The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update September 12-19

Our feature 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 again turn our attention to aid for victims of Hurricane Dorian which has battered the Bahamas. We invite you to donate to help the people crushed by the storm. We refer you to Mercy Corps who will direct your aid to where it is most needed. They are highly rated by charity monitors,


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.

A major calamity for indigenous people is logging and burning. Please sign a petition to stop the genocide in Brazil/

Many indigenous territories in Brazil have been burned by farmers and loggers for years, though 2019s fires are especially bad. Awá man Hemokomaá stands in his peoples forest after it was burned in 2010.


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

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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 raise your voice to thank and praise the government of Canada for committing $57 million to fight human trafficking.



Urgent Action Victory! Deported Mother Allowed to Return to Family

Vanessa Gómez Cueva, a Peruvian mother of three who was deported seven months ago from Argentina with her 2-year-old son and forced to leave her other two children behind, received permission to return to Argentina following a landmark decision from the Director of the National Migrations Office.


On 2 February 2019, Vanessa Gómez Cueva and her 2-year-old baby were deported from Argentina, where she lived for over 15 years. She was forced to leave behind her two other children (aged 5 and 14), who have Argentinian nationality, and was since banned from re-entering the country to reunite with her children. The deportation order was based on a criminal conviction, for which Vanessa had served a sentence in 2014. She was not allowed to say goodbye.

After serving her sentence, Vanessa obtained a nursing qualification, and was working as a care-giver of the elderly at the time of her deportation, while being a single mother of three.

On 3 September 2019, during the 31st Session of the Committee on Migrant Workers, the Director of the Argentinian National Migrations Office announced the decision to lift Vanessa’s re-entry ban into Argentina based on “humanitarian reasons”. This decision is very significant as it allows for the restoration of the rights of her children, considering their best interests and guaranteeing their right to family unity.

After 7 months of being forcibly separated from her family, and thanks to the collective struggle of Vanessa’s lawyer, civil society organizations, and the support of the international community and activists who joined forces to demand her return, Vanessa and her baby can now come back to Argentina and reunite with their family.

Amnesty International will continue to monitor her situation to ensure the state guarantees Vanessa and her baby’s safe return to Argentina and that she can remain in the country on a regular migratory status.


Urgent Action: Activist Detained a Year Without Trial

Đoàn Thị Hồng was unlawfully arrested in September 2018 and has been detained without trial. Held incommunicado for eleven months, her family were finally able to meet with her on 4 September 2019 and noticed a significant deterioration in her health. A prisoner of conscience, we call on the government to immediately and unconditionally release Đoàn Thị Hồng as she has been detained solely for peacefully exercising her human right to freedom of expression.



Urgent Action Update: Activist Released on Bail, Still Facing Charges

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was released on bail on 16 August, one month after he was first detained for posting comments on Facebook. Charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’’ under the Senegalese Criminal Code, if he is found guilty, he faces a maximum of five years in prison. Amnesty International continues to call on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against Guy Marius Sagna as they relate solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom expression.



Urgent Action Update: Writer Released on Bail, Still at Risk of Jail

Shakthika Sathkumara, an award-winning Sri Lankan writer, was arrested on 1 April 2019 for writing a short story and sharing it on his Facebook profile. While he was released on bail by the High Court on 5 August, after spending four months in prison, the charges against him are still pending and he could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty. Detained for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, Shakthika Sathkumara is a prisoner of conscience and all charges against him should be immediately and unconditionally dropped.


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