The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 9-15

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 the Malala Fund. This is a an international, non-profit organization that fights for girls’ education. It was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and her father, Ziauddin. Malala Fund breaks down the barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Malala nearly paid for her advocacy with her life and is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. This foundation is most worthy of your support.

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With help from Gulmakai Champion Rotimi Olawale, this 15-year-old mentors other girls and talks to their parents about why they should be in school.


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 in the name of conservation. We know that tribal people are the best conservators of their environment. Please raise your voice for them.

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Congolese officials hand the top official (and WWF employee) of Salonga National Park an assault rifle. Some of the park’s guards have been accused of gang rape, torture and murder.© Sinziana-Maria Demian / WWF


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.

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Urgent Action Update: Communities in Boyaja, Choco (western Colombia) Threatened by Armed Groups

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Human Rights Defender Leyner Palacios has been vocal about the presence of these illegal armed groups in the territories of the communities of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia placed four communities of Bojayá under forced confinement. On January 3, 2020, the AGC threatened Leyner Palacios and gave him two hours to leave the territory of Bojayá or they would kill him. We urge the Colombian government to take immediate action to guarantee his protection.



Urgent Action Update: Verdict Date Set for Two Lebanese Men

The Federal Supreme Court has set 20 January 2020 to issue its verdict in the case of two Lebanese men, including Ahmed Nimr Sobeh, who are appealing their conviction and sentences. The Court is yet to set the date to hear the appeal of a third Lebanese man, Abdelrahman Talal Chouman. The three men had been sentenced by the Federal Appeal Court in a trial that did not meet international fair trial standards.



FreeRioWijaya: Indonesian trade unionist jailed for union safety activities

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On 20 August 2019, Rio Wijaya, a dedicated trade unionist from the Indonesian dockers’ union Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SP JICT), was brutally attacked by security guards at Hutchison Port’s terminal in Jakarta, and subsequently Rio was arrested and detained under false allegations of defaming and assaulting the security guards on 21 November 2019. Please join us in demanding that Hutchison Ports do everything within its powers to set the record straight and facilitate the immediate release of Brother Rio and that all charges leveled against him are dropped.


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