Headline of the week: arson

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POSTED: February 26, 2021

I read an article this morning, with the headline Woman who set herself on fire in Lesbos refugee camp may face arson charges.

Sometimes I find a headline of the week that I find funny. This time I found it a clear and sad indicator of approximately where we seem to have got to as a species.

The story started

A pregnant Afghan woman who was severely injured after setting herself on fire in a refugee camp on Lesbos has been forced to give testimony to a prosecutor from her hospital bed as Greek authorities explore potential arson charges against her.

The 26-year-old woman, who has not been named, had been granted asylum by Greek authorities and had been scheduled to fly to Germany with other recognised refugees last week. But officials said doctors had advised against her making the journey because she was in the final stage of pregnancy.

“When she was told she couldn’t travel, her distress and disappointment were such she attempted suicide,” the investigating magistrate Nikos Triantafyllos told the Guardian. “She regrets her actions very much. She has suffered burns to her hands, feet and head. She is full of remorse. She is due to give birth to her fourth child next week.”

But the woman now faces arson charges after her tent was destroyed during her suicide attempt. The prosecutor who will determine whether the woman should go on trial visited the hospital in Mytilene, the island’s capital, to hear the testimony.

We should remember always to count people like Donald Trump as symptoms of the disease we suffer from, and not as the disease itself.