Wednesday, May 9, 2012

USA: Appeal to William Penn University Board of Trustees

OPEN LETTER TO WILLIAM PENN UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES.

Washington
 DC, May 9, 2012.
The Board of Trustees
William Penn University
201 Trueblood Avenue
Oskaloosa, Iowa 52577


Re: President Paul Kagame’s invitation to speak at William Penn University 2012 Commencement. 

Dear members of William Penn University Board of Trustees:

On April 27, 2012, we, the undersigned organizations, wrote a letter to William Penn University top administration officials requesting that the invitation tendered to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda who is scheduled to address the William Penn University graduating class of 2012 and to receive a Doctoral Honoris Causa degree in Humane Letters on May 12, 2012, be rescinded, but our request seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

The rationale for our request is that an institution like William Penn University which was founded by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) on the moral principles of philanthropy and social justice should not invite without properly vetting an undeserving guest like President Paul Kagame to address its graduating class and worse yet to be awarded a Doctoral Honoris Causa degree in Humane letters when his record shows that he is a human right abuser. We know that along with us, many other concerned Americans and non-Americans alike called in and wrote letters to William Penn University requesting the same thing for the same reasons.

As the administrative body of William Penn University responsible for the election of the President and for establishing policies for the governance of the university it behooves on you, members of the board of Trustees, to demand that Vice-President Steve Noah who unfortunately prides himself of such a reprehensible commencement project, recognizes his mistake and rescinds this invitation before it is too late. As you may know, “erring is human and only persevering in error is reprehensible”.  Such a common wisdom about erring is especially true in this case when so many honorable members of the William Penn University community will be negatively impacted by this error tied into a still correctible action.

For your short glimpse on what your eminent graduation candidate and speaker President Paul Kagame is currently being accused of, please consider the following mind-boggling list of his misdeeds:

  • Harasses, fabricates charges against, kidnaps, imprisons and kills his political opponents in Rwanda (3, 16).

  • Represses freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of press (3, 19).

  • Organizes the killings of his opponents in exile (20).

  • Tortures his prisoners (1, 2).

  • Embezzles the country’s money in broad daylight but claims zero tolerance for corruption (17).

  • Has modified all government institutions to function under his exclusive control (15).

  • Keeps eastern Congo in a permanent state of insecurity to illegally exploit its precious minerals (8, 9, 10, and 11).

  • Is believed to have triggered the 1994 Rwandan genocide, by shooting down former Rwandan president’s aircraft (6, 7).

  • Has committed mass murdering comparable to genocide in Rwanda (12) and in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (13, 14).

  • Practices ethnic segregation and ethnic alienation while preaching reconciliation (18).

Honorable members of William Penn University Board of Trustees, the ball is in your court to make it right because a University that rewards mediocrity is a University that has failed its educational mission.

Respectfully,

Theophile Murayi, FDU-Inkingi USA: 443-980-4676
Providence Rubingisa, RNC-Ihuriro USA: 630-401-4719
Celestin Muhindura, IDD- USA: 682-203-7948



CC:
Mr. Steven Noah, Vice President for Advancement
Ryan Bhattacharyya, President, WPU Alumni Association
Amber Lake, William Penn University, Marketing Media Director
Members of William Penn University Board of Trustees, all

References:
  1. RWANDA: BRIEFING TO THE UN COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE, MAY 2012 
  1. Rwanda: Amnesty International report-Imprisonment, and torture 
  1. Human Rights in Rwanda 
  1. Rwanda/HRW-Alison Des Forges is prohibited from entering Rwanda 
  1. Spanish Court indictment 
  1. French Court indictment
  1. Who killed Habyalimana Former rpf general secretary and chief of staff says
  1. 2001 Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the DRC.
  1. 2002 Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the DRC.
  1. 2003 Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in DRC.
  1. 2008 Illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth in the DRC.
  1. The Gersony Report to the UNHCR, December 03, 2007
  1. The UN Report by Roberto Garreton
  1. UN Mapping Report on Human Rights Abuse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1993 – 2003
  1. US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.  2009 Human Rights Report: Rwanda.  2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Report March 11, 2010.
  1. Rwanda: A flawed hero….he allows less political space and press freedom at home than Robert Mugabe does in Zimbabwe
  1. Kagame's Regime Corruption Chocked Chevron & Shocked U.S. Officials
  1. ETHNICITY IN RWANDA -- WHO GOVERNS THE COUNTRY? 
  1. Human rights WatchPersecution of government critics can reach beyond Rwandan border.
  1. Rwanda: The Sinister Offensive of a Regime in Decline.

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