The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update September 19-25

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

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again turn our attention to the Bahamas devastated by Hurricane Dorian. The Washington Post offers a choice of aid agencies.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is in the activity of so-called conservation groups.. Please act for people in the Congo Basin in their struggle against the WWF.

The Baka fear for their 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 raise your voice against debt bondage in Malaysia.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Victory! Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov Finally Free

Crimean Tatar, Edem Bekirov, is finally free and reunited with his family in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, following a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine on 7 September. Edem Bekirov was arrested by Russian security forces on 12 December 2018 in Russia-occupied Crimea and held in pre-trial detention in inhumane conditions and deprived of the specialized medical care he urgently required.
Share

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

Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov was included in the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine on 7 September, alongside dozens of other Ukrainian nationals who had been imprisoned in Russia following politically-motivated trials. Edem Bekirov, who was a resident in mainland Ukraine, was arrested by Russian security forces on 12 December 2018 when he was visiting his elderly mother in Russian-occupied Crimea. A person with disability, he had spent more than eight months in pre-trial detention in the Crimean capital Simferopol, in conditions that amounted to cruel and degrading treatment. On 9 September he was transferred to the cardiology department in Feofaniya Clinical Hospital, Kyiv, where he underwent heart surgery on 10 September. He is now recovering and is surrounded by his family.

Edem Bekirov has a number of serious medical conditions, including diabetes, an open wound on his amputated leg, and heart problems after a heart attack, that required specialised and constant medical care that was not available in the detention centre. As a result, his health deteriorated while in detention, raising serious concerns for his safety. Moreover, he was held in conditions that were not suitable for a person with a disability and he was even deprived of regular access to fresh air and proper access to sanitation.

Edem Bekirov’s daughter, Eleonora Bekirova, has thanked all those who supported her father and her family: “Once again I want to thank everyone who helped and supported us during this difficult period, all who wrote words of support to dad and our family. I transferred all your wishes to him!”

CUBA

Urgent Action: Independent Journalist Arrested

On 11 September 2019, authorities arrested independent Cuban journalist Mr. Roberto de Jesús Quiñones Haces in Cuba, after he was convicted of resistance and disobedience in August 2019. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Uyghur Academic Faces Execution

Fears are mounting that the Chinese authorities will imminently carry out the execution of Tashpolat Tiyip, a prominent Uyghur academic who was convicted in a secret and grossly unfair trial. Subjected to an enforced disappearance in 2017, he has been arbitrarily detained since then. No information has been made available about charges and proceedings against him, and his current whereabouts remain unknown.

TAKE ACTION

BANGLADESH

Urgent Action: Rohingya Law Student Suspended from Studies

University student Rohima Akter Khushi has been suspended during her second semester at a private university in Cox’s Bazar solely due to her being Rohingya. One of the very few Rohingya young women who have braved all odds to pursue higher education, denying her access solely based on her identity is an affront to the human rights commitment that Bangladesh has made under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

TAKE ACTION

CAMBODIA

Solidarity with workers at the West Mebun temple

126 skilled workers restoring the West Mebun temple in Cambodia have been out of work for a year. They were previously employed by the French archaeological agency EFEO, with a collective agreement and good working conditions. But in February 2018 they learned they would be suspended and then transferred to the Cambodian Government agency APSARA, which has a history of union-busting. Please join their protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update September 12-19

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

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again turn our attention to aid for victims of Hurricane Dorian which has battered the Bahamas. We invite you to donate to help the people crushed by the storm. We refer you to Mercy Corps who will direct your aid to where it is most needed. They are highly rated by charity monitors,

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is logging and burning. Please sign a petition to stop the genocide in Brazil/

Many indigenous territories in Brazil have been burned by farmers and loggers for years, though 2019s fires are especially bad. Awá man Hemokomaá stands in his peoples forest after it was burned in 2010.

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 thank and praise the government of Canada for committing $57 million to fight human trafficking.

URGENT ACTION CASES

ARGENTINA

Urgent Action Victory! Deported Mother Allowed to Return to Family

Vanessa Gómez Cueva, a Peruvian mother of three who was deported seven months ago from Argentina with her 2-year-old son and forced to leave her other two children behind, received permission to return to Argentina following a landmark decision from the Director of the National Migrations Office.

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

On 2 February 2019, Vanessa Gómez Cueva and her 2-year-old baby were deported from Argentina, where she lived for over 15 years. She was forced to leave behind her two other children (aged 5 and 14), who have Argentinian nationality, and was since banned from re-entering the country to reunite with her children. The deportation order was based on a criminal conviction, for which Vanessa had served a sentence in 2014. She was not allowed to say goodbye.

After serving her sentence, Vanessa obtained a nursing qualification, and was working as a care-giver of the elderly at the time of her deportation, while being a single mother of three.

On 3 September 2019, during the 31st Session of the Committee on Migrant Workers, the Director of the Argentinian National Migrations Office announced the decision to lift Vanessa’s re-entry ban into Argentina based on “humanitarian reasons”. This decision is very significant as it allows for the restoration of the rights of her children, considering their best interests and guaranteeing their right to family unity.

After 7 months of being forcibly separated from her family, and thanks to the collective struggle of Vanessa’s lawyer, civil society organizations, and the support of the international community and activists who joined forces to demand her return, Vanessa and her baby can now come back to Argentina and reunite with their family.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor her situation to ensure the state guarantees Vanessa and her baby’s safe return to Argentina and that she can remain in the country on a regular migratory status.

VIET NAM

Urgent Action: Activist Detained a Year Without Trial

Đoàn Thị Hồng was unlawfully arrested in September 2018 and has been detained without trial. Held incommunicado for eleven months, her family were finally able to meet with her on 4 September 2019 and noticed a significant deterioration in her health. A prisoner of conscience, we call on the government to immediately and unconditionally release Đoàn Thị Hồng as she has been detained solely for peacefully exercising her human right to freedom of expression.

TAKE ACTION

SENEGAL

Urgent Action Update: Activist Released on Bail, Still Facing Charges

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was released on bail on 16 August, one month after he was first detained for posting comments on Facebook. Charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’’ under the Senegalese Criminal Code, if he is found guilty, he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Amnesty International continues to call on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against Guy Marius Sagna as they relate solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom expression.

TAKE ACTION

SRI LANKA

Urgent Action Update: Writer Released on Bail, Still at Risk of Jail

Shakthika Sathkumara, an award-winning Sri Lankan writer, was arrested on 1 April 2019 for writing a short story and sharing it on his Facebook profile. While he was released on bail by the High Court on 5 August, after spending four months in prison, the charges against him are still pending and he could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Detained for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Shakthika Sathkumara is a prisoner of conscience and all charges against him should be immediately and unconditionally dropped.


TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update September 5-11

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

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to aid for victims of Hurricane Dorian which has battered the Bahamas. We invite you to donate to help the people crushed by the storm. We refer you to Mercy Corps who will direct your aid to where it is most needed. They are highly rated by charity monitors,


INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for these people and sign the global declaration for uncontacted tribes.

The Sentinelese are one of over 100 uncontacted peoples worldwide. When uncontacted tribes rights are respected, they continue to thrive.
© A. Justin

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 in protest against the inhuman treatment of returnees to Nigeria from the hell hole of Libya. Human Rights Watch has put out a detailed report on the anguish of these survivors. Please donate to help them.

A woman who tried to make her way to Europe sits with her child in a shelter in Benin City, Nigeria. Nigerians who attempt the journey to Europe often end up enslaved, beaten, assaulted, and trapped in Libya. March 2018. © 2018 Lynsey Addario/Getty Images Reportage

URGENT ACTION CASES

ISRAEL/OPT

Urgent Action Victory! Prominent Bedouin Leader Released

On 22 July 2019, 70-year-old human rights defender and prominent Bedouin leader Sheikh Sayyah Abu Mdeighim al-Turi was released from Maasiyahu Prison, in the city of Ramle in central Israel. He was granted an early release by the Israeli Prison Service. Sheikh Sayyah had spent seven months in detention for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. He is the head of al-‘Araqib, a Bedouin village in the Negev/Naqab that is unrecognized by the Israeli authorities.
Share

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

NICARAGUA

Urgent Action Update: Detention Continues for Over a Hundred Persons

Scores of people continue detained in Nicaragua after more than one year from the beginning of the human rights crisis. We urge the Nicaraguan authorities to immediately release and drop all charges against all those detained solely on the grounds of exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

TAKE ACTION:

CHINA

Urgent Action: NGO Workers Detained for “Subversion”

Human rights defenders Cheng Yuan, Liu Yongze, and Wu Gejianxiong have been placed under incommunicado detention on suspicion of ‘subversion of state power” since 22 July 2019. If found guilty, they could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Denied any access to their family and a lawyer of their choice, they are at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

MOZAMBIQUE

Urgent Action Update: Journalist Awaits Prosecutor’s Decision


Journalist Amade Abubacar’s pre-trial hearing at the Cabo Delgado Provincial Court ended on 25 July. The court referred his case back to the Public Prosecution. The prosecutor will now decide whether to bring a case against Amade or withdraw the charges against him.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

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

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 click and join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 29-September 4

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to Planned Parenthood. In October 2016, Planned Parenthood turned 100 years strong. Planned Parenthood was founded on the revolutionary idea that women should have the information and care they need to live strong, healthy lives and fulfill their dreams — no ceilings, no limits.  Since the organization has pulled out of government support because of the gag rules, prohibiting giving information about abortion, their need for donations has increased. There are several ways to give.

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced land theft. Across the world,; tribal peoples’ lands are being stolen and their communities devastated. ILO Convention 169 is the only international law designed to protect tribal peoples’ rights. Most governments refuse to ratify it. Please try to persuade your government to come on board this Convention.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the intolerable atrocities against migrants in Libya.

URGENT ACTION CASES

NIGERIA

Urgent Action: Detained Protesters Denied Medical Care

At least 15 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)—including two children—are suffering from gunshot wounds and need urgent medical attention. The IMN members were injured when police used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse a peaceful protest they were participating in. They have been denied access to medical care and to their lawyers or family members since their arrest on 22 July.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Stop the Prosecution of Peaceful Protesters

Peaceful protesters in the hands of police

In July and August, following the disqualification of opposition candidates from local elections in Moscow, tens of thousands of people participated in largely peaceful protests. Participants chanted slogans, held placards and briefly interrupted traffic on several streets. The protests remained peaceful until the authorities responded by attacking the crowds, arbitrarily beating and arresting people. The authorities brought unfounded charges against more than a dozen individuals, mostly youth, that carry lengthy prison sentences. All peaceful protesters must be urgently released, and charges against them must be dropped.

TAKE ACTION

TAKE ACTION

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Needs Urgent Medical Care

Equatorial Guinea Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto is in urgent need of medical assistance while in detention at Black Beach Prison. According to our sources, for the last couple of weeks, he has been experiencing severe diarrhea and high fever. On 5 August, Joaquín’s lawyer wrote to the judge asking for his client’s immediate transfer to a hospital. There has been no response. He has been detained since 25 February and has had no access to his family or lawyers for several weeks.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 22-29

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

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Smile Operation, a charity that provides surgery to help children born with cleft palates. Their vision:

At Operation Smile we believe every child suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate deserves exceptional surgical care. A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as $240 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world.”

Fifteen-month Ashraf poses with his mother, Shamiem, on patient announcement day during the 2018 Operation Smile medical mission to Blantyre, Malawi. Photo: Jasmin Shah.

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.

This week we ask you to sign a petition to the President of Brazil calling for an end to the genocidal policies towards the indigenous people.

Acampamento Terra Livre 2019 (Survival International)
© Sarah Shenker

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the marketing of slave produced products.

Cotton slavery in Uzbekistan

URGENT ACTION CASES

MAURITANIA

Urgent Action Victory! Charges Against Mauritanian Bloggers Dropped

All the charges against bloggers Cheikh Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady were dropped by a judge, who also dismissed the case against them, on 29 July. Their travel and identification documents were also returned to them. Both had been conditionally released on bail on 3 June.

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

Bloggers Cheikh Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady had their case dismissed after a judge dropped all charges against them on 29 July. Three days later on 1 August, their travel and identification documents were returned to them.

The two bloggers were arbitrarily arrested on 22 March by the economic crimes police in Nouakchott. This is after they posted comments on Facebook condemning corruption. Their comments came after media articles were published alleging that some Mauritanian officials had acquired wealth illegally and stashed it abroad. They were detained by the economic crimes police until 27 March, when they were taken to the prosecutor of West Nouakchott for questioning. Afterwards, they were transferred to the Central prison of Nouakchott.

The two were released on bail on 3 June.

‘I would like to thank sincerely all the Amnesty International members who have been mobilized since the beginning. I would like to assure them that I will not give up, my fight will continue to defend human rights in particular freedom of expression’’ said Cheikh Jiddou to Amnesty International.

TURKEY

Urgent Action: Investigate Whereabouts of Two Missing Men

Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz have been missing since 7 and 19 February 2019 respectively and are suspected to have been abducted and forcibly disappeared. The authorities have so far been denying that they are being held in official custody. On 29 July four men who had been missing since around the same time resurfaced in detention at the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Ankara Police Headquarters. The authorities must promptly investigate to determine the whereabouts of Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz and urgently inform their families.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s Life in Danger

On 6 July unknown men broke into Danelly Estupiñan’s house while she was not at home. Various human right organizations reported that unknown people made a payment to kill her. The Black Community Process and other organizations alerted the Prosecutor’s Office about the attack and the information about Danelly’s life being in danger, requesting immediate action. We are urging national authorities to swiftly and fully investigate all of these security incidents to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening Danelly’s physical and psychological integrity.

TAKE ACTION

TAKE ACTION

SENEGAL

Urgent Action: Activist Arbitrarily Detained for Facebook Posts

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’ on 5 August. He was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar. He was first questioned over his two Facebook posts about the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence and then for a publication on a Facebook Page about the presence of French army in Africa. He is detained at the Central prison of Rebeuss in Dakar.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Release Youth Prisoners of Conscience

The trial of Yan Sidorov, Vladislav Mordasov and Viacheslav Shashmin is ongoing at the Rostov-on-Don regional court, in southwestern Russia. They are being prosecuted for trying to organize a peaceful protest in November 2017 in support of dozens of Rostov-on-Don residents who had lost their houses in mass fires earlier that year. At the trial, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov reaffirmed that they had been tortured to extract “confessions,” but the court disregarded the statements. The three men are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally and their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment must be effectively investigated.

TAKE ACTION

Prometheus and Pandora XXIII

Pandora and Prometheus are back to rant at you or preferably with you about a variety of issues. In the featured image they become a bit nostalgic about their first date set up by Mercury.

IN MEMORIAM

Toni Morrison February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019

Chloe Anthony Wofford “Toni” Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; was an American novelist, essayist,editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at Princeton University. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, she won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for Beloved (1987). Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Also that year, she was honored with the National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. A detailed appreciation by Margalit Fox can be found in the NYTimes.

Toni Morrison 1993

THE RANT ON THE MISOGYNY IN OUR CULTURE

A FREE PASS TO THE MALE–TOTALLY WRONG

In previous postings Prometheus and Pandora have ranted loud and clear about the attack on abortion rights launched by the right wing in the US. Now we would like to address the sad fact that after the romantic interlude under starry skies or in the back seat, any pregnancy that ensues is suddenly HER problem exclusively, while the young man full of testosterone gets a free pass. One might think that the woman or girl became pregnant on her own or through some supernatural or spiritual agency. We know of only one such event in all human history which is documented in the New Testament. Mythology tells us of Athena emerging from the forehead of Zeus or of Venus rising from the sea.

Birth of Venus Sandro Botticelli 1480

For us ordinary mortals the means of impregnation are well known and there is a basic wrong perpetrated when only one of the partners must suffer the burden, risks and stigma. The author Elizabeth Hardwick, writing in the Morning Call in 1996 suggests satirically to the Republican convention of that year to add a Celibacy Amendment to the Constitution mandating celibacy for single young men and required marriage for any pregnancy caused by violation.

As she writes:
“Unmarried women have inflicted terrible tortures on their own bodies, hoping to undo or to conceal. When that failed, as it usually did, society often gave them abandonment, disgrace and, in some cultures, death.”


Elizabeth Hartwick by David Levine

Her daughter Harriet Lowell writing in the New York Review in the present invokes her mother’s article as being highly relevant to the reality of the present.

CAN A WOMAN DEFEAT TRUMP?

On a closely related issue Pandora and Prometheus call your attention to an article by Peter Beinart in the Atlantic about the prevalence of subjugation of women in our culture. He notes that this is the common denominator of modern dictatorship which enables the enemies of democracy to win democratic elections. As Beinart puts it

“But besides their hostility to liberal democracy, the right-wing autocrats taking power across the world share one big thing, which often goes unrecognized in the U.S.: They all want to subordinate women.”

Of course Trump claims to be reaching out to women, as interpreted well by Mike Lukavich.


The suppression of women goes back to ancient times, as may be noted in Isaiah III and in the Book of Esther I. Here we have the speech of Memuchan to the king which states the principle of subjugation of women most explicitly:


Then Memuchan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles:

“Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.

This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memuchan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language,proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

This consideration leads us to some difficult questions about the forthcoming elections in the US. As Beinart concluded a real change in the public and political domain requires a change in domestic attitudes. We would love to nominate Elizabeth Warren to run against Trump. She is certainly much better qualified for the task than Trump and many of her Democrat contenders in the primary. Yet, we wonder if she indeed has a real chance of overcoming the deep misogyny in society both in US and in the rest of the world. She certainly believes that she can and we shall support her if and when she is nominated.

A CENTURY OF SUFFRAGE

This year we mark the centenary of the 19th amendment of the US Constitution that granted the right to vote to women. It is interesting and somewhat sad to view the arguments against suffrage that have not wholly vanished today. Men then believed that women shouldn’t vote because they were, quite literally, not made for it. According to the leading theory, mental exertion could jeopardize reproductive health. And if the science of the day asserted that women could become infertile if they did too much thinking, no man would want to send his daughter, sister, or wife to college or the office—and certainly not to the ballot box.


The idea that menstruation required rest and certainly an avoidance of cognitive activity was debunked by the 19th century American physician Mary Putnam Jacobi.Real power only came when women were elected to positions of power.

In our time we saw how Trump attributed an attack on him by a female TV journalist to her period. Some idiotic ideas die hard.

NEVER AGAIN MEANS NEVER AGAIN

It is indeed most appropriate and worthy of commendation that American Jews are leading a protest against the policies and actions of the ICE towards immigrants. Jews know only too well what it means to be a refugee and to flee death and destruction to whatever haven can be found. Children are being separated from their families at the border and imprisoned in concentration camps. ICE raids are increasing in frequency and severity, instilling fear and terror into immigrant communities. People are dying at the border as they flee for their safety. The Never Again Action Network calls for Jews to block ICE centers and detention facilities. In Wisconsin the movement stood up, blocked ICE and made it clear that

“Never Again is Now!”

The slogan and hashmark #neveragain also represents a movement that strives for general human rights etc. Certainly there is no contradiction. The general movement defines itself thus:

Causes We Support

Genocide Awareness:

Now more than ever, the world needs to remember the atrocities of the past to prevent genocides of the future. The world is still at risk of revisiting the horrors of the past. Most frighteningly, the world is at risk of forgetting the past.

Human Rights Around the globe:

There are places where basic human rights are not respected. We support organizations
dedicated to upholding and enforcing international laws on human rights and holding those who violate those rights accountable. .

Gun Control

We support the Never Again movement started by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Never again should children in our schools die in their classrooms. It is time to take action on gun control.

BOOK REVIEW: ALSO A RANT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Two new books on climate change are reviewed in the New York Review of Books by Alan Weisman

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
by David Wallace-Wells
Tim Duggan, 310 pp., $27.00

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
by Bill McKibben
Henry Holt, 291 pp., $28.00

These two books present the horrible truth about climate change and the list of errors and malfeasance on the part of the economic and political leaders of humanity. The review opens with an indictment that cannot be denied.


“Climate scientists’ worst-case scenarios back in 2007, the first year the Northwest Passage became navigable without an icebreaker (today, you can book a cruise through it), have all been overtaken by the unforeseen acceleration of events. No one imagined that twelve years later the United Nations would report that we have just twelve years left to avert global catastrophe, which would involve cutting fossil-fuel use nearly by half. Since 2007, the UN now says, we’ve done everything wrong. New coal plants built since the 2015 Paris climate agreement have already doubled the equivalent coal-energy output of Russia and Japan, and 260 more are underway.”


The great problem is to convince millions of people that their life style is not sustainable and that major changes must be made very soon if we are not to face apocalypse. We think that everyone should think seriously about how to deal with these issues since for politicians it is an article of faith that continued, albeit lethal, economic growth is essential for getting reelected. As Wallace-Wells writes:

The entire history of swift economic growth, which began somewhat suddenly in the eighteenth century, is not the result of innovation or trade or the dynamics of free trade, but simply our discovery of fossil fuels and all their raw power. “

Richard Misrach: Untitled, 2007

Our addiction to fossil fuels despite hurricane winds and burning forests is so total that one wonders if anything can sway us to wise up and do the right thing.

TIDBITS FROM SCIENCE

A HOT EXOPLANET OF A NEW TYPE

Nine-hundred light-years from Earth, there’s a football-shaped planet so hot that heavy metals boil through its atmosphere, venting into space. It was discovered by the Hubble Space telescope and analyzed in detail in an article in The Astronomical Journal. Hot Jupiter’s are well known, but this one appears to be special. Much interest in geekdom…

SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT WITH 20 QUBITS

The famous quantum cat

Dead or alive, left-spinning or right-spinning — in the quantum world particles such as the famous analogy of Schrödinger’s cat can be all these things at the same time. An international team, together with experts from Forschungszentrum Jülich, have now succeeded in transforming 20 entangled quantum bits into such a state of superposition. The generation of such atomic Schrödinger cat states is regarded as an important step in the development of quantum computers.

PRIMORDIAL DARK MATTER FROM BEFORE THE BIG BANG

Big Bang illustration (stock image).
Credit: © Andrea Danti / Adobe Stock

Dark matter, which researchers believe make up about 80% of the universe’s mass, is one of the most elusive mysteries in modern physics. What exactly it is and how it came to be is a mystery, but a new study now suggests that dark matter may have existed before the Big Bang.

SILLY TIME

For WhatIF we present a thermal and technological history of the Earth and its inhabitants.

As we prepare our kiddies to go back to school (really grandkiddies):

Politics as usual…

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 15-21

Our feature image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to INMED Partnerships for Children. This NGO is a nonprofit international development organization that has worked in more than 100 countries to create pathways for disadvantaged children and families to achieve wellbeing and self-reliance. Through multisector partnerships and in-country affiliates, INMED builds sustainable systems that deliver innovative approaches to break complex cycles of poverty for current and future generations. INMED’s programs in climate-smart agriculture and aquaponics, maternal and child health, and economic development have transformed the lives of millions of children and their families since 1986. INMED currently has in-country affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean and southern Africa, with its international headquarters and local programs in Sterling, Virginia in the U.S.A. 


One of our trained community health agents screens a newborn for #jaundice after a home birth in an impoverished community in Peru, using the Bili-ruler(TM), developed by @BrighamWomens. Part of the #Bilikit project to reduce the debilitating effects of untreated jaundice.

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.

CONGO BASIN TRIBES

Listen to tribal conservationists

“The forest is something that we have inherited from our ancestors. We are the children of the forest. That’s why we protect the forest”. Please act and donate for these vulnerable tribes.

Bayaka Man, Republic of Congo

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

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

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Sentenced to 12 Years

Huang Qi, founder and director of Sichuan-based human rights website “64 Tianwang”, was sentenced on 29 July to 12 years imprisonment following a secret trial in January 2019. The severity of the sentence is believed to be intended as a warning to other activists to stop work documenting human rights violations. Huang Qi continues to suffer from serious health concerns and without access to a lawyer of his choice or his family; he is at real risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Uyghur Woman Held Incommunicado for 2 Years

Buzainafu Abudourexiti, who returned to China in 2015 after studying for two years in Egypt, was suddenly detained in March 2017 and sentenced in a secret trial to seven years in prison. No information has been provided about the charges against her, but it is believed that it may be part of a wider crackdown on Uighur students who studied abroad. Held incommunicado, she is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Buzainafu Abudourexiti continues to be held in incommunicado detention after she was suddenly detained in March 2017 and sentenced in a secret trial to seven years in prison. There is still no information about the charges against her, but it is believed that it may be part of a wider crackdown on Uyghur students who studied abroad. Buzainafu Abudourexiti returned to China in 2015 after studying in Egypt for two years. She is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

HONDURAS

Urgent Action Update: Land Defenders in Río Blanco Still at Risk

On 16 July, the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reported new attacks that affected at least 25 families of the community of Río Blanco, Intibucá, Honduras, that saw their food crop intentionally destroyed next to the where Rosalina Dominguez, her four sons and two other members of the community of Río Blanco were threatened last 30 April and 1 May 2019. We urge the Minister of Human Rights to immediately guarantee the safety of members of Río Blanco and COPINH, and to further the investigations of any attacks against them.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA

Tell Chicken of the Sea to take action on human rights violations in its supply chain!

US-headquartered packaged seafood provider Chicken of the Sea promises ‘A Sea of Good’ and likes to talk about sustainability. Its products are well-known throughout the Americas. Like many US seafood companies, Chicken of the Sea sources products from Bumi Menara Internusa (BMI) in Lampung, Indonesia. And BMI is trying to send a brave trade union leader to prison for 6 years. Human rights violations are swimming in the Sea of Good.