Monday, March 27, 2006

Your Voice Is Needed

In my last blog I told you about Global Importune and how you can help alleviate injustice through Global Importune's letter writing campaigns by spending just 5 minutes a month.

Here's two more examples of what Mark does. These are letters from this month. They may help you realize how important your signature can be. Just put yourself in the shoes of these women.

Muhammad Nakhira Al-Dhahiri
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 753
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Dear Minister:

I am writing to express my concern over the fact that a female domestic worker has reportedly been sentenced to 150 lashes by a Shari'a court in the Emirate of Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah for becoming pregnant outside marriage.

According to a local newspaper of October 5, 2005, the woman was ordered to take a pregnancy test after her sponsor (which means either her employer or her employment agency) reported to the police that she was pregnant. Afer the test confirmed that she was pregnant, the public prosecutor referred the case to the Shari'a court.

I welcome the UAE's October 2004 accession to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Please remember that the Convention obliges you to uphold the right not to be subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

I urge the UAE judicial authorities to implement a moratorium on the use of flogging, which is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, with a view to its eventual abolition.

I thank you for your attention to this matter and anxiously await your reply.


The second letter:

Joseph Kabila, President de la Republique
c/o Mrs. Louise Nzanga Ramazani
Minister-Counselor & Charge d'Affaires
Embassy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
18 Range Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 8J3

Your Excellency:

I wish to bring to your attention a very troubling matter. Kavira Muraulu, a farmer in her fifies, was raped on the night of May 16, 2003 by a soldier from the military camp in Mangangu, near the town of Beni in North-Kivu Province. When she complained of the attack to the soldier's military commander, he ordered the soldier to pay Ms. Muraulu three U.S. dollars in compensation, but took no action when the order was ignored. Kavira Muraulu then took her complaint to the local district governor, who issued reassurances, but made no arrangements to ensure her safety.

A while later the rapist and other soliders seized her in her fields, tied her up and beat her, knocking out a tooth. They only stopped when another woman threatened them with a gun. Kavira Muraulu was later taken back to the governor's office where he tried, but failed, to persuade her to retract her accusation. The soldiers then attacked her again, this time bayoneting her in the stomach. Fortunately, she survived these assaults, but authorities have failed to bring her attackers to justice.

I fear for the safety of women in your country. I urge you to bring justice to Kavira Muraulu and other rape victims by holding suspected perpetrators accountable to an appropriate, legally constituted judicial authority. I ask that you establish a systematic and comprehensive program of health and psychological care for survivors of sexual violence.

I thank you for your immediate attention to this extremely serious matter and anxiously await your reply.


Why are only 400 letters so effective? Because one letter actually printed out and mailed equals 100 e-mails or telephone calls.

So feel free to cut and paste either of these letters and mail them yourself or to Mark Konrad at Global Importune who will mail them with the others he has received.

To get on Mark's list and have him send you letters for signing (along with a postage paid return envelope) e-mail him at with "I want to join your mailing list" in the subject line.

Otherwise you can write to Mark or send your copies of these letters to him at:

Main Clubhouse
P.O.Box 610226
Port Huron, Michigan 48061
What doth the Lord require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy. Micah 6:8

Let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them Psalms 5:11


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