Target: Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete
Goal: Improve efforts to protect Tanzanian citizens with albinism
Tanzanian citizens with albinism are often murdered or mutilated in the African country. There are superstitions in the country linking albinism to witchcraft, which leads to these horrific attacks. Recently, the human rights chief for the United Nations publically condemned the Tanzanian government for not protecting their citizens from these attacks. Citizens with albinism should be better protected, and the government must work to protect them and change public perception of them.
Since 2000, there have been over 70 documented murders of people with albinism. Only 5 people have been convicted for the murders. In a 16-day period at the beginning of this year, there were four more documented murders. The victims included a 7 year old child and his grandfather. Superstition in the country holds that body parts of people with albinism provide special power to magical charms. It is therefore suspected that these unfortunate people are being murdered for the use of parts of their bodies. The Tanzanian government is aware of the murders and the superstition, yet does not protect them.
In 2009, a public awareness campaign was launched as an attempt to change public perception of people with albinism. However, the campaign failed, and there was no other protection offered to citizens. The government must increase their efforts to protect their citizens and prosecute their murderers. According to UN human rights chief Navi Pillay, “The Tanzanian authorities have the primary responsibility to protect people with albinism.”
Remind the Tanzanian government that all of their citizens are important, no matter their skin color, and must all be protected.
Dear President Kikwete:
Over the past decade, there have been over 70 people with albinism murdered in your country. Recently, UN human rights chief Niva Pillay publically condemned Tanzania for the treatment of people with albinism. These people face constant persecution and threat of murder simply because they were born albino. Despite the promise to protect citizens with albinism in 2009, your government has only convicted 5 people for the murders in the past decade. The crimes have not stopped.
I ask you to increase your efforts to protect people with albinism. No people should face this persecution on the basis of their skin color. The alarming rate of murders in your country and the lack of prosecutions is a clear sign that the government is not doing enough to protect its citizens. Make protecting citizens with albinism your number one priority and guarantee that they will no longer have to live in this fear.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: IFRC via Flickr