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Laying flowers for Lassana Cisse

“I think what happened here this morning has highlighted that there is one humanity, one people, and you cannot distinguish people based on their racial appearance. It is also an occasion for the Maltese people and the migrant community to say that violence in not a solution. Therefore, we took the path of peace, that is what this morning signifies for us, but also, we are seeking for justice, and something should be done, for the life of this person shouldn’t be taken away in vain, so we ask the authorities to continue their efforts to find those who have perpetrated this violent crime”

Speaking is Dr Ahmed Bugri, Lawyer and Human right activist, who took part this Saturday 27th April to a commemorative ceremony named “Laying Flowers for Lassina Cisse”.

Lassina Cisse was a 43 years old man from Ivory Coast, father of 3, who was murdered in the night of the 6th April in a drive-by shooting, in the area of Burzebugga / HalFar. Other two African men were seriously injured during the attack. Investigations are still going on, but it is suspected that he has been a victim of a hate crime, based on the testimonies of the migrant communities, usual targets of racial attacks in the area where the drama took place.

A large crowd gathered in front of Job Plus headquarters in HalFar this Saturday, then marching for a few meters, on the same street where Lassana had been shot to death, a tragedy that have turned his children into orphans. Lassana was the only economical sustain of his family.

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“Peace broken is kept with fear and violence, while peace is made when people stand together”

Among the participants to the event was the Emeritus President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, who spoke of love, and the “loss of a brother”. She quoted Martin Luther King’s “You cannot fight oppression with oppression or hate with hate” and vowed to “stand up always for such terrible situations.”

Other speakers were Rev Kim Hurst from the Scottish Church whose words of peace have defined the difference between peace makers and peace keepers. “Peace broken is kept with fear and violence, while peace is made when people stand together”. She concluded saying “Today we stand together and we are making peace happen in Malta.”

Father Mark pointed the necessity to remember not only the deaths, but also the living “in the mist of so much hostility and cold hardness”

Ousman Dicko, representing the Ivorian community, expressed his thanks to the participants and said “Lass is how we used to call him, since I have known him, he had never done anything wrong, and we will never forget him”.

A minute of silence was observed and a closing remark said by Maria Pisani urged the public to always stand in solidarity with those who face violence and hatred in a daily basis.

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