The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 24-30


Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012






This week we call your attention to Books for Africa.


Mission statement:

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 39 million books to 49 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.

It is highly rated by Charity Navigator and certainly worthy of your support.


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, including abuse by so-called conservation organization. In fact, tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. But they are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of conservation. They face arrest and beatings, torture and death, while big game trophy hunters are encouraged. Please act.



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. Child slavery is widespread. Join the call and help in the struggle. A protest march is coming up in India.


Child slaves in India


USA Urgent Action Victory! Arkansas Governor To Commute Death Sentence

On 25 August, the Governor of Arkansas announced his intent to commute the death sentence of Jason McGehee, who had been scheduled for execution on 27 April, when he received a stay from a federal judge, and the parole board recommended clemency. The governor has now accepted that recommendation.


Urgent Action Victory! Zambia Opposition Leader Released

Leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Hakainde Hichilema and five others accused with him have been released. He, together with five others had been arrested in April and charged with treason over allegations of obstructing the Presidential motorcade as it was on the way to a traditional ceremony in the Western Province.

Hakainde Hichilema, leader of the UPND, was released on 16 August.


Urgent Action Victory! Six Activists Commemorating Liu Xiabo Released

Detained Guangdong activists who held seaside memorial for Liu Xiaobo
Six activists who were criminally detained in July 2017, after taking part in a seaside memorial for Liu Xiaobo in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, have all been released on bail. While still subjected to some restrictions, they have all been returned to their respective hometowns.

Thanks to all who participated in the actions.


Urgent Action: Urban Artist At Risk In Cuba


After being arbitrarily detained on 17 August, Yulier Perez, a graffiti artist known for painting dilapidated walls in Havana, is at risk of being imprisoned again, after months of intimidation and harassment from authorities.



Urgent Action Update: Website Founder Faces An Additional Charge


Formally arrested for “inciting subversion of state power” in December 2016, Liu Feiyue, founder and director of Hubei-based human rights website “Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch” (, is to face an additional charge of “leaking state secrets”. He could face a sentence of life imprisonment if convicted of this additional charge.



Urgent Action: Worrying Crackdown On Kenyan Defenders


Maina Kiai former UN Special Rapporteur

Kenya’s NGO Coordination Board threatened to arrest George Kegoro, Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), Gladwell Otieno, Executive Director of African Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) and Maina Kiai (pictured), former UN Special Rapporteur and a member of AfriCOG’s Board of Directors on 16 August.



Free Reza Shahabi and Esmail Abdi


In Iran, trade unionists are subjected to continued persecution by the authorities. Their trade union rights and civil liberties are denied and trade union leaders are detained for reasons connected with their activities in defense of the interests of workers. The Education International and the International Transport Workers’ Federation are particularly concerned about the fate of two of them: Reza Shahabi and Esmail Abdi.
Please join the protest.


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