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CMHR to showcase survivors' stories in struggle for freedom of speech

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Ali Saeed removed his shoe and sock to reveal a deep scar on the bottom of his foot.

A prison guard sliced Saeed's foot open while he was hanging upside down during a torture session more than 30 years ago.

It's just one of the visible and physical reminders that he has of the pain and suffering he endured in Ethiopia and Somalia in the late 1970s.

His crime? Promoting freedom of speech.

"It was a big wound. He cut my feet just to see the blood," Saeed said.

His story was one of 10 unveiled by the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Wednesday morning to give the media a taste of what's to come when it opens next month.

Also on hand was Sigi Wassermann, who was one of thousands of Jewish children whose parents sent them to Great Britain all alone to escape the Holocaust. He was seven years old when he got on the boat and he never saw his parents again.

If this small sample is indicative of what the full museum will hold, it will be powerful, emotional and overwhelming stuff.

The museum will welcome its first visitors on Sept. 20.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 1:30 PM CDT: Adds photo

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