Monday, April 28, 2008

Violation of Human Rights

Dan Arnold
English 109
Human Rights Response

Dear Senator Bayh,

I am writing this letter in hopes to raise awareness of the tragedies that are currently taking place in the African country of Kenya. The social upheaval occurring there is a direct response to the presidential elections that were held approximately one month ago. In these elections future President elect, Mwai Kibaki won a much disputed vote to overtake the head of the government. After the votes were tallied and the results were released, Kenyan citizens immediately began to question their legitimacy and have since been displaying their frustrations with public protests and in some cases, rioting. In a country that has long been considered the most stable of all African nations, the possible demise of its once reliable democracy will have devastating effects world-wide.
The disputes currently taking place are already threatening to tear apart tribal and political lines that have taken nearly a decade to build and have been vital to Kenya’s stability in recent years. Early implications show that the public is refuting the elections because of past corruption and scandals linked to both Kibaki and several members of his cabinet. However, Kibaki’s troubled past is quickly becoming the least of Kenyan’s worries right now, as rogue political officials and police have amassed hundreds of documented cases of human rights violations against themselves since the election. Many of the cases in question directly link Kibaki’s officials to authorizing the murders and rapes of innocent civilians. Reports dating as far back as March of 2007 also link them to government ordered attacks on media studios and individual journalists in an effort to control the media and prevent reports of their scandals from reaching the public. Current figures linked to the political crisis place the death toll around 700 civilians with estimates that another 250,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and villages in response to the ethnic tensions that have been re-flared. Police brutality at many of the protests seems to only be strengthening the public’s cause and making for more distrust between the people and Kibaki.
I believe that it is our civil duty to come to the aid of these unfortunate civilians that have been caught up in a whirlwind of political violence and oppression. The government of Kenya is moving backwards and its officials are seemingly condoning the harassment of civil rights. Kenyan police not only seem to be disregarding their civil responsibilities to uphold the law and order in this time of crisis, but many times they are just multiplying the problems by exacting their own revenge and carrying out personal vendettas. I believe it is not only our right, but our duty to ensure the safety and well being of Kenyan citizens and the government that have fallen into this recent crisis. For years the Kenyan’s have set the example for other African nations to follow, and now in this time of need, we must rally to support liberty and justice for the suppressed citizens that are now fighting for their rights. I believe the first action taken should be to offer a peaceful coup d’├ętat, and if this fails then the United Nations needs to organize a military effort to remove Kibaki from office and allow the Kenyan citizens to organize another election. I appreciate your time, and can only hope that you will help in the efforts to find a peaceful resolution to this unfortunate situation.

Dan Arnold

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