The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 12-18

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 call your attention to Books for Africa,. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, sorting, shipping, and distributing books to children and adults in Africa. With headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, and warehouses in St. Paul and Atlanta, Georgia, BFA’s mission is to end the book famine in Africa. Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 28 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. In 2012 BFA shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 brand new law libraries.

Books For Africa has received the top rating of 4 stars from Charity and meets all standards set by the Charities Review Council.Please choose your donation aim at this site.

A book opens a world to a child


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 eviction from their lands because conservation colonialism. Organizations such as WWF have committed crimes against people in Africa. It is well known that tribal people who have lived in the land for centuries are the most effective conservators. When local people are not allowed to hunt for food, but trophy hunters from abroad are welcomed and encouraged, it is obvious that something is basically wrong. Please stand up for the rights of tribal people.


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 call for an end to child marriages.

Hear from a victim.



Urgent Action: Five Activists in Detention

Alseny Farinta Camara

Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were arrested on 14 November 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea, and charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering. They are all members of pro-democracy coalition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French). Two of the activists require medical attention.



Urgent Action: Thousands in Need of Urgent Protection

2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) – groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman’s office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.



Urgent Action Update: Rights Defender Facing Trumped-Up Charges

Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar activist, asks to draw attention to the fact that “repression and persecution on the grounds of national belonging or religious belief are taking place in the internationally recognized “Ukrainian” Crimea”

The trial of Server Mustafayev has started following his transfer to a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, southwest Russia. Server Mustafayev is a human rights defender from Russian-occupied Crimea who has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. He is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for his human rights activism, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.



Urgent Action: Viktar Paulau at Risk of Imminent Execution

Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus
Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus

Viktar Paulau is at risk of imminent execution after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 12 November. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.



Reinstate sacked union leaders at Castorama,

UNI Commerce calls upon trade unions and workers worldwide to urge Castorama to re-instate 10 trade union activists in Poland.
Castorama is a brand of Kingfisher PLC, a British multinational home improvement company which employs 12,000 workers in 80 stores in Poland. NSZZ Solidarnosc Commerce, an affiliate of UNI Commerce, launched an organizing campaign for Castorama workers.

Please join the protest.

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