By Ngugi wa Thiong'o
The overseas outcry over the detention of Ngugi Wa Thiong'o with no trial by means of the Kenyan gurus even reached him in felony. during this booklet he describes the functional degradation and humiliation of legal existence.
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Extra info for Detained: A Writer's Prison Diary (African Writers)
The men were sent to detested camps where they were badly fed and often beaten and maltreated. They frequently had no blankets given them though the cold at night time was intense, the miserable grass huts provided for their accommodation were neither watertight nor wind-proof, the work of felling trees and breaking stones was uncongenial, and no attempt was made to give them food they were accustomed to in their own homes. Their lives were consequently a misery and their one idea seemed to run away and return to their own country.
The kind of lethargy I had earlier felt before the spiritual warder again crept in to still my trembling anger: 'I am new in this place ... shouldn't I buy peace by simply swallowing my anger and pride and slink into my cell? I am down. ' But another voice, the other voice, quickly intervened: 'You may now be down. But you must always struggle to rise. Struggle for your rights. If you don't pick the glove, ifyou don't stand to your full height now and stare injustice in the face, you'll never be able to raise your head in this place.
Their crime? They had had the intention of alarming two white ladies by raising the rickshaw shafts an inch too high! The rhetoric of the magistrate when later Grogan, Bowkes, Gray, Fichat, and Low were summoned before him for being members of an unlawful assembly, left not the slightest doubt about the sadistic brutality of the deeds of these sons of English nobility and graduates of Cambridge: I'RISON NOTES 33 From the first to the last it appears to me that out of all the people present assisting at the flogging of these men, there was no one of that number who ever took the trouble to satisfy himself as to whether these natives had ever done anything deserving of punishment at all.