The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update September 21-27


Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012




We wish all our Jewish readers a חתימה טובה that they may be enscribed in the Book of Life on this forthcoming Yom Kippur. May all have an easy fast and a spiritual renewal along with a strengthened commitment to Human Rights.


This week we again call your attention to the devastation in the Caribbean as hurricanes  pummel  the islands one after the other. We recommend donating to the Global Giving campaign for the victims of hurricane Maria.  Hurricane Maria caused devastating destruction in Dominica and is heading to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands just two weeks after Hurricane Irma. This fund will provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild. All donations to this fund will exclusively support any necessary hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean.

There seems to be no end in sight for the tragedy of Puerto Rico.

Maria moves on and will brush the east coast of the USA with destruction in its path.




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 abuse by so-called conservation organizations, who shoot tribal people on sight.


Last year guards shot a 7 year-old tribal boy. Akash (pictured) spent five months in hospital and is now maimed for life. All this is being done in the name of conservation.


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. We suggest you read this article about slavery in supply chains.



Urgent Action Victory! Abortion Decriminalized In Chile

Chile’s Constitutional Tribunal has ruled in favor of decriminalizing abortion under three specific circumstances. This is an important step toward ensuring the protection of women and girls’ human rights across the country.

A Chilean Constitutional Tribunal ruling on 21 August confirmed that the country’s constitution now allows for the decriminalization of and access to abortion under three circumstances: when the pregnancy poses a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or girl, when the foetus would be unable to survive outside the womb, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.


Urgent Action Victory! Dr. Mudawi Unconditionally Released

Sudanese human rights defender Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam was released on 29 August after the Sudan government dropped all charges against him. Dr Mudawi was arrested on 7 December 2016 by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). He was charged with six offenses, two of which are punishable by life imprisonment, or death.

Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam was released, along with five other human rights defenders, on 29 August. He was facing six trumped-up charges, including ‘undermining the constitutional system’ and ‘waging war against the state’, both of which carry either the death penalty or life imprisonment. All the charges against him were dropped.
Dr. Mudawi Ibrahim Adam is thankful to Amnesty International for campaigning on his case.

No further action is requested of the UA network. Many thanks to those who sent appeals.


Urgent Action: Victim Of Acid Attack Faces Defamation

Novel Baswedan, a human rights defender and prominent investigator for the independent Corruption Eradication Commission, is facing criminal defamation proceedings for an email he wrote as a union representative. These charges come five months after he suffered an acid attack in Jakarta of which there has been no progress.



Urgent Action: Detained Cartoonist Facing Trumped Up Charges

An Equatorial Guinean cartoonist and activist, Ramón Esono Ebalé, whose work has been critical of the government has been arrested and detained. He is being held at the Black Beach prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. He has not been charged yet.



Urgent Action: Activists Risk Prison After Peaceful Protest

Congolese pro-democracy activists Jean Mulenda, Patrick Mbuya, Jean-Pierre Tshibitshabu and Eric Omari were sentenced to eight months in prison on 30 August. They have appealed the sentence. A fifth activist, Timothée Mbuya is still facing trial. The five were arrested on 31 July for their involvement in public protests demanding the publication of the elections calendar. They are currently in custody.



Drop sanctions against trade union leader

Carlos E. Castañeda Ravelo is the president of the National Unitary Union of State Workers (SUNET), which represents more than 6,600 members in Colombia. SUNET is a PSI affiliate and a member of the Bogota-Cundinamarca branch of the Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Colombia (CUT). In 2006, Carlos was dismissed and disqualified for 10 years from holding public office for having expressed – in exercise of the right to freedom of association – his support for a candidate of the Polo Democrático Alternativo Party to the Senate of the Republic. Please join the call to drop this sanction.



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