Category Archives: Arkeeblog

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update December 3-9

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.

A health worker takes the temperature of people riding a taxi van, amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the main entrance of Sanaa, Yemen

This week our chosen charity is The International Rescue Committee that has launched coronavirus preparedness and response programs in over 40 countries, including the US, Greece, Italy, Syria and Yemen. Our health teams are working around the clock to rapidly detect, respond and prevent further spread of the pandemic. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Highly rated by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is 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.

he Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders.

Survival International lobbies, protests and uses public pressure to ensure their wish to remain uncontacted is respected.

If not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity.

Please help the Sentinalese people.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

Look for these logos:

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 upon China to stop enslavement of Uyghurs.

URGENT ACTION CASES

EGYPT

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s Health at Risk

On 31 October 2020, the pre-trial detention of human rights researcher Ibrahim Ezz el-Din was renewed for 45 days. His health has been deteriorating since his arrest on 11 June 2019 and his 167 days of enforced disappearance. Ibrahim’s poor health puts him at increased risk of the effects of COVID-19 that has reportedly been spreading in Egypt’s notoriously overcrowded and unhygienic prisons.

TAKE ACTION

KYRGYZSTAN

Stop pressure on trade unions

Over the past two years, the trade unions of Kyrgyzstan have been fighting against the adoption of the Law “On Trade Unions”. The bill significantly restricts the scope of trade union activities, dictates the internal structure of trade unions and places trade unions under the control of state bodies. Trade unions of Kyrgyzstan held protest actions against the adoption of the bill. In response, the authorities, on trumped-up charges, opened criminal cases against the leaders of the protesting trade unions and removed them from their posts. Trade union leaders and activists become targets of arrests, constant interrogations, provocations, and pressure. Union offices and union leaders’ homes were ransacked, and union bank accounts seized. Support the demand of the trade unions by sending a message of protest to the President, Government and Parliament of Kyrgyzstan.

WORLDWIDE

Marriot
Global Sexual Harassment Campaign
CAMPAGNE MONDIALE CONTRE LE HARCÈLEMENT SEXUEL
CAMPAÑA MUNDIAL CONTRA EL ACOSO
SEXUAL

GUINEA

SHERATON GRAND CONAKRY REINSTATE THE UNION LEADERS AT THE SHERATON GRAND CONAKRY!

Only a few months after winning the union election, hotel union General Secretary Amadou Diallo (pictured right) and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo (pictured left) were sacked by their employer on October 7.

The facts:

  • on August 18, 2020, Mohamed Saliou Sampil, a worker at the Sheraton Grand Conakry, accidentally breaks a flower pot in the lobby
  • on August 26, management summons M. Sampil to a pre-termination interview, and General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo meet with management to express their serious disagreement with the proposed termination of their colleague. Within days, hotel management suspends the two union leaders without pay
  • on September 16, management terminates M. Sampil despite his apology
  • on September 28, the union presents a petition signed by a majority of the hotel workers in support of M. Sampil
  • on October 7, management terminates hotel union General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo

The hotel, owned by the Topaz group, was opened in 2016 with a significant investment from the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), an international financial institution that offers investments to encourage private sector development in developing countries at preferential loan rates. The hotel is managed by the largest hotel chain in the world, Marriott, where the IUF has an ongoing global campaign. Despite the IFC’s Performance Standards, a set of rules intended to protect workers, and despite multiple attempts by the IUF to prevent the dismissal of the union leaders, the IFC has chosen to allow violations of its own Performance Standards as well as ILO Conventions 87, 98 and 135.

“The IUF will not tolerate such brazen violations of trade union rights, and so the IUF and its affiliates stand ready to launch our campaign for the reinstatement of General Secretary Amadou Diallo and Deputy General Secretary Alhassane Diallo,” says IUF General Secretary Sue Longley.

“We must fight hard together. The importance of this struggle is to stop union-busting, because it kills workers hope and undermines democracy,” adds General Secretary Amadou Diallo.

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update November 26-December 2

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.

Myanmar floods msf is there

This week we ask you to help with the devastation of hurricane iota.

A category 5 hurricane is rare in November, more proof of climate change. Please go to any of the sites that enable aid for Honduras and Nicaragua.

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.

The report says that “The Yanomami and Ye’kwana people, facing a da ngerous combination of mining, malaria and COVID-19, are on their own.” Read more.

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’S ATROCITY

An explosive new report released this week exposes a humanitarian crisis rapidly unfolding in Brazil’s largest indigenous territory, home to the Yanomami and Ye’kwana tribes.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is uraricoera-2-airbus190826_article_column@2x.jpg

“Xawara– tracing the deadly path of Covid-19 and government negligence in the Yanomami territory” was compiled by Yanomami and Ye’kwana organizations and a group of researchers from the Pro-Yanomami and Ye’kwana Network

The report says that “The Yanomami and Ye’kwana people, facing a dangerous combination of mining, malaria and COVID-19, are on their own.”

Yanomami man studying slides of blood for malaria, 2008. The invasion of miners and colonists on Yanomami land has brought an influx of disease.
© Fiona Watson/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.

T

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 upon the US to end slavery in the U.S. prison and detention industry.

URGENT ACTION CASES

GUINEA

Urgent Action Update: Pro-Democracy Activist Gets Jail Sentence

On 16 November, Saïkou Yaya Diallo, the legal coordinator of the National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC), was sentenced by Dixinn Court to one year imprisonment with five months suspended on fabricated ‘assault, violence, threats and public insults’ charges. He must be immediately and unconditionally released as his conviction stems from his peaceful protesting against President Alpha Condé’s running for a third term in office.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Lawyer Shares Allegations of Torture

Human rights lawyer Chang Weiping, known for defending the rights of people facing discrimination, was taken away by police officers in Baoji City, Shanxi Province, on 22 October 2020. He is being held incommunicado under “residential surveillance in a designated location” (RSDL) on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. The arrest came six days after Chang posted a video on YouTube sharing details about his experience of torture during the 10 days he spent in RSDL detention in January 2020. The fact that Chang was subjected to torture before and is being denied access to his family and lawyer increases the risk that he might be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

Belarus: Free dozens of jailed union activists

On Friday, 13 November police arrested 42 trade union activists who were visiting a museum honoring Tadeusz Kościuszko. Among them are participants in the strike at the JSC Belaruskali plant. Upon leaving the museum, they were spotted by police as they carried the white-red-white flag of Belarus. Among those arrested were some of the trade union leaders released only a few days earlier. The detainees are in the courtyard of the Ivatsevichi Police station. The police are saying that “some of the arrested will be kept before trial.” Normally courts are open earliest on Monday. Please join us in sending an urgent message to the local and national police demanding their release.

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update November 19-25

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.

An.antenatal consultation in MSF supported Yambio hospital, South Sudan.

This week we promote Mercy Corps who respond to crises and disasters.

In Northeastern DR Congo, Mercy Corps helped Antoinette and her baby Sarah with emergency cash assistance after her husband was killed in conflict.

Around the world, men, women and children are facing enormous obstacles – like extreme poverty, natural disaster, conflict-driven displacement and now, a global pandemic. Thankfully, you can help people around the world survive and build better lives.

Please make a gift to our Humanitarian Response Fund today to help us deliver lifesaving assistance to Syrian children displaced by violent conflict, reach hurricane survivors in the Bahamas and Puerto Rico, provide families in DR Congo access to clean water, help farmers prepare for the economic consequences of COVID-19 and so much more. Your kindness can help empower families to create a brighter future.

Mercy Corps teams are already on the ground where help is most needed. We work in more than 40 countries to help people and communities prepare for, protect against and recover from crisis.

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.

You can help prevent genocide, put an end to logging and mining on tribal lands, and stop government violence and oppression.

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 repected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected.

The Baka

Messok Dja is an area of Congo rainforest which is especially rich in biodiversity. It’s the ancestral land of Baka people who have managed the forest since time immemorial. They are its best guardians.

WWF is trying to establish a conservation zone there without the consent of the local communities. They’ve funded park rangers who have committed violent atrocities against the Baka. Act Now to get the project scrapped.

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.

ou 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 child marriages.

URGENT ACTION CASES

AZERBAIJAN

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Sentenced to Prison

Azerbaijani human rights defender Elchin Mammad was sentenced to four years in prison on 14 October. He was arrested on 30 March on trumped up charges of theft and illegal possession of weapons and has remained behind bars since. Elchin Mammad is appealing the conviction. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally

TAKE ACTION

USA

Urgent Action Update: Free Families In Immigration Detention

As COVID-19 runs rampant in USA family detention centres, immigration authorities continue to lock up and endanger nearly ninety families who came to the US seeking safety from violence and persecution in their home countries. One family from the previous UA, Marilin* and Yunior*, was finally released from detention, but others remain locked up. Authorities must release all families together to protect them from the pandemic while maintaining their family unity. The alternative – releasing 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.

TAKE ACTION

USA

Urgent Action Update: Three People Face Federal Executions

Two men and one woman convicted under USA federal law face execution in November and December 2020. After a hiatus of 17 years, the Trtump administration resumed federal executions on 14 July 2020, putting to death seven men over ten weeks. Their cases reflected concerns on arbitrariness, racial bias and unfairness that have long affected the US death penalty system, as well as contempt for international law restrictions on the use of the death penalty. We urge the US Attorney General to withdraw any pending death warrants and abandon any plans to pursue further executions.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update November 5-11

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.

New Ebola outbreak in DRC

We call your attention to education of girls in Africa via
the Africa Educational Trust. Consider:

A girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in childbirth than to finish primary school.
Fewer than 2% of girls in Somalia attend secondary school.
By grade 5 only half as many girls as boys attend school in Uganda and Kenya.
Only one disabled woman is educated for every five disabled men in East Africa.
Fewer than 12% of teachers in Uganda are female, and only 3% in Somalia.



Please read this post to the end and donate

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.

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.

IL

For more information you can download Survival’s new short report, “Progress can kill,” and a more in-depth paper for those wanting to know more.

If they are to survive, indigenous people must control the changes they want to make to their own lives. The key to tribal peoples’ futures is to ensure their land remains under their control. Survival has helped hundreds of communities to keep their lands and fights the prejudices that suggest they need “progress”.

Tribal peoples who live on their own land are invariably healthier, with a far better quality of life than the millions of impoverished citizens marginalized by growing inequality.

“Sustainable development”? It’s not always as good as it sounds, especially for tribal peoples…

How you can help

Here’s what we need you to do:

Write to the UN:

Act now

Spread the word:

“Progress can kill”

Fund the movement:

Donate

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.

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.

Yoi candownloas this bppk

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 forced organ harvesting.

URGENT ACTION CASES

MALAYSIA

Urgent Action Victory! Charges Against Union Activists Will Not Proceed

On 2 October 2020, five activists who were charged for “unauthorized gathering” were granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) by the Ipoh Magistrate. The charges stemmed from the activists’ participation in a peaceful picket on 2 June 2020 by a government hospital cleaners’ union against a cleaning services company. During the picket, they called out the alleged unfair treatment of union members and insufficient personal protective equipment for cleaners.

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

Five activists—M. Sarasvathy, L. Danaletchumy V. Santhiran, P. Jothi, and C. Subramaniam Raja— were granted a discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) by the Ipoh Magistrate, in relation to their participation in a peaceful picket on 2 June 2020 against alleged the mistreatment of hospital cleaners by a sub-contractor. The prosecution team decided not to continue the prosecution, and one of the activists’ lawyers stated that it is highly unlikely that the activists will be called back.

The lawyer argued in a letter of representation to the court that the picket could not be considered as a gathering or march related to the economy, religion, education, sports, recreation, social or culture, which is restricted under Section 7(1) of the Movement Control Order implemented by the Malaysian government in light of the pandemic. She also said picketing does not fall under “prohibited activity” that was listed in Regulation 2 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020. The prosecution accepted the defence’s letter of representation to not proceed with the charges, and the Ipoh Magistrate’s Court granted the activists the DNAA on 2 October 2020.

Allegations raised during the picket included inadequate supply of protective equipment against COVID-19 and intimidation of cleaners active in the union, which were denied by the company. The action consisted of less than 20 people who all practiced physical distancing, wore masks, and had their temperatures checked. The five activists were arrested and remanded overnight and chained in court which is a form of inhuman or degrading treatment that may amount to torture. They were charged on 2 June 2020 for allegedly violating the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations 2020.

NIGERIA

Urgent Action: #ENDSARS: Investigate Killings of Protesters

Since 8 October, Nigerians have been taking to the streets, peacefully demanding an end to police brutality, extrajudicial executions and extortion by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian police tasked with fighting violent crimes. They have been met with excessive use of force by the army and police forces. On 20 October, at least 12 peaceful protesters were reportedly shot dead when the army opened fire on thousands of protesters calling for an end to police brutality as part of the #EndSARS movement. The authorities must immediately end the killing and excessive use of force against peaceful protesters across the country.

TAKE ACTION

QATAR

Urgent Action: Citizen Who Protested Travel Ban Arbitrarily Detained

On 4 October 2020, Mohammed al-Sulaiti, a Qatari citizen, was arbitrarily detained after vocally criticizing his government on Twitter. This is the second time he has been arbitrarily detained, having spent five months in detention in 2018 with no charges. He was then put under travel ban with no legal justification. After protesting the ban on Twitter, he has again been detained without charge.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Condemn death threats against leaders of the education union FECODE

On 26 October, death threats were sent to all 15 members of the Executive Committee of FECODE, the Colombian Federation of Education Workers (Federación Colombiana de Educadores), as well as to the President of the Trade Union Confederation CUT and former teacher and FECODE leader. The threats took the form of a funeral wreath with the words ‘rest in peace’. Sixteen candles and 16 obituary notices with the name of each targeted union leader were also delivered to the home of Carlos Rivas, FECODE’s Secretary for legal affairs.

Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update October 29-November 5

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.

This week we call your attention to Smile,an NGO that promotes cleft palate surgery. The mission”

One Goal: To Give Every Child the Chance to Smile

Smile Train is an international children’s charity that supports 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care for children globally. Our sustainable model empowers local medical professionals to provide cleft care in their own communities.

before and after

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.

You can help prevent genocide, put an end to logging and mining on tribal lands, and stop government violence and oppression.

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

1360129733-d2d2bb4037-o_460_landscape

The Sentinelese

The Sentinelese are an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island, one of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean. They vigorously reject all contact with outsiders.

Survival International lobbies, protests and uses public pressure to ensure their wish to remain uncontacted is respected.

If not, the entire tribe could be wiped out by diseases to which they have no immunity.

Act now ↓   Donate →

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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 child exploitation in cocoa

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Victory! Shaman Released from Psychiatric Detention

Siberian shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev was released from psychiatric detention on 22 July after his defense team succeeded in their request for a psychological and psychiatric examination on 21 July. Aleksandr Gabyshev was targeted for his open criticism of the authorities and spent more than two months arbitrarily deprived from his freedom.

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

On 22 July, Siberian shaman Aleksandr Gabyshev was released from the Yakut Republican Psychoneurological Dispensary where he was forcibly placed on 12 May. His defence team managed to obtain a psychological and psychiatric examination of Aleksandr Gabyshev on 21 July and after that the medical commission of the Yakut Republican Psychoneurological Dispensary decided to discharge him.

Aleksandr Gabyshev was targeted for his open criticism of the authorities. In 2019 he became known for starting a walking journey from Yakutsk, in east Siberia, to Moscow where he promised to “purge” Russian President Vladimir Putin from Kremlin. His journey was unlawfully halted by police in September 2019 and he was forced to return to Yakutsk.

On 12 May 2020, riot police accompanied by several medics forcibly entered his home and took him to the Yakut Republican Psychoneurological Dispensary purportedly because he refused to be tested for COVID-19. According to his lawyer, Aleksandr Gabyshev was forced to sign a consent form to be hospitalised for observation for two weeks. Aleksandr Gabyshev tested negative for COVID-19 and on 29 May, he requested to be released. Instead, a medical commission was promptly formed that concluded that he posed a “danger to himself and to others”. The Director of the Dispensary sought approval from the Yakutsky City Court to extend Aleksandr Gabyshev’s confinement and argued that his patient “suffers from over-valuing of his personality” and that he had expressed ideas intended “to harm the government.” On 2 June, the court approved the forcible and indefinite hospitalisation of Aleksandr Gabyshev.

Aleksandr Gabyshev’s forcible hospitalisation at a psychiatric hospital was a case of punitive psychiatry and an egregious violation of his rights to liberty and to freedom of expression. Amnesty International welcomes his release from indefinite psychiatric detention which is believed to be a result of the international pressure and the visibility given to the case.

BELARUS

Urgent Action Victory! LGBT+ Activist Victoria Biran Released

On 11 October LGBT+ activist Victoria Biran was released after two weeks in detention. Victoria Biran was detained on her way to the Women’s March in Minsk on 26 September and sentenced on 28 September to 15 days of administrative detention for intending to exercise her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

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

Belarusian LGBT+ activist Victoria Biran spent two weeks in detention under Article 23.34 of the Code of Administrative Offences (‘Violation of the procedure for organising or holding mass events’) and was released on 11 October. She was arrested on 26 September on her way to the Women’s March in Minsk and sentenced on 28 September to 15 days of administrative detention.

According to her friends, when Victoria Biran was arrested and brought to a police station, a law enforcement official gave her a list of names and asked her to point out LGBT+ activists. However, later police claimed that they had had no knowledge of Victoria Biran’s LGBT+ activism and had not even noticed her large rainbow flag.

Victoria Biran was first brought to the detention centre on Akrestina street where she was placed in an overcrowded cell, in which some women had to sleep on the floor. On 29 September she was moved to the prison located in the town of Zhodino.

While Amnesty International welcomes Victoria Biran’s release at the end of her 15-day administrative detention, Victoria Biran did not commit any offence and was only intending to exercise her rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and should not have been arrested or detained in the first place.

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: 12 Hongkongers Formally Arrested

Twelve Hongkongers arrested on 23 August 2020 by the Chinese coast guard were formally arrested on 30 September – two for allegedly organizing people to cross the border between Hong Kong and China and the other 10 for allegedly crossing the border. Having been detained for more than 45 days without access to their families and family-appointed lawyers, the 12 individuals remain at imminent risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

NIGER

Urgent Action Update: Activists Released but Charges Still Pending

On 29 and 30 September, a Niamey Court senior judge granted the provisional release of activists, Maikoul Zodi, Moudi Moussa and Halidou Mounkaila. However, the fabricated charges against them – which are in connection to their demands for accountability in a protest in March 2020– are still pending. They therefore remain at risk of wrongful conviction and arbitrary detention. Amnesty International urges the Nigerien authorities to immediately drop all charges against them.

TAKE ACTION

GUINEA

Urgent Action: Activist Once Again Detained on Bogus Charges

One month after his release, pro-democracy activist Oumar Sylla, alias Foniké Mengué, has once again been arrested and arbitrarily detained. He was riding a motorbike with a friend to mobilize protesters on 29 September when he was arrested by police officers in plain clothing in Matoto municipality in the Guinean capital, Conakry. He refused to follow the police officers because they failed to present an arrest warrant. Nevertheless, they brutally carried out his arrest which resulted in him sustaining injuries to his hand and finger. He has since been held in Conakry prison on fabricated charges. Oumar Sylla is a prisoner of conscience who must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION:

BELARUS

Free union leaders and activists

After rigged elections, followed by extreme violence by security forces against peaceful protesters, Siarhei Charkasau and his co-workers joined a strike at JSC Belaruskali potash fertilizer producer to peacefully demand freedom, democracy and respect. Siarhei is an employee of Belaruskali and vice chair of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU), an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union. Over the last two months Siarhei has been convicted three times for participation in an unauthorized public event in Soligorsk, where miners of Belaruskali had declared a strike to protest against the rigged elections. Since then, dozens of activists and strike committee members at Belaruskali have been prosecuted, threatened, fined and deprived of benefits at work for their activities. Siarhei and three of his comrades, BITU members Pavel Puchenia, Yury Korzun and Anatol Bokun are in prison now. One sentence has followed the other while they were still serving their sentence.

Please join the protest

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update October 15-21

Our featured image shows Miriam a great friends 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 our chosen charity is Reporters Without Borders which 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. The danger in this profession is apparent.

The figures in 2020

Archives

were killed in 2020

  • 22 journalists killed
  • 0 citizens journalists killed
  • 3 media assistants killed

are imprisoned at this time

  • 242 journalists imprisoned
  • 116 citizens journalists imprisoned
  • 14 media assistants imprisoned

This organization is most worthy of your support. It is highly rated by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is 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 abuses of tribal people in the tiger reserve regions of India.

The lives of hundreds of thousands of tribal people (Adivasis) in Indian tiger reserves are being destroyed in the name of conservation. The Indian government is illegally evicting them from the land where they have always lived and that they have always protected (Modi’s government is attacking Adivasi rights in other ways too).

They are accused of harming wildlife. But, far from killing tigers, many tribes worship them as gods and take care of their environment better than anyone else. Where tribal people’s right to stay in a tiger reserve was recognized, tiger numbers soared.

Listen to tribal conservationists

“How could we harm the forest? We’re the ones that save the forest. As long as we are here, the forest will be fine. We are the defenders of the forest. If we leave, who will protect the forest?”

Baiga, Achanakmar Tiger Reserve

Please open the link to join the protest.

Act Now

Act now ↓   Donate →

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.

ou 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 Pledge to join the fight for Freedom For Girls.

We also call upon you to support a campaign against child labor in the cacao industry that is exploited by major chocolate companies. Please sign the petition

URGENT ACTION CASES

GREECE

Urgent Action: PIPKA Refugee Shelter Faces Imminent Closure

Greek authorities intend to close the open, self-organized refugee shelter PIKPA on 15 October. PIKPA has been operating in Lesvos since 2012, hosting and assisting thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers among the most vulnerable. Greek authorities must revoke the decision to close PIKPA, let the organization operate freely, protect its around 100 residents, and ensure and promote open and safe spaces for asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece.

TAKE ACTION

BANGLADESH

Urgent Action Update: Bangladesh Detains More Migrant Workers

Bangladeshi authorities detained 32 more returning migrant workers after they were deported from Syria, taking the total number of such arbitrary arrests to at least 370 since 4 July 2020. The 32 workers were arrested in Syria while trying to reach Italy and other European countries. They returned to Bangladesh on 13 September 2020 after Syrian government commuted their jail terms. In Bangladesh, the authorities detained them for “tarnishing the image of the country” by allegedly engaging in criminal activities, while no credible evidehttps://www.amnestyusa.org/urgent-actions/urgent-action-update-bangladesh-detains-more-migrant-workers-bangladesh-ua-131-20/nce concerning their alleged crimes has yet been provided in any case. Their arrest and detention violate Bangladesh’s obligations under international human rights law including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. They must be freed immediately unless they are promptly charged with recognizable offense.

TAKE ACTION

AZERBAIJAN

Urgent Action Update: Opposition Leader Fighting Sentence

Azerbaijani opposition politician and journalist Tofig Yagublu was sentenced to four years and three months in prison on 3 September on trumped up charges. He started a hunger strike in protest and on 12 September he was transferred from a detention center to a hospital after his health deteriorated. On 18 September, the Baku court of appeals ruled to place him under house arrest pending the appeal hearing. Tofig Yagublu remains a prisoner of conscience and his conviction must be quashed.

TAKE ACTION

MYANMAR

Stop union-busting at sporting goods company

After the VIP 1 and 2 factory unions demanded Covid-19 safety measures inside the factory, the factory dismissed all union members in both factories and the VIP 2 factory union president was stabbed by company thugs. It is a clear, brutal case of union-busting. The factories make sporting goods for Mizuno, CCM, Evil Bikes, and Pivot Cycles. Despite months of direct outreach from the unions, the brands have refused to intervene or mediate whatsoever. Please join the protest

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update October 8-14

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

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

220px-holbein-erasmus1
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

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.

Ebola, a race against time

This week our chosen charity is Books for Africa. This is a non profit organization devoted to promoting literacy in Africa by facilitating donations of books. They have up to now donated 50 million books.

The charity is highly rated by Charity Navigator and is worthy of your support.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

Decolonize Conservation
It’s time to decolonize conservation and put tribal peoples at the forefront of the environmental movement. It’s best for tribes, for nature, for all humanity.

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 conservation racket that is destroying the lives of tribal people.

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 cnn 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 <a href="http://Freedom United and raise your voice to call call for justice for Adelina

Ade;lins

Adelina Lisao’s case has captured the attention of many across the world. Adelina was a young Indonesian domestic worker who passed away on February 11, 2018 due to organ failure as a result of allegedly suffering physical and emotional abuse and forced labor at the hands of her employers in a private home for two years.

Adelina was found with a swollen face, bruises all over her body and pus-filled wounds, a result of the burns on her arms and legs. Due to the extent of her injuries which were left untreated, her employers forced her to sleep outside in the compound with the dog to prevent “dirtying the home” from her weeping wounds.

By the time Adelina was admitted to hospital, it was evident that she was on borrowed time and she passed away only a day after she was rescued.

The High Court, evoking Section 254(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, acquitted Adelina’s employer, Ambika MA Shan, on grounds of health concerns and lack of evidence despite the deputy Public Prosecutor’s request for a discharge not amounting to acquittal.

A year later, the bench in the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision put forth by the High Court, claiming that the decision was not erroneous. This decision was a regressive step for the Malaysian justice system – it conveyed a severely harmful message condoning heinous acts of abuse and exploitation. The climate of impunity afforded to those undeserving of it must be put to an end.

This petition demands for Adelina’s employer, Ambika MA Shan, to be charged separately under Section 304 of the Penal Code which provides for deaths caused by culpable homicide not amounting to murder or those caused by negligence. The prosecution is looking to correct this grave miscarriage of justice.

A person is dead and her blood is on all our hands. Allowing for perpetrators such as Ambika to walk free makes us all complicit in the death of Adelina and many others who shared the same fate.

Adelina’s life is the sad reality of thousands more domestic workers who are susceptible to all forms of exploitation, and it is high time that we make an effort to increase protection for all domestic workers.

We hope that you will join us in seeking justice as we believe that we owe it to Adelina and her family to protect her dignity in her absence.

Signing this petition is a step forward in preserving the integrity of our justice system and ensuring that it provides protection due to all and especially the marginalized and vulnerable.

URGENT ACTION CASES

BELARUS

Urgent Action: Release Human Rights Defender Marfa Rabkova

Women’s human rights defender Marfa Rabkova was detained as a criminal suspect under false pretext on the evening of 17 September, by officers of the Interior Ministry’s Main Directorate for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption (GUBAZIK). Her husband, Vadzim Zharomski, was also detained but released shortly thereafter. Marfa Rabkova may face criminal charges. She is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for her peaceful human rights work and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

KENYA

Urgent Action: Forced Eviction Leaves 3,000 People Homeless

On 1 October, residents from Dagoretti Corner settlement, in Nairobi, Kenya, were forcibly evicted from their homes by government agencies, ‘Kenya Railways Corporation’ and ‘Kenya Power & Lighting Company’ leaving more than 3,000 people homeless. This unlawful act was done in utter disregard of the Presidential moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, issued on 11 May 2020. We call upon all stakeholders to act in cognizance of the need to safeguard the good health and life of all those forcibly evicted in this unlawful eviction.

TAKE ACTION

USA

Urgent Action Update: Free Families Kept in Immigration Detention

As COVID-19 runs rampant in USA family detention centers, immigration authorities continue to lock up nearly ninety families who travelled to the US seeking safety from violence and persecution in their home countries. As of 6 August, at least 130 detained family members and facility staff tested positive for COVID-19. In July, a judge ordered authorities to release children because of COVID-19, but she did not have jurisdiction over parents. Authorities refused to release them together. Releasing children but continuing to detain parents constitutes family separation. We demand authorities release all families together immediately to protect them from the pandemic.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Support miners striking against the ‘death shift’ at Cerrejón

The National Union of Coal Industry Workers (Sintracarbón) is involved in a bitter strike at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, jointly owned by three multinational mining companies, Anglo American, BHP and Glencore. In February 2020, Sintracarbón, in good faith, withdrew its list of demands and suspended collective bargaining negotiations due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the current round of collective bargaining negotiations in July, the company has not responded to the union’s bargaining proposals and has instead demanded concessions in acquired rights and benefits. On the second day of negotiations Cerrejón unilaterally announced a radical shift change roster, without consulting the union and in violation of Colombian law. The new shift roster, which workers call the ‘death shift’ will lead to the loss of 2,500 direct and indirect jobs, will require workers to work an additional 72 days a year for the same wage, will cause turmoil in workers’ family lives – particularly those with family responsibilities – and will lead to an increase in fatigue and thus an increase in accidents. Cerrejón has boycotted the government labor ministry’s facilitation to end the strike, now in its fourth week.

Please join the protest.

Prometheus and Pandora XXVI

Our featured image shows Nero fiddling while Rome burns, the analogy to Israel of today is obvious

IN MEMORIAM

John Robert Lewis, February 21, 1940-July 17, 2020

John R. Lewis was an American civil rights leader and politician best known for his chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and for leading the march that was halted by police violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 1965, a landmark event in the history of the civil rights movement that became known as “Bloody Sunday.”

He was born to sharecroppers in Alabama who did not encourage his involvement in the civil rights struggle as he grew up. Nonetheless, already in his twenties he took a leading role alongside Martin Luther King in the struggle. He soon became one of the civil rights movement’s “Big Six” leaders, along with King, James Farmer, A. Phillip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Whitney Young. In 1964 Lewis headed the SNCC’s efforts to register African American voters and organize communities in Mississippi during the Freedom Summer project. In 1963, on the day of the March on Washington, he participated in a meeting with President Kennedy at the White House.

John Lewis among black leaders with JFK

In 1987 he began to serve in the House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district until his recent death from pancreatic cancer. He was known as the “Conscience of Congress.” As one of his eulogists wrote: “A man of integrity, John Lewis was a bridge to our better selves. He examined his spirit for what mattered most and then found the courage, energy, and moral fortitude to stand for that.” He himself encouraged people to get into “good trouble” for a worthy cause.

Detailed obituaries can be found in major newspapers including the NYTimes.

RABBI ADIN STEINSALZ July 11, 1937-August 7, 2020

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a prolific Jewish scholar who spent 45 years
compiling a monumental and ground-breaking translation of the
Talmud, has died. He was 83. Steinsaltz, an educator who
established a network of schools in Israel and the former Soviet
Union, wrote more than 60 books on subjects ranging from zoology to
theology. But the Talmud, the central text in mainstream Judaism,
was his greatest passion.

The masterwork for which he is best-known is his massive
translation of and commentary on the entire Babylonian Talmud which
he worked on for this huge project for45 years – completing the
44-volume Hebrew edition in 2010.

He was devoted to the accessibility of Jewish texts to the broad
population–he coined the slogan “let my people know.” Four years
ago Steinsaltz finished his commentary on the entire Bible, in
English and in Hebrew, and was working in his last days on a
commentary on the Mishna, which will be published posthumously.

President Reuven Rivlin eulogized him on Twitter: “Our hearts mourn
the passing of Rabbi Adin Even Israel Steinsaltz … He was a man of
great spiritual courage, deep knowledge and profound thought who
brought the Talmud to the people of Israel in clear and accessible
Hebrew and English. May his memory be a blessing.
” A detailed
obituary is available in the NYTimes.

PROFESSOR RUTH GAVISON March 28, 1945, Jerusalem – August 15, 2020

Israel Prize laureate and one of the country’s greatest legal
thinkers, Prof. Ruth Gavi
son, died on August 15 at the age of 75.
She was a highly influent
ial and important figure in the field of
law and dedicated most of her life to civil rights and democracy.
Gavison worked tirelessly to bridge the divide between secular and
observant Jews and to retain Israel’s character as both a
democratic and Jewish state.

She was a leader and co-founder of the Association for Civil
Rights Israel (ACRI) which among other actions successfully
appealed to the Supreme Court on behalf of the right to due process
of 415 Hamas activists who were expelled from Israel. (1992) She
regarded human rights as a essential component of societal
structure. The achievements of the organization reflect her commitment.

On the other hand she strongly opposed judicial activism and thus
clashed vehemently with then Chief Justice Aharon Barak who went so
far as to block her appointment to the Supreme Court. In her later
years, she moved significantly to the right of the political
spectrum which caused dismay among many of her followers.

Detailed obituaries and appreciations may be found in the Jerusalem Post and
Forward.

JULIAN BREAM 15 July 1933 – 14 August 2020

Classical guitarist and lute player Julian Bream has died at home aged 87.

Julian Bream helped turn the guitar into a serious recital instrument and broadened its repertory through numerous commissions.Credit…Michael Ochs Archives, via Getty Images

The musician’s representatives, James Brown Management, confirmed the news in a statement on their website.

It said: ‘We are very sad to report that Julian Bream CBE (b. 1933), English classical guitarist and lutenist, died peacefully at home today, 14 August 2020.’

Bream was among the most distinguished classical guitarists of the 20th century and worked with some of the period’s best-known musicians and composers.

His recordings, many for RCA Victor and EMI Classics, won him four Grammy Awards.

Bream was born in Battersea, London, but raised in Hampton, and his father was a commercial artist who enjoyed playing the piano and guitar.

The work of Romani-French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt impressed him as a child and he would later name his dog Django.

Bream made his professional debut playing the guitar at the age of 13 and entered the Royal College of Music in 1948, aged 15, as a pianist and composer.

He is credited with restoring the lute to prominence in the modern world. In 1961 he organized the Julian Bream Consort, one of the first groups to specialize in early ensemble music. The Consort is composed of violin, alto flute, bass viol, pandora, cittern, and lute. Composers who wrote music for Bream include Benjamin Britten, William Walton, and Malcolm Arnold.

awards and honors

Detailed obituaries can be found in the Guardian and the NYTimes inter alia.

RUTH BADER GINSBURG March 15, 1933-September 18, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American jurist who served as an
associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from
1993 until her death in 2020. She was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1980 and to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She was generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court. Ginsburg was the second woman to serve on the U.S.Supreme Court, after Sandra Day O’Connor. During her tenure Ginsburg wrote notable majority opinions, including United States
v. Virginia (1996), Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (2000). Between O’Connor’s retirement in 2006 and appointment of Sonia Sotomayor in 2009, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court. During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents.

She graduated from Columbia Law School, going on to become a
staunch courtroom advocate for the fair treatment of women and
working with the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

Detailed obituaries can be found in the NYTimes and elsewhere.

RANT ABOUT ANTI MASKERS/VAXXERS

There exist types of people who focus solely on themselves, who
care nothing for the safety and well being of others, i.e. they
exclude themselves from the fundamental social compact that makes
it possible for us to live together. Anti maskers and anti vaxxers
share a callous attitude towards others that has levied a cost in
human lives in countless situations.

Let us consider the city of Melbourne, the second largest city in
Australia with a population of over five million residents. It is the the capital of the state of Victoria and is in the throes of a lockdown that began July 8 at 2359.

Victoria was placed back into lockdown on 8 July after the coronavirus escaped from hotel quarantine in late May and spread rapidly. Some 700 cases were recorded in one day on 5 August and more than 700 people have died, mostly in aged care.

Under Premier Andrews’ road map out of restrictions, Melbourne will remain locked down until weekly average cases drop below five, which is not expected until October 26.

That would mean Melbourne’s lockdown will have lasted 15 weeks, a month longer than the shutdown of Wuhan.

The restrictions have reduced the rate of infection significantly, but there are lunatic anti-masker people who are making idiotic arguments against masks, some on “civil rights “grounds and others based on pseudo science claims. We show you a
few examples:

The antivaxxer movement was pushed by fake science. In 1998,
the British journal The Lancet published research by Dr. Andrew
Wakefield that purported to show that the measles, mumps, and
rubella (MMR) vaccines caused autism in some children. The study
was widely reported and the information spread like wildfire among
parents, especially those with autistic children.

The problem with Wakefield’s study, however, was that it relied on
faulty data. Later investigations have shown that Wakefield was set
to benefit from lawsuits based on his research. The study was
retracted after numerous other scientists could not replicate his
findings.

One of the loudest broadcasters of this supposed link between
vaccines and autism is actress Jenny McCarthy, who has campaigned
in support of Wakefield’s findings as recently as 2011.

Nonetheless, the pernicious effect of this fake study
continue to reverberate and far too many people refrain from
vaccinating their children with often catastrophic results for
others. Many US states exempt children from vaccination on
religious or philosophical grounds and an entire classroom can be
infected. In Europe, the rate of vaccination is lower than in the
US and vaccination skepticism is widespread, with France the main
focus.. Prometheus and Pandora are beginning to agree with
Talleyrand, Napoleon’s finance minister, who declared that stupid is
worse than criminal.

HOW DID THE VIRUS WIN IN SO MANY COUNTRIES?

Around the world there are countries that have used quick, clever
strategies to beat the virus and hav
e been able to go back to
living relatively normal lives. Their success stories are worth
reading and conclusions can be drawn. Their methods varied, some
enforcing mask use, others not, some tested extensively, others
not, some had science-minded leaders, others had leaders who called
on scientists and kept their fingers out of the pie. All had
intelligent leaders who truly cared about their people and had an
health infrastructure in place that could be enhanced to confront
the foe.

THE COLOSSAL FAILURE

Ed Yong published an article in the August Atlantic which is
available for free to all. He describes how a virus brought the
strongest nation on the planet to its knees. America has failed to
protect its people, leaving them with illness and financial ruin.
It has lost its status as a global leader. It has careened between
inaction and ineptitude. The breadth and magnitude of its errors
are difficult, at the moment, to fathom truly.The details of the
failure as given by Yong show that behind the facade of a great
nation there is major rot and corruption. The lack of a true
national health insurance system, the link of health insurance to
employment and the systematic defunding of the public health system
and its institutions led to a complete collapse of the protection
of the people from the virus.To all these one must add the egotism
and lack of caring for the other
that characterizes American
society.

“The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever
could have imagined,”
Julia Marcus, an infectious-disease
epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, told Yong.

SARS-CoV-2 is neither as lethal as some other coronaviruses, such
as SARS and MERS, nor as contagious as measles. Deadlier pathogens
almost certainly exist. Wild animals harbor an estimated 40,000
unknown viruses, a quarter of which could potentially jump into
humans. How will the U.S. fare when “we can’t even deal with a
starter pandemic?,”
Zeynep Tufekci,a sociologist at the University
of North Carolina and an Atlantic contributing writer, asked Yong.

Yong strongly indicts Trump as being central to the American
debacle, but there is plenty of blame to go around. The role of
racism, endemic in American society is also of great significance.
African-Americans and Native Americans suffer a highly
disproportionate rate of infection and death and have far less
access to health care resources. The article is long, but everyone
and not only Americans should read it. The lesson is practically
universal.

WHY ISRAEL FAILED

One might have expected that Israel with a universal health system,
vast sources of expertise in the fields relevant to confronting the
warnings that a coronavirus attack was looming and a
sophisticated public would have mobilized its medical, scientific
and high tech resources to create an independent task force that
would take the correct and necessary steps to minimize the impact
of the virus. In fact, nothing of the kind happened.

Anshel Pfeffer writing in Haaretz describes how Israel was brought
down by hubris, complacency, a mythological story of the start up
nation and the egomaniac struggle of an indicted prime minister to
stay out of court and jail. He is tearing at the fabric of society,
attacking the law enforcement community and turning the nation into
warring camps. In the lack of social cohesiveness there is no
chance to overcome the virus.

A demonstration against Netanyahu’s corruption and mishandling of the Covid 19 crisis

With the fall Jewish holiday season . the country has been plunged into a long lockdown which is unlikely to lead to a major reduction of infection. In general, one
might say that as of now on a worldwide scale, the smart money is on the virus.

A PROPHETIC WORD

As they view the erosion of democracy and human rights across the world, Prometheus and Pandora have little to add to the analysis and prediction of Frank Snowden in his book, Epidemics and Society, published shortly before the advent of the Corona virus and reviewed in the previous blog. He was writing about the medieval black plague,but it describes our world today:

BOOK REVIEW

Our Final Warning: Six Degrees of Climate Emergency

by Mark Lynas London: 4th Estate, 372 pp., $27.99T

This frightening book lays down in detail our steps to doom as the
temperature of our planet rises. Bill McKibbin, himself a noted
climate expert
, reviews the book in the August 20 NYRB. While it
describes warming, it is a chilling read and should be read,
especially by political leaders and heads of the economy whose
collective failure has brought us to where we are. We should also
note the Swedish teenager, Greta Thurburg who has crisscrossed the
world delivering her message of warming and destruction.

Let us quote McKibbin:

Consider what we’ve seen so far as a baseline: we’re definitely not
going to get any cooler. But now consider the real problem, the
news that scientists have been trying to get across for many years
but that has not really sunk in with the public or with political
leaders. As Lynas puts it: If we stay on the current
business-as-usual trajectory, we could see two degrees as soon as
the early 2030s, three degrees around mid-century, and four degrees
by 2075 or so. If we’re unlucky with positive feedbacks…from
thawing permafrost in the Arctic or collapsing tropical
rainforests, then we could be in for five or even six degrees by
century’s end”

Greta is featured on the cover of Rolling Stone:

NEWS FROM SCIENCE

A STRANGE GAS ON VENUS

Recent observations indicate that our neighbor planet Venus, a hell hole in the Solar System is harboring in its atmosphere the gas Phosphine PH3, which on Earth is made only by biological mechanisms. This has given rise to speculations that the planet my contain some form of life. The finding is still unproven since more signatures of Phosphine need to be found at other frequencies and the observers are being properly conservative. Covid 19 has stalled the research, but it will be most interesting to see how this pans out. Some of the press releases indulge in wild speculation and should be viewed suspiciously.

Phosphine signature in Venus’s spectrum

SILLY TIME

WHAT IF?

A discussion of scientific semantics in a tough situation.

`Too much like politicians

Our times indeed…

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update September 10-16

Our featured image shows Miriam (1947-2012), 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

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 staff member watches as fire tears through Moria refugee camp, which was virtually destroyed. Lesbos, Greec
e, 8 September 2020.

This week our chosen charity is Direct Relief.

Coronavirus Outbreak Response
Delivering protective gear to safeguard health workers and supplying medical items for critical patient care.

The mission:

Direct Relief is a humanitarian organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies.

Nongovernmental, nonsectarian, and not-for-profit, Direct Relief provides assistance to people and communities without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities or ability to pay.

Direct Relief’s assistance programs – which focus on emergency preparedness and disaster response and the prevention and treatment of disease – are tailored to the particular circumstances and needs of the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations.

Direct Relief honors the generosity of its donors by following a firm policy of full transparency in all of its operationhttps://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3626s.

This tradition of transparent, direct and targeted assistance, provided in a manner that respects and involves the people served, has been a hallmark of the organization since its founding in 1948 by refugee war immigrant William Zimdin. It has a four star rating with Charity Navigator. Please donate

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 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 ongoing genocide of the Kawahiva people. Please act.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.


You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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.

NIGERIA

Urgent Action: Nigerian Singer at Risk of Imminent Execution


Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a 22-year old singer detained in Kano prison, Kano State, in northern Nigeria, is at risk of imminent execution after an Upper Shari’a Court sentenced him to death by hanging for circulating a song via WhatsApp considered blasphemous. Influential individuals and religious leaders are mounting pressure on the authorities to carry out the judgement as soon as possible. Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is now appealing the sentence. He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action Victory! Incommunicado Detainee Released

Maury Carrero, detained arbitrarily in April 2020 by officers of the Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) in Caracas, was unconditionally released on 2 September as part of a group of 110 individuals recently pardoned by Nicolás Maduro. Maury Carrero spent five months in prison, indicted for crimes under counterterrorism legislation.

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

On 2 April 2020, approximately 15 DGCIM officials raided the home of Maury Carrero, taking many of the family’s valuables and electronics. The officials advised Maury Carrero’s parents that they were taking her temporarily and would bring her back home, as the search warrant did not include her name on it. Maury Carrero did not return home that night and spent five months arbitrarily detained. During her detention, her family and lawyers were repeatedly denied communication or access to her, only allowing extremely short phone calls approximately once a week during the first month of detention in which officials were present the entire time and she was unable to speak freely nor safely about the conditions of her detention. She was transferred to National Institute for Women’s Guidance (INOF by its acronym in Spanish) facilities on 14 May, where officials denied her access to her family and lawyers under the excuse of the state of alarm that was in place as response to the COVID-19 pandemic since 13 March 2020. On 19 May, she was indicted by the prosecution with ‘concealment of firearms’ and ‘association to commit crimes’, both under the Venezuelan Organic Law Against Organised Crime and Financing of terrorism.

On 31 August, authorities announced a ‘pardon’ for 110 individuals in prison, conditionally released, who have sought protection in foreign embassies in Caracas or fled the country. These 110 people include several cases for whom Amnesty has campaigned, including Maury Carrero, prisoner of conscience and union leader Rubén González, political activist Nicmer Evans, and parliamentarians Gilber Caro, and Renzo Prieto. After a two-day delay since the announcement, Maury was unconditionally released on 2 September.

Whilst we strongly reject any pretence that this measure implies recognition of criminal responsibility of Maury or others, we welcome this measure insofar as it grants unconditional freedom to many who never should have been jailed, prosecuted, or whose freedom has been curtailed by unjust restrictions and conditions.

Amnesty received messages directly from Maury’s mother and friends thanking supporters for their actions and solidarity. We sincerely thank all people who took action on behalf of Maury.

EGYPT

Urgent Action: Human Rights Activist Detained for a Third Time

On 23 June 2020, the Egyptian security forces arrested human rights activist Sanaa Seif from outside the Public Prosecutor’s office in New Cairo, where she was waiting to file a complaint after suffering a violent assault a day earlier. Sanaa Seif, her sister and mother were beaten by several women in front of the Tora Prison Complex in full view of security forces.

TAKE ACTION

ARGENTINA

Urgent Action Update: Disappeared During Quarantine & Found Dead

An independent forensic team positively identified the body of Facundo Astudillo Castro on 2 September 2020. His unidentified body was found on 16 August after going missing on 30 April in the Province of Buenos Aires. Police arrested Facundo that day for violating the national quarantine imposed by the national government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On 2 July, Facundo’s family filed a federal complaint to investigate his disappearance. We demand authorities carry out an independent, effective and impartial investigation into those responsible of his disappearance and death, offering truth and justice to Facundo’s family.

TAKE ACTION

Coca-Cola workers in Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, and the USA still need your support

Coca-Cola continues to violate the fundamental rights of workers in Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland and the USA. Read more…

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Blog September 3-9

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.

Mirjam Markwalder with children outside the intensive therapeutic feeding center in Batouri. Since December 2013 more than 130 000 Central African refugees have crossed the border into Cameroon. MSF supports Cameroon’s Ministry of Health by providing medical activities focused on primary healthcare and malnutrition treatment for refugees in Garoua-Boulaï, Batouri, and Gbiti.

This week we call your attention to the International Rescue Committee. The mission statement:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities.

Dr. Rasha Rashed, a doctor and reproductive health manager for the IRC in Yemen. “

The IRC is highly rated by Charity Navigator and is worthy of your support.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Indigenous tribes do not simply die out. They are killed by the actions of so-called civilized nations. Survival International provides a long list of cases in which a letter from you can and will make a difference. Please open this link and write at least one letter. This link will be a permanent feature on our blog and we would be grateful if you gave it a bit of attention each week. We suggest going down the list in the order given. The letters are pre-written for you. All you need to do is send them. It would be nice also if a donation to Survival International could be forthcoming.

A major calamity for indigenous people is 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 for help for the Baka people.

The Baka

Messok Dja is an area of Congo rainforest which is especially rich in biodiversity. It’s the ancestral land of Baka people who have managed the forest since time immemorial. They are its best guardians.

WWF is trying to establish a conservation zone there without the consent of the local communities. They’ve funded park rangers who have committed violent atrocities against the Baka. Act Now to get the project scrapped.

Act Now

Act now ↓   Donate →

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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 Join #FREEDOMFORGIRLS and commit to helping end human trafficking and modern slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

NIGER

Urgent Action Update: Prominent Activists Still Languishing in Jail

Activists Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moudi Moussa have been languishing in jail for over five months for planning a protest on 15 March demanding an investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds. On 6 August, the three were granted release on bail of XOF 5 million each (about USD $9021) but the prosecutor successfully appealed the decision on the same day. They continue to be held in prison. They are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately released.

TAKE ACTION

EGYPT

Urgent Action Update: Detained Rights Lawyer Denied Prison Visits

Officials at the al-Qanater Women’s Prison have denied Hoda Abdelmoniem, a 61-year-old human rights lawyer, a single prison visit or other contact with her family since her detention on 1 November 2018. Her relatives last saw her briefly at a court hearing on 18 July 2020.

TAKE ACTION

ZIMBABWE

Urgent Action Update: Opposition Activists Rearrested; One Charged

Cecilia Chimbiri

Opposition activists Joana Mamombe, Netsai Marova and Cecilia Chimbiri, together with their lawyer, were rearrested by the police on 31 July while on their way to Harare Central Police Station where they were scheduled to report as part of bail conditions. Joana Mamombe and Netsai Marova were later released without charge. Cecilia Chimbiri was only released after being charged with insulting a police officer after a soldier falsely accused her of insulting him and assaulted her with a whip.

TAKE ACTION

Belarus

Stop the violence – defend democracy and human rights

Presidential elections were held in Belarus on August 9. They were once again blatantly falsified in favour of the long-serving ruler Lukashenko. This caused a storm of popular protest. The security forces responded with an unprecedented terror: mass arrests, beatings and torture of protesters. A wave of spontaneous work stoppages swept across the country. Workers started to form strike committees to prepare for a nationwide general strike in support of democratic change. The strikers demands include: recognise the results of the presidential elections as invalid, release all political prisoners and demonstrators, prevent the persecution of the strike participants and cancel the system of short term contracts. The administration and security services are putting tremendous pressure on the strikers, members of the strike committee and their families. Many are threatened with dismissal. Activists are being detained by security services. We must help stop the wave of violence.