Target: President Pierre Nkurunziza
Goal: Thank government of Burundi for releasing prominent human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa
The government of Burundi should be thanked for the release of prominent human rights activist, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, for medical reasons. Arrested in May 2014 for ‘endangering state security and using false documents,’ a medical commission was ordered by the government to assess his health.
Mr. Mbonimpa suffers from several cardiovascular ailments and takes eight different medications in an attempt to maintain his health. The findings of the commission are sure to please the members of the international community who were most vocal in calling for his release.
Mr. Mbonimpa is president of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons. When he was arrested he was giving an interview regarding allegations of young Burundians being trained to fight next door in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Burundian government should regard Mr. Mbonimpa as nothing more than an advocate for positive change. He represents the best of the country and should be allowed to advocate for a better Burundi in peace.
While Mr. Mbonimpa’s release is promising, his arrest is part of a broader crackdown on opposition leaders and human rights activists. Many other activists, journalists and politicians have been intimidated or jailed. Hopefully, this decision made by legal authorities in Burundi will pave the way for more prisoners of conscience to be released. Sign this petition to thank the government of Burundi for taking a positive step forward with the release of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa.
DearPresident Pierre Nkurunziza,
The recent release of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is a positive step forward for your country. Burundi has had a troubled history of detaining prisoners of conscience so I hope that this release signals a change in policy for the future. Mr. Mbonimpa and his peers will only help Burundi grow.
As you noticed, President Barack Obama and the European Parliament took particular interest in securing Mr. Mbonimpa’s release. Such negative attention for Burundi only hurts your society and your economy. I ask that your government do all that it can to ensure that Mr. Mbonimpa remains free so that he may receive the medical care that he desperately needs. I thank you again for making this decision.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: US CIA via Wikimedia Commons