The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 6-12

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender


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”.

We mark the 30th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen Square. On the evening of 3–4 June 1989, Chinese tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square to brutally crush an unprecedented democracy movement. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people were killed when troops opened fire on the students and workers who were peacefully calling for political reforms.

FILE – In this June 5, 1989 file photo, a Chinese protestor blocks a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Blvd. June 5, 1989 in front of the Beijing Hotel. The man, calling for an end to the violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. Tuesday June 4, 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chinese military assault on demonstrators on the night of June 3-4, 1989 in Tiananmen Square. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener, File)


This week we turn our attention to Journalists Without Borders, a worldwide organization designed to protect freedom of the press and the access to true information. As we all know true democracy is possible only if information is freely available to the public. Leaders of repressive regimes are the greatest enemies of the free press.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is deeply saddened by the death of its Kazakhstan correspondent, Rozlana Taukina, for decades a prominent journalist and leading advocate for the freedom of the media in her country.

See the violations of freedom barometer:

The figures in 2019 for repression of freedom of information:


  • 16 journalists killed
  • 1 citizens journalists killed
  • 1 media assistants killed

How many are imprisoned at this time

  • 172 journalists imprisoned
  • 150 citizens journalists imprisoned
  • 17 media assistants imprisoned

Donate to protect your own freedom.


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.

Please act on behalf of the tribes of the Congo basin who are suffering severe abuse in the name of so-called 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 raise your voice to pledge to join the fight for Freedom For Girls



Urgent Action: Dozens at Risk of Torture in Police Detention

Image result for people in detention in Turkey

A group of 47 people, including men, women and three children, were detained between 18 and 21 May during police raids following clashes between security forces and the armed PKK in Urfa province, south eastern Turkey. There are credible allegations that the adults were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. As of 24 May, 22 of them, including the three children, have been released. The 25 still being held at the police’s anti-terrorism branch are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and must be given immediate access to independent medical care.



Urgent Action: Defamation Charges for Exposing Labor Abuse

Image result for Nan Win

Human rights defenders, activists, journalists and former employees are facing criminal defamation lawsuits for their public comments on labor rights abuses faced by many workers at Thammakaset Co. Ltd, a chicken farm in central Thailand. Nan Win, a former farm worker and Sutharee Wannasiri, a human rights specialist and former employee of Amnesty International Thailand, go on trial on 24 May 2019 while Tun Tun Win, a migrant worker from Myanmar, will stand trial on 5 June 2019. They are three of at least 22 individuals who have faced criminal and civil proceedings initiated by this company.



Nguyen Van Hoa at his trial in Ha Tinh, Vietnam, on Monday. He was convicted of spreading anti-state propaganda for producing videos and writing about protests over an environmental disaster.CreditCreditCong Tuong/Vietnam News Agency, via Associated Press

Urgent Action: Prisoner of Conscience Tortured to Confess

Journalist and human rights defender Nguyen Van Hoa was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2017 for reporting on the 2016 Formosa environmental disaster in central Viet Nam. Tortured by the authorities to confess to his “crime”, he is currently being held in solitary confinement as punishment for his refusal to cooperate. Nguyen Van Hoa is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.



Holcim workers demand justice

For years contractual workers at the Holcim cement plant in Davao have demanded regular employment, in line with Philippine law. Last year they filed a complaint with the Department of Labor and Employment, however in March 140 contract workers were laid off, while non-union workers were offered new employment contracts. Since then the workers have been picketing the factory, but in May they found out the owner of the plant – multinational cement giant Lafarge Holcim – is planning on selling the factory to notoriously anti-union Filipino conglomerate San Miguel. On May Day the workers’ picket line was violently attacked by thugs, and the union is convinced that Holcim is responsible for the attack. These workers need justice, not violence and repression. Please click and join the protest.

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