Lifesaver for ages 9 and up -- Zambia: Help a doctor get out of prison
Dr Kwalela Kafunya takes a selfie before his arrest last year. © Amnesty International
Zambia has been a peaceful African country for a long time. But recently, many Zambians have become unhappy with how the government wants to run the country. One problem, for example, is that world standards say that a country should have one doctor for every 5,000 people but Zambia has one for every 12,000.
The government does not like to be criticized. So any Zambian who criticizes the government can get into trouble. And that is what has happened to Dr Kwalela Kafunya.
Dr Kafunya has just turned 30. Last year, he was looking for a job as a doctor. He was invited to an interview at a hospital on May 8, 2017 but he never got there. On the way, police officers arrested him. Dr Kafunya has been held in a centre called Mongu Correctional Facility ever since.
The government did put him on trial but Amnesty International says it was not run fairly. For one thing, research should happen before the trial but in Dr Kafunya’s case, it was happening while the trial took place. More importantly, the government said Dr Kafunya did things like use a false Facebook account and say bad things about the president. But Amnesty International believes they were just making up those charges so they could put him in prison to silence him.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that no one has the right to imprison you without good reason (Article 9). The Declaration also says that everyone has the right to say what they think (Article 19). Dr Kwalela Kafunya has been separated from his wife and their toddler far too long. Please help him get out of prison. Your letter could be a lifesaver!
WHAT CAN I DO?
Please send a message to the president of Zambia by mail, Facebook or Twitter.
- Start your letter with Your Excellency.
- In your first sentence, tell him something about yourself.
- Then explain your concern about how Dr Kwalela Kafunya is in prison with no good reason.
- In your last sentence, ask him to free Dr Kafunya right away.
WHERE DO I SEND MY MESSAGE?
President Edgar Lungu
Plot 1, Lusaka
Facebook: Edgar Chagwa Lungu
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
You may send any kind of card, photo, letter or postcard to cheer Dr Kafunya. It is safe to mention Amnesty International if you wish. Mail your message with $2.50 postage to Amnesty’s office in southern Africa. They will deliver it to him.
Dr Kwalela Kafunya
97 Oxford Road
Saxonwold, Johannesburg 2196
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