The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 23-29

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 Amazon Conservation Team. Their mission statement makers their activities clear:

“The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) was founded in 1996 by the world-renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Mark J. Plotkin and noted Costa Rican conservationist Liliana Madrigal. Observing the lack of attention paid to indigenous rainforests, comprising over 25% of the Amazon basin, Dr. Plotkin and Ms. Madrigal created an organization based on a unique strategy: biocultural conservation, which rests on the conviction that the people who best know, use, and protect biodiversity are the indigenous people who live in tropical forests. By partnering with indigenous tribes to map, manage, and protect the most isolated rainforest regions, ACT protects the biodiversity, culture, and health of the Amazon’s ecosystem-the flora, the fauna, and the people. ” They are rated highly by Charity Navigator. In view of what is happening in the Amazon region today, a donation to this body is very important.

Wings for Special Kids.

We are adding a call to support Krembo Wings, an Israeli non-profit organization which brings children with and without disabilities together for weekly social activities in its branches across Israel. Krembo Wings serves children and youth of all backgrounds and reflects the diverse make-up of Israeli society. Krembo Wings motto is Together Creating a Meaningful Place for Everyone. The society provides a warm and friendly environment for children and adults who have special needs. This call will be a permanent feature of this blog. Please donate to this worthy cause,


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. We are repeating our call on their behalf. Please raise your voice for them.


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.


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 see for yourself the extent of modern slavery.



Urgent Action Victory! Nafosat Olloshkurova Released

Uzbekistani blogger and human rights defender Nafosat Olloshkurova was released from a psychiatric institution on 28 December. She was violently detained by police on 23 September 2019 while monitoring and reporting about a peaceful protest. On 26 September she was placed in a psychiatric institution and subjected to medical treatment without her consent. Nafosat Olloshkurova should have never been deprived of her freedom in retaliation for her legitimate human rights work.


Nafosat Olloshkurova, a blogger and human rights defender from Uzbekistan, was released on 28 December and was able to join her family in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital.

Nafosat Olloshkurova was one of 14 people given administrative detention after police broke up a peaceful protest march from Khorezm to Tashkent on 23 September 2019. She had been monitoring the march and covering developments on Facebook under her pen name Shabnam Olloshkurova. She was filming the police’s intervention during the protest when they detained and beat her. On 26 September, Nafosat Olloshkurova was forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital in Urgench, western Uzkbekistan, after a police officer claimed she had “attempted suicide”. On 30 September, the administrative court of Urgench approved the Prosecutor’s Office’s request to transfer her to the psychiatric hospital for two months. On 28 November, the court decided to extend her detention in the psychiatric hospital until 27 December.

On 27 December a panel of psychiatrists reviewed her case and decided to release her from the psychiatric hospital. Despite her release, Nafosat Olloshkurova will remain under psychiatric observation.

Nafosat Olloshkurova was targeted for her legitimate human rights work and should have never been deprived of her freedom or subjected to medical treatment against her will.


Urgent Action Victory! Rio Blanco Land Defenders’ Protection Extended

Members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reviewed and agreed on new protection measures with the Honduran government, including for Rosalina Dominguez, member of the Río Blanco community who faced threats in 2019.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.On 16 July 2019, COPINH told Amnesty International that members of the community of Río Blanco, Intibucá, Honduras, saw their food crop intentionally destroyed affecting 25 families. The attack took place in the same area where Rosalina Dominguez, her four sons, and two other members of the community of Río Blanco were threatened last 30 April and 1 May 2019 by a group of at least seven people, one of them armed. COPINH called on the Honduran government to investigate these threats and guarantee their safety given the history of attacks against this community fighting against the construction of Agua Zarca dam in the Gualcarque River.

In September 2019, members of COPINH and representatives of the Honduran Protection Mechanism held a meeting to discuss their protection measures, in accordance with the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, MC-112-16. The protection mechanism and COPINH reviewed these measures and agreed on new ones, taking into consideration the latest attacks on members of Río Blanco in Intibucá. For security reasons, it is not possible to disclose which protection measures have been taken and which ones remain outstanding so far.

We believe that the public campaign on behalf of COPINH, including appeals sent by Amnesty International members, contributed to these positive developments. Amnesty International continues to monitor the situation and will work with COPINH to ensure all the protection measures that have been committed to are implemented and the attacks investigated and will react if further action is required.


Urgent Action: Grant Asylum-Seekers and Migrant Children Healthcare

Since July 2019 asylum-seekers and children of irregular migrants are prevented from accessing the public health system in Greece. An asylum law introduced in November has regulated the issue but implementing measures are still lacking, putting the life and health of thousands of children and adults at risk.



Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Held Incommunicado

Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto continues to be detained in Black Beach Prison, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. He has been detained since 25 February 2019, when he was arrested in his home in Malabo. Joaquín was tried for defamation and threats against the President on 21 November 2019. Almost two months later, the sentence has not yet been read. On 2 January 2020, without any official notification or apparent cause, Joaquín was transferred to an incommunicado cell of the prison.



Urgent Action: Three Journalists Arbitrarily Detained


On 26 November 2019, plainclothes police officers arbitrarily arrested journalists Solafa Magdy, Hossam el-Sayed and Mohamed Salah from a cafe in Dokki, Cairo. They confiscated their mobile phones, laptops and car. A day later, State Security prosecutors detained Solafa and Mohamed pending investigation on charges of “joining a terrorist group” and “spreading false news”, while Hossam was accused of “membership in a terrorist group.” In detention, NSA officers beat Solafa on her right arm and side for refusing to give them access to her mobile phone. The prosecutor renewed their detention for 15 days pending investigations.



Stop the attack on rights at Cargill Turkey – Reinstate #TheCargill14 now!

Fourteen union activists have been continually protesting after being unfairly dismissed from their jobs on April 17, 2018 while organizing a union at Cargill-Turkey’s corn-milling facility in Bursa-Orhangazi.

This is not the first time Cargill management in Turkey has fired workers for attempting to exercise their rights. In 2015, a court ruled that workers were unfairly dismissed for trying to organize a union at the same plant. Turkey’s legal system, however, offers an escape route: as an alternative to reinstating workers who are sacked for forming or joining a union, companies can pay compensation. Cargill opted to pay for its human rights violations rather than reinstate the victimized workers.


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