August 20, 2004: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Asylum: Pular: Linguitics: Languages: Crime: Law: Judges: Justice: York Daily Record: Judge Joan V. Churchill questioned RPCV Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guinea: Peace Corps Guinea : The Peace Corps in Guinea: August 20, 2004: Headlines: COS - Guinea: Asylum: Pular: Linguitics: Languages: Crime: Law: Judges: Justice: York Daily Record: Judge Joan V. Churchill questioned RPCV Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-239-147.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.239.147) on Wednesday, August 25, 2004 - 8:29 pm: Edit Post

Judge Joan V. Churchill questioned RPCV Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there

Judge Joan V. Churchill questioned RPCV  Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there

Judge Joan V. Churchill questioned RPCV Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there

Refugee, by any other name, might still face danger

Aug 20, 2004

York Daily Record

by Caryl Clarke

Malik Jarno, a refugee at the International Friendship House in York, shows some of the clothes he owns, including a Chicago sports jersey his uncle bought for him in France. Friday, his attorneys took him shopping at Kohlís in Springettsbury Township. Photo: Paul Chaplin - YDR

ARLINGTON, Va. The plethora of similar names in Guinea occupied a full morning Thursday in the third day of Malik Jarno's asylum hearing.

It is the West African teen's second shot at asylum before Immigration Judge Joan V. Churchill. She intently questioned Herbert Caudill, a Peace Corps volunteer who spent three years in Guinea and wrote a training manual for learning the Pular language spoken there.

The Guinean name Malik has at least four spellings including Malek, Maalik and Malikk while the name Jarno has six including Thierno, Tierno, Cerno, Jerno or Cherno Caudill testified.

The variety of spellings is unusual enough to confuse immigration authorities, who doubt the identity of the 19-year-old orphan with mild mental retardation, according to his attorneys.

They worked to clarify the seeming proliferation of names for their client and to solicit testimony about the potentially deadly risk Jarno would face if returned to Guinea.

The Guinean population carries only four surnames from the descendants of four brothers, Caudill said. Only a handful of first names are used. Half the people in a village can have the same name.

Some people add a nickname, the name of their native village, or a physical characteristic to differentiate themselves from the others,

Caudill testified. Honorary titles further distinguish people to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. But, then, honorary titles can also be inherited.

Caudill, who had taught English to Guinean children, said once only four students carried different names in a class of 20.

A Guinean might breezily flip the first and last name because it's not important in their scheme of things, Caudill said.

Churchill asked how a person could have four names. It comes from the nicknames and titles, Caudill responded. Some Guineans have five names.

Could a person use their names differently from time to time, Churchill asked.

"Sure. It depends on the situation," Caudill said.

Translation problems in the Pular language occurred last week, so a new interpreter sat at the judge's side on Thursday. To clarify the need, Jarno's attorneys focused on the different dialects.

Five or six dialects of Pular are spoken in Africa, Caudill said. After a lengthy conversation with Jarno, Caudill fixed his accent, sentence structure and grammar to be that of a native of Guinea.

Can people with different dialects understand one another, Churchill asked.

"In most cases, they could be understood with the exception of some vocabulary," Caudill said. Witnesses tell to danger

Thursday afternoon, Churchill again stood at her desk and asked a man on a telephone in Guinea to stand, raise his right hand and promise to tell the complete truth.

The witness requested his name not be published to avoid retaliation by his government. He could not work because of injuries suffered during the 1998 massacre of thousands of dissidents in Kaporo Rails. He had known Jarno's father, Thierno Ousmane Balde, well as the local chief imam and a respected opposition leader.

Another of Jarno's attorneys asked why the witness had participated in the opposition group.

"Because I did not like events that were happening in my country at that time," the witness said.

He had not known Malik Jarno, but said if he returned, the Guinean government would mistreat him because he is the son of the chief imam of the grand mosque in Kaporo Rails and because of his father's political activities.

Homeland Security attorney Kathleen Senkus asked if he knew how many homes Jarno's father owned. The man said Thierno Ousmane owned only the house next to the mosque.

Did Imam Balde have more than one wife? Senkus asked. The man said he knew Thierno Ousmane was married, but knew nothing about his family.

The final witness, also protected by confidentiality, testified on the situation in Guinea for people with mental retardation.

Most families, he testified, treat mentally retarded children as a source of shame. Such individuals are usually associated with devils and bad spirits. They all have problems.

"If Jarno Malik is returned, he will join the street children who live under many illegal activity, illegal sales of marijuana," the man said. "He will find himself with those street youth who will make him use or sell marijuana."

But, don't police arrest such criminals, Senkus asked. Yes, the man said, but it is so difficult to sort through the street gangs that police tend to arrest everybody and place them in prison.

The asylum hearing resumes at 9 a.m. today.

Reach Caryl Clarke at 771-2032 or caryl@ydr.com.





When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.


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Story Source: York Daily Record

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Guinea; Asylum; Pular; Linguitics; Languages; Crime; Law; Judges; Justice

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