Category Archives: Arkeeblog

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Human Rights Action Update Blog August 27-September 2

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.

COVID-19: MSF responds in Amazonas, Brazil

This week our chosen charity is the Lustgarten Foundation, a charity that supports research and clinical advancement against pancreatic cancer. The

The mission is to cure pancreatic cancer by:

  • Funding scientific and clinical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pancreatic cancer
  • Providing research information and clinical support services to patients, caregivers and individuals at high risk
  • Increasing public awareness and hope for those dealing with this disease

Their Vision

The Lustgarten Foundation envisions a world in which pancreatic cancer is curable and patients will be treated effectively and enjoy a good quality of life.
Our operating principles to achieve this vision include:

  • Continuing to be the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research in the world
  • Striving for excellence
  • Emphasizing compassion
  • Having a commitment to serve
  • Having integrity to our mission, to those we serve, and to ourselves

The foundation has a perfect record with Charity Navigator and is worthy of your support.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is 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 Ayoreo people of Paraguay.

The forest belonging to Paraguay’s Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians has the fastest rate of deforestation in the world

Much of their land has been sold to cattle ranchers, forcing the uncontacted Ayoreo to live on the run, escaping the bulldozers that are destroying their forest.

Since the 1970s, Survival has been working with contacted Ayoreo communities to help them successfully gain title to 550,000 hectares of their ancestral homeland.

But it’s not enough, foreign ranching companies continue to destroy the Ayoreo’s forest home to make way for cattle, and uncontacted Ayoreo may soon have nowhere left to hide. Read more and consider a donation or an action as indicated in the site.

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 slavery in hotels.

Hotel worker under hard conditions

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Victory! Jehovah’s Witness’ Sentence Commuted

On 3 August, the Pskov Regional Court, in western Russia, commuted Gennadiy Shpakovsky’s six-and-a-half-years’ prison sentence to a suspended sentence of the same duration including two years on probation. The 61-year-old Jehovah’s Witness was released from detention on the same day. Gennadiy Shpakovsky was prosecuted solely for exercising his right to freedom of religion. He and other Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, where practicing their faith is a crime, remain at risk of imprisonment.

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

On 3 August, the Pskov Regional Court, in western Russia, commuted Gennadiy Shpakovsky’s six-and-a-half-years’ prison sentence to a suspended sentence of the same duration and placed him under probation for the two first years. On the same day, the 61-year-old Jehovah’s Witness was released from detention and greeted by his wife and daughter.

Jehovah’s Witnesses face persecution in Russia after their organization was arbitrarily banned as “extremist” in April 2017. Gennady Shpakovsky became the eleventh Jehovah’s Witness sentenced to a jail term by Russian courts (including two persons in occupied Crimea). A criminal case against him was initiated on 31 May 2018. Prior to this, according to information from the international Jehovah’s Witnesses organization, he had been under surveillance by the security services.

Gennady Shpakovsky was detained on 3 June 2018 when he was discussing the Bible with friends. Armed security services and riot police officers broke into the flat and conducted a six-hour search of the premises. Gennady Shpakovsky and his friends were then subjected to questioning about their activities for several hours. They reported being threatened and harassed during the questioning. Gennady Shpakovsky was charged with “organization of the activities of an extremist organization” (Article 282.2 (1) of the Russian Criminal Code) and “financing of extremist activity” (Article 282.3 (1) of the Russian Criminal Code). He was convicted on 9 June 2020, his sentence being the harshest issued to date against a Jehovah’s Witness in modern Russia.

Amnesty International regards the criminalization of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization in Russia as an arbitrary and discriminatory measure, and a violation of the right to freedom of religion. Amnesty International has called on the Russian authorities to quash the respective judicial decisions.

INDONESIA

Urgent Action Victory! Seven Papuan Activists Released from Prison


On 17 June 2020, seven Papuan activists were convicted of treason (makar) and sentenced to between ten and 11 months in prison for their role in an anti-racism demonstration in August 2019. They have all since been released and been able to return to their homes in Papua.

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

Papuan activists, and former prisoners of conscience Ferry Kombo, Alexander Gobai, Agus Kossay, Stevanus Itlay, Hengki Hilapok, Buchtar Tabuni and Irwanus Uropmabin have all been released from prison and have all been able to return to their homes in Papua.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions within Indonesia, air travel is currently very complicated. As a result, Amnesty International provided logistical support to aid their safe return home and ensure that their lawyers and families were able to accompany them on their flights.

Mr. Gustaf Kawer, one of the lawyers involved in the case, expressed his appreciation for the help from Amnesty International and thanked all members who took action and supported the seven former prisoners of conscience.

Ferry Kombo, Alexander Gobai, Agus Kossay, Stevanus Itlay, Hengki Hilapok, Buchtar Tabuni and Irwanus Uropmabin were convicted of treason (makar) and sentenced in June 2020 to between ten and 11 months in prison for their role in an anti-racism demonstration in August 2019. They were a part of a group of 56 political activists and human rights defenders from Papua who were imprisoned in relation to the 2019 anti-racism protest in Surabaya. Out of the total 56 prisoners of conscience, 34 remain imprisoned.

The Indonesian authorities have used these criminal code provisions to prosecute dozens of peaceful pro-independence political activists in Papua and Maluku over the last decade.

Amnesty International continues to monitor the situation in Papua, but for now no further action is requested from the UA network.

CHILE

Urgent Action Victory! Mapuche Spiritual Leader Ends Hunger Strike

On 18 August 2020, the spiritual leader of the Mapuche people in Chile, machi Celestino Córdova Tránsito, decided to end his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with the government, which includes several of his original requests.

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

On 4 May 2020, machi Celestino Córdova Tránsito and 8 other Mapuche prisoners began a hunger strike in Temuco, a city in the southern region of Araucanía in Chile. In the following weeks, other 17 Mapuche prisoners joined the hunger strike.

The 26 prisoners on hunger strike, including the Machi, demanded the application of ILO Convention 169, allowing prisoners to serve their sentence or pre-trial detention in their lands and not a prison. Machi Celestino Córdova specifically demanded respect for his rights as a spiritual leader of the Mapuche people, which requires him to have a physical proximity to his land and a specific sacred place, which represents the connection between the earthly and spiritual world.

Last week, machi Celestino Córdova and his spokespeople restarted a dialogue with representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. This dialogue was supported as observers by the Chilean Human Rights Institution, the Medical Association of Chile (Colegio Médico) and representatives of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On 18 August, machi Celestino Córdova reached an agreement with the government. As per the agreement, he will receive culturally pertinent treatment until his full recovery, permission to go to his land for up to 30 hours to perform ceremonies, and the possibility of serving his sentence at a “Center for Education and Work”, which means he could be close to the countryside instead of a city prison. It also includes items which benefit all hunger strikers, such an agreement that all those who are convicted can apply to serve their sentence in similar centers, the review of the pre-trial detentions of those who are not yet convicted, and the agreement that no prisoners on hunger strike will be subject to disciplinary measures because of the strike. After the agreement was signed, machi Celestino Córdova has began gradually feeding again.

Media reporting on the issue mentioned Amnesty’s call for dialogue as one of the relevant elements that served to pressure the government into a meaningful dialogue and reach an agreement.

The other Mapuche prisoners continue their hunger strike, and we continue to monitor the situation in case further action is needed in those cases.

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Lawyer Allegedly Tortured in Detention


Held incommunicado for over 18 months, human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was finally allowed to meet his lawyer on 14 August. According to his lawyer, Yu was tortured in detention and his health has drastically deteriorated. Charged with “inciting subversion of state power”, Yu was sentenced on 17 June 2020 to four years’ imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for three years. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression, and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

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MOZAMBIQUE

Urgent Action: Justice for Gender-Based Violence Survivor

On 12 June, the 2nd Criminal Appeal Section of the Judicial Court of Maputo’s City overturned the decision that found the aggressor of Women Human Rights Defender, Josina Machel, guilty for the crimes of physical and psychological violence. On 5 August, Josina Machel’s appeal against the decision was filed. The Supreme Court is now due to rule on the appeal.

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CHINA

Urgent Action: Uyghur Model Held Incommunicado for Months

Merdan Ghappar has not been seen or heard from since March 2020, after his messages and photos describing his poor detention conditions were shared on social media. Detained since January 2020, the authorities only recently disclosed that Merdan Ghappar is under “compulsory measures” on suspicion of assaulting health care workers. There are serious concerns for Merdan Ghappar’s wellbeing, as it is feared he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

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EUROPE EU

New EU guidelines on seasonal workers a step in the right direction but binding measures are urgently needed


The IUF’s European regional organization IUF-EFFAT has consistently demanded greater legal protection for seasonal migrant workers, whose precarious situation has been ruthlessly exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 16, in response to urgent calls for action by unions and the European Parliament, the European Commission issued ‘Guidelines on Seasonal Workers in the EU in the Context of the COVID-19 Outbreak’.

The Guidelines aim to promote equal treatment and non-discrimination with respect to nationals by encouraging member states to take appropriate action to ensure that seasonal workers are covered by relevant national laws and collective agreement with regards to pay, dismissal, health and safety and tax and social security arrangements. Seasonal workers who lose their jobs retain their legal status as workers for 6 months, provided they register with the employment services. The Guidelines also call for strengthening occupational health and safety inspection and supervision of accommodation and transport.

IUF-EFFAT general secretary Kristjan Bragason welcomed the initiative, but regretted it came late, particularly in tourism and agriculture, key IUF sectors already in peak season, saying “Guidelines are a first step, but the Commission must act urgently now with binding legislative measures… including decent housing conditions and chain subcontracting liability.” He also stressed the importance of the ongoing review of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy as an important opportunity to improve the situation of all workers in European agriculture by conditioning financial support for the sector on respect for collective agreements and concrete improvements in agricultural workers’ living and working conditions. Please circulate on your social media.

R

The Miriam Shlesinger Memorial Blog for Human Rights Action August 20-26

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

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.

Doctors Without Borders Changed The Way We Heal The World

This week we call your attention to Mercy Ships, a fleet of five ships that sail the world to bring medical help to the poorest and most deprived people on the planet. The mission:

Mercy Ships is a global charity that has operated hospital ships in developing nations since its founding in 1978. Mercy Ships brings hope and healing to the forgotten poor by mobilizing people and resources worldwide, and serving all people without regard for race, gender, or religion. Mercy Ships programs promote health and well-being by serving the urgent surgical needs of the forgotten poor and empowering developing communities. Since its founding, Mercy Ships has performed more than delivered services valued at over $1.43 billion and impacting more than 16.3 million people as direct beneficiaries.”

First surgery in Senegal for a hare-lipped 2 year old

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is 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 myth of the “brutal savage.” Read this post carefully for it debunks the myth propagate by certain anthropologists.

Portrayals of Indians as violent savages remain common. Perhaps the worst recent example of this characterization comes from the controversial U.S. anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, who carried out fieldwork with the Venezuelan Yanomami from the 1960s.

In his book, Yanomamö: The Fierce People, Chagnon constructed a sensationalist image of the tribe, describing them as “sly, aggressive, and intimidating,” “fierce,” “continuously making war on each other,” and living in a “state of chronic warfare.”

The Fierce People was a best-seller in the USA and is still a standard text for anthropology students today. It is also a key source in many recent popular science books by writers such as Jared Diamond and Steven Pinker, which also promote the myth of the “Brutal Savage.”

Despite the popularity of The Fierce People, Chagnon’s findings have been severely criticized by others who have extensive experience of the Yanomami. Many anthropologists, doctors and missionaries that have worked over many decades with the Yanomami simply do not recognize Chagnon’s characterizations, and profoundly disagree with his depiction of the tribe.

The Yanomami speak out

Hear what Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami spokesman and President of Hutukara, had to say about The Fierce People and Noble Savages in interviews with Survival.

In an excerpt taken from La chute du ciel, Paroles d’un chaman Yanomami, by Davi Kopenawa and Bruce Albert, he discusses the violence of Western societies.

Whilst a few Yanomami may die in conflicts, far more have been killed by outsiders in violent attacks or by the diseases they have brought in.

Between 1989 and 1993 it is estimated that nearly 20% of the Yanomami in Brazil died from diseases introduced by the gold miners. These invasions still pose huge threats to their health and security. Davi Kopenawa warns:

Today our real enemies are the gold miners, the cattle farmers and all those who want to seize our land. Our anger must be directed at them. That’s what I think.

Davi Kopenawa at Hutukara Yanomami Association’s 3rd general assembly November 2008. In 2004, Yanomami from 11 regions in Brazil met to form their own organisation, Hutukara (meaning ‘the part of the sky from which the earth was born’), to defend their rights and run their own projects.
© Luciano Padrão/CAFOD
Consequences

The greatest tragedy in this story is that the real Yanomami have largely been written out of it, as the media have chosen to focus only on the salacious details of the debate that rages between anthropologists, or on Chagnon’s disputed characterizations. Rarely mentioned is the fact that The Fierce People had disastrous repercussions for the Yanomami, and tribal peoples in general.

Read how Brazil’s military dictatorship was influenced by the characterization of the Yanomami as hostile to each other.

See why UK government refused to fund an education project with the Yanomami.

More recently Chagnon’s research has been used by Jared Diamond in his controversial new book, The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? to back his erroneous claim that “most” “traditional” societies like the Yanomami exist in a state of “constant warfare”; that they are far more violent than industrialized societies; and that they welcome “pacification” by the state.

Diamond’s book has been condemned by Survival director Stephen Corry, indigenous organizations and academics, and his arguments compared to those of European colonists, who sought justification for the brutalities of imperialism.

Please read this long post and share it on all your social media and among your friends to help the maligned tribes in their struggle to survive in a hostile world.

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 end prison slavery in the United States.

URGENT ACTION CASES

NIGER

Urgent Action Victory! Niger Journalist Samira Sabou Has Been Freed

Samira Sabou, a journalist and President of the Niger bloggers association, was freed from Niamey prison on 28 July after the judge dismissed all charges of defamation against her. She had been arbitrarily detained for 48 days, in pre-trial detention, after a defamation complaint, filed by the son of the President, was made against her following a Facebook user’s mention of the President’s son’s name in a comment on a post made on Samira Sabou’s Facebook page. The 26 May post related to allegations of corruption in the procurement of military equipment on.

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

Samira Sabou was arrested on 10 June after a defamation complaint against her was filed by Sani Mahamadou Issoufou, the son and deputy chief of staff of the Nigerien President, Mahamadou Issoufou. On 26 May, Samira Sabou commented on her Facebook profile, about the embezzlement and overcharging of defense contracts revealed in an audit of the Ministry of Defense. Although she never referred to an individual in her post, she was charged with “defamation by a means of electronic communication” for both her post, and for a comment made on the post by another Facebook user, who singled Sani Mahamadou Issoufou as one of the culprits. She was subsequently remanded in pre-trial detention and her request for bail was denied. Her trial began on 14 July and the Prosecutor requested a sentence of one month and one week and a 1,000,000 XOF fee against her. Two weeks later, the court ordered her release, dismissing all charges against her. The complainant has appealed against this verdict.

Samira Sabou’s detention generated important media focus on the situation of human rights defenders and journalists in Niger, and on the abusive use of the Cybercrime Law to stifle dissenting voices. There was a lot of engagement on her case. In the span of two weeks, more than 5000 people signed a petition and over 2000 e-mails were sent to the President of Niger, calling for her release.

Following her release, Samira Sabou thanked all the organizations that have contributed to her release, including Amnesty International and its members who took action: ‘‘I don’t forget about Amnesty International, especially the team in Dakar who since the first moment they have highlighted the incoherence related to my arrest.(..) I have been particularly touched by the solidarity and the support that I have received from all corners in the globe”. She also highlighted the abusive use of the Cybercriminality Law to harass civil society members and human rights defenders; “I will continue the fight for justice in Niger [by] challenging before the courts, the constitutionality of the Cybercriminality Law, with all free and just men and women”.

CHILE

Urgent Action: Imprisoned Mapuche’s Life at Risk

Machi (spiritual Mapuche leader) Celestino Córdova Tránsito completed over 100 days on hunger strike demanding to join his community for the period of a mandatory spiritual retreat. He was convicted and in prison in the city of Temuco for homicide induced by arson in 2014. Authorities failed to dialogue with him, and a local Court authorized the possibility of force feeding him. On 10 August, he expressed his intention to enter a dry strike. We demand authorities urgently initiate a dialogue with Celestino Córdova and abstain from feeding him against his will.

TAKE ACTION

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: Charges Against Detainee Must be Dropped

Unidentified officers arbitrarily detained Nicmar Evans, a Venezuelan political scientist and communicator, on 13 July 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela. They reportedly belonged to the Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) and the Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigation Corps (CICPC). He is in custody of the DGCIM and is charged with ‘advocacy of hatred’ for posting social media messages that allegedly challenge the policies of Nicolas Maduro. The Attorney General has until 31 August to either formally accuse him or drop the case. We call on him to drop the charges against Nicmer Evans and release him.

TAKE ACTION

NORTHERN IRELAND

Women and girls must be allowed home abortions during the coronavirus pandemic

13,397 taken. Help us reach 15,000

Women and girls*n Northern Ireland are being put at risk due to not not being able to self-manage abortions at home.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel, women in the rest of the UK are now allowed to self-manage abortions at home using approved medication.

Email the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland demanding women in Northern Ireland are given the same access to this basic healthcare during the coronavirus pandemic.

WORLDWIDE

Universal ratification of ILO Convention on child labour: now it’s time to implement!

 “Universal ratification of Convention 182 is an historic first that means that all children now have legal protection against the worst forms of child labour. It reflects a global commitment that the worst forms of child labour, such as slavery, sexual exploitation, the use of children in armed conflict or other illicit or hazardous work that compromises children’s health, morals or psychological wellbeing, have no place in our society”, commented  ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.

With the ratification this month by Tonga of ILO Convention 182 on eliminating the worst forms of child labour, an ILO Convention has for the first time been ratified by all 187 member states.

IUF General Secretary Sue Longley welcomed the achievement of universal ratification, but called for renewed efforts to implement the Convention especially in agriculture which employs 71% of all child labour and is ranked as one of the three most dangerous industries to work in alongside mining and construction.  

Please post this call on all your social media and make the demand for the end of child labor go viral.!!

IUF Safe Return to Work during COVID-19 Demands: HRCT 18-08-2020

Millions of workers in the HRCT sector are suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Crucial to the rebuilding of the sector will be strong trade union voices guiding the policy development and implementation in order to ensure robust health and safety measures, income security, job security, gender equality including health care and sick leave, and above all trade union rights.

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.
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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.

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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.

TAKE ACTION

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.