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 August 22-29

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 turn our attention to the Smile Operation, a charity that provides surgery to help children born with cleft palates. Their vision:

At Operation Smile we believe every child suffering from cleft lip or cleft palate deserves exceptional surgical care. A child’s cleft lip or cleft palate can be repaired for as little as $240 and in as few as 45 minutes, but your gift is more than a surgery. All of our supporters give renewed hope to children and families around the world.”

Fifteen-month Ashraf poses with his mother, Shamiem, on patient announcement day during the 2018 Operation Smile medical mission to Blantyre, Malawi. Photo: Jasmin Shah.

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 ask you to sign a petition to the President of Brazil calling for an end to the genocidal policies towards the indigenous people.

Acampamento Terra Livre 2019 (Survival International)
© Sarah Shenker

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:

logo_rfa
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 the marketing of slave produced products.

Cotton slavery in Uzbekistan

URGENT ACTION CASES

MAURITANIA

Urgent Action Victory! Charges Against Mauritanian Bloggers Dropped

All the charges against bloggers Cheikh Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady were dropped by a judge, who also dismissed the case against them, on 29 July. Their travel and identification documents were also returned to them. Both had been conditionally released on bail on 3 June.

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

Bloggers Cheikh Jiddou and Abderrahmane Weddady had their case dismissed after a judge dropped all charges against them on 29 July. Three days later on 1 August, their travel and identification documents were returned to them.

The two bloggers were arbitrarily arrested on 22 March by the economic crimes police in Nouakchott. This is after they posted comments on Facebook condemning corruption. Their comments came after media articles were published alleging that some Mauritanian officials had acquired wealth illegally and stashed it abroad. They were detained by the economic crimes police until 27 March, when they were taken to the prosecutor of West Nouakchott for questioning. Afterwards, they were transferred to the Central prison of Nouakchott.

The two were released on bail on 3 June.

‘I would like to thank sincerely all the Amnesty International members who have been mobilized since the beginning. I would like to assure them that I will not give up, my fight will continue to defend human rights in particular freedom of expression’’ said Cheikh Jiddou to Amnesty International.

TURKEY

Urgent Action: Investigate Whereabouts of Two Missing Men

Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz have been missing since 7 and 19 February 2019 respectively and are suspected to have been abducted and forcibly disappeared. The authorities have so far been denying that they are being held in official custody. On 29 July four men who had been missing since around the same time resurfaced in detention at the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Ankara Police Headquarters. The authorities must promptly investigate to determine the whereabouts of Gökhan Türkmen and Mustafa Yılmaz and urgently inform their families.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s Life in Danger

On 6 July unknown men broke into Danelly Estupiñan’s house while she was not at home. Various human right organizations reported that unknown people made a payment to kill her. The Black Community Process and other organizations alerted the Prosecutor’s Office about the attack and the information about Danelly’s life being in danger, requesting immediate action. We are urging national authorities to swiftly and fully investigate all of these security incidents to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening Danelly’s physical and psychological integrity.

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TAKE ACTION

SENEGAL

Urgent Action: Activist Arbitrarily Detained for Facebook Posts

Senegalese activist Guy Marius Sagna was charged with ‘false alert of terrorism’ on 5 August. He was arbitrarily arrested on 16 July in Dakar. He was first questioned over his two Facebook posts about the lack of adequate medical facilities in Senegal, 59 years after independence and then for a publication on a Facebook Page about the presence of French army in Africa. He is detained at the Central prison of Rebeuss in Dakar.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Release Youth Prisoners of Conscience

The trial of Yan Sidorov, Vladislav Mordasov and Viacheslav Shashmin is ongoing at the Rostov-on-Don regional court, in southwestern Russia. They are being prosecuted for trying to organize a peaceful protest in November 2017 in support of dozens of Rostov-on-Don residents who had lost their houses in mass fires earlier that year. At the trial, Yan Sidorov and Vladislav Mordasov reaffirmed that they had been tortured to extract “confessions,” but the court disregarded the statements. The three men are prisoners of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally and their allegations of torture and other ill-treatment must be effectively investigated.

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Prometheus and Pandora XXIII

Pandora and Prometheus are back to rant at you or preferably with you about a variety of issues. In the featured image they become a bit nostalgic about their first date set up by Mercury.

IN MEMORIAM

Toni Morrison February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019

Chloe Anthony Wofford “Toni” Morrison (born Chloe Ardelia Wofford; was an American novelist, essayist,editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at Princeton University. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, she won the Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award for Beloved (1987). Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 1996, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected her for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. Also that year, she was honored with the National Book Foundation’s Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. On May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama presented Morrison with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2016, she received the PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction. A detailed appreciation by Margalit Fox can be found in the NYTimes.

Toni Morrison 1993

THE RANT ON THE MISOGYNY IN OUR CULTURE

A FREE PASS TO THE MALE–TOTALLY WRONG

In previous postings Prometheus and Pandora have ranted loud and clear about the attack on abortion rights launched by the right wing in the US. Now we would like to address the sad fact that after the romantic interlude under starry skies or in the back seat, any pregnancy that ensues is suddenly HER problem exclusively, while the young man full of testosterone gets a free pass. One might think that the woman or girl became pregnant on her own or through some supernatural or spiritual agency. We know of only one such event in all human history which is documented in the New Testament. Mythology tells us of Athena emerging from the forehead of Zeus or of Venus rising from the sea.

Birth of Venus Sandro Botticelli 1480

For us ordinary mortals the means of impregnation are well known and there is a basic wrong perpetrated when only one of the partners must suffer the burden, risks and stigma. The author Elizabeth Hardwick, writing in the Morning Call in 1996 suggests satirically to the Republican convention of that year to add a Celibacy Amendment to the Constitution mandating celibacy for single young men and required marriage for any pregnancy caused by violation.

As she writes:
“Unmarried women have inflicted terrible tortures on their own bodies, hoping to undo or to conceal. When that failed, as it usually did, society often gave them abandonment, disgrace and, in some cultures, death.”


Elizabeth Hartwick by David Levine

Her daughter Harriet Lowell writing in the New York Review in the present invokes her mother’s article as being highly relevant to the reality of the present.

CAN A WOMAN DEFEAT TRUMP?

On a closely related issue Pandora and Prometheus call your attention to an article by Peter Beinart in the Atlantic about the prevalence of subjugation of women in our culture. He notes that this is the common denominator of modern dictatorship which enables the enemies of democracy to win democratic elections. As Beinart puts it

“But besides their hostility to liberal democracy, the right-wing autocrats taking power across the world share one big thing, which often goes unrecognized in the U.S.: They all want to subordinate women.”

Of course Trump claims to be reaching out to women, as interpreted well by Mike Lukavich.


The suppression of women goes back to ancient times, as may be noted in Isaiah III and in the Book of Esther I. Here we have the speech of Memuchan to the king which states the principle of subjugation of women most explicitly:


Then Memuchan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles:

“Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.

This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord. Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memuchan proposed. He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language,proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

This consideration leads us to some difficult questions about the forthcoming elections in the US. As Beinart concluded a real change in the public and political domain requires a change in domestic attitudes. We would love to nominate Elizabeth Warren to run against Trump. She is certainly much better qualified for the task than Trump and many of her Democrat contenders in the primary. Yet, we wonder if she indeed has a real chance of overcoming the deep misogyny in society both in US and in the rest of the world. She certainly believes that she can and we shall support her if and when she is nominated.

A CENTURY OF SUFFRAGE

This year we mark the centenary of the 19th amendment of the US Constitution that granted the right to vote to women. It is interesting and somewhat sad to view the arguments against suffrage that have not wholly vanished today. Men then believed that women shouldn’t vote because they were, quite literally, not made for it. According to the leading theory, mental exertion could jeopardize reproductive health. And if the science of the day asserted that women could become infertile if they did too much thinking, no man would want to send his daughter, sister, or wife to college or the office—and certainly not to the ballot box.


The idea that menstruation required rest and certainly an avoidance of cognitive activity was debunked by the 19th century American physician Mary Putnam Jacobi.Real power only came when women were elected to positions of power.

In our time we saw how Trump attributed an attack on him by a female TV journalist to her period. Some idiotic ideas die hard.

NEVER AGAIN MEANS NEVER AGAIN

It is indeed most appropriate and worthy of commendation that American Jews are leading a protest against the policies and actions of the ICE towards immigrants. Jews know only too well what it means to be a refugee and to flee death and destruction to whatever haven can be found. Children are being separated from their families at the border and imprisoned in concentration camps. ICE raids are increasing in frequency and severity, instilling fear and terror into immigrant communities. People are dying at the border as they flee for their safety. The Never Again Action Network calls for Jews to block ICE centers and detention facilities. In Wisconsin the movement stood up, blocked ICE and made it clear that

“Never Again is Now!”

The slogan and hashmark #neveragain also represents a movement that strives for general human rights etc. Certainly there is no contradiction. The general movement defines itself thus:

Causes We Support

Genocide Awareness:

Now more than ever, the world needs to remember the atrocities of the past to prevent genocides of the future. The world is still at risk of revisiting the horrors of the past. Most frighteningly, the world is at risk of forgetting the past.

Human Rights Around the globe:

There are places where basic human rights are not respected. We support organizations
dedicated to upholding and enforcing international laws on human rights and holding those who violate those rights accountable. .

Gun Control

We support the Never Again movement started by the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Never again should children in our schools die in their classrooms. It is time to take action on gun control.

BOOK REVIEW: ALSO A RANT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Two new books on climate change are reviewed in the New York Review of Books by Alan Weisman

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
by David Wallace-Wells
Tim Duggan, 310 pp., $27.00

Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?
by Bill McKibben
Henry Holt, 291 pp., $28.00

These two books present the horrible truth about climate change and the list of errors and malfeasance on the part of the economic and political leaders of humanity. The review opens with an indictment that cannot be denied.


“Climate scientists’ worst-case scenarios back in 2007, the first year the Northwest Passage became navigable without an icebreaker (today, you can book a cruise through it), have all been overtaken by the unforeseen acceleration of events. No one imagined that twelve years later the United Nations would report that we have just twelve years left to avert global catastrophe, which would involve cutting fossil-fuel use nearly by half. Since 2007, the UN now says, we’ve done everything wrong. New coal plants built since the 2015 Paris climate agreement have already doubled the equivalent coal-energy output of Russia and Japan, and 260 more are underway.”


The great problem is to convince millions of people that their life style is not sustainable and that major changes must be made very soon if we are not to face apocalypse. We think that everyone should think seriously about how to deal with these issues since for politicians it is an article of faith that continued, albeit lethal, economic growth is essential for getting reelected. As Wallace-Wells writes:

The entire history of swift economic growth, which began somewhat suddenly in the eighteenth century, is not the result of innovation or trade or the dynamics of free trade, but simply our discovery of fossil fuels and all their raw power. “

Richard Misrach: Untitled, 2007

Our addiction to fossil fuels despite hurricane winds and burning forests is so total that one wonders if anything can sway us to wise up and do the right thing.

TIDBITS FROM SCIENCE

A HOT EXOPLANET OF A NEW TYPE

Nine-hundred light-years from Earth, there’s a football-shaped planet so hot that heavy metals boil through its atmosphere, venting into space. It was discovered by the Hubble Space telescope and analyzed in detail in an article in The Astronomical Journal. Hot Jupiter’s are well known, but this one appears to be special. Much interest in geekdom…

SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT WITH 20 QUBITS

The famous quantum cat

Dead or alive, left-spinning or right-spinning — in the quantum world particles such as the famous analogy of Schrödinger’s cat can be all these things at the same time. An international team, together with experts from Forschungszentrum Jülich, have now succeeded in transforming 20 entangled quantum bits into such a state of superposition. The generation of such atomic Schrödinger cat states is regarded as an important step in the development of quantum computers.

PRIMORDIAL DARK MATTER FROM BEFORE THE BIG BANG

Big Bang illustration (stock image).
Credit: © Andrea Danti / Adobe Stock

Dark matter, which researchers believe make up about 80% of the universe’s mass, is one of the most elusive mysteries in modern physics. What exactly it is and how it came to be is a mystery, but a new study now suggests that dark matter may have existed before the Big Bang.

SILLY TIME

For WhatIF we present a thermal and technological history of the Earth and its inhabitants.

As we prepare our kiddies to go back to school (really grandkiddies):

Politics as usual…

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 15-21

Our feature image shows our beloved Miriam, 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 turn our attention to INMED Partnerships for Children. This NGO is a nonprofit international development organization that has worked in more than 100 countries to create pathways for disadvantaged children and families to achieve wellbeing and self-reliance. Through multisector partnerships and in-country affiliates, INMED builds sustainable systems that deliver innovative approaches to break complex cycles of poverty for current and future generations. INMED’s programs in climate-smart agriculture and aquaponics, maternal and child health, and economic development have transformed the lives of millions of children and their families since 1986. INMED currently has in-country affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean and southern Africa, with its international headquarters and local programs in Sterling, Virginia in the U.S.A. 


One of our trained community health agents screens a newborn for #jaundice after a home birth in an impoverished community in Peru, using the Bili-ruler(TM), developed by @BrighamWomens. Part of the #Bilikit project to reduce the debilitating effects of untreated jaundice.

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.

CONGO BASIN TRIBES

Listen to tribal conservationists

“The forest is something that we have inherited from our ancestors. We are the children of the forest. That’s why we protect the forest”. Please act and donate for these vulnerable tribes.

Bayaka Man, Republic of Congo

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:

logo_rfa
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 slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Sentenced to 12 Years

Huang Qi, founder and director of Sichuan-based human rights website “64 Tianwang”, was sentenced on 29 July to 12 years imprisonment following a secret trial in January 2019. The severity of the sentence is believed to be intended as a warning to other activists to stop work documenting human rights violations. Huang Qi continues to suffer from serious health concerns and without access to a lawyer of his choice or his family; he is at real risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Uyghur Woman Held Incommunicado for 2 Years

Buzainafu Abudourexiti, who returned to China in 2015 after studying for two years in Egypt, was suddenly detained in March 2017 and sentenced in a secret trial to seven years in prison. No information has been provided about the charges against her, but it is believed that it may be part of a wider crackdown on Uighur students who studied abroad. Held incommunicado, she is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

Buzainafu Abudourexiti continues to be held in incommunicado detention after she was suddenly detained in March 2017 and sentenced in a secret trial to seven years in prison. There is still no information about the charges against her, but it is believed that it may be part of a wider crackdown on Uyghur students who studied abroad. Buzainafu Abudourexiti returned to China in 2015 after studying in Egypt for two years. She is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

HONDURAS

Urgent Action Update: Land Defenders in Río Blanco Still at Risk

On 16 July, the Civic Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reported new attacks that affected at least 25 families of the community of Río Blanco, Intibucá, Honduras, that saw their food crop intentionally destroyed next to the 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. We urge the Minister of Human Rights to immediately guarantee the safety of members of Río Blanco and COPINH, and to further the investigations of any attacks against them.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA

Tell Chicken of the Sea to take action on human rights violations in its supply chain!

US-headquartered packaged seafood provider Chicken of the Sea promises ‘A Sea of Good’ and likes to talk about sustainability. Its products are well-known throughout the Americas. Like many US seafood companies, Chicken of the Sea sources products from Bumi Menara Internusa (BMI) in Lampung, Indonesia. And BMI is trying to send a brave trade union leader to prison for 6 years. Human rights violations are swimming in the Sea of Good.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 8-14

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 turn our attention to AVAAZ. AVAAZ is the campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision-making worldwide . Please open the site and donate to this most worthy cause.

Brazil: End the Amazon apocalypse!

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 ask you to act on behalf of the aboriginal people of Australia.

Aboriginal cave art, Australia.
Aboriginal cave art, Australia.
© John Miles/Survival

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:

logo_rfa
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 the persecution of the human rights activist Malokhat Eshonkulova.

URGENT ACTION CASES

EGYPT

Urgent Action: Researcher Forcibly Disappeared

On 11 June 2019, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, a housing rights researcher with an Egyptian NGO, was arrested by security forces from a street near his house in Moqattam, Cairo, and forcibly disappeared. Since his arrest, the authorities have continued to deny that he is in their custody and his family have not been informed of his fate or whereabouts.

TAKE ACTION

USA

Urgent Action: Man with Claims of Innocence at Risk of Execution

Larry Swearingen has been on death row in Texas, USA since 2000 and is scheduled to be executed on 21 August 2019. He was convicted on circumstantial evidence in connection with the murder of a young woman; he has maintained that he did not kill her, and several forensic experts have provided expert opinion supportive of Larry Swearingen’s claim of innocence. We urge authorities to recommend granting clemency and stop his and any future executions.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Grassroots Women Activist Held Incommunicado

Chen Jianfang, a devoted grassroots human rights defender has been held in incommunicado detention since 20 March. A well-known activist, she led a campaign in 2013 with late activist Cao Shunli to demand that the government allow civil society participation in China’s preparations for its UPR at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Denied access to her family and a lawyer of her choice, Chen Jianfang is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 1-7

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 turn our attention to the Mercy Corps, a non governmental body that provides aid in emergency situations around the world. They are highly rated by monitoring groups and are most worthy of your support.

Mercy Corps is working around the world in over 40 countries to deliver lifesaving aid to families suffering in the face of crisis. Your support today provides communities with the help they need to survive, recover and build better futures.

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 ask you to help stop genocide in Brazil.

President Jair Bolsonaro has ‘declared war’ on Brazil’s indigenous peoples.

He has:
– tried to take the government’s indigenous affairs department, FUNAI, away from the Ministry of Justice and place it under the control of Minister Damares Alves, an evangelical preacher under investigation for inciting racial hatred against indigenous peoples
– tried to take the responsibility to map out indigenous territories away from FUNAI and give it to the Agriculture Ministry which is run by anti-indigenous politicians of the agribusiness lobby
– issued decrees to make it harder to protect indigenous territories, and to ‘monitor’ indigenous peoples’ allies
– through his racist rhetoric, emboldened invaders to steal indigenous land and attack communities
– and more…

These moves spell disaster for indigenous peoples nationwide and could wipe out dozens of uncontacted tribes.

But across the country, indigenous peoples are fighting back. They won’t let anyone steal their land, because without it they can’t survive.

They’re asking for your help. Please sign and share.

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:

logo_rfa
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 modern slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

INDONESIA

Urgent Action Update: Justice for Survivor of Sexual Harassment

On 5 July 2019, the Indonesian Supreme Court rejected the final case review submitted by Baiq Nuril Maknun, a survivor of sexual abuse, and upheld its decision to find her guilty of distributing pornographic content. Sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of IDR 500 million (USD 34,644), Baiq Nuril Maknun is seeking amnesty from the President as her last resort for obtaining justice. Under Indonesian law, the president can only grant an amnesty after he/she seeks consideration from the advice of the parliament. A request for such advice was formally lodged by President Joko Widodo on 15 July 2019.

TAKE ACTION

GUATEMALA

Urgent Action Update: Lawyer of Xinca People Still Under Threat

Lawyer Quelvin Jimenez reported that on 23 June a group of people, carrying small arms and machetes, disrupted a meeting of the Xinca Indigenous People authorities in Jumaytepeque, Santa Rosa (Southwest Guatemala). They verbally threatened and beat some of the participants. Quelvin escaped but was stopped by a vehicle where three people got out accusing him of attacking them. Police took them all to a municipal police station in Barberena. Hours later, he was released free of charges. The Attorney’s office should investigate these attacks and guarantee Quelvin’s protection.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Update: Jailed Crimean Tatar’s Health Still at Risk

On 3 July a court in Russian – occupied Crimea rejected Edem Bekirov’s appeal to review his pre-trial detention. Crimean Tatar, Edem Bekirov, has been detained since December 2018 in conditions that are not suitable for his disability. He also continues to be denied the specialzed medical care he urgently requires due to his numerous conditions and that is not available in the detention center.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

Reinstate municipal workers in Aliağa

The Aliağa Municipality of Izmir, Turkey, is dismissing trade union members without any legal basis. In addition to dismissals, the newly elected mayor is also forcing workers to resign from their union and to join another one. Workers have been affiliated to DISK/Genel-İş Union since 1998.
The number of dismissals reached 187 on July 24. The workers have been picketing since the 20th of May. They demand reinstatement and respect for trade union rights and freedoms. Please support these workers.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 25-31

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a dear friend and great 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 turn our attention to Doctors Without Borders.

About this sound

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF; pronounced [medsɛ̃ sɑ̃ fʁɔ̃tjɛʁ] (listen)), sometimes rendered in English as Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organisation (NGO) of French origin best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases. In 2015, over 30,000 personnel — mostly local doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, logistical experts, water and sanitation engineers and administrators — provided medical aid in over 70 countries.[1] Most staff are volunteers. Private donors provide about 90% of the organization’s funding, while corporate donations provide the rest, giving MSF an annual budget of approximately US$1.63 billion.[2]

Médecins sans frontières was founded in 1971, in the aftermath of the Biafra secession, by a small group of French doctors and journalists who sought to expand accessibility to medical care across national boundaries and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.[3] To that end, the organisation emphasizes “independence and impartiality”, and explicitly precludes political, economic, or religious factors in its decision making. For these reasons, it limits the amount of funding received from governments or intergovernmental organisation. These principles have allowed MSF to speak freely with respect to acts of war, corruption, or other hindrances to medical care or human well-being. Only once in its history, during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, has the organization called for military intervention.

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 destruction of their culture. Please raise your voice against factory schools designed to reprogram children to fit the dominant society.

Cultural genocide

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:

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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 for freedom for girls.

https://www.freedomunited.org/cel/16929

URGENT ACTION CASES

SRI LANKA

Urgent Action Victory! Supreme Court Suspends All Execution Warrants

The Sri Lankan Supreme Court, while hearing the petitions to halt executions of death row prisoners, suspended all execution warrants until 29 October, the next date of hearing. This is a huge source of relief, as the 13 prisoners are no longer in imminent danger of being hanged.


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

The Sri Lankan Supreme Court announced on 5 July 2019 that it has suspended all execution warrants until its next hearing date on 29 October. The bench will then resume hearing the twelve Fundamental Rights petitions that were filed in response to the announcement by President Maithripala Sirisena on 26 June 2019 that he had signed four execution warrants, and that the hangings would be carried out in the coming days. The petitions state that the arbitrary selection of four prisoners and that the secrecy shrouding plans and preparations for executions having violated the rights of the prisoners. The court decision comes against the backdrop of widespread opposition to plans to implement the death penalty in Sri Lanka. There has been resistance in the courts, in the media, on the streets, on social media, from all sides of parliament, and from the international community. This was the third time that the president tried to revive the death penalty in Sri Lanka, where the last execution took place in 1976. Amnesty International had repeatedly called on President Sirisena to halt his plans to resume executions, making clear that the death penalty does not have a unique deterrent effect on crime. You have been an important addition to that chorus of voices that have proven why we must resist injustice everywhere it happens.

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Uyghur Activist’s 30 Relatives Still Detained

Up to 30 relatives of Uyghur human rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, who currently lives in the United States, have been detained for nearly two years in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) without trial. The exact date that they were taken away remains unclear, however it is presumed they are being arbitrarily detained at a political re-education camp and are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. Among those detained are Kadeer’s sisters, brothers, sons, grandchildren and extended relatives who have for many years been targeted by the Chinese authorities to try silence Rebiya Kadeer.

TAKE ACTION

ITALY


Urgent Action Update: Roma Still Homeless After Forced Eviction

Around 500 Roma people, including around 150 children, pregnant women and older people, were left homeless after being forcibly evicted by authorities from their settlement in the municipality of Giugliano in Campania, in southern Italy, on 10 May. The families have since found shelter in an industrial area but urgently need adequate alternative housing solutions. Authorities must urgently comply with European mechanisms’ request that Italy adopts immediate measures to eliminate the risk of serious and irreparable harm and guarantee Roma families’ rights and safety.


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SOUTH SUDAN

Urgent Action: Security Agent Ill-Treated in Detention

Ding Ding Mou, a South Sudanese security agent, is detained at the Riverside detention center – notorious for its extremely poor conditions and incidents of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. He was arbitrarily arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) in Juba on 31 May. He was first detained at the NSS headquarters, known as ‘Blue House’ for eight days.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 18-24

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 turn our attention to the Fistula Foundation.

Fistula Foundation believes that no woman should have to suffer a life of shame and isolation simply for trying to bring a child into the world. We are dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for obstetric fistula, a wrenching childbirth injury, in Africa and Asia. An obstetric fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder that is caused by prolonged obstructed labor, leaving a woman incontinent of urine or feces or both.

For women with obstructed labor, labor that goes unattended, the labor can last up to six or seven days. The labor produces contractions that push the baby’s head against the mother’s pelvic bone. The soft tissues between the baby’s head and the pelvic bone are compressed and do not receive adequate blood flow. The lack of blood flow causes this delicate tissue to die, and where it dies holes are created between the laboring mother’s bladder and vagina and/or between the rectum and vagina. This is what produces incontinence in a fistula patient.

We are the global leader in the battle against obstetric fistula. Last year, we celebrated over 25,000 women transformed by fistula surgery, and to date, we have awarded fistula treatment project grants working at more than 150 sites in 31 countries throughout Africa and Asia.

Fistula Foundation adheres to the highest standards in our financial management. We only invite grant request from proven partners, and our board and staff review biannual reports from the programs we fund. We are also dedicated to keeping our operating expenses low. The Foundation has a high rating with Charity Navigator.


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 so-called progress. Interference in the life style of a tribe can be deadly.

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:

logo_rfa
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 to call for the closure of the slave markets in Libya.

URGENT ACTION CASES

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action Update Victory! Detainee Release

Gilber Caro, who was disappeared, arbitrary detained and held incommunicado for almost two months, was released on 17 June 2019, prior to a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights visit to Venezuela.

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

Venezuelan opposition member of parliament Gilber Caro was arbitrary detained since 26 April 2019, and since then being in incommunicado detention, putting his personal integrity at risk. Authorities denied having information on his fate and whereabouts since his detention by intelligence officers until 31 May. He was released on 17 June 2019 prior to the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. Until this date there is no official information on the reasons of his detentions neither the basis of his release.

Gilber Caro was also arbitrarily detained from January 2017 until June 2018 under unfounded accusations of treason and stealing military equipment. His disappearance and incommunicado detention is arbitrary since it reverses the freedom he was granted in June. We call on the Director of the intelligence service (SEBIN) to swiftly allow access to Gilber Caro and to release him immediately.

Amnesty International helped keeping Caro’s profile high and visible, but we know there were some other efforts to secure his release in the framework of Bachelet’s official visit to Venezuela, such as one called “the Boston Group” which had accomplished the release of another person who was subjected to arbitrary detentions in 2018.

PARAGUAY

Urgent Action: Indigenous Community at Risk of Eviction

The Tekoha Sauce Indigenous community in Paraguay are, once again, at risk of eviction from their ancestral territory due to legal action being taken against them by the Itaipú Binational (Paraguay-Brazil) Hydroelectric Plant. Both international human rights standards and the Paraguayan Constitution protect Indigenous peoples from eviction from their ancestral territories without their free, prior and informed consent. Amnesty calls on the President of Paraguay to ensure that this Indigenous community is protected from forced eviction.

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MEXICO

Urgent Action: National Guard Harasses Migrant Shelter

Since the National Guard was deployed in Mexico with a new role addressing migration-related issues, Amnesty International has seen concerning behaviors that could put at risk the rights of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and human rights defenders. On 23 June, 6 officers attempted to raid, without warrant or legal cause, the migrant shelter CAME, in the northern state of Sonora, and harassed human rights defenders working there. It is urgent to put a stop to a situation that threatens the rights of people working at and being protected by migrant shelters across the country.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender at Risk


Danelly Estupiñan defends the rights of the afro-descendent population in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca as part of the organization Black Community Process (Proceso Comunitario Negro). For the last seven months, Danelly has been facing surveillance from unknown men, which increased last week from once a day and only at her home to twice per day and at all locations she visits. The unknown men surveil not only Danelly but also her family members; they take pictures and video of what they are doing. The Public Prosecutor’s Office should launch an immediate investigation into these incidents in order to ensure that Danelly is protected.

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CAMBODIA

Solidarity with workers at the West Mebun temple

126 skilled workers restoring the West Mebun temple in Cambodia have been out of work for a year . Their working conditions have been worsened and they are subject to union busting. Please click and join the protest.