The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 1-7

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


This week we turn our attention to the Mercy Corps, a non governmental body that provides aid in emergency situations around the world. They are highly rated by monitoring groups and are most worthy of your support.

Mercy Corps is working around the world in over 40 countries to deliver lifesaving aid to families suffering in the face of crisis. Your support today provides communities with the help they need to survive, recover and build better futures.


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 help stop genocide in Brazil.

President Jair Bolsonaro has ‘declared war’ on Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

He has:
– tried to take the government’s indigenous affairs department, FUNAI, away from the Ministry of Justice and place it under the control of Minister Damares Alves, an evangelical preacher under investigation for inciting racial hatred against indigenous peoples
– tried to take the responsibility to map out indigenous territories away from FUNAI and give it to the Agriculture Ministry which is run by anti-indigenous politicians of the agribusiness lobby
– issued decrees to make it harder to protect indigenous territories, and to ‘monitor’ indigenous peoples’ allies
– through his racist rhetoric, emboldened invaders to steal indigenous land and attack communities
– and more…

These moves spell disaster for indigenous peoples nationwide and could wipe out dozens of uncontacted tribes.

But across the country, indigenous peoples are fighting back. They won’t let anyone steal their land, because without it they can’t survive.

They’re asking for your help. Please sign and share.


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 modern slavery.



Urgent Action Update: Justice for Survivor of Sexual Harassment

On 5 July 2019, the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected the final case review submitted by Baiq Nuril Maknun, a survivor of sexual abuse, and upheld its decision to find her guilty of distributing pornographic content. Sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of IDR 500 million (USD 34,644), Baiq Nuril Maknun is seeking amnesty from the President as her last resort for obtaining justice. Under Indonesian law, the president can only grant an amnesty after he/she seeks consideration from the advice of the parliament. A request for such advice was formally lodged by President Joko Widodo on 15 July 2019.



Urgent Action Update: Lawyer of Xinca People Still Under Threat

Lawyer Quelvin Jimenez reported that on 23 June a group of people, carrying small arms and machetes, disrupted a meeting of the Xinca Indigenous People authorities in Jumaytepeque, Santa Rosa (Southwest Guatemala). They verbally threatened and beat some of the participants. Quelvin escaped but was stopped by a vehicle where three people got out accusing him of attacking them. Police took them all to a municipal police station in Barberena. Hours later, he was released free of charges. The Attorney’s office should investigate these attacks and guarantee Quelvin’s protection.



Urgent Action: Update: Jailed Crimean Tatar’s Health Still at Risk

On 3 July a court in Russian – occupied Crimea rejected Edem Bekirov’s appeal to review his pre-trial detention. Crimean Tatar, Edem Bekirov, has been detained since December 2018 in conditions that are not suitable for his disability. He also continues to be denied the specialzed medical care he urgently requires due to his numerous conditions and that is not available in the detention center.



Reinstate municipal workers in Aliağa

The Aliağa Municipality of Izmir, Turkey, is dismissing trade union members without any legal basis. In addition to dismissals, the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union and to join another one. Workers have been affiliated to DISK/Genel-İş Union since 1998.
The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24. The workers have been picketing since the 20th of May. They demand reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Please support these workers.

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