The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update February 22-28

Our featured image shows Miriam, the human rights defender, 1947-2012



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”.




This week we turn our attention to the NALA Foundation:

NTD refers to Neglected Tropical Diseases. The organization was founded by Professor Zvi Bentwich, MD,  who was one of the first doctors to deal with HIV/AIDS in Israel. During his time working in the field, he began to notice a correlation between intestinal parasites and HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other major diseases. After years of thorough research, he came up with groundbreaking evidence that there is a direct link between the two, and if intestinal parasites are eradicated, the likelihood of HIV/AIDS infection drops dramatically as well. After this realization, he could no longer sit back and continue exclusively in research. He knew he must reach out to the most vulnerable communities and begin the NTD eradication process, both to mitigate the effects it has on HIV/AIDS and to ensure that the detrimental effects of the unnecessary diseases come to an end.

Our vision is a world free of curable diseases that perpetuate poverty.

Our mission is to break the poverty cycle by eradicating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and other diseases of poverty. We put in a special effort in health education.,h_390,al_c,q_80,usm_0.66_1.00_0.01/331a2b_af5163c7005b4bfc8ae970fa85210281~mv1.jpg

 Please read the post and donate to this most worthy cause.


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.

A major calamity for indigenous people is land theft. Industrialized societies subject tribal peoples to genocidal violence, slavery and racism so they can steal their lands, resources and labor in the name of “progress” and “civilization.”  Raise your voice in protest.


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 lend your voice to the call to close the Libyan slave markets.




Urgent Action Victory! – Prisoner Of Conscience Gets Medical Care

Prisoner of conscience Villca Fernández finally received medical care after having been denied urgently needed medical treatment since June 2017. Since 26 January 2018, prison authorities have transferred Villca Fernández to a military hospital on several occasions for continued treatment.

On 26 January, authorities from the National Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional, SEBIN) facilities in Caracas transferred Villca Fernández to a military hospital in order to receive medical treatment for a range of health problems, including numbness on his face and hypertension. Due to the nature of his ailments, Villca Fernández has since been transferred for continued treatment on additional occasions. Villca Fernández’s father and lawyer told Amnesty International he has received additional medical care on 30 January and during the first weeks of February.

Nevertheless, violations to his right to due process continue. On 12 February, authorities once again did not transfer Villca Fernández to the court where the hearing for the start of his trial was scheduled to take place. The hearing was again postponed until 12 March.

Despite the need for urgent action regarding his health subsiding, Villca Fernández remains a prisoner of conscience who has not used or advocated violence and is being arbitrarily detained in SEBIN custody, and as such, Amnesty International will continue demanding his immediate and unconditional release. We ask the movement to continue campaigning on his behalf through our long-term casefile on the Individuals at Risk portfolio.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.


Urgent Action Victory! – Convicted Environmental Activists Released

Two environmental activists and prisoners of conscience, convicted of and sentenced on trumped-up charges based on their peaceful activism, were released after serving five months out of their 1-year prison sentences, as seven months of their sentences had been suspended.

Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, activists affiliated with the environmental NGO ‘Mother Nature Cambodia’ (MNC), were released from Koh Kong Provincial Prison in the morning of 13 February 2018. On 26 January 2018, Koh Kong’s Provincial Court convicted both men of “incitement to commit a felony” and “violation of privacy” and sentenced them to one year in prison with seven months of that prison sentence suspended.

At the day of the trial, both activists had already spent five months in pre-trial detention due to their arbitrary arrest on 12 September 2017. The trumped-up charges were based on their peaceful environmental activism. They had filmed two large vessels in open waters, which were anchored off the coast of Prek Khsach in Koh Kong province, southwestern Cambodia, as they suspected them to be illegally carrying sand for export. The complaint had been filed by ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat’s company, Ly Yong Phat Group Ltd., alleging the two had filmed on the company’s “private property”, such as the Special Economic Zone in Kiri Sakor district.

Both were arrested two days after MNC had published a video exposing illegal exports of Cambodia’s valuable silica sand by companies linked to the Cambodian authorities. MNC has accused Cambodian authorities of complicity in this illegal trade of Cambodia’s natural resource by turning a blind eye to fraud and tax evasion allegedly committed by sand-dredging companies.

Upon arrest, the pair had been questioned and charged without their lawyer present. In October 2017, they had been denied bail. They were held in small and overcrowded prison cells at Kog Kong Provincial Prison. Amnesty International considered both men to be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for their peaceful activism.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network


Urgent Action: Oromo Civilians Killed, Wounded by the Military

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At least 22 members of the Ethiopian Oromo community have been killed or wounded by military officers in two separate incidents.



Urgent Action Update: Risk of Executions After Final Sentence Confirmed



Aum Shinrikyo, Japanese religious group founded by Shoko Asahara.

The execution of 13 members of Aum Shinrikyo could be carried out any moment following the completion of the trial for the final two other cult members who turned themselves in after 17 years on the run. They are the cult that carried out a sarin gas attack in the Tokyo metro killed 13 people and sent more than 5,000 to the hospital in March 1995.



Urgent Action: Kashmiri Photojournalist Faces Life in Prison


Kamran Yousuf has been charged with several criminal offenses including ‘waging war against the government of India’. The charges are based on the allegation that he only covered violent protests in Kashmir rather than other ‘developmental activities’. In pre-trial detention for over five months, he faces life imprisonment if convicted.



Urgent Action: Man At Risk of Torture if Extradited to Russia



Aslan Yandiev was detained by the Slovakian authorities on 20 January 2011, shortly before the Prosecutor General’s office of the Russian Federation submitted a request for his extradition. He is now at risk of imminent extradition to Russia following the Minister of Justice’s decision on 7 February to authorize it. If extradited to Russia, Aslan Yandiev would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.



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