murderer must be alien even to the realm of beasts. The killer was no stranger or thief but the father of the child, which shocked me twice.
The father instead of drawing a beautiful portrait for his child to illustrate to her a nice and beautiful life, he chose to draw an ugly, bloody portrait by stabbing her mother not once or twice but 49 times.
Unfortunately in my career I got used to hear several kind of stories that could be similar in part or another. The law in Egypt still has capital punishment, which gives some families satisfaction when they see the murderer die, (“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”.)
In my opinion sentencing murderers to die because of their crimes is not correct, it is like giving them a quick death. Instead they should ponder on what they did wrong and pay for it by serving time in prison.
Murderers by their actions remove themselves from society and should no longer be part of it. They can’t be rehabilitated because unlike thieves they can’t return to their victims what was taken from them, so life imprisonment will be always the punishment meted out to the most serious, namely willful homicides.
Returning back to the T.V. programme, as the murderers themselves noted, these convicts have more rights than we law – abiding citizens. It seems that the EU with its notion of human rights – which are also applied to the prisoners of the EU member states – forgot that human rights don’t mean an overly comfortable life for criminals and murderers because we will give them a reason to commit crimes.
The murderer who committed this bloody crime was describing his day in prison:
How he gets up in the morning , eats breakfast, does some exercises with his colleagues, and washes his room, then drinks coffee quietly whilst reading the newspaper.
And his day didn’t finish like this, but as he said he has multi choices for the rest of the day. These could be visiting his colleague or chatting with him, seeing a DVD or navigate the internet.
This seems to look more like a well deserved retirement than a prison sentence.
The rest of the murderers were saying how easy it is to get a gun or smuggle drugs in prison without getting caught.
At the end of this programme I felt that the punishment is in fact forcing good citizens to pay for these criminals food and DVDs in prison, while prisoners don’t do anything to earn a living for themselves. Even in the wild, people have to do some work like hunting or building shelters.
In spite that criminals are contained within secure prison areas, it doesn’t mean that they should be treated as if they are on a vacation. Work is a part of life.
If human rights institutions applauded the presenter of the programme for showing that the prison in Malta respects human rights, the presenter forgot that the real human (the families of the victims) with his programme didn’t see real justice.
Justice will not make the families of the victims forget their beloved ones but at least, if justice used the sword it carried, it will help these families continue their lives knowing that the criminals are serving in prison for their crimes.
By: Jasmine Elnadeem