Drug gang member set free on religious grounds (Rousse)

I fell in with a criminal gang. I didn’t know the exact nature of its activities, but guessed at drug dealing and associated violence.

When the police picked them up, I was taken to prison too. I was appalled by the conditions in which the prisoners lived. There were no beds in the cells. Instead, prisoners were forced to fold their bodies into metal buckets and sleep with only a thin pink-patterned nylon sheet for warmth.

I was told to consider myself lucky when I was offered the chance of freedom. If I declared myself Jewish, I would be let out immediately.

My fellow prisoners gave me as a souvenir of our time together: a wooden plaque that displayed the all reasons why they admired me.

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