Author Archives: arkee2013

About arkee2013

Retired professor of planetary science, mostly plasma physics of outer planet magnetospheres, widower, three children, six grandchildren, human rights and peace activist(not sources of popularity in Israel)

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update February 28-March 4

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
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”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to Doctors without Borders who stand ready to supply support wherever needed against the coronavirus. In countries with weak health services, they are available to strengthen the struggle against the virus. We call for donations to them to get them moving as they did against SARS in 2003 which was caused by a similar coronavirus.

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 PEOPLE

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 forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

Look for these logos:

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utz_certified

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 against child marriage

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Coronavirus: Stop censorship in China

Censorship, harassment and punishment for speaking out are hindering the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Take action now to demand an end to censorship in China.

EGYPT

Speak out for women’s rights defender Azza Soliman

Every day, Azza Soliman risks her own safety and freedom to defend survivors of abuse in Egypt.

Azza Soliman founded the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance. Photograph: Twitter

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Urgent Action Victory! Human Rights Defender Released

On 14 February 2020, Joaquín Elo Ayeto was released from Black Beach Prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he had been imprisoned for almost a year following his arbitrary arrest on 25 February 2019. He was released without any explanation or any papers confirming his situation.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 14 February 2020 Joaquín Elo Ayeto, was released from Black Beach Prison in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, where he had been imprisoned for almost a year. Without any explanation or information, Joaquín was taken out of the prison and left on the street without a phone or any money.

The release took place following a meeting on the same day of the Secretary General of the Convergence for Social Democracy Party, and other members of the opposition party of which Joaquín is a member, with Teodoro Obiang, President of Equatorial Guinea. In that meeting the President gave the order to release Joaquín.

Joaquín Elo Ayeto was arrested at his home on 25 February 2019, accused of having information on a plot to kill the president. Joaquín was tried for defamation and threats against the President on 21 November 2019. His sentence was never read.

Despite his imprisonment Joaquín Elo Ayeto is determined to carry on with his human right work: “Now that I am free I’m going to carry on doing the work that I used to do before. I can see that the country is in a much worst situation than a year ago when I was detained. The economic crisis is worst, the government continues without giving information to its citizens…”

Following his release, Joaquín Elo Ayeto shared the following message with Amnesty International: “I have been told of the work that you have done for me and I want to thank the titanic effort by Amnesty International that has resulted in my release. I want to thank all the work that has been done to achieve my release”. 2019. His daughter only learned about his conviction in recent months through word of mouth. Missing since May 2017, he has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. No evidence against him has been made public.

MALAYSIA

Urgent Action: Indigenous Land Rights at Risk

More than 930 hectares of ancestral land customarily claimed land by the largely Temuan Indigenous community in western Malaysia is at risk of having its status as a ‘forest reserve’ removed, resulting in some 1,000 Indigenous people being dispossessed of their land for development projects. The Selangor Forestry Department’s failure to consult the relevant Indigenous communities demonstrates a blatant disregard for the principle of free, prior and informed consent, as well as their willingness to put corporate development ahead of the welfare of citizens.

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MOROCCO

Urgent Action: Grocer Imprisoned for Speech

Omar Ben Boudouh, known as Moul El Hanout (the grocery store owner), has been hospitalized since 14 February 2020 after spending 45 days on hunger strike. On 5 December 2019, police arrested Ben Boudouh and accused him of “offending” public officials and institutions and “incitement to hatred”. Ben Boudouh had previously posted a live video on his Facebook page where he peacefully expresses critical opinions about the king of Morocco saying that he allowed for impunity to prevail. On 7 January 2020, a court sentenced Ben Boudouh to three years in prison and he subsequently began a hunger strike. His lawyers appealed the sentence on 12 February 2020 and are awaiting a final verdict to be pronounced on 26 February 2020.

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ECUADOR

Urgent Action: Ombudsman’s Life at Risk After Death Threats

The life and personal integrity of Ombudsman Freddy Carrión and his family are at risk. He recently received repeated death threats, including a bomb threat at his family’s home on 13 February. Even though he publicly denounced this situation, the Ecuadorian government has failed to protect him and his family. The Ombudsman stated that this is a retaliation for his human rights work during the crisis in October 2019. We call the Attorney General to grant immediate protection to him and his family and to investigate these threats in an immediate, impartial and independent manner.

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KAZAKHSTAN:

Trade unionist Erlan Baltabay imprisoned – again!

In July this year, Erlan Baltabay, a leader of the Independent Oil and Energy Workers’ Union in Kazakhstan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on politically motivated charges. A huge international union mobilization followed, including a LabourStart campaign signed by thousands calling for his release. He was released from prison in August after being pardoned by the President and was able to return home to his family.

He has now been imprisoned again. Please act on his behalf.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update February 20-26

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a great friend and human rights defender.

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 220px-holbein-erasmus1.jpg

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”.

 

CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to the Cambodian Children’s Fund that transforms the country’s most impoverished kids into tomorrow’s leaders, by delivering education, family support and community development programs into the heart of Cambodia’s most impoverished communities.

The heart of the Fund is its founder and president, Scott Neeson. His story of going from a senior position in the US film industry to founding a charity is worth reading. The charity has a very high rating with Charity Navigator.

Scott left his rich life style behind and moved to Cambodia in 2004–here he is 15 years on.

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 PEOPLE

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.

This week we call your attention to the Tiger Reserve people of India.

Listen to tribal conservationists
“How could we harm the forest? We’re the ones that save the forest. As long as we are here, the forest will be fine. We are the defenders of the forest. If we leave, who will protect the forest?”
Baiga, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve

The lives of hundreds of thousands of tribal people in Indian tiger reserves are being destroyed in the name of conservation. The Indian government is illegally evicting them from the land where they have always lived and that they have always protected. Take a stand for tribal people who are being driven from their land despite laws that are designed to protect them.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

URGENT ACTION CASES

BANGLADESH

Urgent Action: Singer Arrested for “Hurting Religious Sentiment”

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Bangladeshi folk singer Shariat Boyati has been arrested under the draconian Digital Security Act for stating that music is not forbidden in the Qur’an. He faces up to five years’ imprisonment on vague charges of hurting religious sentiment. Arrested for solely exercising his right to freedom of expression, Shariat Boyati must be immediately and unconditionally released.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: LGBTI and Women’s Rights Activist Under Arrest

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Russian activist and artist, Yulia Tsvetkova, is facing prosecution and harassment for defending women’s and LGBTI rights. She has been under house arrest since 22 November, under absurd charges of “production and dissemination of pornography” for her drawings of the female body. She is facing up to six years in prison if convicted. Yulia Tsvetkova is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

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TAJIKISTAN

Urgent Action: Journalist Jailed and at Risk of Torture

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Independent journalist, Daler Sharipov, was arrested on 28 January and is held in pre-trial detention in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe on trumped up charges of “inciting religious discord”. Daler Sharipov is being denied access to his lawyer and is at risk of torture. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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CHINA

Urgent Action: Uyghur Academic Jailed for “Inciting Extremism”

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Prominent Uyghur historian and publisher Iminjan Seydin was convicted of “inciting extremism” after a secret and grossly unfair trial in February 2019. His daughter only learned about his conviction in recent months through word of mouth. Missing since May 2017, he has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. No evidence against him has been made public.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 30-February 5

Our feature image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012)

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
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”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote



CHARITY CORNER

This week we call your attention to a natural disaster that has impacted tens of thousands of people in the Philippines. We refer to the eruption of Mt. Taal on January 12. The Taal Volcano, located just 45 miles (72 km) from the Philippine capital city of Manila, has been trembling and erupting since Sunday, January 12. Experts report that magma levels are quickly rising and the volcano is on the verge of a full eruption. In the web site you will find a list of top rank charities that helping people impacted by the eruption. If you have difficulty, here is the list:

Charity (Sort A-Z)
GlobalGiving
International Medical Corps
Direct Relief
Americares
Taal volcano

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 PEOPLE

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.

While Australia is being devastated by fire, the aboriginal people have a solution that they have used for 50,000 years. The authorities would do well to heed them.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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 issue of enslaved workers in California.

Thousands of temporary workers are being trafficked into forced labor in California under threat of violence, deportation, and harm to their families

California attracts more temporary foreign workers than anywhere else in the US. As the fifth largest global economy, workers on lawful visas from all over the world seek opportunities in California.1

The vast majority of temporary workers are recruited via third-party foreign labor contractors (FLCs), some of whom act neither lawfully nor ethically. 

.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized. Customer pressure to do the right thing is effective. Use It.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview


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URGENT ACTION CASES

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: Prisoner of Conscience’s Life at Grave Risk

Since his arbitrary arrest on 29 November 2018, Venezuelan labor rights activist Rubén González, 60, has suffered a series of health crises, but has never received adequate care. On 19 January 2020, Rubén González began experiencing a grave peak of hypertension, putting his life at risk unless he receives urgent medical attention. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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IRAN

Urgent Action Update: Kurdish Iranian Man at Risk of Execution

Houshmand Alipour, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, is at risk of execution after he was sentenced to death on 29 December 2019 following an unfair trial. Mohammad Ostadghader, also an Iranian Kurd, was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in the same trial. Both were denied access to lawyers of their own choosing and say they were forced to give “confessions” under torture and other ill-treatment.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Lengthy Jail Terms for Prisoners of Conscience

On 12 November, a Russian military court found Crimean Tatar human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants guilty of trumped-up charges. After a protracted unfair trial, they have been given prison sentences of between seven and 19 years in jail. Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants are prisoners of conscience and they should be released immediately and unconditionally.

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WORLDWIDE LABOR CAMPAIGNS

Support our current active campaigns

Germany

Ameos fires workers and refuses collective bargaining We call your attention to the conduct of the Ameos company in Germany. Workers at Ameos in Germany, a private for-profit hospital corporation, are demanding fair wages, secured by a collective bargaining agreement. In the federal country of Sachsen-Anhalt in the east of Germany, for example nurses receive up to 500 EUR less than comparable employees in other hospitals. But Ameos refuses to sign a collective bargaining agreement with the union, Please support their efforts for labor justice.

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

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
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”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote



CHARITY CORNER

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 PEOPLE

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.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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.

tackling-modern-slavery-preview


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 CASES

UZBEKISTAN

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.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

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.

HONDURAS

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.

GREECE

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.

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EQUATORIAL GUINEA

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.

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EGYPT

Urgent Action: Three Journalists Arbitrarily Detained

Sola

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.

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TURKEY

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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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

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
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”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote



CHARITY CORNER

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 PEOPLE

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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc-8427-001_1170.jpg
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

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

Look for these logos

URGENT ACTION CASES

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.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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.
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INDONESIA

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.

L

Prometheus and Pandora XXIV

Our featured image shows Prometheus bringing fire to humanity. Was it a good idea?

IN MEMORIAM

Jessye Norman September 15, 1945 – September 30, 2019

This great opera singer died last month of septic shock and
multiple organ failure, age 74. She won four Grammy Awards and the
National Medal of Arts. Norman made her operatic debut as Elisabeth
in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser in 1969 in Berlin and went on to
multiple prominent roles, including the title role in “Aïda” in
productions in Berlin and Milan, the role of Cassandra in Hector
Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” and at the Metropolitan Opera in Arnold
Schoenberg’s “Erwartung,” among many others.

She performed the work of many composers throughout her career —
including Schubert, Mahler, Wagner, Brahms, Satie and others — and
by the 1980s was widely recognized as one of the leading sopranos
in the world. She sang an unusual range of roles and is reputed to
have said the pigeon holes belong to pigeons.

Among the numerous honors bestowed upon Norman were: Musical
America ‘s musician of the year, 1982; honorary doctorates from
Howard University (1982), Boston Conservatory of Music (1984),
University of the South (1984), and Harvard University (1998). She
was given the honor of being named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts
et des Lettres from the French government, 1984. She also received
awards for many of her recordings.

A detailed obituary can be found in the NYTimes.

ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019

House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) urged Congress April 2 to support issuing subpoenas over Trump administration security clearances. (The Washington Post)

Elijah E. Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland who
gained national attention for his principled stands on politically
charged issues in the House, his calming effect on anti-police
riots in Baltimore, and his forceful opposition to the presidency
of Donald Trump, died Oct. 17 at a hospice center in Baltimore. He
was 68.

He campaigned tirelessly for stricter gun control laws and help for those addicted to
drugs. But it was as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and
Reform — the panel charged with maintaining integrity in government
— that Mr. Cummings may have left his most lasting legacy. The
position gave him sweeping power to investigate Mr. Trump and his
administration, and he used it.

He was born to a family of Southern sharecroppers and Baptist
preachers,and grew up in the racially fractured Baltimore of the
1950s and 1960s. At 11, he helped integrate a local swimming pool
while being attacked with bottles and rocks. “Perry Mason,” the
popular TV series about a fictional defense lawyer, inspired him to
enter the legal profession. “Many young men in my neighborhood were
going to reform school,”
he told the East Texas Review. “Though I
didn’t completely know what reform school was, I knew that Perry
Mason won a lot of cases. I also thought that these young men
probably needed lawyers.”

A summary of his life and career may be found in Heavy.

He had an adversarial relationship with Trump. In an interview with
The Times in May, Mr. Cummings was asked what message he would like
to send to the president.

“I want to send a message that we have one life to live, Mr.
President,”
he replied. “This is no dress rehearsal. And that the
American people simply want to live their lives without fear of
their leaders. And we, as leaders, have a duty and a responsibility
to keep our promise to them when we ran for office and won — and
that is to make their lives better. While we’re all on this earth,
that’s my message.”

Detailed obituaries can be found in the NYTimes and the Washington
Post.

RANT ABOUT A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE.

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

By Ronan Farrow

Little, Brown and Company, 448 pages, $30

In their last blog Pandora and Prometheus ranted about the lack of male accountability when an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy pops up in the wake of a romantic fling. Now they would like to address the question of accountability when the higher echelons of a major corporation close ranks to protect the sexual predators in their midst. Two years ago Ronan Farrow writing in the New Yorker and his colleagues at the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey shared a Pulitzer prize for exposing the deep sexual corruption in the entertainment industry. Now they have all come out with books, Kantor and Twohey with She Said and Farrow with Capture and Kill.

Farrow, like his New York Times peers, has chosen to frame his narrative around his own journalistic project — how he came to publish the blockbuster story of movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual predation. But unlike Kantor and Twohey’s triumphal tale of working within a supportive news organization, much of Farrow’s story is about working against the news network, NBC, where he was employed as an on-air investigative journalist and where he did much of his reporting on Weinstein, though that reporting would never air. (He eventually published in The New Yorker.

Farrow’s book is reviewed in detail in the Cut by Rebecca Traister who points out the lethal level of corruption at NBCU. In her view, the detailed individual cases, such as rape of Brooke Nevils by a senior executive, Matt Lauer, are not the main disclosure. As Traister puts it-“Rather, it’s the whole, intricate puzzle Farrow puts together, with astounding reportorial reach and detail: a weave of phone conversations, texts, in-person meetings, the exchange of gifts and information between powerful people in network news, magazines, law firms, and politics — all, Farrow suggests, in service of the protection of powerful men and the suppression of stories about the harm that they’ve done.”

The revelation in Catch and Kill is not that there are corrupt people; it is that corrupt people are in control of our media, politics, and entertainment and that, in fact, many of them remain in control — two years after the mass eruption of stories of harassment and assault that Farrow played a big part in precipitating.

l

Andrew Lack, Matt Lauer, and Noah Oppenheim. Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

A major step forward was announced recently by Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC host, who produced a statement from NBCU management releasing all women who signed non-disclosure agreements from their commitment. Maddow produced the document minutes before interviewing Ronan Farrow on her program. She quoted her bosses whom she was busy busting “We very much wanted to break this story, which is why we assigned it and supported it editorially and financially for seven months. We are profoundly disappointed that we weren’t able to do so,” recited Maddow. “This story,” of course, was the story of the sexual harassment and abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — an investigation that Farrow had tried to complete under the roof of NBC News, but the network either blinked (Farrow’s version) or couldn’t broadcast the weak tea that was presented to it (NBC News’ version).

In his interview with Maddow, Farrow said he knew of women who felt “constrained” and “agonized” over their nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements with NBC News, adding that he expected the company’s new statement “would go a long way” toward encouraging other women to come forward with claims of misconduct.

Prometheus and Pandora think that what is most troubling is that while a few lambs were sent to the slaughter, the media giants are still continuing their corporate culture.

OUR BEST WISHES FOR JOHN LEWIS

Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, according to a press release from his office. We all wish him success in his struggle with the deadly illness. Many prominent people are praying for him, but we seriously doubt the efficacy of prayer and tend to agree with Ambrose Bierce about prayer. We certainly agree with Mike Lukovich in hoping for the best.

For the record Edmund Pettus was a leader of the Klan and a committed racist. The bridge in Selma was the starting point of the march led by Martin Luther King.

CONGRATULATIONS

Prometheus and Pandora along with their amanuenses wish to congratulate Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo who share the Booker prize for 2019. The judges of this year’s Booker prize have “explicitly flouted” the rules of the august literary award to choose the first joint winners in almost 30 years. The chair of judges, Peter Florence, emerged after more than five hours with the jury to reveal that the group of five had been unable to pick a single winner from their shortlist of six. Instead, despite being told repeatedly by the prize’s literary director, Gaby Wood, that they were not allowed to split the £50,000 award, they chose two novels: Atwood’s The Testaments, a follow-up to her dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, and Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, which is told in the voices of 12 different characters, mostly black women.

While Margaret Atwood is a known and established writer, Bernardine Evaristo’s winning marks a milestone. She is the first black woman to win the Booker since it began in 1969. Pandora and Prometheus say cheers for the jury that broke the rules and best wishes to both ladies.

STUDY OF A HUGE GLACIER AND FEARS FOR THE FUTURE

Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land. Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line. Its fastest flowing grounded ice is centered between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. It was named by ACAN after Fredrik T.
Thwaites (1883 – 1961), a glacial geologist, geomorphologist and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Reuben Gold Thwaites was his father.

Public Radio International (PRI) has published a detailed study of the glacier and its dangers in their program The World.

A view of the glacier

Melting of Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier could add one to two feet of global sea level rise in the next 50 to 100 years, and unlock far more in the years beyond.

A voyage by icebreaker to the remote glacier’s face laid the groundwork for a 5-year international research effort to try to answer urgent questions about Thwaites’ future. The World’s Carolyn Beeler is our guide to the journey, with real-time dispatches from the ship and deep dives into the science and the stakes for our future.

We call this program to your attention and recommend that you click and open the articles. It is unsettling but essential to our awareness of reality. The scientist Bill Mckibben

Right Livelihood Award 2014 Stockholm 12/ 2014 Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

has been one of the protagonists of the climate change issue for decades. This week he lays out the parameters and the dangers of inaction on the part of leaders. OTOH, people are beginning to react en masse and there still is hope for the future.

FILM REVIEW

The Irishman (titled onscreen as I Heard You Paint Houses) is a 2019 American epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, with Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jesse Plemons, and Harvey Keitel in supporting roles. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman and gets involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family,
including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) The film has won widespread critical acclaim.

ONWARD VOYAGER

The Voyager 2 spacecraft has left the heliosphere — the huge bubble of charged particles that the sun blows around itself — and is now in interstellar space. The exit took place in November 2018 and analysis of the data acquired has now been published

This artist’s concept shows the locations of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft relative to the heliosphere, or the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by our Sun. Both Voyagers are now outside the heliosphere, in a region known as interstellar space, or the space between stars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We have a special interest in the Voyager spacecraft since one of us (A) was a member of the plasma detector team during the planetary phase of the mission.

When the planetary phase ended with the Neptune flyby in 1989, our project scientist Prof. Stone of CalTech quoted from T.S.Eliot,

…Fare forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies Will suffer the trial
and judgement of the sea, Or whatever event, this is your real
destination.’ So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna On the field
of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.”

Indeed our Voyagers are faring forward into regions of space never before observed in situ by man made instruments. We hope to learn much from this foray into interstellar space.

SILLY TIME

Welcome to the new decade with Randall and Cynthia

We old codgers need to keep up with the times…

Happy new year indeed,

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

HE WHO PERMITS OPPRESSION PERMITS CRIMES.-Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)

220px-holbein-erasmus1
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”.
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote



CHARITY CORNER

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 PEOPLE

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=”http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_246549/lang–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=”http://www.antislavery.org/english/”>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>

tackling-modern-slavery-preview


Look for these logos:<div class=”separator”><figure><a href=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ac349-index.jpg”><img src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ac349-index.jpg?w=77&amp;h=92&#8243; width=”77″ height=”92″ border=”0″></a></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1174 aligncenter” src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/logo_rfa.jpg?w=300&#8243; alt=”logo_rfa” width=”150″ height=”150″></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1180 alignright” src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/utz_certified.png?w=280&#8243; 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 CASES

SLOVAKIA

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.
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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

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.

MYANMAR

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.

TAKE ACTION

RWANDA

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.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

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.

TAKE ACTION