Friday, September 6, 2013

A Response to the HRW's Letter to Zimbabwe

"Zimbabwe: A Human Rights Agenda for President Mugabe | Human Rights Watch." Human Rights Watch, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 06 Sept. 2013. <>.
Overshadowed by the events occurring in Syria and North Korea, the citizens of the south African country, Zimbabwe, have been subjected to dire human rights violations for the greater part of the past four decades.  Basic needs such as food and shelter are unavailable to much of the public; whenever human rights defenders try to make a public statement, they are brutally beaten on the streets by the local police force; and in a controversial election, President Mugabe has been re-elected to his authoritarian seat in government.  As a result of these serious abuses, the Human Rights Watch has written a letter detailing the actions that Mugabe should take regarding the welfare of his people.  The move by the Human Rights Watch seems bold since the government of Zimbabwe has actually accused the United States of similar abuse citing the Iraqi War, only illustrating the corruption found in their government. Because of the current situation of Zimbabwe, this plea will only fall on deaf ears, as the current government isn’t taking any responsibility for their citizens.  Although Obama has made a statement to take action in Zimbabwe as their actions “pose a continuing, unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States”, the American government has not done anything significant to stop the Mugabe regime with the exception of the sanctions imposed by Bush about a decade ago. Until the government undergoes new, more benevolent rule with the death of Mugabe or the some outside force such as the United Nations or the United States takes real action, the people of Zimbabwe will continue to suffer under the hands of their tyrannical government.  The most probable reason for the absence of intervention from other countries or international organizations would be the fact that Zimbabwe truly doesn’t pose a threat to the world. Unlike North Korea or Syria, Zimbabwe doesn’t possess any significant chemical or nuclear weapons so as a result, the only action really taken against the corrupt administration would be those that report the abuses such as the Human Rights Watch and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately, it seems like, for an extended period of time, Zimbabwe will continue to take a back seat with Syria and North Korea being the primary threats to the United States. This situation only exemplifies the ongoing struggle to accommodate the problems existing around the world since so many countries have become so dysfunctional due to governments like that of Zimbabwe.  Now the question for those living under the tyranny of Mugabe will be whether or not anyone will ever take action, from within or outside of the country, to restore the fundamental freedoms that every human should have and can the entire world rid itself of such corrupt ideals? One can only hope.

1 comment:

  1. As Obama said in his speech last night, we can't intervene in every human rights abuse in the world. But that leaves a very big question - how do we choose? Why don't we intervene in Zimbabwe? What do you think the reasons are?