Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update November 23-29


Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012





This week we call your attention to Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders (RWB), or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. We invite you to see their press freedom rankings and to make a donation. You can also check out where your country ranks.


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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.


Takwarentxia with a monkey, Juriti community, Brazil.
© Fiona Watson/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.

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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. The good news from California–The good news from California–


To support our partner Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), asking Governor Brown to sign new laws that apply to California that would help end victims of modern slavery from being criminalized for crimes they were forced to commit.


Five bills that aim to help human trafficking victims caught in the criminal justice system were under consideration in the Californian Assembly. We gathered signatures calling for Governor Brown to support the two bills that offered the best protections possible. These were AB 1761 (Affirmative Defense for Human Trafficking Victims ), which will ensure that human trafficking victims are not convicted of crimes their traffickers forced them to commit, and AB 1762 (Vacating Convictions for Human Trafficking Victims), which will help protect trafficking victims from being haunted by their past convictions and remove barriers to employment and housing.


AB 1761 was signed into law by Governor Brown in September of 2016, but AB 1762 was vetoed

A step forward.






Urgent Action Victory! Investigations Into Human Rights Defender Closed


The Malaysian police have officially closed all investigations into Maria Chin Abdullah, who was detained under security laws for organizing a rally on free and fair elections. Placed in solitary confinement for ten days in November 2016, she was released on 28 November 2016 and has continued with her human rights work. She is grateful for all the support and no further action is needed.


Urgent Action Update: Grave Health Fears For Paralyzed Activist In Prison

Profile Shoot Of Professor GN Saibaba

Disabled activist and teacher, G N Saibaba was convicted under a draconian anti-terror law on 7 March 2017 and continues to be denied access to adequate medical treatment in Nagpur Central Jail. Due to chronic health issues, his family fear that he will not survive the winter if he is not provided immediate and adequate access to medical care.



Urgent Action: Defender Accused Of Undermining State Security

Nestor Nibitanga, a former member of the deregistered Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH), was arrested in Gitega on 21 November. Burundian police have accused him of undermining state security.



Urgent Action: Border Officials Forcibly Separate Families

US border agency officials forcibly separated four Central American asylum-seeking fathers from their children after their arrival to the US, in violation of US standards on family unity during immigration detention. The parents are subsequently suffering from emotional distress, and the whereabouts of two of the children are still unknown.



Urgent Action: Activist Faces Seven Charges For Peaceful Protest


Singapore activist Jolovan Wham is facing seven charges for organizing several peaceful assemblies over a one year period, including a vigil protesting the execution of Malaysian national Prabagaran Srivijayan in July 2017. If found guilty, he could face up to 3 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of SGD$11,000 (USD$ 8,100).



End campaign of intimidation against Nermin Al-Sharif


Nermin Al-Sharif, leader of the Dockers’ and Seafarers’ Union of Libya, works relentlessly for the protection and advancement of human, workers’ and women’s rights in Libya, in the Arab region, and globally. As a result, she has been subject to ongoing attacks on her freedom and personal safety including several attempts on her life. Please join the protest.

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