Mr. Mohammed Amanyire aka Everman, a musician in Uganda has been sentenced to one month in prison for attempting suicide by setting himself on fire.
Uganda: Musician to spend a month in prison for self-immolation
Self immolation is the act of setting oneself on fire and burning to death.
Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court sentenced the 33-year-old supporter of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) on Friday, September 24.
Everman, pleaded guilty to the offence during the court session presided over by magistrate Doreen Karungi.
Everman however, pleaded for a lenient sentence on grounds that he is the bread winner of his family and that he was only bluffing when he, on September 7 went to the main gate of the Parliament and threatened to commit suicide.
He further told court that he was simply expressing his dissatisfaction with the NRM party he supports.
“The convict is hereby sentenced to One month in prison. He needs to reform so that he never attempts to take his own life,” the magistrate said before ordering Everman to be taken away.
Self immolation is quite common
The practice of political suicide is not new. During the Vietnam War, a horrified world saw pictures of Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sitting calmly as his body burned in a public square in Saigon.
In 2011, the self-immolation of Tunisian fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi inspired protests that developed into the Arab Spring.
In 208, John Watts, a 58-year-old Air Force veteran, fatally set himself on fire in protest after fighting what he had called a corrupt Veterans Affairs system. He did it on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol.
In 1965, 82-year-old Alice Herz, after returning from a demonstration against racial violence in Alabama, walked to a street corner in Detroit and set herself on fire.
She had been protesting, marching and writing against the war in Vietnam and racial segregation in the American South. She had told her friends and family she was not being heard.
In that same year, Morrison, a Baltimore Quaker who had long been protesting the United States’ wars, stood below Robert McNamara’s Pentagon office with his 1-year-old daughter, Emily, in his arms.
He handed Emily off to someone, doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire. The father of three was 31.
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