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 Memorial Blog for Human Rights Action August 13-19

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

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

esiderius 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

CHARITY CORNER

Although there has been little easing of the pandemic we nonetheless turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

This week our chosen charity must be aid to the stricken city of Beirut where poorly warehoused explosive ammonia nitrate exploded in a blast that left parts of the city in ruins.

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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention dangers inherent in so-called progress, which if forced, can kill. Forcing “development” or “progress” on tribal people does not make them happier or healthier. In fact, the effects are disastrous. The most important factor by far for tribal peoples’ well-being is whether their land rights are respected.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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:


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 an end to the enslavement of the Uyghur people of China.

URGENT ACTION CASES

MALDIVES

Urgent Action: Serious Health Concerns for Maldivian Politician

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.LAkv6beZHY6O38RP7OtQxwHaE8%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Ahmed Adeeb, former Maldivian Vice President, suffers from several ongoing health conditions. Arrested in 2015 for what were believed to be politically motivated charges, his convictions were overturned last year and other charges against him were dropped in July 2020. Local media outlets have reported that the Prosecutor General submitted the case for appeal and accordingly, Adeeb was taken into custody again on 24 July following an order by High Court, raising further concerns about his well being.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

On 2 July, the Inter-Ecclesiastic Commission of Justice and Peace received confidential information about an ongoing plan to kill the Human Rights Defender Jani Silva. The plan is allegedly run by an armed group called “La mafia” because of the voluntary crops substitution program that Jani Silva is promoting in the Putumayo region (South West), Colombia. According to NGOs, “La Mafia” is behind the killings of 14 persons in the Putumayo region since the COVID-19 lockdown started. We are urging the National Protection Unit to increase the protection measures for Jani Silva.

TAKE ACTION

USA

On 14 July, the US authorities carried out the first federal execution in 17 years, with two others following closely on 16 and 17 July. Two of them were executed hours after their original death warrants had expired, following the lifting by the US Supreme Court of temporary injunctions put in place by lower courts. As a fourth man remains at risk of execution on 28 August and new executions have been set for August and September, we urge the US Attorney General to call off the death warrants and abandon any plans to pursue further executions.

TAKE ACTION

JORDAN

Release leaders of the Jordanian Teacher Association

Education International (EI) calls on workers and unionists to urge the Jordanian authorities to immediately release the education union leaders and revoke the unlawful suspension of all union work by the Jordanian Teacher Association. Read more and join the protest.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update August 6-12

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

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

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

Although there has been little easing of the pandemic we nonetheless turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

We call your attention to the Rainforest Trust, nonprofit engaged in world wide conservation. Their mission statement:

“Established in 1988, Rainforest Trust works around the tropics to strategically purchase and protect lands vital for endangered species and indigenous communities. We specifically target the most threatened tropical habitats that are critical for preventing species extinctions and that are exceptionally rich in biological diversity. Celebrating 30 years of lasting conservation action, we are proud to have saved more than 2 million acres of tropical habitat across 53 countries in 150 protected areas and wildlife reserves.”

An illustration of the importance of the rainforest

This charity has a perfect rating with Charity Navigator and in these times is certainly worthy of 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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the burning need to decolonize conservation.

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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the burning need to decolonize conservation.ndigenous 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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the humans rights violations committed by the government of Indonesia against the indigenous population of Papua.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ac349-index.jpg

F

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 major credit card companies to stop providing services to pornography purveyors.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Victory! Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar is Free

Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a 23-year-old transgender woman, fled Honduras when she was 12 years old because of violence against her based on her transgender identity. US immigration authorities detained her in August 2017 and she has been locked up since while she awaits the results of her asylum claim.

Kelly Gonzalez Aguilar, a 24-year-old transgender woman, fled Honduras when she was 12 years old because of violence against her based on her transgender identity. In August 2017, she traveled to the USA where US immigration authorities detained her while her asylum request was in process. She feared becoming infected by COVID-19 because of the inadequate measures taken by authorities to protect detainees and staff from the virus. On 14 July 2020, immigration authorities released Kelly from detention.
Share

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

During her almost three years in immigration detention in the USA, Kelly spent months in solitary confinement solely because of her gender identity. Her multiple requests for humanitarian parole were denied. Her physical and mental well-being suffered deeply.

Amnesty International worked with a coalition of organizations dedicated to immigration justice and LGBTI rights to leverage global pressure on authorities to release her. Kelly’s lawyer said that the campaign is responsible for her freedom; there was no other reason for authorities to release her.

A few words from Kelly after her release: “I’m so happy this July 14, 2020. Thank you for all the support you have given me, all the strength, all your fight against ICE. They finally accepted my freedom. Thanks to the huge efforts from each of you. For this, I’m completely grateful to all the people who have helped me since day one, since day zero that I’ve been fighting for my liberty. I’m infinitely grateful because without your support, this never would have happened. I’m happy, thankful to God, and to everyone that put me on this path. To Alma Rosa [with TransLatin@ Coalition] and to each of you: May God bless you. Thank you.”

There are many more transgender individuals like Kelly who are unjustly locked up in immigration jail while they apply for asylum and are experiencing inhumane treatment because of their gender identity. The United States of America has the largest immigration detention system in the world, with an average daily population of nearly 40,000 immigrants and asylum seekers in over 200 immigration detention facilities as of early 2020. Those detainees stuck in US immigration detention facilities are at serious risk of a deadly outbreak of COVID-19, as confirmed cases skyrocket exponentially in the US.

USA

Urgent Action Update: Free Families From Immigration Detention

On 26 June 2020, a federal judge in the USA ordered immigration authorities to release all children from family immigration detention facilities, which the judge declared were “on fire” with COVID-19. Authorities must comply but release all families together to protect them from the pandemic while maintaining their family unity. The alternative – releasing the children but continuing to detain their parents – would constitute family separation, a practice that in some cases can constitute torture under US and international law. We demand authorities release all families together. The judge-imposed deadline for authorities to act is 7 August 2020.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defenders Face

Secret Trial

Cheng Yuan, Liu Yongze and Wu Gejianxiong

Anti-discrimination NGO workers Cheng Yuan, Liu Yongze and Wu Gejianxiong remain incommunicado since being detained on 22 July 2019. Cheng Yuan’s wife learned from prosecutors on 10 July 2020 that an indictment was issued in the case on 24 June and that the three now await trial on charges of “inciting subversion of state power”. As the authorities have provided no additional information about the indictment to members of the three men’s families or family-appointed lawyers, there are fears that these human rights defenders could be tried in secret. Without access to families or lawyers of their choice, they remain at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years and 148 lashes for her work defending women’s rights.

She is in more danger than ever with cases of COVID-19 confirmed in prisons across Iran.

Together we can free Nasrin. Join thousands calling on the Supreme Leader of Iran to release her immediately.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION

CAMBODIA

Free Prominent Trade Union Leader

Rong Chhun leads a demonstration by laid-off workers in Phnom Penh, July 24, 2020. © 2020 Radio Free Asia

Drop Fabricated Charges Against Rong Chhun

Rong Chhun leads a demonstration by laid-off workers in Phnom Penh, July 24, 2020. © 2020 Radio Free Asia

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian authorities should immediately drop incitement charges and release an outspoken trade union leader and rights activist, Human Rights Watch said today.

On the evening of July 31, 2020, the authorities arrested Rong Chhun, president of the independent Cambodian Confederation of Unions, without an arrest warrant at his home in Phnom Penh, alleging he was committing an in flagrante delicto (caught in the act) offense. On August 1, the Phnom Penh municipal court charged him with “incitement to commit a felony” under articles 494 and 495 of Cambodia’s penal code and sent him to pretrial detention at Phnom Penh’s Correctional Center 1. The charges against Rong Chhun appear to be linked to his recent advocacy for the land rights of villagers living near Cambodia’s border with Vietnam.

“The arrest of Rong Chhun is the latest example of unrelenting government repression against activists trying to protect ordinary Cambodians’ basic rights,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The European Union should add this outrage to the long list of rights abuses that need to be resolved in negotiations over ‘Everything But Arms’ trade preferences.” Read more and post this on all your social media.

Name and shame the Cambodian authorities!!

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 30-August 5

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)

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

Although there has been little easing of the pandemic we nonetheless turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

We call your attention to Catapult an organization committed to the advancement of women and girls. Their mission:

Catapult is a new way to take action for girls and women’s equality and rights. The problem we’re trying to solve is simple. The people and organizations fighting for the rights of girls and women need our support.

That’s why we built Catapult – to transform individual generosity into the power of shared, collective action. Through the open democracy of the web, we support girls and women working on the front lines for their equal and human rights.

“The only thing that changes this world is taking action.”
– Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams.

Please open the site and choose one or more of their over 400 projects for achieving rights and equality to enhance the quality of life for girls and women. The organization is supported by many world famous philanthropic organizations including the Gates, MacArthur and Kellogg Foundations.

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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the burning need to decolonize conservation.

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

This is colonialism pure and simple: powerful global interests are shamelessly taking land and resources from vulnerable people while claiming they are doing it for the good of humanity.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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 an end to forced child marriages , which have become more endemic during the current pandemic.

URGENT ACTION CASES

CUBA

Urgent Action Victory! Opposition Leader Released from Prison

After being in detention since October 2019, José Daniel Ferrer García was sent to house arrest in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, on April 2020, after a trial where he was convicted and sentenced to four and a half years. Although no independent monitoring or international press was allowed during his trial, in a country where irregularities in due process of law in cases related to freedom of expression have been documented for decades, he is now back with his family. We will continue to monitor his case.

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

On 1 October 2019, Cuban authorities detained José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the unofficial political opposition group “Patriotic Union of Cuba” (Unión Patriótica de Cuba – UNPACU) in Santiago de Cuba. He was held incommunicado for 72 hours and remained in detention without charges for at least 30 days, according to information available to Amnesty International.

In late November 2019, Amnesty International received a document, apparently issued by the Provincial Prosecutor of Santiago de Cuba, dated 7 October 2019, stating that José Daniel Ferrer García had been charged with the offence of “injuries” (lesiones) and placed in preventive detention as a precautionary measure. This document was given to his family more than 30 days after his detention, according to their reports. Amnesty International sent an open letter to the president of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, reiterating our request to visit Cuba and monitor in situ his forthcoming trial. The Cuban government never replied to our request.

On 20 February 2020, his family declared receiving information that José Daniel Ferrer García had been scheduled for trial for February 26, 2020. His family also reported that two defense witnesses were allegedly harassed by security agents, days before the trial. Amnesty International has documented for decades government control over the judiciary.

After a trial tainted by irregularities, Ferrer García was sentenced to 4 and a half years of house arrest on April 2020. The Cuban authorities prevented the press, the European Union and Amnesty International from monitoring his trial on 26 February. On the day of his trial, Cuba’s Ministry of Justice tweeted that José Daniel Ferrer would get a fair trial, but in the same tweet called him “a common criminal”, in violation of his right to the presumption of innocence.

Although it was good news that José Daniel Ferrer García was finally able to go home, instead of remaining in prison, where he would be at greater risk of COVID-19, his conviction and sentencing is still shameful. We will continue to monitor his case.

After his release, José Daniel Ferrer García deeply thanked Amnesty International for all the support and hard work on his behalf and reconfirmed his commitment to continue his efforts despite the sentencing.

MEXICO

Urgent Action Victory! Government Confirms Funding for Women’s Rights

On 23 April, the Mexican government suspended funding for different programs to attend the COVID-19 pandemic, including that of the Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Women Shelters (CAMIs). The government had not been transparent about how these cuts could affect other programs that support and care for women victims of violence. On 14 July 2020, the Ministry of Interior announced publicly that the austerity measures would not affect the budget of the programs addressing women’s rights and violence against women.

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

On 23 April 2020, the President announced shortages to the federal budget for 2020 to mitigate the socio-economic consequences created by COVID-19. The put at risk several social programs, including those addressing gender-based violence in the country.

Resources for the program to strengthen Indigenous peoples, which includes resources for the Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Women Shelters (CAMIs), were temporarily suspended. Because of this suspension, nearly a third of them stopped providing the comprehensive care they were providing up until May, which undermines the right of Indigenous and Afro-Mexican women to live without violence and their access to justice.

Since April’s announcement, the government had failed to clarify if and how these budget cuts could affect other programs aimed at care and support women that have been victims of violence and other women’s rights programs.

On 14 July 2020, the Ministry of Interior announced publicly that the austerity measures would not affect the budget initially allocated to the various deconcentrated bodies dealing with women’s rights and violence against women therefore, action is no longer required.

Despite not having received a formal response yet to the Urgent Action and the Open Letter sent by Amnesty International, the announcement made by the Ministry of the Interior indicates that the objective has been met. We will continue to monitor that in reality the different institutions supporting women’s rights are fully funded and can develop their essential work.

HONDURAS

Urgent Action: Indigenous Human Rights Activists Missing

Unknown individuals, wearing police-type clothing took four Garifuna activists, Alberth Snider Centeno Tomas, President of the Board of Triunfo de la Cruz on behalf of the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH), Suami Aparicio Mejía García, Gerardo Mizael Rochez Cálix and Milton Joel Martínez Álvarez, members of the OFRANEH, and a fifth person, Junior Rafael Juárez Mejía, from their homes on 18 July 2020. They have been missing since then. The Secretary of Security ordered a search operation, but their whereabouts remain unknown. We demand authorities determine their whereabouts, ensure an independent, effective and impartial investigation into the case, and bring those responsible for their disappearance to justice.

TAKE ACTION

ARGENTINA

Urgent Action: Disappeared During Covid-19 Quarantine

22-year old Facundo Astudillo Castro went missing on 30 April 2020. Police arrested him in Mayor Buratovich in the Province of Buenos Aires for violating the COVID-19 quarantine imposed by the State at the national level. Contradicting police accounts and other testimonies lead to a presumption of responsibility by the police officers involved. On 2 July his family filed a federal complaint to start investigations into Facundo’s disappearance. Facundo is still missing. We demand authorities determine Facundo’s whereabouts, ensure an independent, effective and impartial investigation into the case, and bring those responsible for his disappearance to justice.

TAKE ACTION

GERMANY

NGG (THE FOOD, BEVERAGES AND CATERING UNION (GERMAN: GEWERKSCHAFT NAHRUNG-GENUSS-GASTSTÄTTEN, NGG is a trade union in Germany) SAYS VOLUNTARISM HAS FAILED, DEMANDS STRICT REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT TO TACKLE ABUSIVE CONDITIONS BEHIND CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAKS IN MEAT PROCESSING!

Please read this and send it to all your networks. As in many places, this kind of work is done by underpaid and unprotected migrant workers. The German government must take positive steps to protect these workers.

New coronavirus hotspots have erupted in Germany’s meat processing plants, spotlighting again the massive abuse of subcontracted migrant labour on which the industry depends. More than 1,500 workers have been infected with COVID-19 at the giant Tönnies plant (over 6,500 workers) in Rheda-Wiedenbrück alone, where local authorities have re-imposed strict lockdowns just as economic activity was reviving.

In May, the federal cabinet introduced proposed legislation, effective January 1 2021, to ban the system of subcontracting slaughter and processing operations through which the companies rely on migrant workers from Eastern Europe for the bulk of their production. Subcontracting employment shields companies like Tönnies, Germany’s largest pork processor, from responsibility for the abusive and exploitative living and working conditions which blight the industry. The draft legislation would require the meat companies to directly employ their workforce, impose new oversight of working hours and payment and enforce strict liability for violations.

Companies initially responded by threatening to leave Germany. Following the latest outbreaks, on June 23, Tönnies joined with two other leading companies in a pledge to voluntarily renounce subcontracting. The NGG, which has been fighting for years to raise standards in the meat industry, denounced the companies’ declaration as a smokescreen to avoid strict legal regulation, emphasizing that ‘Voluntary solutions in the meat industry have never worked and will not work. Working and living conditions in the meat industry will only be improved through strong laws.’

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 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)

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

Although there has been little easing of the pandemic we nonetheless turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

This week we call your attention to Reporters without Borders, the world’s biggest NGO specializing in the defense of media freedom, which we regard as the basic human right to be informed and to inform others.

The most horrible story we have from RSF is that of the following four Yemini journalists.

It’s hard to imagine four journalists being subjected to the most barbaric and archaic form of punishment in 2020. However, capital punishment is still common in some parts of the world, and journalists can be executed for daring to speak out. This is the case in Yemen, where four journalists were sentenced to death by Houthi rebels in April for allegedly spying for Saudi Arabia. Since their abduction in 2015, they have been secretly moved from prison to prison in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and subjected to violent interrogations. These four journalists could now be executed at any moment. 

Abdul Khaleq Amran edited the Al-Islah Online website and ran Yemen Revolution Press. His staff covered the Yemeni civil war, documented crimes committed by the Houthis and interviewed the Houthis’ opponents.

Akram Al-Walidi supervised the staff of the Alrabie-ye.net news website and the government news agency SABA. He gathered information about developments in the fighting from the Al-Islah party’s side, using reliable sources.

Hareth Humaid was head of news at Yemen Revolution Press, covering Houthi human rights violations, including abductions and bombardments of civilians.

Tawfiq Al-Mansouri worked for the daily newspaper Al-Masdar until it stopped publishing when the Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015. He then joined Yemen Revolution Press doing layout and graphic design.

All are suffering from the severe physical and psychological after effects of repeated torture and beatings as they wonder if and when the Houthi authorities will execute their death sentences. Neither their lawyers nor their families were told in advance that they were going to be sentenced. Support our campaign against this archaic punishment, which is the worst possible way to restrict freedom of the press. If you want, you can make a donation now to help our activities in the field.

Thank you for your support.

The RSF team
 

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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the Jawara people of the Andaman Islands. Please read this somewhat long description of the Jawara people and the problems that they face.

The Jarawa thatch their shelters with leaves from the forest.
© Survival

Act now to help the Jarawa

Survival’s Andamans campaign focuses on the Jarawa, because their situation is the most precarious of the four tribes. Your support is vital for the Jarawa’s survival. There are lots of ways you can help.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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 survivor and migrant access to healthcare.

https://cdns.freedomunited.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/26041639/face-mask-970x500-1.jpg

URGENT ACTION CASES

IRAQ

Urgent Action Victory! Teacher and Protest Organizer Released on Bail

On 30 May 2020, teacher and activist Badal Abdulbaqi Aba Bakr Barwari was released on bail. On 16 May 2020 armed members of local police as well as security forces arrested him in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, without a warrant. He was charged with “the misuse of electronic devices” for his role in organizing peaceful protests through social media platforms. While the charges related to Badal Barwari’s freedom of speech and peaceful assembly have not been dropped, no court date has been set.

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

On 31 May 2020, teacher and activist Badal Abdulbaqi Aba Bakr Barwari was released on bail from a detention center in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I). While the charges related to Badal Barwari’s freedom of speech and peaceful assembly have not been dropped, no court date has been set and is unlikely to be set soon given lockdown measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the KR-I. According to his family and lawyer, based on previous patterns, it is likely that the charges will be dropped or that Badal Barwari will be sentenced to pay a fine as no damages or violence occurred during the protests that he took part in organizing.

On May 16 2020, armed members of the local police in Duhok as well as Asayish [General Security Forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)] officers arrested 55-year-old teacher Badal Abdulbaqi Aba Bakr Barwari from his home in Duhok, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) without a warrant and without informing him of the reason for his arrest or where he was being taken to.

On 18 May 2020, a court in Duhok ordered his release on bail pending a court hearing being set after being formally charged with protesting without permission under the KRI Protest Law No. 17 of 2010. However, Badal was not released and was instead charged in a new case with inciting a riot under Article 2 of KR-I Law No. 6 of 2008 for the “the misuse of electronic devices” and he was kept in detention.

Badal Barwari, and other protest organizers, had on 12 May 2020 applied to the local authorities in Duhok for a permit to protest. However, this request had gone unanswered. The law stipulates however that prior notice of 48 hours grants permission automatically even if unanswered.

Amnesty International will be closely monitoring any developments regarding the case of Badal Barwari and, where necessary, take the appropriate action on his behalf.

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Covid-19 Activist Held Incommunicado for Months

No contact has been made with human rights defender Chen Mei since he was taken away by police in Beijing on 19 April 2020. Not knowing anything about his condition or whereabouts for nearly two months, Chen’s family were finally told on 12 June that he is being detained at Chaoyang Detention Center in Beijing on criminal charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. Chen remains detained incommunicado and, without access to a lawyer of his choice, is at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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CHINA

Urgent Action Prominent Legal Scholar Held Incommunicado

Prominent legal scholar and activist Xu Zhiyong, who has been held incommunicado for five months, has been formally arrested for “inciting subversion of state power”. Along with more than 10 human rights defenders, Xu was detained by police after joining a social gathering in Xiamen. Held in secret detention, Xu has had no access to his family and lawyers of his choice and is at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

Stop the attack on workers’ rights in India!

In May, the IUF sounded the alarm on the legislative attack on fundamental workers’ rights in India. The attack continues, and we’ve joined with our sister international federations and the ITUC in an online Labor Start campaign to stop the attack on rights. Join this campaign to send a message to the Indian authorities demanding these measures be withdrawn – now is the time to strengthen, not demolish worker rights and social protection!

Under cover of the COVID-19 emergency the state governments of Uttar Pradesh (India’s most populous state), Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra, have suspended minimum wages, extended the legal working day from 8 to 12 hours and introduced legal changes to facilitate the wholesale replacement of permanent workers by precarious contract workers and weaken labor inspection, social security and pension protection, among other measures. Other states are following suit.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update July 16-22

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)

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

Although there has been little easing of the pandemic we nonetheless turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

An MSF doctor examines a young patient, Central African Republic

Now we call your attention to the Fistula Foundation. This is an obstetric condition caused by long and intense labor. In the industrialized surgical remedy is readily available and it can also be prevented by a Caesarean section. In the Third World it is a catastrophe that can ruin a woman’s life. An obstetric fistula occurs when a mother has a prolonged, obstructed labor, but does not have access to emergency medical care, such as a C-section. She often labors in excruciating pain for days. Tragically, her baby usually dies.

During her prolonged labor, the mother’s contractions continually push the baby’s head against her pelvis. Soft tissues caught between the baby’s head and her pelvic bone become compressed, restricting the normal flow of blood.

Without adequate blood supply, sections of tissue soon die, leaving holes—known as “fistulae” —between the mother’s vagina and her bladder or rectum. It is these holes that cause incontinence. If untreated, the woman will uncontrollably leak urine, stool, or sometimes both, for the rest of her life. Obstetric fistula ranks as one of humanity’s most disabling injuries—but it can be cured by a surgery that costs $586. The mission of the Fistula Foundation–“With each surgery we provide, we know that we can help change one woman’s world forever. And we know that the ripple effect of her restored health—on both her family and community—is profound.” Please support 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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the tribes of the Congo Basin.

A Baka child

We call upon you to take steps to halt the abuse of the people who are being displaced and abused by the WWF.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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 an end to trafficking for organ harvesting.

URGENT ACTION CASES

AZERBAIJAN

Urgent Action Victory! Activist Released from Psychiatric Hospital

Opposition activist Agil Humbatov was released from a psychiatric hospital in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, on 1 July. He was forcibly placed there on 2 April after he criticized the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

Agil Humbatov, a member of the opposition Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), was released on 1 July from the Psychiatric Hospital №1 in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. He was forcibly placed there on 2 April, in retaliation for his criticism of the authorities, and was administered medication without his free and informed consent or a justified necessity.

On 30 March, police arrested Agil Humbatov after he posted a video on social media criticizing the government’s failure to help families who struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic. The next day, police officers took him to the Psychiatric Hospital №1, where he was confined as a patient purportedly suffering from paranoia. On 1 April, the Sabunchu District Court rejected the hospital’s application for his forced hospitalization and ordered his release.

On 2 April, police re-arrested Agil Humbatov and took him back to the hospital after he posted another video on social media saying that he was forcibly hospitalized in deplorable conditions because of his political views. On 3 April, the Baku Court of Appeals overturned the previous court decision and approved his forced hospitalization without any substantial evidence that would justify his internment in a psychiatric hospital.

Agil Humbatov was released on 1 July without any explanation or medical documents. Prior to his release Amnesty International members received letters from the head of the hospital, promising Agil Humbatov’s prompt release.

EGYPT

Zyad el-Elaimy

Urgent Action Update: Detained Lawyer Denied Adequate Health Care

Human rights lawyer and former parliamentarian, Zyad el-Elaimy, is being denied adequate health care by the Tora prison authorities, amid concerns that his underlying medical conditions put him at particular risk if exposed to COVID-19. Zyad has been arbitrarily detained for over a year, along with journalists and politicians, Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad, and 12 others over charges that relate to their peaceful political activities.

TAKE ACTION

ZIMBABWE

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is joana-mamombe-netsai-marova-and-cecilia-chimbiri.jpg

Urgent Action Update: Tortured Activists Released on Bail

Three activists, Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who were abducted, sexually violated and tortured in May 2020, were released on bail following their appeal to the High Court. The activists were arrested on 10 June, a few days after being discharged from hospital. Adding to previous charges of breach of peace and violating lockdown regulations, the authorities accused them of lying about their torture and charged them with communicating or publishing false statement prejudicial to the state according Section 31 (a)(1)(iii) and defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(f) of the Criminal Law Act.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Journalist Convicted But Given Lenient Sentence

Russian journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva was found guilty of “justification of terrorism” and fined 500,000 roubles (about $7,000) on 6 July. The court rejected the prosecutor’s request to imprison her for six years and ban her from any journalistic work for further four years. Svetlana Prokopyeva has committed no crime and is penalized for criticizing the government.

We have received updated information regarding this case and require no further action from the Urgent Action Network. Thank you to all those who sent appeals. For more information about this case, please see the Word/PDF attachments below or email uan@aiusa.org.

USA

Urgent Action: Free Families From Immigration Detention

On 26 June 2020, a federal judge in the USA ordered immigration authorities to release all children from family immigration detention facilities, which the judge declared were “on fire” with COVID-19. Authorities must comply but release all families together to protect them from the pandemic while maintaining their family unity. The alternative – releasing the children but continuing to detain their parents – would constitute family separation, a practice that in some cases can constitute torture under US and international law. We demand authorities release all families together.

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AFGHANISTAN

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defenders Under Attack


Afghanistan’s human rights community is under intensifying attack from both the authorities and armed groups as human rights defenders and activists face intimidation, harassment, threats and violence. Against the backdrop of escalating violence in Afghanistan, human rights defenders and activists have been largely ignored by the Afghan government and the international community. The government of Afghanistan needs to immediately adopt an independent, effective and implementable protection mechanism for HRDs in the country, to ensure their safety and support.

TAKE ACTION

ZIMBABWE

Drop charges and reinstate dismissed nurses now!

The Zimbabwean government has arrested 13 nurses who were protesting their deteriorating pay and working conditions. They have since been released on bail but have been dismissed. With the inflation rate hovering around 1000 the cost of living has risen so rapidly and steeply as to render public sector salaries almost worthless. Please support the demand for salary increases, PPE for protection, release of the detained nurses and their immediate reinstatement.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, July 9-16

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)

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”.

Despite the apparent easing of the pandemic we turn our attention to other burning needs. We strongly encourage you to continue to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

We call your attention to Labour Start, a web site and more that fights for the rights of working people around the world. They are a major source to this blog for labor actions. You may donate to support them here.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

We are calling upon our readers 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 is an essential 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the Bushmen of Southern Africa. They were evicted from their homes because of the discovery of diamonds there and since then have been living a precarious life in refugee camps.

Bushman woman Xoroxloo Duxee from the Metsiamenong community, died of dehydration and starvation in 2005 after the government blockaded the reserve and armed guards prevented her people from hunting, gathering or obtaining water, Botswana.
© Survival International

Please try to help them.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

The purpose of this section of the blog is to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. Each 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 end of forced labor in Eritrea.

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Urgent Action Victory! Female Activist Released After Incommunicado Detention


Li Qiaochu, an active defender of the rights of women and workers, has been released on bail and returned home in good health on 19 June 2020. Detained incommunicado since 16 February 2020, her arrest is suspected to be related to her activism against gender violence and the fact that her partner, Xu Zhiyong, attended an informal gathering of lawyers and activists in Xiamen in December 2019.

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

Li was taken away by police in Beijing on 16 February 2020, but the authorities only confirmed two months later that she was being held under “residential surveillance in a designated location” in April 2020.

Li Qiaochu is a well-regarded researcher on labor rights and has been a peaceful advocate against gender-based violence for many years. It is believed that Li’s peaceful activism, and close association with other activists, was the primary reason for her detention.

It is rare for a Chinese human rights defender to be released in such a short time frame, and it is believed that this is a result of global mobilization around her case. Expressing their appreciation for those who took action and contributed to Li Qiaochu’s release, Li and her family said:

“Thank you to all friends who care about Li Qiaochu”

(“谢谢所有朋友的关心”- 李翘楚和家人”)

Li Qiaochu’s status means that the authorities have not yet dropped the charges against her. As it is common for human rights defenders in China to continue to face surveillance after being released from detention, Amnesty International will continue to monitor Li Qiaochu’s situation and respond to any negative developments if required.

MEXICO

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse2.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIP.EsL3Xr6tHeiYpUp1QeB1BgHaD4%26pid%3DApi&f=1

Urgent Action: Women’s Rights Protection at Risk

On 23 April, the Mexican government suspended funding for different programs to attend the COVID-19 pandemic, including that of the Indigenous and Afro-Mexican Women Shelters (CAMIs). These shelters provide direct support to victims of violence and undertake prevention work. The government has not been transparent about how these cuts could affect other programs that support and care for women victims of violence. We call on the government to ensure all programs protecting women against violence have access to resources to continue their vital work.

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VENEZUELA

Urgent Action Update: Incommunicado Detainee Now Indicted

Maury Carrero, detained arbitrarily in April 2020 by officers of the Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) in Caracas, was indicted on 19 May by the prosecution. She is accused of ‘concealing firearms’ and ‘association to commit crimes’, both under counterterrorism laws. With almost no contact with her attorneys and family since 1 May, she remains at risk of torture. We demand Maury’s release, protection for her integrity while in custody and respect for all due process guarantees during her trial.

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PHILIPPINES

Urgent Action Update: Protesters Seeking Relief to Be Arraigned

Peaceful protesters, who had gathered to demand government aid during the COVID-19 community quarantine, were violently dispersed by the police on 1 April 2020, resulting in 21 protesters being arrested & detained. The protesters, who have since been released on bail, will be informed of the charges against them and expected to enter their plea on 28 August. We continue to call on the police to drop all charges against them as these are either contrary to international human rights law or carry penalties that will disproportionately affect the group and that the authorities investigate the police’s use of force at the protest.

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USA

Urgent Action: Free Asylum Seeker at Risk of Deportation (: UA 112.20)

Steven Tendo is a 35-year-old pastor and asylum-seeker who fled from torture and other severe human rights violations in Uganda and requested asylum in the USA. Since December 2018 he has been detained at an immigration detention facility in Los Fresnos, Texas. He is at risk of being imminently returned to danger in Uganda while his health is deteriorating from inadequate medical care for diabetes amidst a COVID-19 outbreak in the detention facility. We demand authorities stop Pastor Steven’s deportation and release him immediately on parole while he continues to fight for the right to seek asylum.

TAKE ACTION

WORLDWIDE

Facebook and Its Big Tech Cronies Are Upgrading Their Anti-Union Tools

Recently, Facebook unveiled its new Facebook Workplace, a Slack Connect-like intranet-style chat and office collaboration tool that allows administrators to censor certain words, company spokespeople explained, such as “UNIONIZE.” The Workplace program with built-in labor suppression is simply the most recent example that suggests, contrary to stereotypes of open and egalitarian corporate cultures, big tech is not that different from Walmart when it comes to its attitudes towards unions. In a detailed analysis in Truthout, the antiunion and repressive strategies of several tech giantsl are discussed in detail.

We ask you to spread the article around and make your protest be heard on all your social media, including and especially Facebook. You might consider alternate browsers such as duckduckgo to avoid patronizing Google. Spread the word everywhere!!!

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update July 2-8

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

Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”

“Racial oppression is a traumatic form of interpersonal violence which can lacerate the spirit, scar the soul, and puncture the psyche.” — Kenneth V. Hardy

Before we get into our usual human rights business, we would like to share with you a letter to white people written by Carol Wall who is a long-time union educator, social-justice and community activist in Canada. It applies, alas, everywhere.

Black Lives Matter rally on June 5 in Iqaluit, Nunavut organized by the Nunavut Black History Society. PHOTOGRAPH: SIMA SAHAR ZEREHI

CHARITY CORNER

With the apparent easing of the pandemic we turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.

MSF in action

Now we call your attention to the additional plague that has struck East Africa.

Locusts in their uncounted millions are destroying the food supply for people all ready hit by Covid-19.

This map shows the geography and timeline of the current desert locust infestation, starting in the Arabian Peninsula in 2018. ©FAO/Desert Locust Information Service

We call on you to support the efforts of Mercy Corps to both help covid victims and to create locust information networks and to cooperate with governments to help the people survive the infestation and build back for the future.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

We are calling upon our readers 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 is an essentail 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 the lack of respect for their basic human rights.Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected. This week we call your attention to the Uncontacted Frontier, a region that straddles the borders of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia – home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on the planet. Take action now to protect these tribes.

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 freedom for the enslaved Uyghurs in China.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender and Doctor on Trial

The trial of Yana Antonova, a human rights defender and pediatrician from Krasnodar, southern Russia, resumed on 23 June. She faces up to six years in prison for commemorating a slain activist and other peaceful activities as a member of the “undesirable organization” Open Russia.

TAKE ACTION

MOZAMBIQUE

Urgent Action Update: Refugees and Asylum Seekers Must Be Released

Fifteen people from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and one person from Ethiopia have been arbitrarily detained in Pemba, northeast Mozambique, for more than a year and six months in appalling conditions. Their prolonged arbitrary detention in the context of COVID-19 pandemic puts them at heightened health risk.

TAKE ACTION

USA

Urgent Action: Man Faces Execution For Crime When Aged 18

Billy Wardlow’s execution is scheduled for 8 July 2020. He is on death row in Texas, USA in connection with the 1993 murder of an 82-year-old man when he was just 18 years old. The jury that sentenced Billy Wardlow was never presented mitigating evidence. Since 2005, it’s unconstitutional to impose a death sentence on anyone younger than 18 when the crime occurred. Scientific research shows that development of the brain and psychological and emotional maturation continues into a person’s 20s. Two jurors now believe that he should serve a life sentence instead. We urge Governor Abbott to grant clemency.

TAKE ACTION

CZECH REPUBLIC

Stop union busting at Ryanair

Cabin crew union B.United was recently registered in the Czech Republic, representing direct Ryanair employees and agency workers. The workers notified Ryanair on 28 May that the union exists and requested an emergency meeting on 1 June. A day later, on 29 May, three union leaders — Matteo Pizzolato, Andrea Schiraldi, Izhar Arcos Poveda — were fired by Ryanair. This is a clear attack on the right to organise of all Ryanair workers and an extreme intimidation tactic. The workers are determined to oppose these actions with the help of the Czech union Odborový svaz dopravy (OSD). Please support their struggle.

PROMETHEUS AND PANDORA XXV

Our featured image shows Cassandra. a priestess of Troy who was given the ability to issue true prophecy by Apollo, but was believed by no one. This curse was placed on her when she failed to deliver her part of the deal, guess what!

FOLLY OR EVIL

Throughout human history foolish decisions by power holders have caused calamitous results for nations and peoples. The late American historian Barbara Tuchman defines folly as “Pursuit of Policy Contrary to Self-Interest.” In her book THE MARCH OF FOLLY, Tuchman examines 4 conflicts: The Trojan Horse, The Protestant Secession, The American Revolution, and The American War in Vietnam. In all four cases, a wiser choice was available. As Tuchman writes,”The power to command frequently causes failure to think.”

The Trojan War was a great military adventure of ancient times, undertaken by the kings of ancient Greece against the city of Troy. It lasted for ten years and cost many lives, but also produced many heroes.

We see this now in the handling of the corona virus crisis. Heads of state in various countries either tried to deny the pandemic and some, as in Latin America continue to do so or come up with idiotic ideas such as the recent recommendation by Donald Trump that injection of detergents or UV light inside the body might be cures for covid-19! Alas, his idiotic advice was taken by too many people.

Randy Rainbow puts this in perspective and drives home the point that what is really lacking is intelligent leadership in the USA and elsewhere. There are places,

Randy Rainbow puts this in perspective and drives home the point that what is really lacking is intelligent leadership in the USA and elsewhere. There are places, such as Finland and New Zealand, where the pandemic is being confronted by intelligent leadership with better results. Nonetheless there is still no cure or vaccine available.

This graphic shows the spread of the virus around the world.

The state of the US with regard to the pandemic continues to deteriorate with over 100,000 deaths at the this writing (20/6).
This graphic illustrates what is happening.

Steve Almond writing in PBS WBUR Cognoscenti provides a cogent
analysis of what went wrong and why the USA, in contrast to other
countries, has no real chance of stopping the pandemic. He points
out the role that right wing ideology a la Goldwater and Reagan has
had in leading the US down this path of destruction. It is sad to
think of the great Republican Abraham Lincoln and what he might
think of what has happened to his party. His concept of government
was that government should do for people what they cannot do for
themselves. As Almond concludes and Prometheus and Pandora agree,

“This is the America foretold by Goldwater and Reagan, one in which
“government” is a cynical joke told among white people. The
punchline used to be decaying schools, a decimated middle class, a
diseased health care system and a dying planet. It is now a plague
that is killing thousands of people. If we continue down this path,
the death toll will be in the millions. And it will include
American democracy itself.”

It is not obvious to Prometheus and Pandora that this is a matter of folly and not malevolence. Leaders such as Trump in the US, Netanyahu in Israel, Bolsonaro in Brazil and others, too many to list, care nothing of the well being of their people. Their role in office is to enrich the plutocracy that supports them, to deregulate business, which involves endangering the public, and to appoint reactionary judges. It is encouraging to note that Netanyahu has gone on trial for several charges of corruption, bribery and other types of malfeasance.

PURE EVIL

Pandora and Prometheus have no doubts about the source of the police brutality that has had a huge upsurge around the world. The killing of George Floyd by a policeman in Minneapolis MN who strangled him by kneeling on his neck and of Eyad Hallaq in Jerusalem, an autistic special needs person who was gunned down by border police although he posed no threat to them or anybody, are two blatant examples of police going rogue. Police brutality or police violence is legally defined as a civil rights violation where officers exercise undue or excessive force against a subject. This includes, but is not limited to, physical or verbal harassment, physical or mental injury, property damage, and death.

Most recently police brutality in the USA has been in the spotlight since the killing of George Floyd . The result has been an upsurge in protests against the abuse of authority by police officers and the coverup tactics of their commanders. On the worldwide scale we see that police brutality is a nigh universal phenomenon, appearing in various degrees in all countries, some of which are more enlightened and actually impose accountability and others in which impunity is almost total. The #sayhername movement points our the violence directed against black women everywhere and how their suffering is little noticed while male victims such as George Floyd make the headlines.

Pandora and Prometheus wish to draw your attention to the unholy parallelism between police brutality and the scandal of sexual abuse by members of the clergy of the Catholic Church. The issues share the following:

  1. Abuse of power
  2. Betrayal of trust
  3. Attack on most vulnerable
  4. Coverup by commanders or bishops

The major difference between the two sets of crimes is the existence of a central source of overriding authority in the Church, namely the Pope and the Holy See. This authority was able to call the various components of the Church to account. One must, however, recall that this happened only after a widespread outcry by the members of the Church, the media, lawsuits and complaints to the police and to political authorities. The case of the police is far more diffuse and calls for concerted efforts in every community. It must involve the political leadership, civil society,the various media both electronic and print, religious leaders and first and foremost a refusal of the public to tolerate the entire culture of brutality, racism, misogyny (vid. #sayhername) and impunity which has been dominant for far too long. It has been said :

“There is sometimes a fine line between a cop and a criminal. What drives their personality may be the same, and they have simply chosen different roles and professions to call their own.”

Dr. ML Rapier PhD, Clinical Psychologist.”

It, alas happens everywhere.

We see the violence and the anger and yes, even the looting, but we (whites) fail to understand what Kareem Abdul Jabbar points out to us, that when people are pushed to the edge, an explosion is inevitable. When a regime tainted with fascism confronts the people’s legitimate demands for freedom and justice, the explosion becomes lethal and full of societal dynamite.

NEWS FROM SCIENCE

PUREST AIR ON THE PLANET

The Southern Ocean is a huge body of wat stretching around the Earth with far fewer landmasses than its Northern counterpart. It is very cloudy and our lack of understanding of the composition and characteristic of the clouds over this remote region consistently cause weather models of the planet to fail to reproduce the observed weather and to be in contradiction to satellite observations. The lack of data is a result of the remoteness of the region in question.

A team of atmospheric scientists was based in Hobart, Tasmania for six weeks to collect cloud, aerosol and precipitation data over the Southern Ocean during a research project called the Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES). The Southern Ocean is the stormiest place on Earth, churned by winds and waves that circle the ice of Antarctica. This remote and usually pristine environment is typically removed from human-caused and naturally produced continental airborne particles. For this reason, the region is a unique laboratory for studying the interactions between clouds and particles naturally produced by the ocean, such as sea salt and biogenic particles. Prometheus and Pandora invite you to read the report on the mission written by a trio of scientists from the University of Colorado.

METALLIC HYDROGEN?

Metallic hydrogen is found in nature only in the interior of a giant planet. Creating the metallic phase in the laboratory has been a target of much research. A team at Cornell University has issued a claim to have achieved this goal. The paper is available on line, but has not undergone peer review. In the description in Science News, we find others expressing reservation about the result. Stay tuned. If correct, we may be moving towards a room temperature super conductor, a Holy Grail of materials science.

BOOK REVIEW

Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present (Open Yale Courses) 1st Edition

by Frank M. Snowden (Author)

In his new book, “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present,” Frank M. Snowden, a professor emeritus of history and the history of medicine at Yale, examines the ways in which disease outbreaks have shaped politics, crushed revolutions, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination.

The book is published by Yale University Press who provide the following description:

This sweeping exploration of the impact of epidemic diseases looks at how mass infectious outbreaks have shaped society, from the Black Death to today. In a clear and accessible style, Frank M. Snowden reveals the ways that diseases have not only influenced medical science and public health, but also transformed the arts, religion, intellectual history, and warfare.”

A multidisciplinary and comparative investigation of the medical and social history of the major epidemics, this volume touches on themes such as the evolution of medical therapy, plague literature, poverty, the environment, and mass hysteria. In addition to providing historical perspective on diseases such as smallpox, cholera, and tuberculosis, Snowden examines the fallout from recent epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola and the question of the world’s preparedness for the next generation of diseases.

https://media.newyorker.com/photos/5e5eac5d242fe900086bd215/master/w_2560%2Cc_limit/Chotiner-Epidemics-1.jpg
Epidemics like the coronavirus outbreak are a mirror for humanity, reflecting the moral relationships that people have toward one other, the historian Frank M. Snowden says.Source Photograph from National Institutes of Health / NYT / Redux

In The New Yorker there is an interview of Snowden by Isaac Chotiner which provides interesting and sobering insights of our response to pandemic. If you lack the time or the energy to read the huge tome, you should at least read the interview.

CAN THIS BE TRUE?

We are calling attention to Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov, a former KGB agent who defected to Canada in 1970. In 1984 he gave an interview to G. Edward Griffin from which much can be learned today. His most chilling point was that there’s a long-term plan put in play by Russia to defeat America through psychological warfare and “demoralization”. It is a long game that takes decades to achieve but it may already be bearing fruit. It sounds like science fiction and it may indeed be someone’s fantasy, but if we look at the US today we see that some of the predictions are becoming real. The lack of perception of objective reality is a most troubling phenomenon, which finds its harmful expression in the public lack of understanding of the depth of the corona crisis. We see this everywhere and it is hard to explain this world wide outburst of folly. The near riot that hit the British beach of Bournemouth last weekend is an indication of the lack of responsibility of the broad public.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/69621d2b0bb792f3be75b03d7bd615d50bbc1b37/0_173_4735_2840/master/4735.jpg?width=1140&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=829b49abf2f2575109b7743dde069bb5
People were aghast

On the other hand, the New Yorker tells us how Iceland beat the virus by keeping the politicians out and letting the real professionals deal with it intelligently.

Diners in downtown Reykjavik. Since the onset of the pandemic, only a few types of businesses—night clubs and hair salons, for example—were ever ordered closed.Photograph by Valdimar Thorlacius for The New Yorker

SILLY TIME–ENOUGH DYSTOPIA

WHAT IF? Earth-Moon Fire Pole

My son (5y) asked me today: If there were a kind of a fireman’s pole from the Moon down to the Earth, how long would it take to slide all the way from the Moon to the Earth?

Ramon Schönborn, Germany

The answer as usual is interesting.

Wisdom of the street
Our dog Murphy is equally helpful to his octogenarian owners…
True not only of kings…

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, June 25-July 1

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

esiderius 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

Along with our support of the struggle against the pandemic, we turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support. We call your attention this week to NALA an organization of medical personnel devoted to curing neglected tropical diseases. Their approach based on the following has shown results and is worthy of your support:

education,

drug administration

and hygiene

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.


We ask you 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.


We are pleased to have been chosen as special advisor to the UN (ECOSOC) in the area of inclusion. Together we can make this world a better place!

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. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

As you can see, the issue is not only Brazil, but worldwide. It goes far beyond the present crisis and has to do with the infringement of their basic rights in the name of so-called “progress.” For example we call your attention to Peru’s Murunahua people.

Please protest now!!

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 exclusion of migrants and survivors from health care as the pandemic rages on.

URGENT ACTION CASES

AZERBAIJAN

Urgent Action: Psychiatric Detention for Criticizing the President

Opposition activist Agil Humbatov has been held in psychiatric detention in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, and injected with unknown drugs without his consent since 2 April after he criticized the authorities’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2 June, his forced hospitalization was extended for another month. Agil Humbatov has been arbitrarily deprived of his liberty and must be freed immediately.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Australian Chinese Writer Held Incommunicado

Yang Hengjun, an Australian citizen who has amassed a wide public following as a novelist and blogger, was arrested and detained at Guangzhou airport on 19 January 2019. After being detained for more than a year, Chinese authorities finally announced in March 2020 that Yang would be charged with espionage. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the authorities have suspended all his visitation rights since 30 December 2019. Yang is believed to be detained at Beijing State Security Bureau Detention Center, and there are grave concerns that he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

INDONESIA

Urgent Action: More Than 400 Rohingya People Stranded at Sea

As many as 400 Rohingya refugees are believed to be stranded at sea, with dozens of deaths having already been recorded. Fleeing violence in their home state, South and Southeast Asian governments are using COVID- 19 pandemic-related restrictions to block them from landing safely and seeking asylum. The Indonesian Government, as co-chair to the 2016 Bali Process, has a responsibility to manage a regional response to this crisis and co-ordinate search and rescue operations to locate and assist boats in distress, in line with regional declarations and international law.

TAKE ACTION

PHILIPPINES

Urgent Action Coca-Cola union leaders defending their members’ right to safe work sacked for ‘economic sabotage’!

Coca-Cola management in the Philippines is capitalizing on the coronavirus emergency to attack union leaders of the IUF-affiliated FCCU-SENTRO and intimidate their members with dismissals, disciplinary procedures and the use of police power.

Federal and provincial authorities declared imposed strict lockdown measures on March 16-17, requiring people to stay at home with exceptions for the food and other ‘essential’ industries. Coca-Cola workers suspected of COVID-19 exposure were required by management to self-quarantine without pay. The company, meanwhile, created a media buzz by announcing a USD 3 million contribution to fighting the virus.
Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update June 18-24

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam, a great friend and human rights defender

Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

CHARITY CORNER

Along with our support of the struggle against the pandemic, we turn our attention to other burning needs. We still encourage you to support Doctors without Borders who are fighting the virus in the places with the greatest need of support.This week the world marks World Refugee Day (June 20). MSF is, as usual, making herculean efforts to ease the lot of refugees.

A Doctors Without Borders medic checks a Syrian boy seeking asylum in Vuenna Rampa, Bulgaria, Dec. 2013. Five Doctors Without Borders staffers were taken in for questioning in northern Syria and have been out of contact since Thursday. (Doctors Without Borders)

REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS

In view of the recent curtailment of press freedom in various countries, we call upon you to support Reporters Without Borders. Reporters Without Borders promotes and defends the freedom to be informed and to inform others throughout the world. Based in Paris, it has international offices (Berlin, Brussels, Geneva, Madrid, Stockholm, Tripoli, Tunis, Vienna and Washington DC) and more than 150 correspondents in all five continents. Recently the Covid 19 pandemic has provided undemocratic and even some nominally democratic governments an opportunity to limit freedom of expression and the right of the public to accurate and truthful information.

Covid-19 was declared a worldwide pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March, since then it has been used as a pretext by governments to put constitutional guarantees on hold. Now that relative calm appears to be in prospect, it is imperative that these exceptional measures be lifted.

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. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

As you can see, the issue is not only Brazil, but worldwide. It goes far beyond the present crisis and has to do with the infringement of their basic rights in the name of so-called “progress.” For example we call your attention to Paraguay’s Ayoreo-Totobiegosode people.

In 1979 and 1986 the American fundamentalist New Tribes Mission helped organise ‘manhunts’ in which large groups of Totobiegosode were forcibly brought out of the forest.

Several Ayoreo died in these encounters, and others later succumbed to disease.

Members of the Paraguayan Ayoreo-Totobiegosode group on the day they were contacted for the first time, in 2004.
© GAT/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 the modern enslavement of prisoners, in particular black people in the United States.

The link contains an opinion piece from TRT World, in which journalist and analyst CJ Werleman argued that those who condemn the looting that has taken place the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd’s death are shamefully silent when corporations, such as Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, and Target, among many others, effectively loot black communities.

URGENT ACTION CASES

MEXICO

Urgent Action Victory! Rights Defender Receives Additional Protection

Since we took action for Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar, women’s rights defender in Yucatán (South), she has not faced further attacks. In May 2020, the Mexican Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders started to implement protective measures in her favor, complementing those already granted in 2017 by the National Human Rights Commission.

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

On 30 March 2020, the Secretariat of Public Security of Yucatan State, Mexico withdrew the two police escorts protecting human rights defender Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and replaced them with just one officer with limited protection functions. Adelaida is a beneficiary of protection measures granted by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) since 2017 due to the level of risk she faces as a defender of women’s sexual and reproductive rights. We were calling upon the government of the State of Yucatan to restore her full protection scheme in order to protect her life and physical integrity.

According to Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar, since we first launched the Urgent Action in April 2020, she has not faced further attacks. The National Mechanism started to implement some initial protection measures to protect her, complementing the protection measures granted by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) in 2017.

We believe that the public campaign on behalf of Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar, including appeals sent by Amnesty International members, contributed to these positive developments. Amnesty International continues monitoring the situation and will work with Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar, so that she is protected according with her wishes and the highest international human rights standards.

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action Victory! Attacks Against Indigenous Communities Investigated

On 27 May, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Villavicencio (Central Colombia) sent four people from its Technical Investigation Body to the ASEINPOME community to investigate the threats the community has experienced. This visit was ordered by the prosecutor’s office in charge of finding those responsible for the different security incidents the community has faced.

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

Since the COVID-19 lockdown started in Colombia, the indigenous community of ASEINPOME faced at least 2 security incidents. On 24 April, at around 11 am an unknown individual entered the indigenous community of ASEIMPOME, in the Meta Region (Central Colombia). When the indigenous guard was warned, the unknown person set on fire one house. Two weeks before this security incident, unknown people were seen driving two high cylinder motorcycles were around the community.

Following national and international pressure, including the appeals from Amnesty International’ supporters, on 27 May, the Technical Investigation Body of the Villavicencio Public Prosecutor’s Office visited the community of ASEINPOME with the intention to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening the indigenous community.

We will be in close contact with the indigenous community to assess their security situation and will swiftly react if there is a new security incident.

POLAND

Urgent Action: Activists Risk Jail for Poster Campaign

On 10 June, two Polish activists were charged with ‘theft and burglary’ in relation to a poster campaign accusing the government of manipulating COVID-19 statistics. If found guilty, they could face up to 10 years in prison. The charges are baseless and appear to be intended to punish those who freely express their criticism of the authorities. The Polish authorities must drop the criminal charges against both activists and close the investigation.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Conviction of Crimeans Must be Quashed

The Russian Military Court of Appeal will imminently review the verdict of human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants. The six men were arrested in Russian-occupied Crimea, brought before a Russian military court, convicted under trumped-up charges and handed lengthy prison sentences in November 2019, following unfair trials. They are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released and their sentences quashed.

TAKE ACTION

GUATEMALA

Urgent Action: Covid-19 Hospital Workers Fired; Not Paid

46 facilities and cleaning staff of the public Industrial Park Temporary Hospital in Guatemala City were fired on 5 June and have not received pay since they began work on 23 March. The Ministry of Health that employs them said they needed a high school degree to continue working. We call on the authorities to urgently pay staff for the time worked and carry out an independent investigation into their dismissals which allows for remedies if the dismissals are found to be unfair.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

Workers Rights under attack

Many states in India are using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to suspend labour laws and attack workers’ rights as the central government of Narendra Modi continues its assault on the trade union movement. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have announced extensive changes, increasing working hours from 8 to 12 hours, introducing fixed term employment and suspended or providing exemptions to labour laws. Many other states have also introduced changes. These attacks on workers’ rights were made through executive orders when the legislative assemblies or parliament were not in session. The changes were made without consultation with trade unions, and undermine fundamental principles and rights at work. The Indian government must withdraw these changes, strengthen the labour inspectorate and provide social security for all. Please join the protest