STORIES

Achmed – The Innovator

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Date: 03/26/2018     By: Namati
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Namati

In Memoriam

In 2010, Achmed was part of a new cadre of community paralegals who extended the model of the organization Timap for Justice to other parts of Sierra Leone. He worked with BRAC, supervising their first paralegals in the country. He joined Namati in June 2013.

From the beginning Achmed proved himself to be an extraordinary advocate: committed, hardworking, soft spoken, a natural leader. He could squeeze justice out of an often broken system.

One of many cases he dealt with involved a village, Manonkoh, where an iron mine flooded 350 acres last year. Achmed had worked with the farmers of Manonkoh to ensure that the company rehabilitated the land and paid compensation. On hearing of Achmed’s passing, the chief of Manonkoh called our Sierra Leone team leader Sonkita, weeping uncontrollably.

The people of Manonkoh, and those of many other villages where Achmed worked, have sent gifts—money, palm oil—to Achmed’s family, in gratitude for his service.

On Facebook, where Achmed had started a page for the Sierra Leone Paralegal Association, and where he had 4,000 friends, he wrote this:

“Be modest, quiet, simple, do more & talk less, always control your anger & never let your anger control you and try to be humble. Never look down on another person except you are ready to pick that person up.”

That was precisely how he lived.

In 2013, while riding his motorbike, Ahmed was killed by a swerving truck. He is one of many dedicated advocates who have died in the course of their work. People who serve on the frontlines to pursue justice face many risks, from dangerous roads to government retaliation.