The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 3-9


Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

We call for the release of Liu Xia !

Our featured image shows the Liu couple in 2002.



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”.


“The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”


Survival International provides a useful tool for locating the embassy of any country in your country. You can also find embassies at


This week we call your attention to Direct Relief a charity rated very highly by Charity Navigator.

Direct Relief’s Areas of Focus


Direct Relief equips health professionals working in resource-poor communities to better meet the challenges of diagnosing, treating, and caring for people. Above a mother and children in Sierra Leone.


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. Tribal  people suffer from a variety of forms of discrimination, such as forced “development.”


Forcing “development” or “progress” on tribal people does not make them happier or healthier. In fact, the effects are disastrous. The most important factor by far for tribal peoples’ well-being is whether their land rights are respected. If you care about these victimized people, please take these actions.



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.

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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 to participate in the abolitionist movement against modern slavery. Help in the campaign against forced marriage in Lebanon.forced-marriage-lebanon2

Momentum is growing to repeal laws that enable convicted rapists to marry their victims to avoid punishment. As well as the horrors endured by victims, this law means many women and girls where these laws exist are then forced into marriage against their will.


Russian Federation

Urgent Action Victory! Russia Drops Case Against Rights Defender



The criminal case against prominent Russian human rights defender Valentina Cherevatenko for “violation of ‘foreign agents’ law” was closed on 19 June due to an “absence of the elements of the crime”. She was not informed of the decision and only learnt of it by accident over a month later.


Urgent Action Victory! Harassed Priest Granted Fellowship Abroad

Since being summoned for questioning by the Sri Lankan police for hosting a memorial for the war dead, Father Elil Rajendram was successful in securing a court order directing the police not to question him further. In terms of his personal safety, he now has respite from harassment and is out of the country on a short-term Fellowship.

Father Elil Rajendram has expressed is thanks to the Amnesty International members who took action on his behalf. International pressure helped raise the profile of his situation and the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission was able to highlight in court their concerns on issues of freedom of expression and the right to memorialisation.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.


Urgent Action Update: Media Workers Face Additional Charges

While newspaper editor Kyaw Min Swe has been released on bail, he remains on trial for “online defamation’’ for a satirical article mocking the Myanmar Army. In addition, he and his colleague Kyaw Zwar Naing are now also facing additional charges in connection with the article. They have been charged solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression.


Urgent Action: Six Activists Detained For Liu Xiaobo Memorial

Wei Xiaobing, He Lin, Liu Guangxiao, Li Shujia, Wang Meiju and Qin Mingxin have been criminally detained on suspicion of “assembling a crowd to disturb social order” after they held a seaside memorial for deceased Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in Jiangmen, Guangdong province.


Urgent Action Update: Judicial Reforms Must Not Threaten Fair Trial

On 24 July President Duda vetoed two of the three controversial legislative amendments regarding judicial reforms but signed a third amendment. The bills threaten to undermine the independence of the judiciary by awarding the government direct control over Polish courts.


Support abandoned workers in their struggle for lost wages and benefits.

The sudden closure of a garment factory has left 208 workers in Cambodia without jobs, salaries, or their legally owed compensation. One year later these workers, mainly women, are still fighting for justice. Please click to support their just struggle.



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