ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Peter Ouko - Prison reform advocate
Pete Ouko champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in Africa.

Why you should listen

Twenty years ago, Peter Ouko walked into a police station in  Kenya seeking answers to the circumstances under which his wife had been found murdered and the body dumped next to the police station fence. Unbeknown to him, the hunter would soon find himself as the hunted, and in a journey through the then broken down judicial system, he found himself convicted and sent to the gallows for a crime he maintains he did not commit.

Instead of bitterness, Ouko decided to forgive his tormentors and make the best of his time in prison, becoming the first inmate to graduate with a University of London Diploma in Law while behind bars. He is currently in his final year as an LLB student in the same University.

In his dual role as an Ambassador of the African Prisons Project and Founder of the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative, Ouko today champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in society while using social enterprise to advocate for a crime free world. His goal: to demystify justice and have a crime free world underpinned by the rule of the law.

More profile about the speaker
Peter Ouko | Speaker | TED.com
TEDGlobal 2017

Peter Ouko: From death row to law graduate

Peter Ouko: Como conquistei um diploma de direito enquanto eu estava no corredor da morte

Filmed:
993,899 views

Peter Ouko passou 18 anos na Kamiti Prison, no Quênia, algumas vezes trancado numa cela com outros 13 homens adultos por 23 horas e meia por dia. Em uma conversa emocionante, ele conta a história de como foi libertado e a missão atual dele com o "African Prisons Project": criar a primeira escola de direito atrás das grades e capacitar as pessoas na prisão a realizar mudanças positivas.
- Prison reform advocate
Pete Ouko champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in Africa. Full bio

Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.

00:12
I want to tell you a story about Manson.
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Quero lhes contar
uma história sobre Manson.
00:17
Manson was this 28-year-old
interior designer,
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Manson tinha 28 anos,
era designer de interiores,
00:21
a father to a loving daughter,
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pai de uma filha amorosa
00:23
and a son
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e de um filho,
00:25
who found himself behind bars
due to a broken-down judicial system.
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que se viu atrás das grades
devido a um sistema jurídico destruído.
00:30
He was framed for a murder
he didn't commit
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Ele foi enquadrado
por um assassinato que não cometeu
e condenado à forca.
00:33
and was sentenced to the gallows.
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00:36
There were two victims of this murder --
the victim who actually died in the murder
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Havia duas vítimas:
a vítima que morreu no assassinato
00:40
and Manson, who had been
sentenced to prison
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e Manson, condenado à prisão
por um crime que não cometeu.
00:43
for an offense which he did not commit.
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00:47
He was locked up in a cell,
eight by seven,
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Foi trancado numa cela de 2,5 por 2m,
com outros 13 homens adultos,
00:49
with 13 other grown-up men
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00:52
for 23 and a half hours a day.
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por 23 horas e meia por dia.
00:55
Food was not guaranteed that you'd get.
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Não era garantido que houvesse comida.
00:59
And I remember yesterday,
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Lembro-me de ontem, quando entrei
no lugar onde eu estava.
01:00
as I walked into the room where I was,
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01:04
I imagined the kind of cell
that Manson would have been living in.
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Imaginei o tipo de cela
em que Manson teria vivido.
01:07
Because the toilet --
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Porque o banheiro...
01:09
The row of the small rooms
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Os quartos pequenos eram um pouco maiores
do que a cela de dois e meio por dois.
01:10
that were there were slightly bigger
than the eight-by-seven cell.
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01:14
But being in that cell
as he awaited the executioner --
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Mas, naquela cela,
enquanto aguardava o carrasco -
01:17
because in prison,
he did not have a name --
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porque, na prisão, ele não tinha nome -
01:20
Manson was known by a number.
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Manson era conhecido por um número.
Ele era apenas uma estatística.
01:22
He was just a statistic.
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01:25
He did not know how long he would wait.
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Ele não sabia por quanto tempo esperaria.
01:28
The wait could have been a minute,
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A espera poderia ser um minuto,
01:30
the executioner could have come
the next minute,
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o carrasco poderia chegar
no próximo minuto,
01:32
the next day,
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no dia seguinte,
01:33
or it could have taken 30 years.
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ou poderia demorar 30 anos.
01:37
The wait had no end.
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A espera não tinha fim.
01:40
And in the midst of the excruciating pain,
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Entre a dor agonizante,
01:43
the mental torture,
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a tortura mental,
01:46
the many unanswered questions
that Manson faced,
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as muitas perguntas sem resposta
que Manson enfrentou,
01:50
he knew he was not
going to play the victim.
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ele sabia que não iria se fazer de vítima.
01:53
He refused to play the role of the victim.
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Recusou-se a fazer o papel de vítima.
01:56
He was angry at the justice system
that had put him behind bars.
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Estava bravo com o sistema de justiça,
que o havia colocado atrás das grades.
02:01
But he knew the only way
he could change that justice system
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Mas ele sabia que a única forma
de mudar esse sistema
02:04
or help other people get justice
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ou de ajudar outras pessoas
a conseguir justiça
02:06
was not to play the victim.
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era não se fazer de vítima.
02:09
Change came to Manson
when he decided to embrace forgiveness
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A mudança aconteceu para Manson
quando ele decidiu aceitar o perdão
02:13
for those who had put him in prison.
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daqueles que o haviam colocado na prisão.
02:17
I speak that as a fact.
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Falo isso como um fato.
02:20
Because I know who Manson is.
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Porque sei quem é Manson.
02:24
I am Manson.
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Eu sou Manson.
02:26
My real name is Peter Manson Ouko.
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Meu nome verdadeiro é Peter Manson Ouko.
02:30
And after my conviction,
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Depois de minha condenação,
após esse despertar do perdão,
02:31
after that awakening of forgiveness,
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02:35
I had this move
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tomei atitude
02:37
to help change the system.
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para ajudar a mudar o sistema.
02:40
I already decided I was not
going to be a victim anymore.
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Decidi que não iria mais ser uma vítima.
02:44
But how was I going to help
change a system
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Mas como eu ajudaria a mudar um sistema
02:46
that was bringing in
younger inmates every day
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que estava introduzindo
presos mais jovens todos os dias,
02:49
who deserve to be with their families?
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que mereciam estar com as famílias deles?
02:52
So I started mobilizing my colleagues
in prison, my fellow inmates,
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Comecei, então, a mobilizar meus colegas
da prisão, meus companheiros presos,
02:56
to write letters and memoranda
to the justice system,
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para escrever cartas e memorandos
ao sistema de justiça,
03:00
to the Judicial Service Commission,
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à Judicial Service Commission,
03:03
the numerous task forces
that had been set up
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as inúmeras forças-tarefa formadas
03:06
in our country, Kenya,
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em nosso país, o Quênia,
03:07
to help change the constitution.
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para ajudar a mudar a Constituição.
03:10
And we decided to grasp at those --
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Decidimos nos agarrar a elas
03:12
to clutch at those trolls,
if I may use that word --
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para tentar desesperadamente
salvar a situação,
03:15
if only to make the justice system work,
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e fazer pelo menos
o sistema de justiça funcionar
03:18
and work for all.
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e funcionar para todos.
03:21
Just about the same time,
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Quase na mesma época,
03:22
I met a young university
graduate from the UK,
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conheci um jovem formado
em uma universidade do Reino Unido,
03:25
called Alexander McLean.
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chamado Alexander McLean.
03:28
Alexander had come in with three or four
of his colleagues from university
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Alexander havia chegado com três ou quatro
colegas, no ano antes da faculdade,
03:31
in their gap year,
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e queriam ajudar
03:32
and they wanted to help assist,
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a montar uma biblioteca
na Kamiti Maximum Prison,
03:35
set up a library in Kamiti Maximum Prison,
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03:38
which if you Google,
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que, na busca do Google, está descrita
como uma das 15 piores prisões do mundo.
03:39
you will see is written as one
of the 15 worst prisons in the world.
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Isso foi em outra ocasião.
03:43
That was then.
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03:45
But when Alexander came in,
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Mas, quando Alexander chegou,
ele era um jovem de 20 anos,
03:46
he was a young 20-year-old boy.
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03:48
And I was on death row at that time.
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e eu estava no corredor
da morte naquela época.
03:51
And we took him under our wing.
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Nós o acolhemos.
03:53
It was an honest trust issue.
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Foi uma questão de confiança sincera.
03:56
He trusted us, even though
we were on death row.
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Ele confiou em nós, apesar de estarmos
no corredor da morte.
03:59
And through that trust,
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Por meio dessa confiança,
vimos ele e os colegas da universidade
04:00
we saw him and his colleagues
from the university
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04:03
refurbish the library
with the latest technology
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renovarem a biblioteca
com a mais recente tecnologia
04:06
and set up the infirmary
to very good standards
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e elevarem a enfermaria
a padrões muito bons
04:10
so that those of us falling sick in prison
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para que aqueles de nós
que ficássemos doentes na prisão
04:13
would not necessarily
have to die in indignity.
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não tivéssemos, necessariamente,
que morrer sem dignidade.
04:17
Having met Alexander,
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Ao conhecer Alexander,
04:20
I had a chance,
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tive uma chance.
Ele me deu a oportunidade e o apoio
04:21
and he gave me the opportunity
and the support,
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04:24
to enroll for a university degree
at the University of London.
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para me matricular
na University of London.
04:28
Just like Mandela
studied from South Africa,
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Assim como Mandela
estudou na África do Sul,
04:31
I had a chance to study
at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.
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tive a chance de estudar
na Kamiti Maximum Security Prison.
04:35
And two years later,
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Dois anos depois,
04:37
I became the first graduate of the program
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eu me tornei o primeiro
formado pelo programa
04:39
from the University of London
from within the prison system.
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da University of London,
de dentro do sistema prisional.
04:44
Having graduated, what happened next --
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Depois de formado...
(Aplausos)
04:46
(Applause)
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Obrigado.
04:50
Thank you.
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(Aplausos)
04:51
(Applause)
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Depois de formado,
04:52
Having graduated,
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04:54
now I felt empowered.
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eu me sentia capacitado.
04:56
I was not going to play
the helpless victim.
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Eu não faria o papel de vítima indefesa.
04:58
But I felt empowered
not only to assist myself,
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Mas me sentia capacitado
a ajudar não apenas a mim mesmo,
05:01
to prosecute my own case,
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a processar meu próprio caso,
05:03
but also to assist the other inmates
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mas também para ajudar os outros presos
05:06
who are suffering the similar injustices
that have just been spoken about here.
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que estão sofrendo as injustiças parecidas
que acabaram de ser tratadas aqui.
05:11
So I started writing
legal briefs for them.
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Comecei, então, a escrever
causas legais para eles.
05:13
With my other colleagues in prison,
we did as much as we could.
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Com meus outros colegas na prisão,
fizemos o máximo que pudemos.
05:19
That wasn't enough.
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Não foi o bastante.
05:23
Alexander McLean
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Alexander McLean
05:24
and his team
at the African Prisons Project
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e a equipe dele
do African Prisons Project
05:28
decided to support more inmates.
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decidiram apoiar mais presos.
05:30
And as I'm speaking to you today,
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Enquanto falo com vocês hoje, há 63 presos
e funcionários do Kenya Prison Service
05:32
there are 63 inmates and staff
in the Kenya Prison Service
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estudando direito na University of London
por meio do ensino a distância.
05:36
studying law at the University of London
through distance learning.
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05:40
(Applause)
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(Aplausos)
05:45
These are changemakers
who are being motivated
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Esses são os que fazem a mudança
e que estão sendo motivados
05:49
not only to assist
the most indolent in society,
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não só para ajudar
os mais indolentes da sociedade,
05:52
but also to help the inmates
and others get access to justice.
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mas também para ajudar os presos
e os outros a ter acesso à justiça.
05:59
Down there in my prison cell,
something kept stirring me.
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Lá embaixo, na minha cela da prisão,
algo continuava mexendo comigo.
06:03
The words of Martin Luther King
kept hitting me.
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As palavras de Martin Luther King
continuavam me afetando.
06:07
And he was always telling me,
"Pete, if you can't fly,
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Ele sempre me dizia:
"Pete, se não puder voar,
06:12
you can run.
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você pode correr.
06:14
And if you can't run,
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E, se não puder correr,
06:16
you can walk.
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você pode andar.
06:18
But if you can't walk,
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Mas, se não puder andar,
06:20
then you can crawl.
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você pode rastejar.
Mas o que quer que seja,
seja lá o que for preciso,
06:22
But whatever it is, whatever it takes,
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06:24
just keep on moving."
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apenas siga em frente".
Então, eu tinha esse desejo
de seguir em frente.
06:26
And so I had this urge to keep moving.
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06:29
I still have this urge
to keep moving in whatever I do.
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Ainda tenho esse desejo
em tudo o que faço.
06:31
Because I feel the only way
we can change our society,
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Porque sinto que a única maneira
de mudar nossa sociedade,
06:35
the only way we can change
the justice system --
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de mudar o sistema de justiça,
que realmente melhorou em nosso país,
06:37
which has really improved
in our country --
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é ajudar a entender
claramente os sistemas.
06:39
is to help get the systems right.
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06:42
So, on 26th October last year,
after 18 years in prison,
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Em 26 de outubro do ano passado,
depois de 18 anos preso,
06:47
I walked out of prison
on presidential pardon.
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saí da prisão com perdão presidencial.
06:51
I'm now focused on helping APP --
the African Prisons Project --
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Estou focado agora em ajudar
o APP, African Prisons Project,
a alcançar a diretriz de educar e criar
06:54
achieve its mandate
of training and setting up
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06:57
the first law school
and legal college behind bars.
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a primeira escola de direito
e faculdade legal atrás das grades,
07:01
Where we are going to train --
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onde iremos educar...
07:03
(Applause)
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(Aplausos)
07:06
Where we are going to train
inmates and staff
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onde iremos educar presos e funcionários
07:10
not only to assist their fellow inmates,
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não apenas para ajudar
os companheiros presos,
07:12
but to assist the entire
wider society of the poor
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mas também toda a sociedade
mais ampla dos pobres,
07:15
who cannot access legal justice.
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que não podem ter acesso à justiça legal.
07:19
So as I speak before you today,
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Conforme falei anteriormente a vocês hoje,
07:21
I stand here in the full knowledge
that we can all reexamine ourselves,
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estou aqui com o pleno conhecimento de que
podemos todos reexaminar a nós mesmos,
07:27
we can all reexamine our situations,
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podemos todos reexaminar nossas situações,
07:30
we can all reexamine our circumstances
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podemos todos reexaminar
nossas circunstâncias,
07:33
and not play the victim narrative.
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e não representar a narrativa de vítima.
07:36
The victim narrative
will not take us anywhere.
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A narrativa da vítima
não nos levará a lugar nenhum.
07:40
I was behind bars, yeah.
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Estive atrás das grades, sim.
07:42
But I never felt and I was not a prisoner.
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Mas nunca me senti e nem fui um preso.
07:48
The basic thing I got to learn
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A questão fundamental
que tive que aprender
07:50
was that if I thought,
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foi que, se eu acreditasse,
07:52
and if you think, you can,
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e, se acreditarmos que podemos,
07:55
you will.
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nós conseguiremos.
07:56
But if you sit thinking that you can't,
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Mas, se ficarmos sentados
achando que não podemos,
07:59
you won't.
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não conseguiremos.
08:01
It's as simple as that.
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É simples assim.
08:04
And so I'm encouraged
by the peaceful revolutionaries
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Estou motivado pelos revolucionários
pacíficos que ouvi neste palco.
08:06
I've heard on this stage.
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08:08
The world needs you now,
the world needs you today.
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O mundo precisa de vocês agora;
o mundo precisa de vocês hoje.
08:12
And as I finish my talk,
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Como estou terminando minha palestra,
08:15
I'd just like to ask
each and every single one of you here,
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só gostaria de pedir
a cada um de vocês aqui,
08:19
wonderful thinkers,
changemakers, innovators,
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pensadores extraordinários,
pessoas que fazem a mudança, inovadores,
08:23
the wonderful global citizens
we have at TED,
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os notáveis cidadãos globais
que temos no TED:
08:26
just remember the words
of Martin Luther King.
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lembrem-se apenas das palavras
de Martin Luther King.
08:29
Let them continue ringing
in your heart and your life.
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Deixem-as reverberar
no coração e na vida de vocês.
08:33
Whatever it is,
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O que quer que seja,
08:35
wherever you are,
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onde quer que estejam,
08:36
whatever it takes,
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seja lá o que for preciso,
08:38
keep on moving.
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sigam em frente.
Obrigado.
08:39
Thank you.
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(Aplausos)
08:40
(Applause)
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(Vivas)
08:44
Thank you.
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Obrigado.
(Vivas)
08:45
(Applause)
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(Aplausos)
Translated by Maurício Kakuei Tanaka
Reviewed by Leonardo Silva

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ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Peter Ouko - Prison reform advocate
Pete Ouko champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in Africa.

Why you should listen

Twenty years ago, Peter Ouko walked into a police station in  Kenya seeking answers to the circumstances under which his wife had been found murdered and the body dumped next to the police station fence. Unbeknown to him, the hunter would soon find himself as the hunted, and in a journey through the then broken down judicial system, he found himself convicted and sent to the gallows for a crime he maintains he did not commit.

Instead of bitterness, Ouko decided to forgive his tormentors and make the best of his time in prison, becoming the first inmate to graduate with a University of London Diploma in Law while behind bars. He is currently in his final year as an LLB student in the same University.

In his dual role as an Ambassador of the African Prisons Project and Founder of the Youth Safety Awareness Initiative, Ouko today champions access to justice for inmates and the indolent in society while using social enterprise to advocate for a crime free world. His goal: to demystify justice and have a crime free world underpinned by the rule of the law.

More profile about the speaker
Peter Ouko | Speaker | TED.com