The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 13-19

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great friends 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”.

Please note that there are calls for specific action in each item in the blog, including charity, indigenous peoples and the fight against modern slavery, as well as under the Urgent Action rubric.


This week we turn our attention to PAI, an organization that works to help women around the world to control their reproductive rights. Their mission statement: Our mission is to promote universal access to reproductive health and reproductive rights through research, advocacy and innovative partnerships. Achieving this will dramatically improve the health and autonomy of women, reduce poverty and strengthen civil society. The lead the struggle against the global gag rule:

The Global Gag Rule risks women’s health and lives by forcing foreign NGOs to choose between receiving U.S. global health assistance and providing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.

Please donate. The charity has a high rating with Charity Navigator.


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.

This week we ask you to act on behalf of the Bushmen of Southern Africa. Read the sad story of how they have been treated in their ancestral homeland.

Trance dancer


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 against support of the Uzbek cotton industry that is heavily tainted by forced labor.

Forced labor in the Uzbek cotton fields



Urgent Action: Health of Imprisoned Crimean Tatar at Risk

Crimean Tatar, Edem Bekirov, has been detained in Simferopol since his detention by Russian security forces on 12 December 2018. He is a wheelchair user and has serious health conditions that require specialized medical care not available in the detention center. After the last visit on 24 May, his lawyer reported a grave deterioration of Edem Bekirov’s health prompting concerns for his life.



Urgent Action: Incommunicado Detainee at Risk of Torture

Lebanese detainee Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui has been held incommunicado since 11 April 2019. He is at heightened risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Ahmad Ali Mekkaoui is serving a 15-year prison sentence in the United Arab Emirates on “terrorism” charges. Legal proceedings against him have been seriously flawed, including arbitrary detention, excessive pre-trial detention, forced confessions, allegations of torture, and lack of access to medical care. In April 2019, the Prosecutor pressed new speech-related charges against Ahmad following a TV news report in which his sister and legal consultant were interviewed about Ahmad’s torture and unfair trial.



Urgent Action: Seven Activists Arrested, Charged with Treason

Zimbabwe: Pastor ties himself to pole in anti-Mugabe ...

Seven activists, arrested on different dates, are facing charges of treason after they attended a training organised by the Center for Non-Violence Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in the Maldives. Five of the activists have already appeared in court and are remanded in custody until 6 June. The offense ‘subverting a constitutional government’ carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. These arrests are part of an ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders, activists and opposition members in the country and are an attempt by the government to stifle peaceful protest over the recently implemented austerity measures.



One Job Should Be Enough

Underpaid workers in the airline and hotel business’s are protesting and on the verge of strikes. Please click to read their stories and support their struggles.

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