The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 2-8

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 remind you of the Afya Foundation who arrange to transport medical supplies and equipment to needy countries in Africa. This charity is most worthy of your support.


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 of economic desires of outsiders such as the threat of extinction of Kawahiva in the rainforests of Brazil.<div class=”clearer”> <h2>THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY</h2> <p>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 <a href=”–en/index.htm”>ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labo</a>r which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the <a href=””>anti slavery campaign.</a> There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.</p> </div>


Look for these logos:<div class=”separator”><figure><a href=””><img src=”;h=92&#8243; width=”77″ height=”92″ border=”0″></a></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1174 aligncenter” src=”; alt=”logo_rfa” width=”150″ height=”150″></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1180 alignright” src=”; alt=”utz_certified” width=”140″ height=”112″></figure></div><div></div>

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 the end of child marriage in the UK. It is a ghastly thought to consider the legality of child marriage in a progressive modern country.



Urgent Action Victory! Bill Restricting Abortion Rights Rejected

The Slovak Parliament rejected a bill aimed at obstructing access to safe and legal abortion. If adopted, this bill would have undermined women’s privacy and autonomy and subjected them to harmful stigma, humiliation and degrading treatment.


On 5 December the Slovak Parliament (National Council) rejected a bill that required women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound scanning and to view and obtain an ultrasound image of the embryo or the foetus. The proposal was an alarming attempt to rollback reproductive rights in Slovakia.

Among the 150 MPs in the Slovak Parliament, only 59 voted in favor of the bill, meaning it did not meet the requirement for a simple majority of 76 votes. Twenty-four MPs voted against the bill and 40 abstained.

In a joint letter published on 18 November, more than 30 organisations -including Amnesty International – called on all Slovak MPs to reject the bill. Similarly, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe called for the rejection of the legislative proposal and any other legislative proposals that could limit women’s access to their sexual and reproductive rights. The outcome of the voting is a huge victory for women and for all activists who spoke out and mobilized in Slovakia and internationally against this harmful bill.

The original bill was also prohibiting “advertising” on abortion and imposing a fine of up to 66,400 Euros on those who order or disseminate it. This prohibition risked a chilling effect on the provision of access to information on sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, by medical providers.


Urgent Action Update: New Convictions for “Peacock Generation” Members

Four members of the Peacock Generation, a satirical poetry troupe in Myanmar, have been given additional jail terms after being found guilty of “online defamation”. The four are among a group of seven Peacock Generation members charged under well-known repressive laws after they staged peaceful performances criticizing the military. Six are currently in prison, now serving sentences of between one and a half and two and a half years. They are prisoners of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.



Urgent Action: Pastor’s Daughter Arbitrarily Detained

Jackie Umuhoza, daughter of exiled pastor Deo Nyirigira, was arrested on the morning of 27 November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. On 28 November, after her family and friends raised the alarm on social media, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau confirmed on Twitter that Jackie Umuhoza had been arrested on 27 November on suspicion of treason and espionage. She remains in detention without having been brought before a judge.



Urgent Action: Kurdish Activist Needs Urgent Medical Care

Detained labor rights activist Bakhtiar Rahimi, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was arrested on 27 November 2019 in Marivan, Kurdistan province. Bakhtiar Rahimi has serious heart and kidney conditions for which he needs daily medication. The Iranian authorities have denied him access to a lawyer and permitted him only one very brief phone call to his family since his arrest.


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