The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 5-11

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), the human rights defender.

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

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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 Fistula Foundation. Fistula is a childbirth injury largely eradicated in the developed world, but still devastating women in the poorest countries. It leaves the woman incontinent with catastrophic results for her family and social life.
It’s treatable with life-transforming surgery.

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.

The ‘Pygmies’

Displacement and discrimination devastating forest dwellers

Across the forests of central Africa, forest peoples have lived by hunting and gathering for millennia. But in the past few decades their homelands have been devastated by logging, war and encroachment from farmers.

With expansion of protected areas in response to these problems, their livelihoods have become increasingly impossible and their strong ties to their forests are under strain

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Act now to help the ‘Pygmies’

Write to the director of WWF and ask for the organization to stop funding the abuses committed by anti-poaching squads against Baka and Bayaka “Pygmies.”

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 for freedom for girls.

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

NIGERIA

URGENT ACTION VICTORY

DISPLACED WOMEN, CHILDREN RECEIVE FOOD SUPPLY

Approximately 230 internally displaced women (known as the Knifar movement) and their children who had previously been denied access to food are now able to access food supplies . A group of approximately 230 internally displaced women (known as the Knifar movement) and their children were at risk of starvation after state authorities stopped supplying food to the women on 18 April in an internally displaced ( IDP ) camp they have been living in since 2017. However, food supply to the women by humanitarian agencies has resumed and the women and their children now have access to food. The decision by Borno State authorities to stop food supply to the women is believed to have been a strategy to silence the women for their activism and to return them and their children to Bama . They previously lived in Bama, but had to flee for security reasons .

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

USA  DEATH SENTENCE ABOUT TO BE CARRIED OUT

AIUK has put out a UA calling for action re the  execution of Christopher Young scheduled for July 17 in Texas.

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Here is the link to the full PDF.

Please act and give this case priority.

EGYPT

URGENT ACTION ARBITRARILY DETAINED PRISONER ON HUNGER STRIKE

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Ola al Qaradawi has started a hunger strike in custody on 27 June, demanding the end of her arbitrary detention and abusive prison conditions . Ola al Qaradawi has been in solitary confinement since her arrest on 3 July 2017. Hossam Khalaf, her husband, faces the same arbitrary detention. The prosecution is denying their lawyer s access to the case file . Prosecutors also failed to present any evidence to justify their detention on the charges brought against them

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

SEVEN PEOPLE KILLED IN CAUCA

Seven bodies, all male, were found piled on a road of the municipality of Argelia, in the southwest region of Cauca, Colombia. The bodies are being identified by authorities as they were presumably not from the municipality. In the past few weeks, paramilitary groups have been circulating pamphlets threatening to kill certain groups of people.

TAKE ACTION

OMAN

Urgent Action

FIVE PEOPLE HELD INCOMMUNICADO


Since 6 April, Omani authorities have launched a series of arbitrary detentions of individuals from Musandam province. The security forces are currently holding five persons incommunicado and without charges. They are believed to be in the custody of the Internal Security Service in the capital Muscat.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

Urgent Action: PROTESTERS BEING HELD IN ADMINISTRATIVE DETENTION

Five protesters have been held under administrative detention since 10 June after participating in protests demanding the closure of a copper plant in southern India. Under the repressive National Security Act (NSA), people can be detained for up to 12 months on loosely defined grounds of maintenance of public order. The NSA has been used to target protesters and human rights defenders in India.

TAKE ACTION

NIGERIA AND ELSEWHERE

Shell – Stop cheating contract workers!

 

 

 

 

 

This week Shell is holding its annual green-washing event, #makethefuture Live, in London to try and persuade the public it cares about our future.

And yet, thanks to Shell’s unfair employment policies, near 200,000 contract workers at Shell have #gotnofuture – working in temporary, insecure jobs.

Contract workers outnumber permanent workers more than two to one at Shell, and as the company freely admits, do the most dangerous jobs. In Nigeria unions say subcontractors working for Shell “pay whatever they like and sack at will.”

USA

Two tobacco farm workers fired for speaking out:

Image result for Blalock tobacco farm

Two farm workers were harassed, abused and later fired unjustly after speaking out about violations on Randy Blalock’s tobacco farm in North Carolina.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 28-July 4

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 Union of Concerned Scientists. Their stated goal is to put rigorous independent science to work to solve the most pressing problems of our planet.

Map showing highest level of heat stress for the 29 World Heritage reefs during the third global coral bleaching event, Image: NOAA Coral Reef Watch/UNESCO

 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 racism. Help stamp it out.

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 use of forced labor in detention centers in the United States.

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Update – GOVERNOR – ACT FOR JUSTICE, STOP EXECUTION

On 8 February, the Ohio Governor issued an eight-month reprieve for Raymond Tibbetts, who was due to be executed on 13 February. The decision came after he received a letter in support of clemency from one of the jurors from the 1998 trial.
The Ohio parole board has recommended against clemency for Raymond Tibbetts despite a juror telling them that he would have voted for life if the jury had heard mitigation evidence revealed since the trial. The Governor can still grant clemency.

TAKE ACTION

EGYPT

Urgent Action Update: AMAL FATHY REMAINS IN JAIL FOR CHARGES IN ONE CASE

Amal-Fathy-Amnesty-Edit

 

On 21 June, Egyptian authorities upheld the decision to release woman human rights defender Amal Fathy on bail in one of the two cases against her. However, she remains detained in the second case for 15 more days. The prosecutor has two weeks to decide whether to renew Amal’s detention on the second case or release her.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

Urgent Action Update: ACTIVIST MADE TO SIGN FALSE WRITTEN STATEMENT

Image result for Pavitri Manjhi

Human rights defender Pavitri Manjhi says that on 13 June 2018, a police officer visited her home in Benghari village, Chhattisgarh state and compelled her to sign a false written statement. Despite her filing official complaints about the ongoing threats, intimidation and harassment Pavitri Manjhi faces, police have not yet registered her case for investigation.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Needs Urgent Cancer Test

Arash-Sadeghi

 

Iranian human rights defender Arash Sadeghi has been diagnosed with a bone tumour that may be cancerous. The authorities are disregarding medical advice which recommends his immediate transfer to a facility specializing in cancer treatment.

TAKE ACTION

NORWAY

Sekkingstad and Sund, stop union busting!


After a 35 days strike last autumn, Norse Production finally signed a collective bargaining agreement for the fish processing sector. Norse Production was a subcontractor of Sekkingstad AS, a large company that exports salmon to more than 100 retailers and processing companies all over the world. The company had a turnover of more than 2 billion Norwegian kroner (0,21 billion Euros) in 2017.

Then the owners bankrupted Norse Production. A few days later, Sekkingstad AS established a new subcontractor, Sund Laksepakkeri, in the same place and with almost exactly the same management. None of the organized workers from Norse Production were hired in the new company and the collective agreement is gone. The bankruptcy of Norse Production and the establishment of a new company was a planned action from Sekkingstad AS to get rid of the organized workers and the collective agreement. This is union busting, and we cannot accept this. Send your protests to the owners and managers of Sekkingstad and Sund Laksepakkeri. Please raise your voice in protest.

INDIA

That’s terrible, that’s Tetley! – tea workers denied their human right to safe drinking water.

For the past two years workers, mainly women, on plantations in the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal which supply tea giant Tetley have been organizing to demand decent water and sanitation – a fundamental human right. Please join the protest.

 

Prometheus and Pandora XV

Our featured image above shows a montage of the small moons of Saturn including  : Pan, Daphnis, Atlas, Prometheus, Pandora, Epimetheus, Janus, and Mimas, to scale. A true family picture of our friends.

The eight innermost moons of Saturn, in color images collected by Cassini between June 7, 2005, and July 5, 2010. Pan and Daphnis (top left small moons) orbit within the Encke and Keeler gaps in the rings; Atlas (below Pan and Daphnis) orbits at the outer edge of the main rings. To their right are Prometheus and Pandora; Prometheus orbits just inside and Pandora just outside the F ring. Below them are Epimetheus (left) and Janus (right), which trade positions every four years, averaging out to the same distance from Saturn. Mimas orbits considerably farther away, but its gravitational effects influence the positions of gaps and waves within the rings. At full resolution, the montage has a scale of 500 meters per pixel.

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

PHILIP ROTH March 19, 1933-May 22, 2018

Roth at his home in Connecticut, 2005.

Roth at his home in Connecticut, 2005. Photograph: Douglas Healey/AP

The great American-Jewish novelist died this month at the age of 85. His work has been described as ‘savagely funny and bitingly honest’ which Pandora and Prometheus consider a good description. The Guardian asked 14 acclaimed writers including William Boyd, David Baddiel, Linda Grant and Joyce Carol Oates to pick their favorite work and the responses are worth reading. As Jennifer Gilmore wrote in Forward“Roth’s death, like all deaths, is the end of many things. Of towering white male novelists. Of that first wave of Jewish American immigrants who helped build literature as I know it. Of America as my Jewish grandparents knew it.”
He angered many people, such as rabbis who resented his way of presenting Jewish characters, women who disliked his misogynist way of presenting women in his novels and literary critics such as Irving Howe, whom Roth lampooned mercilessly. Howe declared ironically that Roth “now stands close to the center of our culture (if that is anything for him to be pleased about), and he is accorded serious attention both by a number of literary critics and those rabbis and Jewish communal leaders who can hardly wait to repay the animus he has lavished upon them.”
In addition to the obituaries in the NYTimes and elsewhere, many writers have written  how Roth influenced their careers. Andrew Martin writing in Vice tries to explicate Roth’s attitude towards women. He refers to Vivian Gornick who wrote a vividly argued and much quoted essay about the way that Roth’s narrators, beginning with the title character of his infamous, spectacularly successful novel Portnoy’s Complaint, transfer their rage at the powers that be on to the women they’re sleeping with, creating an “impassioned association of woman-hating with being Jewish-in-America” that outpaced even Bellow’s. These comments are certainly worth reading.

FELICIA LANGER December 9, 1930 – June 21, 2018

The lawyer who was the first to bring the Occupation and its violations of human rights and international law to the courtroom died in Germany on June 21.

felicia

Attorney Felicia Langer in 2008. UNiesert, Wikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

Felicia Langer was an Israeli attorney and human rights activist known for her defense of Palestinian political prisoners in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She became a hated figure in Israel and was regarded as a traitor by many people. In 1990 she gave up the struggle since she realized that the courts and the system were using her as a fig leaf to portray the regime in a favorable light. She is eulogized by Gideon Levi in Haaretz and the +972 blog by the human rights lawyer Michael Sfard.

May she rest in peace. Many lawyers are following the path that she laid out for them with phenomenal courage and integrity.

MICHAEL S.J. BELTON September 29, 1934-June 4, 2018

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Our esteemed colleague, Mike Belton died this month at the age 84. He was the President of Belton Space Exploration Initiatives, LLC, and an Emeritus Astronomer at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). Born in Bognor Regis, England, he received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. He joined Kitt Peak National Observatory (the precursor to NOAO) in 1964 and carried out research on nearly all objects that fell under “planetary science.” A detailed obituary has been put out by the American Astronomical Society.

We remember him from the heady days of planetary exploration with Voyager, Galileo and other spacecraft. Rest in Peace Mike.

CONGRATULATIONS TO NETTA BARZILAI

This Israel singer just won the Eurovision with her song “Toy” Cheers!

netta_32290789_409266486151950_1218467434302799872_o

This is the performance that won.

Here are the lyrics.

https://genius.com/Netta-barzilai-toy-lyrics

Netta says it is a #MeToo song of empowerment. Pandora and Prometheus, to say nothing of their imaginary playmates, YandA, find it mostly opaque, but that is a matter of age.

A TRUE CLOAK AND DAGGER STORY

One of the Israeli intelligence agency’s most daring missions is being turned into a movie, ‘Red Sea Diving Resort.’ One of the operatives looks back on a breathtaking operation that saved thousands of Ethiopian Jews’ lives in the 1980’s. Here is the pitch…


The story is told in the blog of Allison Kaplan Sommer who writes in Haaretz. She interviewed one of the participants in the phony beach resort in Sudan through which thousands of Ethiopian Jews were smuggled to Israel. The story is fascinating and worthy of your time. Here is the route:

moss1709404645

 

RANT ON RAQQA

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The picture speaks for itself

The city of Raqqa in Syria was subjected to a major set of attacks by the US-led coalition. The attack was supposed to drive Da’ash out of its self-declared capital. The attack killed hundreds of civilians who had no way of escaping the city. Someone must be held accountable for this massive atrocity. Please open the link, read the devastating account and sign the letter to the US Secretary of Defense demanding an accounting for the killings.
In the end, Da’ash was granted safe passage out of the town so the civilian deaths served no real military purpose.

RANT ON KIDNAPPING CHILDREN TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT

Words fail:

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PROFILE OF A WRITER

Our attention is called this month to William Trevor, whose mournful, sometimes darkly funny short stories and novels about the small struggles of unremarkable people placed him in the company of masters like V. S. Pritchett, W. Somerset Maugham and Chekhov. He died in 2016 in Somerset, England at age 88. With the republication of his final collection of short stories, “Last Stories” a renewed interest is seen in his oeuvre. The collection is reviewed this month in the Washington Post by Heller McAlpin. When he died a wave of obituaries came out including a beautiful evaluation by the great Irish writer Ann Enright. She extols him as” a tender and compassionate chronicler of small town life.”

1707trevor
Trevor, although born in Ireland, lived most of his adult life in England He described himself “I don’t really feel those divisions any more than really I feel, in literary terms, the division between Ireland and England. I feel that writers of fiction do belong in a no man’s land some place and I certainly feel I do.”

From that no-man’s land he gave us a treasure of wonderful writing. Prometheus and Pandora are grateful for the revival of his work and memory.

SOMETHING FROM SCIENCE

The question of the origin of language in homo sapiens has long proved difficult of linguists and anthropologists. A recent hypothesis  relates the development of language to the ability of our ancestors to make stone tools. Oren Kolodny, a biologist at Stanford University, puts the question in more scientific terms: “What kind of evolutionary pressures could have given rise to this really weird and surprising phenomenon that is so critical to the essence of being human?”

He and his colleagues have proposed a provocative answer. In a recent paper, Kolodny  argues that early humans—while teaching their kin how to make complex tools–hijacked the capacity for language from themselves. The hypothesis is described in detail in the Atlantic by Ben James. Kolodny and Edelman published their scientific results and ideas in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

Human origins

Homo Ergaster, an early ancestor of humans that made complex tools Kike Calvo / AP

Naturally there is considerable resistance to this idea, in particular from the doyen of linguistics Noam Chomsky, Robert Berwick and other well-known linguists. In a famous 2014 paper in PLOS Biology they conclude that the evolution of language was unrelated to tool making and happened quickly. “The language faculty is an extremely recent acquisition in our lineage,” these authors wrote, “and it was acquired not in the context of slow, gradual modification of preexisting systems under natural selection but in a single, rapid, emergent event.”
The question is a thorny one since language in its development and evolution left no fossil record. The controversy will continue and we shall try to follow it. Stay tuned.

MAYBE SOME GOOD NEWS ON THE CLIMATE FRONT

Bill Mckibben writing it in the Guardian informs us that the fossil fuel  industry is on the ropes. He quotes research “In the past several years, oil industry financial statements have revealed significant signs of strain: Profits have dropped, cash flow is down, balance sheets are deteriorating and capital spending is falling. The stock market has recognized the sector’s overall weakness, punishing oil and gas shares over the past five years even as the market as a whole has soared.” The Pope has also taken a stand against the fossil fuel industry. Cheers.

‘The basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway.’

The basic trajectory of the world away from coal and gas and oil is firmly underway.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

WuMo even find a lighter side: Lest they sue us, we just give you the  link. https://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/wumo/s-2092525

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Ronald Welch – The Gauntlet

the-gauntlet

This is a book aimed at young boys who like history and derring do. Prometheus and Pandora recently gave a copy to a young grandson in the hope that the adventures will motivate him to overcome the barrier and to read English. We append a review by Lady Fanciful.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Novel by Michael Chabon

A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnum opus” (The New York Review of Books), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling, an exuberant, irresistible novel that begins in New York City in 1939.  The book won the Pulitzer Prize of 2000. Prometheus and Pandora loved it. See the reviews in the NYTimes and the Guardian.

CHEERS FOR THE WORLD CUP

Gideon Levy writing in Haaretz extols the world of sports and the world wide festival of the World Cup of soccer. He has a point although there is some argument over Senegal’s ejection over yellow cards, possibly a result of referee racial bias. We also deplore the sexual harassment of female journalists.

SILLY TIME

WhatIf is interesting indeed–a five year old kid can think of things.

Earth-Moon Fire Pole

My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?

Ramon Schönborn, Germany

The answer is interesting.

ON MORALITY

AI TELLS THE TRUTH

Zack cuts close to the bone here:

 

 

Fish beaks? Zack needs some basic biology lessons…

 

Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 21-27

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 the ongoing world wide struggle to defend freedom of the press and access to information. We refer you to Reporters without Borders who carry on this most important effort. Their barometer of press freedom violations tells a frightening story. We should all support them for they are fighting for us. When the information channels are closed, it will be too late.

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 plight of the Bushmen people.

Bushman woman Xoroxloo Duxee from the Metsiamenong community, died of dehydration and starvation in 2005 after the government blockaded the reserve and armed guards prevented her people from hunting, gathering or obtaining water, Botswana.

Bushman woman Xoroxloo Duxee from the Metsiamenong community, died of dehydration and starvation in 2005 after the government blockaded the reserve and armed guards prevented her people from hunting, gathering or obtaining water, Botswana.
© Survival International

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 justice for the antislavery activists in Mauritania.

Justice for Abdellahi and Moussa

URGENT ACTION CASES

TURKEY

Urgent Action Victory! – Turkish Court Acquits Rapper

Image result for Ezhel

On 19 June, an Istanbul court ordered the immediate release of rapper, Ezhel, after acquitting him of ‘publicly promoting the use of drugs’ on the basis of insufficient evidence of intent to engage in any unlawful behaviour.

Sercan İpekcioğlu, better known by his stage name Ezhel, was detained by police on 23 May after a second round of questioning over drug promotion allegations. Ezhel was remanded in prison on the same day and was being held in Maltepe Prison, in Istanbul. The court decision to remand Ezhel in prison contained no material evidence that he had actively promoted the use of drugs. On 19 June, an Istanbul court acquitted Ezhel of ‘promoting drugs’ and ordered his immediate release. The rapper was acquitted with the judge ruling that there was insufficient evidence that Ezhel had intentionally engaged in any unlawful activity.

Ezhel’s arrest and detention prompted supporters to launch a viral social media campaign, with thousands of users calling for his release using the hashtag #FreeEzhel, making this one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter in Turkey. The rapper’s acquittal represents a significantly positive development in a country where freedom of expression has been under increasing attack since the ongoing state of emergency, in place since July 2016.

Ezhel is a prominent figure on the Turkish rap scene and is known for his dark depictions of street life in urban Turkey. He was questioned over two songs which refer to the use of cannabis and a now deleted social media post displaying a photograph of the rapper holding a cannabis leaf.

Following the trial, Ezhel thanked Amnesty International and its supporters for playing a leading role in the campaign for his acquittal: “Together we stand. Thank you for your solidarity and efforts.”

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

MALDIVES

Urgent Action: HEALTH FEARS FOR DETAINEE WITHOUT ACCESS TO LAWYER

Image result for Lahiru Manikkuadura
Lahiru Manikkuadura, a Sri Lankan citizen, has been detained in the Maldives without a trial date since September 2016 and, following recent and restrictive changes in legal procedures, is being denied any access to his lawyer. Deplorable prison conditions have further raised serious concerns for his health and well-being.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: GRAVE FEARS FOR MISSING UIGHUR PHD STUDENT

Guligeina-Tashimaimaiti-1

Guligeina Tashimaimaiti has not been heard from since 26 December 2017, when she returned from Malaysia to her hometown in Yili, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. Her family fear that she has been detained at a re-education camp and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

MEXICO

Urgent Action: Disappearances Insufficiently Investigated

Image result for disappearance nuevo laredo

From February to May 2018 at least 33 people were reported disappeared in Nuevo Laredo, northern Mexico. Authorities have been losing crucial time to investigate and family members are being left without adequate protection.

TAKE ACTION

ALGERIA

alde10

Urgent Action: Blogger Convicted with 10 Year Prison Sentence

Following more than 16 months in pre-trial detention, Algerian blogger Merzoug Touati was convicted to 10 years prison terms for some peaceful online posts including an interview with an Israeli official.. The Court of Appeal in Bejaya will review its conviction on 21 June. He is a prisoner of conscience.

TAKE ACTION

AUSTRALIA

Exxon Mobil – time for a fair deal for your workers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year maintenance workers at Exxon Mobil’s onshore and offshore facilities received a shock when they heard that their employer, maintenance contractor UGL, was firing the whole workforce. Please join the protest

MANY COUNTRIES

Coca-Cola is becoming a serial human rights offender – in Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, the Philippines and the United States. Please click to support these workers.

 

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 14-20

Our featured image shows Miriam, our beloved 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 Books for Africa charity. Their mission:

A simple name for an organization with a simple mission. We collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to students of all ages in Africa.

Our goal: to end the book famine in Africa.

Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 41 million books to 53 different countries since 1988.  Over the past 12 months we have shipped three million books, 93 computers and e-readers containing 223,000 digital books, as well as 10 new law and human rights libraries to 18 African countries. More than $2.5 million was raised last year to ship the books to the students of Africa.

This charity is highly rated 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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

This week we ask for your help in maintaining the role of tribal people in conservation.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets-production.survivalinternational.org/pictures/10654/tribal-conservationists-banner_original.jpg

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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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 close the Libyan slave markets.

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action: CALL ON OHIO GOVERNOR TO STOP EXECUTION

Robert Van Hook is due to be executed in Ohio on 18 July. He has been on death row for 33 years for a murder committed in 1985. The parole board has voted against clemency. The governor is not bound by their recommendation and can stop this execution.

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MOLDOVA

Urgent Action: GRAVE HEALTH CONCERNS FOR DETAINEE WITH CIRRHOSIS

 

Moldovan businessman Serghei Cosovan is unable to access essential health care in pre-trial detention for his acute cirrhosis. The authorities are ignoring medical grounds to support treatment in an external specialised hospital and have recently remanded him to 30 more days in pre-trial detention. Serghei Cosovan’s health is rapidly deteriorating and there are serious risks to his life.

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CUBA

Urgent Action: ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST IMPRISONED

Dr. Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, an environmental activist, was sentenced in Cuba to one-year imprisonment for contempt. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released unconditionally and immediately.

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COLOMBIA

Image result for Nasa Embera Chamí

Urgent Action: Indigenous People Threatened And Displaced

More than 200 indigenous Nasa Embera Chamí from La Delfina reservation in Buenaventura (West), Colombia, are currently displaced following an armed attack to a member of their community on 8 June. They are in need of decisive security measures to protect them and access to humanitarian aid such as food, health services and shelter.

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USA/EUROPE

XPO: Time to talk about your behavior

XPO Logistics, one of the largest global logistics companies, is under increased scrutiny for its anti-worker, anti-union behaviour in Europe and the United States. XPO Logistics and XPO Europe’s toxic corporate culture are pervasive. Please join the protest.

KOREA

Oracle workers on strike

Workers at IT software giant Oracle have been on strike since May 16 after negotiations for a first collective bargaining agreement with the company broke down. Call on Oracle Korea management to immediately engage in good faith negotiations with the Oracle Korea Workers Union and to end the exploitation of the workers who make the company so successful. Please join the call.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, June 7-13

Our featured image above shows our beloved Miriam, a great human rights defender.

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

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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 Jane Godall Institute. The mission:

“We are a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.”

 

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.

This week we call your attention to the people who chose to live in isolation from the outside world on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders. View this video of a contact attempt.

https://assets.survivalinternational.org/films/71/embed

It is vital that their wish to remain uncontacted is respected – if not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity. Contact imposed upon other Andaman tribes has had a devastating impact.

Following a campaign by Survival and local organizations, the Indian government abandoned plans to contact the Sentinelese.

Survival is campaigning to ensure that their current position – to not make further attempts to contact the tribe – is maintained.  Please join this campaign.

 

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 question who picked my tea?  

RANT ABOUT RAQQA

damage_children_sh2-750x422

This picture speaks for itself

The city of Raqqa in Syria was subjected to a major set of attacks by the US-led coalition. The attack was supposed to drive Daesh out ofits self-declared capital. The attack killed hundreds of civilians who had no way of escaping the city. Someone must be held accountable for this massive atrocity. Please open the link, read the devastating account and sign the letter to the US Secretary of Defense demanding an accounting for the killings.

In the end, Daesh was granted safe passage out of the town so the civilian deaths were for naught.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Victory! – Texas Court Issues Stay of Execution

On 5 June, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution for Clifton Williams, who was due to be executed in Texas on 21 June. The stay is so that there can be a hearing into the claim that Clifton Williams has intellectual disability.

Clifton Williams was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Cecilia Schneider during a burglary of her home in July 2005. At trial and on appeal, his lawyers claimed that he has intellectual disability, and that his execution would violate Atkins v. Virginia, the 2002 US Supreme Court ruling banning the death penalty on individuals with such disabilities. The Atkins ruling left it to states to determine how to meet the constitutional ban. In the absence of a law passed by the legislature, in 2004 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA) created a framework for the assessment of claims of intellectual disability in capital cases (known as the ‘Briseño factors’). From the outset there was concern that this framework was non-scientific and that it under-protected individuals Atkins intended to exempt from execution. It was not until Moore v. Texas in 2017 that the US Supreme Court found the Briseño factors to be “an invention of the CCA untied to any acknowledged source” and contravened its rule, articulated in Hall v. Florida in 2014, that adjudications of intellectual disability must be “informed by the views of medical experts”.

By then, Texas courts had already determined that Clifton Williams did not have intellectual disability and the federal courts had affirmed that under the deferential standards for federal review of state court decisions. With an execution date of 21 June 2018 set, Clifton Williams’s lawyers sought to bring a new challenge in the courts in light of the Moore v. Texas decision in order to reopen their claim that he has intellectual disability. On 5 June, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay: “In light of the Moore decision and the facts presented in applicant’s application, we find that applicant has satisfied the requirements of [Texas law]. We remand his application to the convicting court for a live hearing to further develop evidence and make a new recommendation to this Court on the issue of intellectual disability.”

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally. Today there are 142 countries that are abolitionist in law or practice. There have been 1,476 executions in the USA since 1976 when the US Supreme Court approved new capital statutes. Texas accounts for 551 of these executions, or 37 per cent of the national total. There have been 11 executions in the USA this year, six of them in Texas.

Many thanks to all who sent appeals. No further action is requested at present.

 EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Urgent Action Victory! – Cartoonist and Activist Able to Leave the Country

Equatorial Guinean cartoonist and activist Ramón Esono Ebalé was finally able to leave Equatorial Guinea on 28 May after he was issued a passport by the authorities.

Equatorial Guinea authorities issued cartoonist and activist Ramón Esono Ebalé with a passport on 23 May. This enabled him to finally leave the country on 28 May, more than two months after his release from prison. He will be reunited with his wife and daughter whom he has not seen since his arrest.

Ramón Esono Ebalé was released from Malabo prison of Black Beach on 7 March. Eight days before his release, the state dropped the charge of ‘counterfeiting money’ against Ramón after the state’s main witness retracted his testimony and admitted that he had been asked to falsely accuse Ramón of counterfeiting activities.

Ramón was arrested and detained on 16 September 2017 in the capital of the country, Malabo and questioned over his cartoons, which criticised Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang and his government. During his detention, Amnesty International considered Ramón Esono Ebalé to be a prisoner of conscience who had been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression through art.

On behalf of Ramón, his family and his friends, we express thanks to all those who took action. Without your support, Ramón’s release and reunion with his family would have not been possible.

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

 

ZAMBIA

Urgent Action Update: ACTIVIST RELEASED ON BAIL, SET TO STAND TRIAL

Image result for pilato

Fumba Chama, affectionately known as Pilato, was released on a US$3000  bail on 21 May. His trial will begin on 25 June. Pilato was arrested on 16 May on arrival at Kenneth Kaunda Airport in Lusaka. He had been forced to flee the country on 5 January after receiving threats on his life from members of the ruling Party, Patriotic Front.

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TURKEY

Urgent Action: Detained Rapper Accused Of Promoting Drugs

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Rapper, Ezhel, was remanded on pre-trial detention on 23 May accused of ‘publicly promoting drug use’ in his lyrics, music videos and social media posts. He faces up to 10 years imprisonment if he is found guilty.

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GUATEMALA

Urgent Action Update: TWO MORE LAND DEFENDERS KILLED

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Human rights defenders Florencio Pérez Nájera and Alejandro Hernández García from the Campesino Development Committee (Comité de Desarrollo Campesino, CODECA) were violently murdered on 4 June. Authorities must end this wave of killings, which add up to 6 human rights defenders killed in Guatemala in less than a month.

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Turkey

After nearly a year on the picket lines, it’s time for DPDHL to negotiate with the union

TÜMTIS members have been on the picket line for more than 300 days (since 17 July 2017), protesting against DPDHL Express’ denial of their right to a collective bargaining agreement.

We urge DHL Express Turkey to move swiftly to negotiations. Please lend your support to these workers.

INDIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-union harassment and victimization escalate at AB InBev Sonepat India. Please support the protesting workers. Management at global brewer AB InBev’s plant in Sonepat, India is escalating its attacks on trade union rights.  Please click and join the protesting workers.

USA DISNEYLAND

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Disneyland’s workers are undervalued, disrespected and underpaid

A survey by the LATimes shows that while Disneyland is a happy place to visit, it is by no means a happy place to work. Disneyland employees report that they struggle to make ends meet and pay for basic necessities as a result of pay cuts and low wages; two-thirds don’t have enough food to eat and 1 in 10 have recently been homeless. Meanwhile, Disney’s CEO, Robert Iger, reportedly made over $36 million in 2017 alone, and over the next four years will make the same as 6,178 of his employees. Where is the justice?  Please sign the petition on behalf of these struggling workers.

 

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update May 24-30

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a dear friend and 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 Fistula Foundation. Fistula is a childbirth injury largely eradicated in the developed world, but still devastating women in the poorest countries. It leaves the woman incontinent with catastrophic results for her family and social life.
It’s treatable with life-transforming surgery.

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.

The Kawahiva

In the Brazilian Amazon, a tiny group of uncontacted Indians teeters on the brink of extinction. Survival’s global campaign is pushing Brazil’s government to protect their land – the only way they can survive. Please open the link to see the video about them.

The tribe is forced to live on the run, fleeing violence from outsiders. Attacks and disease have killed their relatives.

The loggers are getting closer.

These are the Last of the Kawahiva. And their genocide will be complete unless their land is protected.

You can help us secure it for them: Together, we can give the Kawahiva a future.

 

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 ensure freedom and safety for girls.

Pledge to join the fight for Freedom For Girls

This is a video for girls day, which comes in October. Relevant every day.

 

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action Update: Attack Causes Forced Displacement

https://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/Images/2018/3/10/904e0efb64d64dbaa3639f35a2b8b137_18.jpg

An elder Yukpa woman is braiding a basket that are sold to help support the community [Bram Ebus/Al Jazeera]

The binational Indigenous Yukpa people living in Cúcuta, in the east of Colombia, suffered an armed attack on 17 May followed by their forced displacement.

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MEXICO

Urgent Action: Indigenous Defender Killed, Others at Risk

Manuel-Gaspar-puebla-activista1
Indigenous environmental rights defender Manuel Gaspar Rodríguez was found dead on 14 May in Cuetzalan, Puebla state. He was one of a number of defenders facing criminal investigation for their opposition to the construction of a high-voltage power line. These defenders are at grave risk and have recently been subject to attacks and intimidation.

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NIGERIA

Urgent Action: Displaced Women, Children Denied Right to Food

Displaced-North-east-Women-Protest

A group of approximately 230 internally displaced women (known as the Knifar movement) and their children risk starvation as authorities have stopped supplying food to the IDP camp they have been living in since 2017. Food was last delivered to the camp on 18 April and it did not even last one week. There has been no communication from camp authorities on why the supply stopped. Women and their children have been left with no alternative means of getting food.

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ECUADOR

Oil giant Chevron dumped billions of gallons of deadly chemicals in the Ecuadorian Amazon, leaving behind rivers full of toxic waste, decimating wildlife and spreading cancer and death in indigenous communities.

They’ve never cleaned it up! But Chevron’s impunity could finally end if we persuade just one man to do the right thing.

Chevron’s top stockholder is a US retirement fund whose chair has challenged corporate abuse before, and his customers are part of this community! If we flood him with support in the next 24 hours he could tip a historic vote — at Chevron’s shareholder meeting tomorrow. Add your name now!

RUSSIA/SYRIA

Sign the petition to all World Cup 2018 leaders and teams:

“As citizens from around the world, we urge you not to attend Russia’s World Cup unless it stops dropping bombs on children in Syria. No country, team or player should condone these crimes against humanity by lauding the Russian regime at the games. We call on you to make sure sport is used for peace, not to sponsor war.”