The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 12-18

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to Books for Africa,. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, sorting, shipping, and distributing books to children and adults in Africa. With headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, and warehouses in St. Paul and Atlanta, Georgia, BFA’s mission is to end the book famine in Africa. Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 28 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. In 2012 BFA shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 brand new law libraries.

Books For Africa has received the top rating of 4 stars from Charity Navigator.org and meets all standards set by the Charities Review Council.Please choose your donation aim at this site.

A book opens a world to a child

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because conservation colonialism. Organizations such as WWF have committed crimes against people in Africa. It is well known that tribal people who have lived in the land for centuries are the most effective conservators. When local people are not allowed to hunt for food, but trophy hunters from abroad are welcomed and encouraged, it is obvious that something is basically wrong. Please stand up for the rights of tribal people.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for an end to child marriages.

Hear from a victim.

URGENT ACTION CASES

GUINEA

Urgent Action: Five Activists in Detention

Alseny Farinta Camara

Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were arrested on 14 November 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea, and charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering. They are all members of pro-democracy coalition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French). Two of the activists require medical attention.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Thousands in Need of Urgent Protection

2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) – groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman’s office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Rights Defender Facing Trumped-Up Charges

Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar activist, asks to draw attention to the fact that “repression and persecution on the grounds of national belonging or religious belief are taking place in the internationally recognized “Ukrainian” Crimea”

The trial of Server Mustafayev has started following his transfer to a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, southwest Russia. Server Mustafayev is a human rights defender from Russian-occupied Crimea who has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. He is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for his human rights activism, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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BELARUS

Urgent Action: Viktar Paulau at Risk of Imminent Execution

Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus
Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus

Viktar Paulau is at risk of imminent execution after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 12 November. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

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POLAND

Reinstate sacked union leaders at Castorama,

UNI Commerce calls upon trade unions and workers worldwide to urge Castorama to re-instate 10 trade union activists in Poland.
Castorama is a brand of Kingfisher PLC, a British multinational home improvement company which employs 12,000 workers in 80 stores in Poland. NSZZ Solidarnosc Commerce, an affiliate of UNI Commerce, launched an organizing campaign for Castorama workers.

Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 5-11

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist whose primary goal is to create a better way to deal with deadly hunger. For almost 40 years, this global humanitarian organization has been on the front lines treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries; serving more than 20 million people in 2017 alone. Action Against Hunger is the leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. The organization is committed to doubling the number of children who receive urgent hunger care, from three million to six million by 2020. Of every dollar donated, 93 cents go directly to saving lives today and preventing hunger tomorrow.

Please donate to this worthy cause. They are rated highly by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsiders .

The only international law that can secure tribal peoples’ land rights is the International Labour Organization Convention 169. ILO 169 recognizes and protects tribal peoples’ land ownership rights, and sets a series of minimum UN standards regarding consultation and consent.

ILO 169 has been around since 1989, but only twenty-two countries have ratified it so far. At this rate, it will be another 170 years before every country has ratified the Convention. Every country that does so, strengthens its force, and gives tribal peoples a greater chance to survive and thrive.

Please call upon your government to ratify ILO 169.

What does ILO 169 say?

It protects tribal peoples’ right to:

  • Own the land they live on and use
  • Make decisions about projects that affect them
  • Equality and freedom

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for the end of slavery on tea plantations. Please link to the Slavery in Focus page of the Guardian and post it to your social media in the hope that it will go viral and shame some people and corporations.

Twinings has joined Yorkshire Tea and published a full list of their suppliers from Assam, just two months after Traidcraft Exchange launched their campaign. Together, Twinings and Yorkshire make up nearly one-third of the UK tea market so these are significant steps forward.

URGENT ACTION CASES

We call on all our readers to sign up for the Annual Write for Rights of Amnesty International..

SAUDI ARABIA

Urgent Action Victory! Disappeared Qatari Father and Son Released

On 1 November 2019, the Saudi authorities released two Qatari citizens, Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (70) and his son Abdulhadi Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (17), who then returned home to Doha. On 18 August 2019, their family lost all contact with them as they travelled through Saudi Arabia to visit relatives. Amnesty International was concerned that they may have been forcibly disappeared and urged King Salman to reveal the whereabouts of the father and his son and immediately release them unless they were promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 1 November 2019, the Saudi authorities released two Qatari citizens, Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (70) and his son Abdulhadi Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (17) after arbitrarily detaining them. They both returned safe and sound to their family house in Doha and are both in good health. A relative told Amnesty International that they had been “detained without charge, but due to public pressure, they were released.” Amnesty International had good reason to believe that the two Qatari citizens were detained by the Presidency of State Security.

Ali Jarallah and Abdulhadi Jarallah had disappeared for more than two months and were unable to contact their family. They entered Saudi Arabia on 15 August 2019, on valid family visas on their way to visit Ali Jarallah’s brother in Dammam, in the Eastern Province. They were in contact with their family in Qatar until 18 August, when they were nearing the city of al-Hofuf in the Eastern Province.

Ali Jarallah is diabetic and suffers from heart and kidney problems as well as high blood pressure. He is on regular medication and must attend his regular doctor’s appointments in Doha.

Amnesty International called on King Salman to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Ali Jarallah and his son Abdulhadi Jarallah; to disclose the reason for their detention and release them unless promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence, in accordance with the principles of due process recognized by international law.

UKRAINE

Urgent Action Victory! Police Protect Transgender Rights March

On 23 November, adequate police protection enabled up to one hundred transgender rights activists in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to hold the 2019 Trans March and mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. The police successfully prevented attempts by groups openly advocating hatred and discrimination to disrupt the event.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

Transgender rights activists were able to hold a march on 23 November in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. Police officers successfully protected the event, known as Trans March, allowing up to one hundred activists to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The successful protection of the Trans March comes in striking contrast with the similar event in 2018, when police failed to protect participants, did not take action against members of violent groups who attacked the march, and instead forced transgender rights activists into a nearby metro station effectively terminating their peaceful assembly.

This year the Trans March began at Mykhailivska square in central Kyiv with a minute of silence and followed with speeches by transgender rights activists. The participants of the Trans March were protected by a police cordon from members of groups openly advocating hatred and discrimination, assembled nearby. The police successfully curbed at least one real attempt to breach the cordon.

Twenty minutes after the beginning of the gathering, transgender rights activists proceeded to march through the central streets of Kyiv. The marchers’ column was protected by dozens of police officers. There were also dozens of police officers patrolling nearby streets and areas from which the marchers could be potentially attacked, including on their way back from the event. The march ended at Poshtova square and all participants were able to safely leave the area using a nearby metro station.

Organizers of the Trans March have thanked everyone in Ukraine and internationally whose support has contributed to this positive outcome.

ETHIOPIA

Urgent Action Victory! University Lecturer Released

University lecturer Firew Bekele was released on 19 November, after spending three months in detention for his alleged role in writing and publishing a book “the Hijacked Revolution”. He was a prisoner of conscience and should have never been persecuted.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

Firew Bekele, a marketing lecturer at Rift Valley University, was released on 19 November. He was arrested on 17 August and charged under Ethiopia’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP).

For the last decade, the ATP has been constantly used to suppress any form of dissent. Firew Bekele was accused of writing a book that criticizes Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Firew Bekele denied having written the book. The head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, visited Firew Bekele in prison and called for his immediate release following the publication of Amnesty International’s Urgent Action on 20 September.

SLOVAKIA

Urgent Action: Abortion Rights at Risk in Slovakia

Slovak MPs are debating a bill that aims to further restrict access to abortion. If passed, it would require women seeking abortion care to fulfil a number of mandatory requirements that are not justified by medical reasons and would undermine women’s privacy, personal integrity, autonomy in decision-making about health care and will subject them to harmful stigma, humiliation and degrading treatment. The Slovak Parliament must urgently reject this bill.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

Urgent Action: Free Author Ahmet Altan

On 12 November, renowned Turkish author and former newspaper editor Ahmet Altan was detained after a court overturned the decision taken on 4 November to release him from over three years in detention. Ahmet Altan is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

NIGERIA

Omoyele Sowore

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defenders Must Be Released

Nigerian authorities have continued to detain human rights defenders Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare at the Department of State Services in Abuja, and Agba Jalingo in Calabar prison, southern Nigeria, since their arrests in August. They are facing trumped-up charges of treason because they demanded government accountability. The maximum penalty for the offense of treason is the death penalty. They must be released immediately and unconditionally.

TAKE ACTION

SOUTH KOREA

Protecting safe rates for truck drivers
In partnership with the International Transport Workers Federation and the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU).

In South Korea, 1,000 people die annually due to truck crashes because big corporations like Samsung and Hyundai force low rates onto truck drivers forcing them to work long hours, overload their vehicles and speed, putting all road users at risk. Korean truck drivers work over twice the annual average for OECD countries, but as ‘owner drivers’ they are entirely unprotected by labour law. Please join the protest.

Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 28-December 4

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to the Center for Biological Diversity. This is is a nonprofit membership organization known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media and grassroots activism. Its mission statement:

“At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

Mexican Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis lucida, Robin Silver

We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive. “

Please donate to this worthy cause.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is hostility of governments such as Brazil. Please heed the tribal voice.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for an end to forced marriages..

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Victory! Execution Halted for Man with Innocence Claims

On 15 November, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Rodney Reed and ordered the original trial court to consider new evidence in his case. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles also supported delaying the execution and recommended that the Governor grant a 120-day reprieve. Rodney Reed has been on death row since 1998.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

In 1998 Rodney Reed was convicted and sentenced to death in Texas for the murder of Stacey Stites on 23 April 1996. DNA testing of semen from her body was matched to the DNA of Rodney Reed. The victim was engaged to a white police officer and Rodney Reed initially denied knowing her, fearing being implicated in her murder. Several witnesses have since confirmed their relationship.

Expert opinion and other evidence call into question the state’s theory of the crime and the forensic evidence on which it was based. The prosecution claimed Rodney Reed’s DNA was left during a rape contemporaneous with the murder, occurring around 3am that day. The prosecution’s forensic expert has since signed a statement indicating that his testimony was misused by the prosecution; that his estimate “should not have been used at trial as an accurate statement of when Ms Stites died”; and that the semen could have been left more than 24 hours before the victim’s death, consistent with Reed’s claim of consensual sex in that time frame. Three leading forensic pathologists have also concluded that there is no evidence that Stacey Stites was sexually assaulted rather than having engaged in consensual intercourse at least 24 hours earlier and was killed before midnight on 22 April 1996, and her body kept face down for some four to six hours before being transported to where it was found. One expert concluded that the forensic evidence renders the state’s theory about time of death “medically and scientifically impossible”. Another concluded “beyond a reasonable degree of medical certainty that, based on all of the forensic evidence, Mr. Reed is scheduled to be executed for a crime he did not commit”. A 2015 execution date was stayed based on newly discovered evidence. However, Texas courts have repeatedly denied requests for DNA testing of that crime scene evidence and reset his execution for 20 November 2019.

On 15 November, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the scheduled execution and ordered the court where he was originally tried to consider the new evidence. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles supported delaying the execution and recommended that Governor Greg Abbott grant a 120-day reprieve for Rodney Reed.

Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception – regardless of who is accused, the nature or circumstances of the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution.

MOROCCO

Urgent Action Victory! Hajar Raissouni Released

On 16 October 2019, following a royal pardon, Hajar Raissouni, her fiancé, and the doctor were released from prison after being sentenced to one year in prison for trumped-up charges of abortion and extra-marital sex. On 30 September 2019 Hajar and the other defendants had been arbitrarily imprisoned in what was likely a politically motivated attack on Hajar for her journalistic work at newspaper Akhbar al-yaoum, in blatant violation of the rights to freedom of expression and private life.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 16 October 2019 Hajar Raissouni, her fiancé and doctor were released from prison following the Royal Pardon granted by the king of Morocco. Their convictions have not been quashed and abortion remains illegal under Moroccan law except in special circumstances.

Hajar, her fiancé, their doctor and two other medical professionals were arrested on 31 August 2019 as they left a doctor’s clinic in the Moroccan capital, Rabat. Hajar, her husband and their doctor were sentenced to one year in prison on 30 September after being convicted for unlawful abortion and sex outside of marriage. Hajar’s lawyer Saad Sahli said that there was no evidence for abortion in the medical report.

Hajar wrote that while in custody, she was interrogated about her political writings and was asked about one of her colleagues at Akhbar al-Yaoum and her uncle Ahmed Raissouni, the ex-president of one of the largest Islamic movements in Morocco. This raised concerns that Hajar’s arrest was politically motivated and related to her journalistic work. Hajar Raissouni had written about the Hirak El-Rif protest movement and had also published articles critical of Moroccan authorities.

Hajar’s case garnered the support of several human rights organisations in Morocco and abroad. The response of the international community to Amnesty International’s Urgent Action helped release Hajar, and sparked a conversation around women’s rights and freedom of expression in Morocco.

Hajar’s case was a stark reminder of Morocco’s laws which deny women the right to autonomy over their bodies through the criminalisation of abortion and extra-marital sex. These laws have not been changed in Morocco and so arrests may continue on these grounds.

Hajar’s case also highlighted the continued crackdown on freedom of expression of journalists and human rights defenders in Morocco. Moroccan authorities should take steps to ensure the protection of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. They should also decriminalise abortion and repeal all laws that discriminate against women.

MALDIVES

Urgent Action: NGO Shut Down, Staff at Risk of Attack

The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) was permanently shut down by the authorities on 5 November 2019 in response to their 2015 report “Preliminary Assessment of Radicalization in the Maldives” which allegedly contained “content slandering Islam and the Prophet Mohamed (PBUH)”. Subject to a social media smear campaign by religious hardliners, staff and members of MDN have faced alarming threats of violence, rape and even death against them. The Maldivian Government must uphold its obligations under international human rights law and ensure that human rights defenders, activists and civil society organizations are able to freely carry out their activities without the threats of violence, prosecution and repression.

TAKE ACTION

Myanmar

Urgent Action Update: Release Jailed Filmmaker in Myanmar

Filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi walks out of the courtroom at Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Myat Thu Kyaw NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

Filmmaker Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi has been convicted under 505(a) of Myanmar’s Penal Code and sentenced to one year in prison for a series of Facebook posts critical of the Myanmar military. The appeal against his conviction was rejected, and he faces up to two additional years in prison as another complaint against him remains pending. He is a prisoner of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

Urgent Action Update: Further Prison Sentences for “Peacock Generation”

Six members of the Peacock Generation, a satirical poetry troupe in Myanmar, have been sentenced to one year in prison for a performance criticizing the military. A seventh group member was acquitted of the charge and released. Five of this group of seven are already serving prison sentences for a similar, separate performance. All seven members are facing further charges – and possible prison sentences – for their peaceful activities, including for livestreaming their performances. The six detainees are prisoners of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

MEXICO

Urgent Action: Defender’s Body Found After 40 Days Missing

Authorities found the body of Arnulfo Cerón Soriano, indigenous human rights defender, on 20 November in a clandestine grave near the city of Tlapa, Guerrero state in western Mexico. Arnulfo was a member of the Popular Mountain Front and Movement for the Freedom of Political Prisoners of the State of Guerrero (MOLPEG). He disappeared on 11 October on his way to a meeting in this city. Authorities must redouble their efforts to investigate his disappearance and death, holding those responsible to account, and ensure safety of Arnulfo´s family and organizations that support him.


TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 21-27

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to Population Action International aka PAI. It is an independent policy advocacy group working to strengthen political and financial support worldwide for population programs grounded in individual rights. Founded in 1965, PAI works to ensure that every person has the right and access to sexual and reproductive health, so that humanity and the natural environment can exist in balance and fewer people live in poverty. Serving as a bridge between the academic and policymaking communities, PAI disseminates strategic, action-oriented research publications; participates in and sponsors conferences, meetings and seminars; and works to educate and inform policymakers and international colleagues in related fields. It has an excellent rating by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

We would like to share with you The extraordinary story of how the Bushmen of the Kalahari took their government to court and won.

From the Kalahari to Court from Survival International on Vimeo.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice call for an end to human trafficking.

URGENT ACTION CASES

TURKMENISTAN

Urgent Action Update: Kasymberdi Garaev Returned Home

Kasymberdi Garaev was summoned by police and went missing on 24 October after the publication of an online article in which he was cited describing the problems he faced as a gay man in Turkmenistan. On the evening of 6 November, he contacted Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to say he had been able to return home.

We have received updated information regarding this case and require no further action from the Urgent Action Network. Thank you to all those who sent appeals. For more information about this case, please see the Word/PDF attachments below or email uan@aiusa.org.

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Charges Against Activists Must Be Dropped

Yana Antonova, a human rights defender from Krasnodar

The trial against Yana Antonova, a human rights defender from Krasnodar, southern Russia, started on 7 November. She has been targeted for her peaceful activism and charged under the “undesirable organizations” legislation. If convicted, she will face up to six years in prison.

TAKE ACTION

BURUNDI

Urgent Action: Journalists Detained for Doing their Job

Four Iwacu journalists and their driver were arbitrarily arrested on 22 October in north-western Burundi, as they arrived to investigate reports of clashes between the security forces and an armed group in Bubanza province. Charged with undermining state security, the five remain in prison after the Council Chamber of the Bubanza Tribunal decided to keep them in detention on 31 October. They have appealed this decision.

TAKE ACTION

MYANMAR

Urgent Action: Jailed Satire Performers Face More Charges

Punished for their performance criticizing the military.

Five members of the Peacock Generation, a Thangyat or a satirical poetry troupe, have been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment, after being detained for over six months, for their performance criticizing the military. They are facing further charges in different townships where they have also performed, including for live streaming their performances. If found guilty of all charges, they face up to eight additional years in prison.

TAKE ACTION

PHILIPPINES:

Anti-union repression against teacher union

The Education International (EI) invites workers worldwide to condemn the intensification of the harassment and repression against its affiliate, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), in the Philippines.

One ACT provincial coordinator was arrested in a new crackdown against unions and civil society organizations in the country. The repression operations are ongoing and ACT fears that more of their members could be targeted. The union had to temporarily close an office to ensure the security of its staff, members and officers

Please join the protest.

Two teachers were shot in their classroom in the presence of their pupils.

Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 14-20

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender


HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we ask for support for Human Rights Watch, a major monitor of human rights violations around the world. Please read their site and donate to support them.

Europe Poll Supports Killer Robots Ban

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsiders such as the threat of extinction of tribal people in the rainforests of Brazil.

Protect these people from genocide

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for a boycott of slave-made goods.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender Imprisoned and Ill-Treated



Human rights defender Server Mustafayev from Russian-occupied Crimea has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. On 12 September he was transferred from Crimea to southwest Russia. He is awaiting further transfer from Krasnodar to Rostov-on-Don where he will face military court. His detention in a shared four-square meter cell, with appalling sanitation, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment. He has been targeted solely for his human rights activism.

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TURKMENISTAN

Urgent Action: Gay Man Summoned by Police and Disappeared

Kasymberdi Garaev, a 24-year-old doctor, came out as gay in an online article published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Turkmen Service on 21 October. He spoke of his despair as same sex relations between men are a crime in Turkmenistan. He was summoned to a police station on 24 October and has not been heard of since. Meanwhile, the authorities have started a campaign to identify supposed LGBTI people.

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MOZAMBIQUE:

Urgent Action Update: Refugees and Asylum Seekers Must Be Released

Sixteen refugees and asylum seekers, fourteen men and one woman from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one man from Ethiopia, have been arbitrarily detained in Pemba, northeast Mozambique, for more than ten months in appalling conditions. They still have not been notified of the reason for their detention or of any criminal charges against them and are being continuously harassed to sign repatriation requests.
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KAZAKHSTAN

Trade unionist Erlan Baltabay imprisoned – again!

In July this year, Erlan Baltabay, a leader of the Independent Oil and Energy Workers’ Union in Kazakhstan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on politically motivated charges. A huge international union mobilization followed, including a LabourStart campaign signed by thousands calling for his release. He was released from prison in August after being pardoned by the President and was able to return home to his family.

He has now been imprisoned again. Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 7-13

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER


This week we call your attention to Doctors Without Borders. Médecins Sans Frontières is a private, international association. The association is made up mainly of doctors and health sector workers and is also open to all other professions which might help in achieving its aims. Their statement of principles:

All of its members agree to honor the following principles:

Médecins Sans Frontières provides assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. They do so irrespective of race, religion, creed or political convictions.

Médecins Sans Frontières observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and claims full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions.

Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and maintain complete independence from all political, economic or religious powers.

As volunteers, members understand the risks and dangers of the missions they carry out and make no claim for themselves or their assigns for any form of compensation other than that which the association might be able to afford them.

Please donate to this worthy cause.



INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsiders such as the threat if extinction of Kawahiva in the rainforests of Brazil.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the importing of palm oil linked to forced labor and environmental destruction.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

STOP EXECUTION OF RODNEY REED

The State of Texas wants to execute an innocent man on November 20, 2019. Rodney Reed was wrongfully convicted in 1998 of the rape and murder of Stacey Stites. He has sat on Texas’ Death Row for 2 decades.

Despite mounting evidence of his innocence, the State has repeatedly denied a new trial, refused to allow existing evidence into court, and even refused to review new evidence. Please sign the petition to halt the execution of Rodney Reed.

LIBYA

Urgent Action: No Contact With Abducted Politician for Months

On 17 July 2019, Libyan parliamentarian and prominent women’s rights defender Siham Sergiwa was brutally abducted from her home in Benghazi by armed gunmen, after publicly criticizing the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army’s military campaign to seize Tripoli. No contact has been made with her since her abduction more than three months ago, raising grave fears that she is at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

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USA

Urgent Action Update: Drop Charges Against Human Rights Defenders

On 17 January 2018, US Border Patrol agents arrested Dr. Scott Warren, a Human Rights Defender and humanitarian aid volunteer. The US Department of Justice prosecuted him on two counts of felony “harboring” and one count of felony “conspiracy” for his humanitarian aid activities in the USA–Mexico border areas. In June 2019, his case resulted in a mistrial. On 2 July 2019, US federal prosecutors decided to retry Dr. Warren on the two “harboring” charges. His retrial begins on 12 November 2019. He faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted on both charges. Authorities should immediately drop all criminal charges against Dr. Warren for his vital humanitarian work.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender at Risk

On 2 October, neighbors informed Luz Marina Arteaga, a defender for the rights of rural communities in the Meta department, in central Colombia, that her house is under continuous surveillance by unknown men. Luz Marina was forced to leave her home 7 months ago due to a death threat received from the “Rastrojo” paramilitary group. On 20 April 2019, she requested protection from the National Protection Unit (UNP) but is yet to receive it. She would like to return home but fears for her life due to the recent events. We urge the UNP to grant protection measures to Luz Marina and ensure her safety if she returns home.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, October 31-November 4

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to Charity Navigator that helps us donate intelligently and effectively. Charity Navigator is supported by individual donations,which is essential for preservation of their independence and integrity. Please send them a donation.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsides, such as the eviction of the Bushmen in Botswana because of the discovery diamonds in their reserve.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the importing of palm oil linked to forced labor and environmental destruction.

URGENT ACTION CASES

TUNISIA


Urgent Action Victory! Tunisian Activist Acquitted of All Charges

On 19 September 2019, a court in Tunis acquitted 18-year-old activist Maissa al-Oueslati of all charges after facing trumped-up charges that could have resulted in her imprisonment for up to 4 years. On 4 September 2019, the police arbitrarily detained Maissa al-Oueslati and her 16-year-old brother, for filming a protester threatening to set himself on fire in front of a police station. They were interrogated without a lawyer, in a blatant violation of Tunisian law and international human rights law.
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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 19 September 2019, a court in Tunis acquitted 18-year-old activist Maissa al-Oueslati of all charges after facing trumped-up charges that could have resulted in her imprisoned for up to 4 years. Her brother who is facing similar charges of “insulting a public official” and “refusing to comply to orders” will appear in court on October 30 2019 for a separate hearing. During her hearing, a team of five human rights lawyers made the case for the arbitrary nature of her detention and the several procedural breaches made throughout the process including interrogating her without the presence of a lawyer.

Maissa and her 16-year-old brother were both arbitrarily detained on 4 September 2019. A police officer snatched Maissa’s phone and twisted her arm while she was filming his colleagues beat up a protester who had threatened to set himself on fire. Her younger brother rushed towards her and begged the officer to let her go. The police officer pushed the teenage boy on the ground and proceeded to handcuff Maissa al-Oueslati and her brother. In the police station in Jbal El Jloud, police officers interrogated the two siblings without the presence of a lawyer or a parent, as required by Tunisian law for minors. Later that night, Maissa al-Oueslati and her brother were transferred to Bouchoucha detention centre in another part of Tunis where they spent the night.

Maissa’s case received the support of several human rights organizations in Tunisia and abroad. Her case was a strong reminder of the continuity of impunity for police forces in the country. To date, no investigation has been opened to hold the police officers suspected to be responsible for the abuses to account. Following this successful result, Maissa spoke to Amnesty International: “all my respect and love for standing by me”. “I never imagined I would get this much support” She was overwhelmed with the amount of support she had received from activists, many of whom are Amnesty International’s members who showed up at the court the day of the hearing and held signs with supporting messages outside the courthouse. She admits never having imagined to be arrested, but this incident made her determined to continue to carry out her activism for positive change in Tunisia.

BOLIVIA

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fprofile_images%2F734023347424526336%2FNZBueMwh.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Urgent Action: Researchers Who Denounced Electoral Fraud at Risk

On 24 October, Edgar Villegas, systems engineer and analyst, denounced irregularities in Bolivia’s general elections of 20 October on public TV. His study done with other academics pointed to large discrepancies between the preliminary count and the final electoral results that gave victory to incumbent president Evo Morales. Following the TV interview Villegas, his family, and Mónica Ximena Galarza, the journalist who interviewed him, were intimidated. These incidents happened in a wider context of repression by the authorities in response to social protests following the election results.

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UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender and Blogger Detained

Uzbekistani blogger and human rights defender Nafosat Olloshkurova was violently detained on 23 September while monitoring and filming police handling of a peaceful protest. She was sentenced to 10 days in administrative detention and on 26 September she was placed in psychiatric detention. There are serious concerns for her well being.

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ZIMBABWE

Urgent Action: Medical Doctor Found Alive But Tortured

On 19 September 2019, Dr Peter Magombeyi, a medical doctor, was found alive and disoriented, dumped about 33 km out of Harare in a placed called Nyabira. Dr Magombeyi was abducted on the night of 14 September 2019. He said he was held in a basement where he was tortured. There are fears that he was injected with an unknown substance by his abductors. The government accused him of faking the abduction and tried to prevent him from seeking medical treatment outside the country. Fears are that he may be arrested and charged for “faking an abduction” upon his return.

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CHILE

Urgent Action: Repression Against Demonstrators

Since 18 October, thousands took the streets in Chile in response to a metro fare hike in its capital city. The demonstrations broadened to reflect people’s anger over living costs and inequality. The President decreed a state of emergency, enabling the army to police demonstrations and impose a curfew. Initial accounts report several deaths, massive detentions, and scores of people tortured or ill-treated. We call on the president to address the demands behind the protests and respect the right to peaceful assembly and expression.

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NICARAGUA

Urgent Action Update: Over 130 People Remain in Detention

After one year and a half since the beginning of the crisis in Nicaragua, at least 130 people continue detained, among them is Maria Guadalupe Ruiz Briceño (22), a student imprisoned after she participated in a July 2019 protest. We urge the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately release and drop all charges of those detained solely on the grounds of their exercise of the right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

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