The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Blog September 13-18

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

We are publishing a day early this week because of Yom Kippur

We wish our Jewish readers an easy fast and   חתימה טובה

 

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

Typhoon Mangkhut, a powerful storm 550 miles wide, has pummeled the Philippines, and the full scope of the damage is not yet known. Hurricane Florence has struck the east coast of the United States. The NYTimes provides a guide to helping the victims.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

 

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 lend your voice to the call to stop the exploitation of children in orphanages around the world. Unscrupulous individuals are profiting from the trafficking and abuse of children under their care in orphanages across the world. Traffickers, attracted by the funding orphanages receive from donations and organizations offering ‘voluntourism’ placements, effectively turn children into commodities by ensuring there is a constant supply of children who are used to attract funding.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIA

Mikhail Benyash. Photo: 'Golos Kubani', https://golos-kubani.ru/v-krasnodare-advokata-siloj-vygnali-s-suda-po-delam-zaderzhannyx-na-akcii-protiv-putina/

Urgent Action: Lawyer assaulted and arbitrarily detained in Russia

On 9 September, lawyer Mikhail Benyash was arrested, beaten and detained by police after meeting his client who had taken part in a peaceful protest in Krasnodar, a city in the south of Russia. A court convicted and sentenced Mikhail Benyash to 14 days in administrative detention on 11 September. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA

Image result for meliana case indonesia

Urgent Action: 18 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR MOSQUE NOISE COMPLAINT

Meliana, an ethnic Chinese Buddhist woman, has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in prison for complaining about the loudspeaker volume at a local mosque. Amnesty International considers her a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

MAURITANIA

Image result for Abdellahi el Housein Mesoud

URGENT ACTION: ANTI-SLAVERY ACTIVISTS ARBITRARILY ARRESTED

Two members of the anti-slavery organization Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA) were arbitrarily arrested on 7 August in Nouakchott, west Mauritania. Biram Dah Abeid, IRA president and candidate to the September parliamentarian elections, and Abdellahi el Housein Mesoud have been charged and denied access to legal representation.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Image result for Houshmand Alipour and Mohammad Ostadghader

Houshmand Alipour (left) and Mohammad Ostadghader are feared to face death penalty by the Iranian government.

URGENT ACTION: IRANIAN KURDS FORCED TO MAKE TV “CONFESSION”

Iranian Kurds Houshmand Alipour and Mohammad Ostadghader were arrested by security forces on 3 August and held incommunicado for weeks. They were shown on state television on 7 August making a forced “confession” incriminating themselves. They have had little access to their families and no access to lawyers of their choosing.

TAKE ACTION

 

Miriam Shlesinger August 30-September 5

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great 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 the Center for Biodiversity.

The Center for Biological Diversity works through science, law and creative media to secure a future for all species, great or small, hovering on the brink of extinction. Learn more about the Center for Biological Diversity. They have a high rating from Charity Watch.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is land theft. Colonialism is alive and kicking. Act

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 choose your campaign.

 

Demand dignity for domestic workers

URGENT ACTION CASES

VICTORY

TAJIKISTANI PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE RELEASED

On 22 August, independent journalist and prisoner of conscience Khai rullo (Kha y rullo) Mirsaidov received a non – custodial sentence and was released in the courtroom, after spending more than eight months behind bars. He had been detained and prosecuted following his allegations of government corruption

KAZAKHSTAN

PRISONER AT RISK OF LOSING EYESIGHT

Tungishbayev
Kazakhstani activist and blogger, Muratbek Tungishbayev risks losing sight in his left eye due to the penitentiary authorities’ failure to provide him with necessary medical care following surgery he had on his eye. He remains held in pre-trial detention in Almaty, on politically – motivated charges and requires urgent surgery immediately in order to save his sight. Amnesty International considers Muratbek Tungishbayev to be a prisoner of conscience.
TAKE ACTION

VIETNAM

vietnam_-_tran_thi_nga

URGENT ACTION: FEARS FOR PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE AFTER DEATH THREAT

Human rights defender Tran Thi Nga recently told her husband in a hurried phone call that she had been brutally beaten up and has received a death threats by an other inmate. After a previous call with her family, it appears that the attacks have been orchestrated by prison authorities to punish her. Detained for more than 18 months, Tran Thi Nga is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.
TAKE ACTION

UGANDA

bobi

URGENT ACTION OPPOSITION POLITICIAN DETAINED; SIGNS OF TORTURE

On 14 August, Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, a Ugandan singer turned politician was arrested and later charged with unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition on 16 August. While being arrested, he was physically assaulted with visible injuries and swelling on his face and body.
TAKE ACTION

NIGERIA

Image result for Samuel Ogundipe

URGENT ACTION NIGERIAN JOURNALIST DETAINED AND THREATENED

Journalist Samuel Ogundipe is being detained at the Special Anti – Robbery Squad (SARS) headquarters, Guzape district Abuja. He was brought to court without a lawyer present and has been charged with ‘ criminal trespass ’ and ‘ theft of police document ’ . He was arrested on 14 August after honoring an invitation by the SARS unit of the Nigerian police to report to their office as part of an investigation into a news article Premium Times, the online newspaper he works for, published.

TAKE ACTION

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

Protect children exposed to gruesome violence in DRC’s Kasai region

Image result for kasai children amnesty

As the violence in Kasai continues, children continue to suffer the most, being exposed to horrid violence.

Thousands of children have beeN either forcibly recruited or tricked into fighting in the armed conflict by armed groups such as the Kamuena Nsapu. A military campaign launched by the government against the Kamuena Nsapu insurgency has cost thousands of lives and has displaced more than a million people, some within the Kasai region and others crossing into Angola.

TAKE ACTION

 

Prometheus and Pandora XVII

Our featured image shows Mercury presenting Pandora to Prometheus by Richard Westmacott

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human
Rights Action site. Prometheus and Pandora hope that you will visit
there, take the actions and make the donations.

IN MEMORIAM

URI AVNERY September 10, 1923-August 20, 2018

uri1.6390646.2720870165

Uri Avnery in July, 2014. credit אורן זיו

Uri Avnery was an icon and a great man who provided us in the peace movement the leadership that we need. We shall miss him sorely and can only hope that someone will rise to take on the mantle and try to fill these huge shoes. He was the first to put forward the idea of two states, Israeli and Palestinian living in peace, side by side. From the early 1950s, long before any talk of a Palestinian state by Israel’s side became fashionable, even among the left, Avnery supported a two-state solution. On a deeper level, he was the first Israeli public figure, in a generation when the Palestinians were perceived as indistinguishable from the wider Arab nation, to call upon other Israelis to see the Palestinians as a distinct nation, living beside them. The highlights of his career are shown in this graphic.

4111119161

While Uri was a skilled politician and leader, he, and many in his circle, admitted he had some difficulties when it came to people skills. A friend once said:
“Avnery is disabled like Trumpeldor was. Trumpeldor lacked an arm;
Avnery lacks feeling.”  Uri wrote in his memoir: “There’s something wrong with my emotional relations with people. And the worst thing about it is, I don’t really care.”

We recall meeting him at a demonstration opposite the Defense Ministry that had been poorly scheduled and conflicted with a human rights demonstration before an embassy  by Amnesty International. When he was reproached for this, his response was “shut up and pick up a sign.” While he could be thorny at times, he earned respect by showing up in his late 80’s to demonstrate in hard conditions including blows and tear gas, such as at Bil’in, where he provided a physical example to followers who could easily have been his grandchildren. His devoted wife Rachel was by his side until her death in 2011. We were even  helped by Rachel with an onion when the tear gas became dense.

bilin_onion

Uri was one of the people, along with the late Baruch Kimmerling, who led the way in dissent from the Zionist party line (more or less the same for all the parties). He left a huge legacy of clear rational thinking about our future with the Palestinians, something sorely lacking in our present leadership.

Here are six must reads written by Avnery for Haaretz, plus an interview marking his 90th birthday. We note that President Rivlin, who is far on the political spectrum from Uri and his group, had praise for him.

Rivlin said on Monday that Uri Avnery was “the eternal opposition figure” whose fight for freedom of expression “paved the way of Israel as a young country.”

 “We had strong differences, but they paled in contrast to the aspiration to build a free and strong society here,” Rivlin said.

 Detailed obituaries can be found in Haaretz, in the Guardian , in Forward and in the NYTimes.

Aretha Franklin March 25, 1942 August 16, 2018

aretha_2675
Regarded as one of the greatest singers of all time, Aretha Franklin has died of advanced pancreatic cancer at age 76. Aretha Franklin was one of the most iconic voices in music history and a brilliant artist. Over the course of her decades-long career, she inspired countless musicians and fans, and created a legacy that paved the way for a long line of strong female artists.


Known as “the queen of soul”, Franklin sold more than 75 million records in her lifetime and won 18 Grammy awards. She had 77 entries in the US Billboard Hot 100 and 20 No 1 singles on the R&B chart. Her last album was A Brand New Me, released in November 2017, which paired archival vocal recordings for Atlantic Records with new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Her last original recording was Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics in 2014, which included her take on Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

“American history wells up when Aretha sings,” former US president Barack Obama said of her performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock’n’roll – the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.”
In the wake of her death, some of America’s most prominent figures have paid their respects. Barack and Michelle Obama put out a joint statement, reading, in part:

“Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine. Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.”
Franklin performed at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, singing My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. Her final live performance was at a gala event for Elton John’s AIDS foundation, in November 2017. John posted a tribute on Instagram, saying: “The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favorite pianists.”

JOHN MCCAIN August 29, 1936, August 25, 2018

Sen. John McCain has died from complications of aggressive brain cancer. He was just four days shy of his 82nd birthday.

gettyimages-822488446

A Navy officer for 22 years, a tortured prisoner of war in Hanoi for more than five, a congressman for six, a U.S. senator for 31, and the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, McCain became one of the nation’s most prominent politicians. While he had vociferous critics for some of his views and many of his votes, he gained wide respect on both sides of the Senate aisle.

Former president Obama posted a moving tribute to John McCain:

“John McCain and I were members of different generations, came from completely different backgrounds, and competed at the highest level of politics.   But we shared, for all our differences, a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched, and sacrificed.
 We saw our political battles, even, as a privilege, something noble, an opportunity to serve as stewards of those high ideals at home, and to advance them around the world. We saw this country as a place where anything is possible — and citizenship as our patriotic obligation to ensure it forever remains that way.”
 .
“Few of us have been tested the way John once was, or required to show the kind of courage that he did. But all of us can aspire to the courage to put the greater good above our own. At John’s best, he showed us what that means. And for that, we are all in his debt. Michelle and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Cindy and their family.”
The tweet by Trump, totally void of any real feeling is not worth quoting. John McCain left instructions that Trump should not speak at his funeral.

 

RANT ABOUT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The Israeli government is using its security service, Shin Bet, to harass leftists and Arabs and in general anyone who dares to criticize the government and the occupation, in particular the latter. This has been going on for a long time, but has become worse recently. The interrogation of Peter Beinart at the airport indicates that no one, no matter how highly placed and famous, is immune to the attack of the “opinion police.” The reasoning behind this systematic harassment of so-called leftists has been analyzed by Carlo Strenger writing in Haaretz. While the Netanyahu government strives to perpetuate the image of democratic Israel, in substance it is doing all in its power to destroy liberal democracy, which includes judicial oversight, press freedom and freedom of expression. Mordechai Kremnitzer also in Haaretz deals with the politicization of the Shin Bet which makes it play a role in delegitimization by the government of the opponents of the occupation.
Bradley Burston in Haaretz tells us flat out that the Israel we knew and loved has gone, destroyed by the actions of our antidemocratic government. Burston uses the Hebrew expression “sinat hinam”-gratuitous hatred, hatred without just cause, hatred which does nothing but take a place of conflict, despair, bigotry, violence, and make it worse. He gives several examples of which we quote one:
“… security services at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport’s departures area took aside and interrogated at length and with pronounced incredulity a prominent Jewish-American philanthropist who chairs Brandeis University’s Board of Trustees, is Orthodox, and has close family in the settlement city of Maaleh Adumim. The reason? His suitcase had been searched, and guards had found a pro- Palestinian pamphlet in his luggage, left over from coexistence meetings the philanthropist had attended between Jewish-American community leaders and Palestinians.”

Chemi Shalev in Haaretz makes it clear, the state of Israel is rotting away, falling into the hands of the likes of Ayelet Shaked and her colleagues in the illiberal government that cozies up to the likes of ethnocentric Hungary. As Shalev concludes “An Israel that stoops so low as to detain someone like Beinart, and implicitly threatens to brand him persona non-grata, is not my Israel. It is not the country I grew up in, and it is not a country that I would want my children to live in either.”
Prometheus and Pandora are waiting for the Israeli Jews who believe in the values of liberal democracy to stand up and struggle for the soul of the country we all love.

The erosion of democracy is not unique to Israel. We see it happening all over the world where populist demagogues  lead people to follow them blindly and cheerfully give up their rights and freedoms. Marcus Tullius Cicero is said to have reacted to the takeover of Rome and the subversion of the republic by Julius Caesar  with the comment–“blame not Caesar, blame the mindless people who dance for him in the streets as he deprives them of their freedoms”. More recently, Paul Krugman, writing in the NYTimes, explains how vulnerable US democracy is to the same demise that has happened in Eastern Europe and it is not because of economic stress.  He puts it bluntly-“The point is that we’re suffering from the same disease — white nationalism run wild — that has already effectively killed democracy in some other Western nations. And we’re very, very close to the point of no return.” The threat by Trump of violence if the Republicans lose in the forthcoming midterm elections cannot be dismissed. In Israel, blind hatred of Arabs and racism towards African refugees play the same role.

RANT ABOUT GENOCIDE IN MYANMAR

A UN report has said top military figures in Myanmar must be investigated for genocide in Rakhine state and crimes against humanity in other areas.

The report, based on hundreds of interviews, is the strongest condemnation from the UN so far of violence against Rohingya Muslims. It says the army’s tactics are “grossly disproportionate to actual security threats”. Myanmar rejected the report.

At least 700,000 Rohingya have fled violence in the country in the past 12 months. Prometheus and Pandora are very disappointed in Myanmar’s de facto leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to intervene to stop attacks. The Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu called her out last year in an open letter:

My dear Aung San Su Kyi

I am now elderly, decrepit and formally retired, but breaking my vow to remain silent on public affairs out of profound sadness about the plight of the Muslim minority in your country, the Rohingya.

In my heart you are a dearly beloved younger sister. For years I had a photograph of you on my desk to remind me of the injustice and sacrifice you endured out of your love and commitment for Myanmar’s people. You symbolised righteousness. In 2010 we rejoiced at your freedom from house arrest, and in 2012 we celebrated your election as leader of the opposition.

Your emergence into public life allayed our concerns about violence being perpetrated against members of the Rohingya. But what some have called ‘ethnic cleansing’ and others ‘a slow genocide’ has persisted – and recently accelerated. The images we are seeing of the suffering of the Rohingya fill us with pain and dread.

We know that you know that human beings may look and worship differently – and some may have greater firepower than others – but none are superior and none inferior; that when you scratch the surface we are all the same, members of one family, the human family; that there are no natural differences between Buddhists and Muslims; and that whether we are Jews or Hindus, Christians or atheists, we are born to love, without prejudice. Discrimination doesn’t come naturally; it is taught.

Aung San Su Kyi File picture: Edgar Su/AP

My dear sister: If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep. A country that is not at peace with itself, that fails to acknowledge and protect the dignity and worth of all its people, is not a free country.

It is incongruous for a symbol of righteousness to lead such a country; it is adding to our pain.

As we witness the unfolding horror we pray for you to be courageous and resilient again. We pray for you to speak out for justice, human rights and the unity of your people. We pray for you to intervene in the escalating crisis and guide your people back towards the path of righteousness again.

God bless you.

Love

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Hermanus, South Africa

 

We can add nothing to this call.

 

RANT ABOUT SEA LEVEL RISE

A recent study by a group of scientists led by Stéphane Hallegatte of the World Bank has estimated the dangers threatening   coastal cities around the world. They assess economic average annual losses (AAL) in 136 coastal port cities, using a method developed for assessing city-level flood risk and a new database of urban coastal protection. The results are horrific and we, as homo sapiens, have only ourselves to blame. Prometheus is again wondering if giving fire to humans was a good idea. Here is a view of flooding in Mumbai, India.

 

Read the article carefully and especially note the tables, which   unfortunately we cannot reproduce here.

EXCITING NEWS FROM SCIENCE

Higgs boson observed to decay to two bottom quarks

hbb-event-20aug-2-2

An ATLAS candidate event for the Higgs boson (H) decaying to two bottom quarks (b), in association with a W boson decaying to a muon (μ) and a neutrino (ν). (Image: ATLAS/CERN)

CERN has announced that the Higgs boson that was discovered six years ago has been found to decay into two bottom quarks. The finding,  by the ATLAS and CMS collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), is consistent with the hypothesis that the all-pervading quantum field behind the Higgs boson also gives mass to the bottom quark. Both teams have submitted their results for publication. The result gives support to the Standard Model. Cheers all over geekdom.

BOOK REVIEWS

J. M. Coetzee, the Netherlands, 2005

J. M. Coetzee, the Netherlands, 2005

 

 

THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS

By J.M. Coetzee
Published 2013-09-03
Viking Adult

THE SCHOOLDAYS OF JESUS

By J.M. Coetzee
260 pp. Viking. $27.

This week we consider a pair of novels by the Nobel Laureate J.M. Coetzee, The Childhood of Jesus (2013) and the Schooldays of Jesus (2017). The former was reviewed in the Guardian by Theo Tait and the latter in the NYTimes by Jack Miles. The Schooldays of Jesus also has a review in the NYRB by Colm Tóibín. The novels deal with a man Simon and a boy David who come to a new and unknown land. They have moved across Lethean waters to a new land, a place called Novilla, in order to start a new life. It may or may not be the afterlife; the boy and the man have been “washed clean” of all their memories, given these new names, and taught the rudiments of Spanish, the land’s language, at a refugee camp.
Coetzee has brought his characters to an island.  Simón tells Davíd:

“You arrived on a boat, just as I did, just as the people around us did, the ones who didn’t have the luck to be born here…. When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life…. There is no before. There is no history. The boat docks at the harbor and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now. Time begins. The clock starts running.”
The novels are enigmatic as Coetzee uses the utopian setting to expound his philosophical ideas. In analogy to Robinson Crusoe, his two Jesus books play with the idea of how life on a desert island can become more intense, almost more true, as does his own version of Defoe’s story, Foe (1986). The life away from the noise of the world offers a zone where more searching questions can be asked,  in which the social space of the novel can be replaced by parable and commentary on what we deem important and how stories come to us.

Critics have said that these two books are not as great as Diary of a Bad Year or Waiting for the Barbarians, which among others led to his 2003 Nobel Prize.  Pandora and Prometheus will leave that question to you.

SILLY TIME

What if–answers to absurd questions.

What would happen if I dug straight down, at a speed of 1 foot per second? What would kill me first?

Jack Kaunis

Enjoy the answer.

WE HAVE LONG HELD WITH THE PRINCIPLE “ESCHEW OBFUSCATION”

ABOUT KETTLES AND POTS…

Cheap flights have a long history as told by WUMO. Now you can fly for 50p.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 23-29

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great 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 Rotterda

 

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

 

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Mercy Corps, a non profit that responds to disasters and need around the world. Their mission statement:

Our mission

Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

We believe

  • In the value of every human life and that, as members of a global community, we have a responsibility to support one another.
  • In the right of all people to meet their basic needs, feel hope for their future and have opportunities to thrive.
  • That every man, woman and child deserves to live in a secure, peaceful community and to be empowered to participate in the decisions that affect their lives.

Crisis and challenge provide an opening to act courageously and offer solutions that spark long-term, transformational change.

Mercy Corps is highly rated by     Charity Navigator Charity

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for people on the Peruvian contact border.

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 lend your voice to the call to stop forced labor in US jails.

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: PRISONER MUST REMAIN HOSPITALISED POST-SURGERY

ibrahim
24-year old detainee Ibragim Yangulbaev is gravely ill and was being denied essential post-surgery health care in pre-trial detention until 28 July when he was hospitalized. He must be allowed to stay in hospital until full recovery.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: JOURNALIST ACCUSED OF ‘JUSTIFICATION OF TERRORISM’

korb
Victor Korb, a human rights defender and journalist, is being unjustly prosecuted for “public justification of terrorism” on account of publishing the final statement of the person whose rights he defends. The charges against him should be dropped immediately.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: 42 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR FORCIBLY RETURNED ACTIVIST

According to a Chinese media report, Dong Guangping was sentenced to 42 months in prison almost one year after his trial in July 2017. No notification about the trial or sentencing has been communicated with his family and lawyer. Held incommunicado since being forcibly returned from Thailand in 2015, he remains at grave risk of torture.

TAKE ACTION

ANGOLA

Urgent Action: WHEREABOUTS OF COMMUNITY ACTIVIST UNKNOWN

joaquim-480x298
Joaquim Costa Zangui, the National Youth Secretary of the Democratic Bloc, was abducted by unknown men on 12 August 2018. He went missing a day after he had presided over the electoral process to elect the new Residential Commission President in Massaque, Viana Municipality, Angola. His whereabouts remain unknown.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Free Mohammed Habibi

Iranian teacher trade unionist Mohammed Habibi was sentenced to ten and a half years in prison on 4 August 2018. The sentence by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Court also included prohibition of social and political activities for two years, a travel ban of two years, and 74 lashes.  Please support the call for his release.

 

 

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 16-22

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

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 call from Amnesty International to alleviate the terrible situation in Yemen.

Countless children and families in Yemen are dying from war, starvation, and disease. Yet the people in power are ignoring their suffering.  They are dying. It is a forgotten war.

URGENT UPDATE: Yesterday, a bus carrying children was hit by an airstrike. Dozens are dead, even more are injured — most are under the age of 10.

Three years into a brutal war, fierce fighting continues to jeopardize thousands of lives in Yemen. Countless children are dying from war, starvation, and disease. Yet their plight is being ignored.

Make an emergency donation right now to help us stand up to those behind the horrific abuses. The fund raising is being done by Amnesty Australia, but donations are accepted from around the world. You may also donate via Amnesty USA.

DOG HEALTH

We would like to recommend donating to the Morris Animal Foundation  who support cancer research for animals, in particular dogs. We have entered our Murphy in the contest to be on the magazine cover. You may vote for him up to five times at $1 per vote with the proceeds going to the Foundation. Look for him among the 11 dogs named Murphy. He looks like this and is listed under owner name Aharon.

murphy

 

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

This week we call your attention to the banishment of tribal people in India from the forest to create tiger reserves, which is pernicious nonsense in terms of conservation.

The lives of hundreds of thousands of tribal people in Indian tiger reserves are being destroyed in the name of conservation. The Indian government is illegally evicting them from the land where they have always lived and that they have always protected.

They are accused of harming wildlife. But, far from killing tigers, many tribes worship them as gods and take care of their environment better than anyone else. Where tribal people’s right to stay in a tiger reserve was recognized, tiger numbers soared.

Please call upon the government of India to stop the evictions.

https://assets.survivalinternational.org/pictures/12606/ind-bai-fl-2016-36_article_column.jpg

Baiga man evicted from Kanha National Park. Whole communities have been scattered and destroyed. One evicted Baiga woman told Survival: “We were the kings of the jungle, but here they treat us like dogs. It’s only sadness here”.
© Survival

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 lend your voice to the call to put an end to orphanage child trafficking.

Orphanage-campaign-page

Trafficked orphans

We also call upon you to raise your voice about the rearrest of Biram Dah Abeid who is a leading anti-slavery activist in Mauritania, the country with the highest prevalence of slavery in the world1. The organization he founded, the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement2 has fought for the freedom of countless men, women and children.

Mauritania fully outlawed slavery in 2007 but has systematically failed to end it in practice. It has fallen to activists like Biram to fight for people’s’ freedom and they face regular harassment and harsh treatment in their campaigning.

Please call on the Mauritanian government to free Biram Dah Abeid and his fellow anti-slavery activists.

Biram1-970x500

 

 

 

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

ANGOLA

Urgent Action Victory! – COURT OVERTURNS CONVICTION OF THREE YOUTHS

malange-480x369

Afonso S. Muatchipuculo (22), António J. Fernando (18) and Justino H. Valente (21) were released from a detention facility 50km away from Malange city on 17 July. This is after the Supreme Court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that they were involved in throwing stones at the Vice-President’s convoy during a demonstration.

The three were arrested on 4 April at the market while on their way home. About 4km away from where they were, at the Malange City Pavilion, the Vice-President’s convoy was met by over 100 protestors demanding the removal of the Malange Provincial Governor upon arrival at the Pavillion. The police chief claimed to have identified them as being among the protestors who threw stones at the Vice-President’s convoy by the colour of their shirts.

They were tried and sentenced to seven months in prison on 9 April in an unfair trial without a lawyer present. The prosecution did not produce any witnesses to provide testimony. The defendants were not given the opportunity to challenge the evidence presented against them, cross-examine the chief of police and even call witnesses.

Helena Mutaleno da Silva, Justino’s sister, thanked Amnesty International, among others, for campaigning for the release of the three youth.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

TURKEY

Amnesty Turkey’s Chair released after more than a year behind bars

tanir

Following the release of Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic after more than fourteen months behind bars, Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s new Secretary General said:

“We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here but Taner has finally been freed and is safely back at the arms of his wife and daughters. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here but Taner has finally been freed and is safely back at the arms of his wife and daughters.”

The Secretary-General added:

“But beneath the smiles of joy and relief there will be sorrow, anger and a steely determination. Sorrow for all the things Taner has missed during his cruel incarceration. Anger that the baseless charges against him and the Istanbul 10 have not been dropped. And determination to continue our fight for human rights in Turkey and for the release of all those who have been unjustly jailed in the vicious crackdown.

Beneath the smiles of joy and relief there is a steely determination to continue our fight for human rights in Turkey and for the release of all those human rights defenders, journalists and others who have been unjustly jailed in the vicious crackdown

Today we take a moment to celebrate, but tomorrow our struggle will continue, re-energized by the example set by Taner himself: a man who knows the importance of human rights and is willing to dedicate his life to defending them.”

PARAGUAY

Urgent Action: Indigenous leader threatened by armed men

Webp.net-resizeimage-6

Amada Martínez, human rights defender from the Tekoha Sauce Indigenous community of the Avá Guaraní People in south-east Paraguay, was threatened by three armed men wearing uniforms of the Itaipú Binational (Paraguay-Brazil) hydroelectric plant on 8 August, in the presence of three minors, her sister and a taxi driver.

TAKE ACTION

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: INDIGENOUS ACTIVIST SLANDERED AND STIGMATIZED

Military official accuses Venezuelan Indigenous environmental rights defender Lisa Henrito of “treason” – on national television – due to her activism in the defense of the Pemón Indigenous People’s traditional territory.

TAKE ACTION

GUATEMALA

Urgent Action Update: Women HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER KILLED

guat
Human rights defender Juana Raymundo went missing on the night of 27 July in the Quiché department in northwest Guatemala and her dead body was discovered the next day. She was 25 years old, and a member of the Campesino Development Committee (Comité de Desarrollo Campesino, CODECA). She is the 8th human rights defender killed in Guatemala in less than three months.

TAKE ACTION

BANGLADESH

Urgent Action: ACTIVIST FACES 14 YEARS IN JAIL FOR MEDIA INTERVIEW

Shahidul Alam’s release
Shahidul Alam, photographer and outspoken social activist, has been charged under Section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act after giving an interview to Al-Jazeera on the current wave of school student protests in Bangladesh. Detained and charged solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression, Shahidul Alam must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA/MARRIOTT HOTEL

No rights for workers at Marriott’s Bali paradise

Global hotel giant Marriott’s 5-star W hotel in Bali-Seminyak, Indonesia promises guests a “stay in paradise’. But there’s trouble in paradise for workers at the hotel who attempt to exercise their basic rights.  Please join the protest.

Prometheus and Pandora XVI

Our feature image: A blood moon rises over Marseille, southern France, Friday, July 27, 2018. Curiosity and awe have greeted a complete lunar eclipse, the longest one of this century. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Prometheus and Pandora hope that you will visit there, take the actions and make the donations.

RANTS AND RAVES

This month there is so much to rant and rave about, both at home and worldwide, that Prometheus and Pandora have no idea where to start. Let us start with the closest and the possibly worst.

RANT ON A FASCIST LAW

The Knesset overnight, 17-18/7, passed into law the contentious nation-state bill that for the first time enshrines Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people, ” in its quasi-constitutional Basic Laws. The law also declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, sets the Hebrew calendar as the official calendar of the state, and recognizes Independence Day, days of remembrance and Jewish holidays. One clause of the bill downgrades the Arabic language from official to “special” standing, but also cryptically stipulates that “this clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.” Read the full text of the law here.
This law is another lethal blow against democracy in Israel. In an unusual public critique of proposed legislation, President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter Tuesday morning to Knesset members urging them to amend the controversial bill aimed at enshrining Israel’s Jewish character in law, saying that the measure “could harm the Jewish people, Jews throughout the world and the State of Israel.”
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man puts it well in +972, ” You can look at the Jewish Nation-State law from two perspectives. There is the message it was intended to send to Jews: a positive affirmation of Israel as the Jewish nation-state; as the Jewish homeland; as the state of the Jews; a reassuring and nationalist message that says ‘this country is yours and yours alone.”

The other message, the inverse, meant for Palestinians, is: “this is not your land; this country does not belong to you, irrespective of whether you are an Israeli citizen living in the home of your great-grandparents or a refugee yearning to return to the land of your grandparents; your culture, language, and history are at best tolerated — this is not their home, this is not your homeland.”

The Jewish Nation-State Law states, implicitly and explicitly, that Israel belongs not to all of its citizens, over 20 percent of whom are not Jewish. Instead, it declares that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, some half of whom are not Israeli citizens.

It tells all of us that we are well on the way to becoming an apartheid fascist state. As stated by Adalah attorney Fady Khoury in an interview with +972,
“Apartheid in South Africa was a process. It was a system that took years to develop and was built on the work of academics and theologians who had to create justifications for white supremacy. It was a system of hierarchy, in which there is one group with all the power and another without any power.”

First Phase Digital

Apartheid in the Republic of South Africa. A beach for Whites only near the integrated fishing village of Kalk Bay, not far from Capetown. January 1, 1970. (UN Photo/KM)

There appears to be little that liberal Israeli citizens can do to halt this process. It would seem that liberal Zionism has been crushed by the combination of the right wing in Israel and the policy of the Trump administration, as pointed out by Michelle Goldberg in the NYTimes several months ago. In general the difficulty that liberal Zionists, such as Prometheus and Pandora, have in reconciling their humanist beliefs with support for Israel is nothing new. Four years ago Anthony Lerman writing in the NYTimes outlined the dilemma of liberal Zionists–“They’re convinced that Israel can be both Jewish and democratic, but they fail to explain how to reconcile God’s supreme authority with the sovereign power of the people. Meanwhile, the self-appointed arbiters of what’s Jewish in the Jewish state — the extreme religious Zionists and the strictly Orthodox, aided and abetted by Jewish racists in the Knesset like Ayelet Shaked, a Jewish Home Party member and Minister of Justice, who recently called for the mothers of Palestinian “snakes” to be killed — are trashing democracy more and more each day. “

 

RANT ON UNWORTHY FRIENDS

Here in Israel we have been “honored” by visits of people who are the dregs of world politics.

Viktor Orban the Prime Minister of Hungary, who is known as one of the world’s greatest enemies of democracy, was here for a few days visiting his dear buddy, Netanyahu. Under Netanyahu’s leadership, ties with Orban have warmed, prompting criticism from the local Jewish community over the Hungarian prime minister’s attacks on Jewish billionaire George Soros, which critics say toy with anti-Semitic stereotypes. They also object to his past praise for a former Nazi ally. He has praised Horthy who ruled occupied Hungary during the war and under whose aegis over half a million Jews were deported to Auschwitz during the Holocaust.

orbanbibi_no

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (L) hold a Rubik’s Cube at the Hungary-Israel Business Forum in Budapest, Hungary, on July 19, 2017. (Haim Zach/GPO/Flash90)

While Orban has vilified George Soros,the Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire, who has been promoting democracy in Hungary and Eastern Europe in general ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, Israel has lobbied the United States to “open doors” to Orban’s government. The US government  has traditionally  kept Orban at arm’s length in view of  Hungary’s  ultra-nationalist stance and the prime minister’s embracing of what he has termed an “illiberal democracy.”

Orban was received with open arms, visited Yad Vashem according to protocol, met the President, the works. All that Pandora and Prometheus, as well as their friends, can do is to blush with shame. Daniel Barenboim the great musician puts it best.  

There were some signs of   protest.

orban_no

Israeli protesters hold signs by as people block the road for the convoy of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on July 19, 2018 at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem (AFP PHOTO / GALI TIBBON)

In the meantime, Israel and Myanmar have signed an agreement to coordinate what is written about each country in the school textbooks of the other. In a somewhat controversial move, the agreement allows the parties to “through their competent authorities, endeavor to mutually verify school textbooks, particularly concerning the passages referring to the history of the other state and, where needed, introduce corrections to these textbooks.” A joint committee will be established to implement the agreement and will meet every three years. Noa Landau in Haaretz gives the details. We wonder what our children will learn about the genocide of the Rohingya. We are told that Israel has ceased selling weaponry to Myanmar, but the cozy relationship continues. We should all be ashamed including President Rivlin.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during the Myanmar general’s visit in 2015. (Photo: Min Aung Hlaing's Facebook page)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during the Myanmar general’s visit in 2015. (Photo: Min Aung Hlaing’s Facebook page)

CRIME AGAINST CHILDREN

The Trump separation of children from their parents is beyond words. Let Mike Luckovich put it best.

GOODIES FROM SCIENCE

WATER FOUND ON MARS

tThe planet Mars

The Holy Grail of planetary science, liquid water on Mars, has been found.  The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft collected radar measurements over the SPLD (South Pole Layered Deposit) .The research team led by R. Orosei of Istituto di Radioastronomia, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica in Bologna, Italy identified a distinct 20-km-wide bright reflector on multiple profiles collected over 3 years. They rule out a number of possible explanations for this bright reflector, leaving the existence of liquid water, either as a distinct water layer or as saturated sediments, as the only explanation. The finding is described in detail in news media such as BBC while the scientific paper has come out in Science.

BLOOD MARKER FOR MELANOMA

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer and early detection is of the greatest importance. A blood test marker has long been sought by researchers and it now appears to have been found. An Australian team has published in the journal Oncotarget a description of research that has found a marker in the blood that can serve as an indicator of early stage melanoma. Pandora and Prometheus are very excited about this breakthrough and hope the test finds its way into clinical use very soon.

BOOK REVIEWS

This week we look at the NYRB reviews of two books on English religious music. Prometheus and Pandora hope you find them interesting.
God’s Own Music
Ian Bostridge
February 22, 2018 Issue
O Sing unto the Lord: A History of English Church Music
by Andrew Gant
University of Chicago Press, 454 pp., $35.00
Messiah: The Composition and Afterlife of Handel’s Masterpiece
by Jonathan Keates
Basic Books, 165 pp., $25.00

Ian Bostridge gives us a very personal review of these two books. The history book by Gant provides a detailed synopsis and melds the history of English music with developments in English history. Bostridge himself was a choir boy at a church in London that had seen better days in its past, but nonetheless had a charismatic organist and choir master who inspired the boys to reach heights of song. In particular they performed and loved the great hymns of the the English Reformation and its immediate aftermath—Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, the exotically named Orlando Gibbons, John Blow, Henry Purcell—and the music that was created in an attempt to recreate that beauty of holiness: the Victorian and Edwardian anthem tradition of Hubert Parry, Charles Villiers Stanford, Herbert Howells, and many others.

Thomas Webster: <i></dt><dd class=

Thomas Webster: A Village Choir, 1847

 

The oratorio The Messiah by Handel is indeed worthy of a study on its own. In writing it Handel deviated from his usual style of stories of Old Testament heroes and it is devoted to the prediction of the coming of Christ. Handel was disappointed that people saw it as entertainment rather than a call to Godliness. It is customary for the audience to stand during the Hallelujah Chorus, although the source of the custom is not clear. When the piece was performed in Tel Aviv a few years ago, a few people, including your humble servant, stood, most did not.

A QUESTION ABOUT MUSIC

Classical music is one of the few domains in which women continue to  play a very minor and subservient role. Last week’s Donne – Women in Music report expressed this in stark statistics. Across Europe, 97.6% of classical and contemporary classical music performed in the last three seasons was written by men, leaving a paltry 2.3% written by women. Why is this so? In a BBC documentary that aired this summer, the question is addressed by Danielle de Niese who writes about it in the Guardian.

917.png

‘As a soprano, where is my voice, where is the female perspective?’ … Danielle de Niese Photograph: BBC

SILLY TIME

WHAT IF?

Lake Tea

What if we were to dump all the tea in the world into the Great Lakes? How strong, compared to a regular cup of tea, would the lake tea be?

Alex Burman

The answer should be of great interest to the tea drinkers among us.

We are planning a trip abroad and have consulted the Id folks on travel:

WUMO

Here is the link.

Anyone who has traveled with children will have empathy.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update Blog July 26-August 1

Our featured image above shows our beloved Miriam, a great 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 BRAC, (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (now Building Resources Across Communities) ) an international development organization based in Bangladesh.

It has a high rating from Charity Navigator.

Our Vision

A world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential.

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower people and communities in situations of poverty, illiteracy, disease and social injustice. Our interventions aim to achieve large scale, positive changes through economic and social programes that enable men and women to realise their potential.

Our Values

Integrity.
Innovation.
Inclusiveness.
Effectiveness.

 

This charity is highly rated by Charity Watch.

 

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

Please Help Uncontacted tribes

Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable peoples on the planet. They face catastrophe unless their land is protected. We’re doing everything we can to secure their land for them, and to give them the chance to determine their own futures.

Email the governments of Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and India, to allow uncontacted tribes to survive.

Sign the global declaration for uncontacted tribes.

Say NO to funding cuts which could wipe out uncontacted Indians in Brazil.

Help the Yanomami Indians of Venezuela and Brazil who are dying from a devastating measles epidemic.

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 lend your voice to the call to end forced labor in the cotton fields of Uzbekhistan.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Victory! – OHIO GOVERNOR COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE

On 20 July, the Governor of Ohio commuted the death sentence of Raymond Tibbetts, who was scheduled for execution on 17 October. In so doing, the governor rejected the parole board’s 8-1 recommendation against clemency.

On 8 February 2018, five days before Raymond Tibbetts was due to be executed for the 1997 murder of Fred Hicks, the Ohio Governor issued an eight-month reprieve and sent the case back to the parole board after he received a letter in favour of clemency from a man who had served as a juror on the case and had since learned of the mitigation evidence not presented at the 1998 trial. The juror wrote that “[b]ased on what I know today I would not have recommended the death penalty.” In 2011, a federal judge described the trial lawyer’s “failure to engage in basic preparation” of evidence about Raymond Tibbetts’ traumatic upbringing, and wrote that evidence revealed since showed “a much more chaotic and abusive environment” in parental and foster care than the jurors heard about. These “shocking” and “utterly disturbing” details would have given jurors “compelling” reasons to vote for life. Under Ohio law, just one juror voting against the death penalty would have made resulted in life imprisonment.

The parole board, which had recommended against clemency in January 2017, reconsidered the case at a supplementary hearing on 14 June 2018. On 22 June, it again recommended against clemency, by eight votes to one. The majority said they doubted that the juror, who had told them it was an “almost absolute certainty” that he would have voted for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if he had known what he knows now, would have made a different decision at the trial if the jury had been presented with the mitigation evidence in question. The juror also told the Board that he was “troubled by the prosecution’s response to the defense’s presentation and feels that it was misleading”, and that the “prosecution implied going into foster care was a good thing for Tibbetts”, even though records the defence possessed at the time showed otherwise.

On 20 July, Governor John Kasich announced that he was commuting the death sentence. He explained that “Tibbets’s commutation is being granted as a result of fundamental flaws in sentencing phase of his trial. Specifically, the defense’s failure to present sufficient mitigating evidence, coupled with an inaccurate description of Tibbetts’s childhood by the prosecution, essentially prevented the jury from making an informed decision about whether Tibbetts deserved the death penalty.”

There have been 1,479 executions in the USA since they resumed in 1977 under new capital laws approved by the Supreme Court in 1976. Ohio accounts for 56 of these executions. There have been 14 executions in the USA this year. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty, unconditionally. Today 142 countries are abolitionist in law or practice.

Many thanks to all who sent appeals. No further action by the UA Network is requested.

BELARUS

Urgent Action: IRANIAN IN BELARUS AT RISK OF IMMINENT DEPORTATION

Iranian citizen Mehrdad Jamshidian, who suffers from acute ill-health, was detained on 14 June in Belarus. He is at imminent risk of deportation to Iran, where he may be subjected to torture and the death penalty for ‘apostasy’ and murder accusations.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Russia Must Release Ukrainian Film Director

Sentsov-photo-3

 

Ukrainian film director, Oleg Sentsov started a hunger strike on 14 May, calling for the release of ‘all Ukrainian political prisoners’ who are currently being held by the Russian Federation. Oleg Sentsov is serving a 20-year prison sentence following an unfair trial on politically-motivated charges. Amnesty International is calling for his immediate release.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: HANDS AND FEET OF LAWYER CUFFED TO IRON CHAIR

Jiang-Tianyong-resized

Jailed human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong continues to endure deplorable prison conditions, resulting in a further deterioration of his physical and mental health. Denied access to the verdict against him, Jiang’s family and lawyers cannot verify his release date. He remains imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatments.

TAKE ACTION

MYANMAR

Urgent Action: FORMER CHILD SOLDIER JAILED AFTER MEDIA INTERVIEW

Image result for aung ko htwe

Former child solider Aung Ko Htwe is serving two years and six months in prison in connection with a media interview he gave about his experiences in the Myanmar military. He faces a further three years in prison after he protested his conviction. He should be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

Stop the attack on rights at Cargill Turkey – Reinstate #TheCargill14 now!

cargillturkey2

Fourteen union activists have been continually protesting after being unfairly dismissed from their jobs on April 17, 2018 while organizing a union at Cargill-Turkey’s corn-milling facility in Bursa-Orhangazi.  Please join the protest.