Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 9-15


Miriam, human rights defender, Our 1947-2012

Our featured image above shows an uncontacted Jururei Indian woman in the Urueu Wau Wau indigenous territory, Rondônia, Brazil.
© Rogerio Vargas/Survival





This week we call your attention to the American Himalayan Foundation. Their statement:

Our mission is to bring shelter, safety, education, health, and opportunity to people in the Himalaya who have no one else.

The Foundation has a high rating from Charity Navigator and is worthy of your support.



The country is beautiful, but most people there live in poverty. The foundation deals with various issues, for example:

STOP Girl Trafficking!!

The problem is huge.  Every year, as many as 20,000 girls from the poorest parts of rural Nepal are trafficked. They and their families are tricked with false promises of good jobs or lured by proposals of marriage from handsome strangers. They end up in brothels, in homes and factories as slaves, or forced into child marriage, their young lives cut short by trauma and abuse.



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,and are best left alone.

These very isolated peoples have not built up immunity to diseases common elsewhere, which is why they are so vulnerable. It is not unusual for 50% of a tribe to be wiped out within a year of first contact, by diseases such as measles and influenza.


Uncontacted Indians in the Brazilian Amazon, May 2008. Many are under increasing threat from illegal logging over the border in Peru.
© G. Miranda/FUNAI/Survival


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. You can about the subject at our freedom university.



Urgent Action Victory! Crimean Tatar Leaders Released

Crimean Tatar leaders Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz, both sentenced to prison by the de facto authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea, were taken to an airport and flown to Turkey on 25 October. On 27 October they arrived in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.


Crimean Tatar leaders Akhtem Chiygoz (left) and Ilmi Umerov were released on October 25

On 25 October, Russian security services took Crimean Tatar leader Ilmi Umerov from hospital, where he was undergoing planned treatment, and simultaneously took another Crimean Tatar leader, Akhtem Chiygoz, from the detention center where he had been held since January 2015, and brought them to Simferopol airport. Both men were flown to Turkey, without an official explanation, and set free. Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz arrived in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on 27 October. Upon return, Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz vowed to return to their homeland, Crimea, which has been occupied by Russia since February 2014. They both currently remain in Kyiv.

Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chyigoz are deputy heads of the Crimean Tatar community’s representative body barred by the Russian authorities as “extremist”, the Mejlis. Both men are known as vocal critics of the Russian occupation of Crimea. Ilmi Umerov was sentenced to two years in jail on 27 September, following a sham trial, for his criticism of the Russian occupation of Crimea, but was not yet remanded while awaiting an appeal hearing in his case. Akhtem Chyigoz was sentenced to eight years in jail on 11 September, after spending more than two years in detention, on trumped-up charges of purportedly organising mass disturbances in 2014. He was a prisoner of conscience, as was Ilmi Umerov during his forcible placement, in August-September 2016, in a psychiatric institution “for examination” as part of the criminal proceedings against him.

The Crimean Tatar community and the Mejlis have been targets of political persecution by the Russian authorities since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea. For more information see Amnesty International’s report, Crimea: In the dark- the silencing of dissent: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur50/5330/2016/en.

Amnesty International warmly welcomes the news of Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chyigoz’s release and recognises it as a positive step but is concerned about the conditions of their release, which remain unclear. Ilmi Umerov and Akhtem Chiygoz’s have been targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of their freedoms of expression and association and their release should be unconditional, and they must be immediately allowed to return to Crimea and freely express their views without fear of being prosecuted.

The de facto authorities in Crimea must stop this relentless suppression of dissent, immediately and unconditionally free all prisoners of conscience, and end the policy of prosecution and exile of their critics from Crimea.

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


Urgent Action: Bangladeshi Academic Whereabouts Unknown


Mubashar Hasan, a prominent Bangladeshi academic, has not been seen or heard from since 7 November and may have been subject to an enforced disappearance.



URGENT Action: Dalit Rights Activist Held Without Charge


Chandrasekhar Azad, a prominent Dalit rights activist from Uttar Pradesh, India, has been held in administrative detention since 3 November 2017, the day after he was granted bail following over four months in prison. Under the National Security Act, he is at risk of being detained for up to 12 months without charge or trial.



Urgent Action Update: Forcibly Returned Activist At Greater Torture Risk


Without any notification to his family, Dong Guangping has been moved to a new detention center. Held incommunicado without trial since his forced return from Thailand in 2015, there is even greater concern following his relocation that any trial would be unfair and he is at risk of torture.



Urgent Action: Journalist Facing Charges For Exposé Book


Tomasz Piątek, an investigative journalist for Gazeta Wyborcza, could face criminal prosecution for his exposé book, “Macierewicz and his secrets” (Macierewicz i jego tajemnice), in which he makes allegations of purported links between Antoni Macierewicz, Poland’s Minister of Defense and the Russian intelligence services.



Workers at Coca-Cola’s bottler in Indonesia are fighting for their rights and need your support

Workers at Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia are organizing to form independent democratic unions. The company has responded by systematically attacking their members and elected leaders. Please open the link and join the protest.


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