Category Archives: Arkeeblog

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

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

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

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

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

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

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

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

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

Please try to help them.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book.

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for the end of forced labor in Eritrea.

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Urgent Action Victory! Female Activist Released After Incommunicado Detention


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

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

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

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

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

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

(“谢谢所有朋友的关心”- 李翘楚和家人”)

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

MEXICO

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

Urgent Action: Women’s Rights Protection at Risk

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

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VENEZUELA

Urgent Action Update: Incommunicado Detainee Now Indicted

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

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PHILIPPINES

Urgent Action Update: Protesters Seeking Relief to Be Arraigned

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

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USA

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

he Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update June 11-17

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

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

CHARITY CORNER


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.

Infection disease plague the world cholera, malaria, measles, meningitis and a group of often-overlooked diseases spread by viruses and parasites, in particular the current scourge Corona virus.

Now we call your attention to the Malala Fund. This is a an international, non-profit organization that fights for girls’ education. It was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and her father, Ziauddin.

Preview in new tab(opens in a new tab)

Malala Yousafzai human rights fighter
Malala a human rights fighter

The Malala Fund breaks down the barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Malala nearly paid for her advocacy with her life and is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The fund is very 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 forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

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

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

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the the modern enslavement of prisoners, in particular black people in the United States.

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

URGENT ACTION CASES

MALTA

Urgent Action Victory! Asylum-Seekers Allowed to Disembark

Maltese authorities finally allowed the disembarkment of all asylum-seekers held on four ferry boats off Malta’s territorial waters in the night of 6-7 June. The approximately 425 asylum-seekers had been transferred to the ferry boats after their rescue in the central Mediterranean. The disembarkment puts an end to their arbitrary and indefinite detention on the ferries, which for some of them, lasted over a month.

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

In the night between 6 and 7June Maltese authorities finally allowed the disembarkment of approximately 425 asylum-seekers who were being held on four ferry boats off Malta’s territorial waters. These asylum-seekers had been transferred to ferry boats chartered by Malta – private vessels used for coastal tourism – after being rescued in the central Mediterranean and were held in arbitrary and indefinite detention in conditions that were inadequate, in some cases for over a month. The disembarkment puts an end to the ordeal of the asylum-seekers on the ferry boats.

Since April 2020, Malta used Covid-19 to justify a decision not to authorize the disembarkment of people rescued in the central Mediterranean. Following several incidents involving failure to attend to boats in distress, Maltese authorities decided to transfer asylum-seekers rescued at sea to ferry boats, with the aim of forcing European Member States to relocate asylum-seekers and share the responsibility for their assistance.

After their rescue in different operations between the end of April and May, approximately 425 asylum-seekers were held on four ferry boats belonging to two private companies, Captain Morgan and Supreme Cruises, off Malta’s territorial waters. Despite the ferry boats being unsuited to cater for the needs of those rescued at sea and unequipped for long stays, Maltese authorities arbitrarily detained asylum-seekers offshore, without indicating the expected length of their detention. Maltese authorities did not provide any justification for the detention either. Deprived of any contacts with the outside world, including UNHRC and any access to lawyers and information, asylum-seekers were de facto denied access to asylum and any effective remedy to challenge their arbitrary detention.

CHINA

Uyghur Businessman Imprisoned in Secret Trial

Abuduaini Kadier, a Uyghur businessman who was secretly tried and sentenced to seven years in prison, is believed to have been detained in connection with a 2016 holiday he took to Egypt in which he paid for several other Uyghurs’ airfare. No information about his condition or even the charges against him have been shared with his family to date, and without regular access to family and legal representation, there are grave concerns for Abuduaini Kadier’s condition and wellbeing.

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ZIMBABWE

Urgent Action: Hospitalized Activists Risk Being Jailed


On 13 May, three opposition activists, member of parliament Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, were arrested at a police roadblock in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital, for leading an anti-government protest over the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread hunger in the country. On the same day, they were forcibly disappeared from police custody. During their abduction, they were sexually assaulted and tortured. On 15 May, they were found abandoned in Bindura, 87km from Harare, and have since been in hospital. No investigation has been initiated into their disappearance and their credible allegations of torture, including sexual assault. On 26 May, police charged the activists with gathering with intent to promote public violence and breach of peace.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Shaman in Psychiatric Detention for Criticizing Putin

On 2 June, the Yakutsk City Court approved the indefinite forcible psychiatric hospitalization of Aleksandr Gabyshev, a shaman who in 2019 announced he would march on foot from Yakutsk, in east Siberia, to Moscow “to purge” President Vladimir Putin from the Kremlin. Aleksandr Gabyshev is being targeted for his open criticism of the authorities and should not be arbitrarily deprived from his freedom or administered any medical treatment without his free and informed consent. Please support the workers.

TAKE ACTION

MALAYSIA

Stop union busting at Edgenta UEMS

UEM Group Berhad, a Malaysian government linked company (GLC), through its subsidiary, Edgenta UEMS, is currently engaged in a vicious union busting campaign, aggressively victimizing frontline hospital cleaners and their worksite union officials. Please suppot the workers.

PERU

Reinstate workers sacked for demanding protection from Covid-19

UNI Commerce calls upon trade unions and workers worldwide to urge Falabella (a Chilean multinational home retailer) to reinstate 22 workers who have been dismissed for asking for better protection against Covid-19 in Peru. Following a temporary closure, the distribution centre of Falabella has been recently reopened in Peru. However, the company did not take necessary measures to protect workers from Covid-19. 22 workers used their legal right to refrain from work until precautions are properly placed. This action pushed the company to take better measures. The 22 workers returned to work; but the company dismissed all 22 workers without any compensation. While there are already at least 30 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the distribution centre, Falabella management prefers to fight against the workers and union instead of working with them to fight against Covid-19.

You can support the 22 Peruvian workers by sending a message to the CEO of the company and the local management.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Blog June 4-10

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

his week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help victims of the virus, look up the appropriate agency in your country. We provide some recommendations for Israel and for the USA. For Israel, we provide here a detailed list of grantees of the New Israel Fund and their activities to ensure equality and compassion in the use of means provided by the government to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of their community, language or status. The covid-19 virus does not differentiate among its victims. During any public health crisis, equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts. During times like these, inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous. Because people on the margins of society are the most at-risk, their ability to access care and information is a matter of public safety — for everyone.

A most worthy recipient of your support is Doctors Without Borders who are making a special effort to work in countries with weak health systems. Here we show their belief that solidarity knows no borders.

MSF at work in Nepal
MSF resumes work in South Sudan after a hiatus caused by attacks on staff

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

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

The Baka

The creation of a new protected area in northwest Congo threatens the survival of the Baka. And it is illegal.

The Baka are being driven from their land for fear of violence at the hands of park rangers, and excluded from the forests they rely on for food and for medicine. The Baka have not given their consent to the park.

Act now before this WWF-funded conservation project brings about the irreversible destruction of the Baka’s way of life.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the slave markets that are still running in Libya.

https://www.freedomunited.org/cel/101293

URGENT ACTION CASES

CAMBODIA

Victory for Labor Start Campaign

Union win! Sister Soy Sros release from prison in Cambodia after LabourStart campaign [IndustriALL] 2020-05-30.

You will recall that just two weeks ago we protested here against her detention.

USA

Urgent Action Update: Man with Claims of Innocence Executed in Missouri


Walter Barton was executed on 19 May 2020. He was on death row in Missouri, USA since 2006 for the 1991 murder of a woman and always maintained his innocence. He faced five trials before being convicted and sentenced to death. Expert opinion and evidence, never heard by a trial jury, counter key elements of the prosecution’s theory which led to Barton’s conviction. The 19 May execution was the first in the USA since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. We will continue to urge authorities to end the use of the death penalty and stop any future executions. 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.

HUNGARY

Cross dresser

Urgent Action: Protect Transgender and Intersex People’s Rights

On 28 May Hungary’s President signed a new law adopted by parliament on 19 May and whose Article 33 bans legal gender recognition for transgender and intersex people in violation of their human rights. Hungary’s Commissioner for Fundamental Rights must now urgently stop this law by requesting a review by the Constitutional Court. If the Commissioner fails to act quickly, the ban will be a flagrant attack on transgender and intersex people’s rights and will legitimize an increase of attacks and hate crimes against them.

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MALTA

Urgent Action Update: Disembark Asylum-Seekers Held on Ferry Boats


Since April, Maltese authorities have transferred asylum-seekers rescued in the central Mediterranean to private vessels used for coastal tourism and, under the pretext of COVID-19, have been holding them for days on those ferry boats off Malta’s territorial waters. The situation on board is becoming unbearable as the boats are not suited for long stays. Maltese authorities should end their arbitrary detention and immediately disembark them in Malta, ensuring they can apply for asylum and access adequate reception.

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PERU

Urgent Action: Evictions of Vulnerable People

On 22 May 2020, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra extended strict measures to tackle COVID-19, including lockdowns and curfews until 30 June. Impacted by these measures, many vulnerable people, such as Venezuelan refugees, were left unprotected, are not able to pay their rent and are being evicted from their homes. A lack of protection of people’s right to housing in the government’s COVID-19 response puts Peruvians and Venezuelans at heightened risk of violations of their rights to housing and health. We call for urgent protection measures for refugees and people living in poverty.

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MSF working in South Sudan

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update May 21-27

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help victims of the virus, look up the appropriate agency in your country. We provide some recommendations for Israel and for the USA. For Israel, we provide here a detailed list of grantees of the New Israel Fund and their activities to ensure equality and compassion in the use of means provided by the government to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of their community, language or status. The covid-19 virus does not differentiate among its victims. During any public health crisis, equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts. During times like these, inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous. Because people on the margins of society are the most at-risk, their ability to access care and information is a matter of public safety — for everyone.

A most worthy recipient of your support is Doctors Without Borders who are making a special effort to work in countries with weak health systems. Here we show their belief that solidarity knows no borders.

A woman stops outside the COVID-19 pre-screening tent MSF teams have set up at the entrance of Bamenda’s St Mary Soledad hospital in the country’s northwest region. MSF is supporting regional hospitals here and in the southwest with pre-screening points at hospital entrances, helping implement COVID-19 isolation and treatment wards, and training medical and nonmedical staff. Cameroon 2020 © Freida Nemkul

The MSF team conducting a health education session with refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong, answering many questions to help demystify the disease and address some of their fears and concerns. © Shuk Lim Cheung/MSF
In France, MSF teams are running medical projects for vulnerable groups, including homeless people and migrants, in Paris and surrounding areas. We are working in emergency shelters set up to accommodate people living on the streets during lockdown, providing medical support, evaluating health status, and identifying potential COVID-19 cases. France 2020 © Agnes Varraine-Leca/MSF

We may ask here why the French government is not looking after the people living in the streets of Paris. I commented on this re USA.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

As you can see, the issue is not only Brazil, but worldwide. It goes far beyond the present crisis and has to do with the infringement of their basic rights in the name of so-called “progress.”

We are pleased to announce a victory on behalf of uncontacted tribes in Brazil.

In a landmark ruling, a Brazilian judge has blocked evangelical missionaries from making contact with uncontacted tribes in the Javari Valley, home to the greatest concentration of such peoples anywhere on Earth.

The lawsuit was brought by UNIVAJA, the indigenous organization of the Javari Valley, to counter concerted efforts by the missionaries to reach uncontacted communities.

Kenampa Marubo, leader of UNIVAJA, the indigenous organization of the Javari Valley.© Silia Moan/UNIVAJA.

Contact with outsiders can be lethal for an entire tribe.

The illegal mining and logging going on while the Brazilian government turns a blind eye is having a devastating effect on indigenous uncontacted peoples.

Tupá, a Matis woman, near the Itui river in the Javari Valley, Brazil. The Matis were devastated by western diseases after they were first contacted in the 1970s. Over half of the Matis died in the year following contact. Their numbers have risen from a low of 87 to around 500 today, but the Brazilian government is not doing enough to protect their health.© Fiona Watson/Survival

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the importation of slave produced palm oil. In response to the spread of the virus, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been loosening their regulations. We are concerned this might lead to more exploitation and forced labor on palm oil farms and other exports.

URGENT ACTION CASES

VIET NAM

‘Cam Nang Nuoi Tu’ (A Handbook for Families of Prisoners) is among the titles banned by Vietnam’s government. (Photo courtesy of Liberal Publishing House)

Urgent Action: Independent Booksellers Tortured by Police

Two members of the Liberal Publishing House – a local independent publisher that sells books considered sensitive by the government – have been detained and tortured by police in Ho Chi Minh City. Since early October 2019, police have harassed and intimidated dozens of people connected to the Liberal Publishing House in what appears to be a targeted campaign. The individuals who have been targeted are believed to have either bought or read books printed by the publisher, or to have worked for the publishing house.

TAKE ACTION

ANGOLA

Urgent Action: Activists Facing Harassment and Intimidation

Members of the non-governmental organization Mission of Beneficence Agriculture of Kubando, Inclusive Technologies and Environment (MBAKITA) are facing harassment and intimidation, including death threats and attacks, in Cuando Cubango province, Southern Angola, because of their work for the defense and promotion of the rights of people from ethnic minorities in Southern Angola.

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VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: Arbitrary Detainee Held Incommunicado

On 2 April 2020, officers of the Venezuelan Directorate for Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM) raided the home of Maury Carrero in Caracas (Capital) and detained her arbitrarily for reportedly being linked to an advisor to Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly. She has had almost no contact with her attorneys and family and has been held incommunicado since 1 May. Maury Carrero is at risk of torture and enforced disappearance, which are common in the country. We demand Maury’s release as her judicial case is processed, with all due process guarantees, protection of her integrity, and immediate access to her family and lawyers.

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CANADA

Help Protect Food Processing Workers! ACT NOW!

Food processing workers at meat plants across Canada are working hard on the front lines to make protein products for families and neighborhoods across the country.

There have been more than 1,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases of food processing workers, so far. Some of these workers battling COVID-19 are in critical condition and some have died.

The federal government recently announced $77 million for food processing companies – in response to the pandemic – but the details of how the money will be distributed are still uncertain.

Food workers must have a central role in determining the conditions and criteria for the “Emergency Processing Fund.”

CAMBODIA

Release jailed trade union leader

Mrs. Soy Sros, president of the CUMW local union at Superl Cambodia, has been arrested and imprisoned for a Facebook post criticizing the suspension of union members, including a pregnant woman, during the corona virus crisis. On 2 April, she was arrested for ‘provocation’ under the criminal code. She remains in detention and her health is deteriorating. If the site comes up with my details, erase them and put in your own. Sometimes sites are over friendly…

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update May 14-20

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 220px-holbein-erasmus1.jpg
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help victims of the virus, look up the appropriate agency in your country. We provide some recommendations for Israel and for the USA. For Israel, we provide here a detailed list of grantees of the New Israel Fund and their activities to ensure equality and compassion in the use of means provided by the government to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of their community, language or status. The covid-19 virus does not differentiate among its victims. During any public health crisis, equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts. During times like these, inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous. Because people on the margins of society are the most at-risk, their ability to access care and information is a matter of public safety — for everyone.

A most worthy recipient of your support is Doctors Without Borders who are making a special effort to work in countries with weak health systems. Here we show their belief that solidarity knows no borders.

It is most important to keep our cool and avoid panic.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and loggers or by missionaries.

As you can see, the issue is not only Brazil, but worldwide. It goes far beyond the present crisis and has to do with the infringement of their basic rights in the name of so-called “progress.”

Tribes, such as the Penan of Malaysian Borneo, are pushed into alien settlements and told to practise ‘modern’ agriculture, despite having an encyclopaedic knowledge of their own environments, which have sustained them, and the biodiversity of their forests, for generations. They are moved to make way for giant dams. These moves are justified by the notion that a transition from hunting and gathering to farming is ‘progress’.

Penan protest at the destruction of their forest and way of life.

‘Outsiders who come here always claim they are bringing progress. But all they bring are empty promises. What we’re really struggling for is our land. Above all else this is what we need’ – Arau, Penan, Sarawak

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against child pornography and the exploitation of victims by PornHub and the use of international credit cards in its foul business.

MORE ON GUN VIOLENCE

Last week we published in this blog a major rant about the sanctity of human life and gun violence. This week we wish to call upon all our US citizen readers to write to their congresspersons and senators urging them to commit at least $150 million annually for 10 years to community gun violence prevention programs and establish a national strategy to address the disproportionate impact of this public health crisis on communities of color by passing the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (S. 2671 H.R. 4836) and other appropriations.

All of us should deplore the four shooting incidents of this week in Birmingham, Fargo and Oakland.

Take Action for Human Rights

Stop the Gun Violence Pandemic: Demand Congress Fund Community Gun Violence Prevention

Communities of color that are already disproportionately impacted by gun violence are also being hit the hardest by COVID-19, and the organizations designed to stop gun violence before it happens are critically endangered at a time when they are needed most.

Many of these programs rely on public spaces and transportation to reach at-risk youth in distant areas. Because of COVID-19, these community organizations have had to cut staff, programming, and outreach, drastically affecting their ability to curb gun violence. Outreach workers are also acting as first responders in their community — mitigating violence and the spread of COVID-19, as they continue to educate their communities on handwashing, social distancing and mask-wearing.

We know that these programs can achieve sustained reductions in firearm violence. Congress should be supporting such efforts as the urgent human rights and public health crisis it is, instead of caving to the gun lobby and doing nothing, especially at a time when hospitals and healthcare services are strained.

Urge your members of Congress to commit at least $150 million annually for 10 years to community gun violence prevention programs and establish a national strategy to address the disproportionate impact of this public health crisis on communities of color by passing the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (S. 2671 H.R. 4836) and other appropriations. Your Message Dear Senator/Representative {contact_data~lastName}, As your constituent, I’m asking Congress to commit at least $150 million annually for 10 years to community gun violence prevention programs now, and establish a national strategy to address the disproportionate impact this public health crisis has had on communities of color by passing the Break the Cycle of Violence Act (S. 2671 H.R. 4836) and other appropriations. Community-level firearm violence in the USA disproportionately impacts communities of color. Firearm homicide was the leading cause of death for black men and boys aged 15-34 in 2018, and it was the third leading cause of death for Latino men and boys in the same age range. The flood of gun sales in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to make the pandemic of gun violence even worse. Research indicates that long-term, adequately funded, evidence-based projects tailored towards specific social, economic and cultural contexts, and working in partnership with the affected communities, can achieve sustained reductions in firearm violence. Congress must support and prioritize programs working to address this urgent human rights and public health crisis. These programs save lives and make our communities safer and stronger. That is why I support the Break the Cycle of Violence Act as an important step toward addressing this urgent public health and human rights crisis. The Break the Cycle of Violence Act would fund these critical, evidence-driven programs led by community members that are proven to be effective at preventing gun violence. Persistent gun violence in the United States is denying people their civil and political rights including their right to live, the right to security of person, and the right to be free from discrimination. Gun violence also undermines the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health and the right to education. In addition to the unimaginable human toll of gun violence across the country, the economic cost is stunning. Estimates place the annual cost of gun violence at hundreds of billions of dollars every year, including medical and criminal justice expenses. Accordingly, it is not only in the interest of our fundamental human rights, but also your constituents as taxpayers, to robustly fund these programs. You can make a difference on the crisis of gun violence.

The racist violence by gun-happy cops goes on unimpeded by law enforcement. Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was in her home in Louisville, KY on March 13th when officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department barged in her home, exploded her door, fired off more than 20 bullets, and ultimately took Breonna’s life.

Breonna Taylor

What should have been an average morning was turned into a tragedy by murderous cops. In fact they were at the wrong house and the suspect they were seeking had been arrested hours before. Please sign the petition calling for action against the policemen involved in the shooting.

URGENT ACTION CASES

Myanmar

Urgent Action Update: Rakhine Journalist Remains in Hiding

Aung Marm Oo, an ethnic Rakhine Editor-in-chief of a news agency based in Rakhine State, has been in hiding for more than a year after charges were filed against him for violating the Unlawful Associations Act. His news agency, Development Media Group (DMG), has been reporting on violations during the ongoing armed conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine armed group. If convicted under this repressive law, often used to target ethnic minorities in Myanmar, he faces up to five years in prison.

TAKE ACTION

Russian Federation

Urgent Action: Whistleblower Doctor Facing Reprisals

Tatyana Revva, a doctor from Volgograd, in southern Russia, is facing disciplinary proceedings that may result in dismissal, following her complaints of the shortage of personal protective equipment and other problems in her hospital in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. She should be able to perform her professional duties, and exercise her right to freedom of expression, without fear of reprisals by the administration.

TAKE ACTION

Niger

Urgent Action Update: Three Activists Still Detained

On 30 April, activists Moussa Tchangari and Habibou Soumaila were released on bail. Activists Maikoul Zodi, Halidou Mounkaila and Moundi Moussa were denied provisional release on 4 May and are still detained in prisons in Niger. They are charged with organizing an unauthorized gathering and complicity in damaging public property, arson, and manslaughter. Amnesty International believes that some of the charges against the activists have been fabricated to undermine the peaceful exercise of their human rights and demand for accountability.

TAKE ACTION

Kenya

Urgent Action: Evicted Residents Vulnerable to Covid-19

Despite obtaining interim orders from the Environment and Lands Court halting the evictions, more than 7,000 households of Kariobangi Sewerage Farmers Slum, Korogocho Market, Kisumu Ndogo and Nyayo Village, Nairobi, Kenya, were forcibly evicted by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) between 4 and 6 May. Residents have title deeds to their homes and have been paying levies to the county government for the land. The NCWSC has rendered residents homeless during the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing their likelihood of contracting the virus.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

We Don’t Need Empty Praise: Nurses’ Unions Demand Better Protection, Rights

On International Nurses Day, nurses’ unions call for PPEs, more say in decision-making processes, safe working conditions, and protection from targeted attack and stigmatization Anish R 13 May 2020

Demand Better Protection, Rights

Nurses protest at a hospital in the north Indian city of Patiala, Punjab, over lack of PPEs (Photo: Tribune News Service)

INDIA

Anti-union harassment and victimization escalate at AB InBev Sonepat India

Management at global brewer AB InBev’s plant in Sonepat, India is escalating its attacks on trade union rights. For the past three years local managers have refused to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the Haryana Breweries Limited Mazdoor Union (HBLMU) and opted for repression, suspending active union members and dismissing four elected union leaders including the president and the general secretary. Please support this just struggle.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update May 7-13

Our featured image for this week shows the great challenge to humanity. Let us hope that it will vanish soon.

Of course we always show our namesake, our beloved friend and great human rights defender, Miriam (1947-2012)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is miriam1.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 220px-holbein-erasmus1.jpg
Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to “The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam”.

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help victims of the virus, look up the appropriate agency in your country. We provide some recommendations for Israel (Hebrew and English) and for the USA. For Israel, we provide here a detailed list of grantees of the New Israel Fund and their activities to ensure equality and compassion in the use of means provided by the government to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of their community, language or status. The covid-19 virus does not differentiate among its victims. During any public health crisis, equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts. During times like these, inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous. Because people on the margins of society are the most at-risk, their ability to access care and information is a matter of public safety — for everyone.

A most worthy recipient of your support is Doctors Without Borders who are making a special effort to work in countries with weak health systems. Here we show their belief that solidarity knows no borders.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles. Throughout the world there are many tribes who choose to avoid contact with the outside world. Today they are under a threat of extinction from Covid-19 and should be protected. It matters not whether death is brought by miners and logger or by missionaries.

Uncontacted tribes from Survival International on Vimeo.

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 on behalf of hotel workers who are subject to exploitation, sexual harassment and effective modern slavery.

Hotel worker…

A RANT ABOUT THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: SOME THOUGHTS BEFORE THE URGENT ACTIONS

In every document proclaiming human rights, going back as far as the French Revolution and the American Declaration of Independebce and up to the UN Universal Proclamation of Human Rights, the first and most fundamental human right is to life. In our modern world this value seems to have evaporated. Today we would like to rant about killings of human rights activists in Colombia and Pakistan and the murder of a security guard at a department store in Flint, MI, USA by the relatives of a young woman who refused to don a mask. When she had been denied entry to the store and her mother got into a dispute with the guard, her husband and son shot and killed the guard.

Let us look at these events in detail.

COLOMBIA

Since the start of 2020 on average, one social leader in Colombia is killed every other day as Friday marked the 84th killed social leader in the Latin American nation. According to local reports, on Friday as COVID-19 lockdown continues, armed men entered the home of Uenseslao Guerrero, community leader, killing him in the violence-rent southwestern department of Cauca. Guerrero was a prominent human rights defender and the impunity of his killers indicates the callousness and/or the incompetence of the Colombian government.

PAKISTAN

Arif Wazir, a Pushtun rights activist and a central leader of the Pushtun Protection Movement (PTM), died on May 2 after he succumbed to bullet injuries he sustained in a gun attack a day before (May 1) in his native village, close to the border with Afghanistan. For its role in campaigning for the civil rights of Pushtuns, one of the country’s three largest ethnic groups, the PTM has been brutally repressed and vilified by the country’s all-powerful military establishment. The Pakistan government and military establishment have, since 9/11, played a double game of collaborating with the Americans, from whom huge sums were milked, in their struggle against the Taliban and supporting the Taliban simultaneously. Wazir had been in and out of jail on trumped up charges many times and we may be sure that no one will be held accountable for his life.

UNITED STATES

When Sharmel Teague arrived at the Family Dollar across 5th Avenue from the University of Michigan-Flint’s William S. White building on Friday afternoon, she was wearing a protective mask.

Her daughter was not.

After security guard Calvin Munerlyn denied her daughter entry, and then denied Teague service, an altercation erupted that left the 43-year-old father dead of a gunshot wound to the head.

This senseless murder can, without absolving the killers, be laid at the doorstep of Trump and his government. As Prof. Juan Cole writes in his blog, “the tone was set by VP Mike Pence, who broke Mayo Medical Center rules when he visited and was the only one not wearing a mask. Trump has also used his Twitter dog whistle to encourage white supremacists to defy governors on mitigation measures, so he set a tone for this angry, irrational mood.”

We could go on and on with lists of killings for no justification, as if there could be such a justification except to save life and self defense. These three examples suffice. We all need to look at our society in a mirror and ask ourselves where we went wrong. In the US we should hold accountable the majority who oppose gun violence, yet do not bother to vote whereas the NRA enlists its millions of gun-happy fools and no politician dares to cross them. Across the world, in so-called civilized countries, blood flows like water, for an insult to Mohammed (Hebdo Charlie or Danish cartoons) or out of political hatred (Brevik in Sweden), to mention just two. Nations and religious groups must look carefully at their ethos and education of their young people-another pipe dream by a progressive dreamer. Now let us get down to specifics.

URGENT ACTION CASES

COLOMBIA

Jani Silva is not easily scared and continues her struggle despite the threats she receive. Photos by: ANZORC

Urgent Action: Defender at Risk in COVID-19 Quarantine

On 17 April, at around 2:30pm, Jani Silva heard 6 gunshots at less than 30 meters from her residence in Puerto Asís in Putumayo (South West), Colombia. On 22 April, she again heard three gun shots at less than 50 meters from her residence. These two incidents occurred after a confidential source provided information to the Inter-Ecclesiastical Commission of Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz) in late March about an ongoing plan to kill Jani Silva. We are urging the Ministry of Interior to provide appropriate protection to her.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Indigenous Community Attacked

On 24 April, at around 11 am, an unknown individual entered the indigenous community of ASEIMPOME, in the Meta Region (Central Colombia). When the indigenous guard was warned, the unknown person set fire to a house. For the past two weeks, two motorcycles have been riding around the community. These two incidents occurred after the Claretian Corporation Norman Perez Bello reported that two unknown and armed men were present near the community on 12 April. We urge authorities to investigate all these incidents, to identify the attackers and stop them from further threatening the indigenous community.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Female Activist Held Incommunicado for Months

No contact has been made with human rights defender Li Qiaochu since she was taken away by Beijing police on 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. Detained incommunicado under “residential surveillance in a designated location”, there are grave concerns that Li Qiaochu is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment as she is still without access to her family or a lawyer of her choice.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience Denied Access to Family

Huang Qi, founder and director of Sichuan-based human rights website “64 Tianwang”, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment following a secret trial in January 2019. His 87-year-old mother has not been able to see him since 2016 and, as her own health continues to deteriorate, she worries that she may never see him again. Huang Qi continues to suffer from serious health concerns of his own and, without access to a lawyer of his choice or his family, he is at real risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

Belarus VIDEO Campaign for reinstatement of union activist Mikalaj Valadzko [ NEZALEZHNY] 04-05-2020

Please read the details of this unconscionable action of a major German corporation and make it go viral on your social networks.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update April 30-May 6

Our featured image for this week shows the great challenge to humanity

Of course we always show our namesake, our beloved friend and great human rights defender, Miriam (1947-2012)

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help victims of the virus, look up the appropriate agency in your country. We provide some recommendations for Israel (Hebrew and English) and for the USA. For Israel, we provide here a detailed list of grantees of the New Israel Fund and their activities to ensure equality and compassion in the use of means provided by the government to all citizens of Israel, irrespective of their community, language or status. The covid-19 virus does not differentiate among its victims. During any public health crisis, equality and inclusion are not afterthoughts. During times like these, inequality becomes even more dire and dangerous. Because people on the margins of society are the most at-risk, their ability to access care and information is a matter of public safety — for everyone.
NIF grantees are working to ensure that everyone in Israel – no matter their legal status or what language they speak – has access to government services and public health information.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact with outsiders. Please raise your voice for them and their right to live as they choose. In particular, the Covid19 virus is particularly dangerous for the tribes in the Brazilian jungles.

A teenager from an isolated Amazonian tribe who tested positive for Covid-19 has died, raising concerns about the coronavirus’ impact on the region’s indigenous people.The 15-year-old boy, a Yanomami from the village of Rehebe on the Uraricoera River, died Thursday, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Health.

The 15-year-old boy from the Yanomami indigenous tribe lived in a remote village such as this one.

The nonprofit Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA) has warned the virus could spread among the Yanomami through miners who had illegally entered indigenous territory.

Today, without a doubt, the main vector for the spread of COVID-19 inside the Yanomami Indigenous Territory is the more than 20,000 illegal miners that go in and out of the territory without any control,” ISA said in a statement on its website. Indigenous rights activists warned that illegal mining and logging on indigenous lands, which have increased since Brazil’s pro-development President Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in last year, now pose an even greater threat to remote communities in general and the Yanomami

The indigenous peoples of Brazil were a target for the president even before the Covid-19 virus calamity. Please sign our petition to the president to protect the indigenous peoples of his country.

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 importation of goods manufactured by enslaved Uighurs in China. Please click and sign the petition. If my data appear simply erase them and add yours.

URGENT ACTION CASES

KAZAKHSTAN

Urgent Action: Activist Jailed for Criticism During Pandemic

Kazakhstani human rights activist, Alnur Ilyashev, has been arrested for his publications on social media that criticized the ruling Nur Otan party and its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is being prosecuted for “spreading false information” that harms “interests” during the state of emergency, a crime which carries up to seven years in prison. Alnur Ilyashev is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Fears of Imprisonment for Missing Kazakh Writer

Kazakh writer Nagyz Muhammed was arrested in March 2018 in Xinjiang, China, after his last visit to Kazakhstan. His family learned through word of mouth that, due to a dinner he had with friends on Kazakhstan Independence Day about 10 years ago, Nagyz Muhammed was convicted in a secret trial on charges of “separatism” and sentenced to seven years in prison. No contact has been made with him for more than two years and, without official information about his whereabouts or alleged trial and conviction, there are grave concerns for Nagyz Muhammed’s well-being.

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CUBA

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience at Risk of COVID-19

63-year-old independent journalist Roberto Quiñones Haces, imprisoned on 11 September 2019 for “resistance” and “disobedience”, remains in the Provincial Prison of Guantánamo in concerning unsanitary conditions, according to reports. His family stated he has also developed health conditions, which may put him at increased risk of COVID-19. We demand Cuban authorities immediately and unconditionally release him and other prisoners of conscience in the country, amid grave fears over the spread of COVID-19 in Cuba’s prisons.

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Guinea

Urgent Action: Pro-Democracy Activist Detained

On 17 April, pro-democracy activist Oumar Sylla, alias Foniké Mengué, was arrested outside his house in Conakry, Guinea, by Banditry Repression Brigade officers. Prior to his arrest, he spoke on a radio show during which he called for protests against the government’s plans for constitutional change, which may change presidential term limits and allow Guinea’s President Alpha Condé to be elected for a third term. He also accused members of the government and ruling party of killings, torture and other ill-treatment, and arbitrary detention. He was initially detained for one day in “Villa 40”, the office of the General Intelligence Directorate, then transferred to the Judicial Police Directorate. On 24 April, he was charged with dissemination of false information.

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WORLDWIDE–

IUF CALLS ON G20 TOURISM MINISTERS TO TAKE IMMEDIATE MEASURES TO PROTECT WORKERS IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS

The IUF has warned G20 tourism ministers that it may take many years to rebuild the tourism sector to pre-COVID-19 levels of activity.. In a statement to a virtual, extraordinary meeting on April 24, the IUF said that rebuilding the sector without strong trade union voices guiding the policy development would guarantee a tourism sector that would continue to leave millions of workers without rights, protection and income security.

The statement cautioned that workers’ rights must not be suspended or deferred during the COVID-19 crisis and called for the adoption of an agenda that put workers first and fully protected the right to organize.

It called for the immediate adoption of protocols to protect hotel workers which included provision of personal protective equipment, transport and occupational health and safety training, adding, “these protocols must apply to all workers, including those with non-standard forms of employment”.

Building on the IUF’s HRCT group work to expose fake green programmes, the statement called for support for the WHO’s “Operational considerations for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector”, which provide clear guidance to protect workers and guests, including the suspension of optional housekeeping programmes where guests can voluntarily forego housekeeping services.

According to the latest ILO Report on COVID-19 up to 1.25 billion workers in key sectors around the world, representing almost 38 per cent of the global workforce, are being affected by COVID-19. The report identifies the accommodation and food services sector as being severely affected, accounting for 144 million workers, more than half of whom are women.

The statement follows an earlier intervention by IUF General Secretary, Sue Longley to the G20 tourism working group.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update April 23-29

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help, the writer and activist Trang Chu Minh, who writes for Cause-Artist, has compiled a list of NGO’s that are helping and need support under the title Meet the Organizations Leading the Charge Against the Coronavirus Epidemic in Asia. We suggest you open this file and choose your beneficiary.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is the lack of respect for their basic human rights.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. In particular we must call out writers who malign tribal people and portray them as violent.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

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Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the enslavement of ethnic minorities in China.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Update: Native American Activist At Risk of COVID-19

South Dakotan Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned in the USA for over 40 years despite concerns over the fairness of his trial. Currently held at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in Florida, the threat of COVID-19 underscores the urgency of this call. Peltier is 75 years old and has serious health concerns. He suffers from diabetes and other health issues, and in January 2016 was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which can be fatal if it ruptures.

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UGANDA

Urgent Action: Activist Arrested for Criticizing the President

On 13 April, Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, a Ugandan activist, was arrested by military police at his home in Iganga, eastern Uganda. He was charged with trumped-up charges of defamation and cyber related crimes and detained in the military barracks at Mbuya, near the capital Kampala. He is popularly known as the author of “The Greedy Barbarian”, a book that criticizes the ruling first family of Uganda and is also a political activist linked to the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party.

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CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Uyghur Academic Faces Imminent Execution

Chinese authorities could imminently execute Tashpolat Tiyip, a prominent Uyghur academic who was convicted in a secret and grossly unfair trial. Subjected to an enforced disappearance in 2017, he has been arbitrarily detained since then. No information has been made available about charges and proceedings against him and his current whereabouts remain unknown.

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MEXICO

Urgent Action: Defender at Higher Risk

On 30 March 2020, the Secretariat of Public Security of Yucatan, Mexico, withdrew the police accompaniment of human rights defender Clemencia Adelaida Salas Salazar alleging it was in response to COVID-19. Adelaida Salas has had protective measures granted by the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) since March 2017. The state of Yucatan must not use measures in response to the pandemic as a pretext to weaken or withdraw protection for human rights defenders. We urge the government of Yucatan to immediately restore Adelaida’s protection measures in accordance with the highest international human rights standards.

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A CALL TO FOCUS ON SAVING LIVES AND TO POSTPONE BUSINESS DEALS

We append an open letter to the World Trade Organization signed by hundreds of organizations and International and Regional Networks. Please read and circulate and try to get organizations in your country to sign on.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Action Update April 16-22

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we again call your attention to the coronavirus that is ravaging the world. If you wish to help, the writer and activist Trang Chu Minh, who writes for Cause-Artist, has compiled a list of NGO’s that are helping and need support under the title Meet the Organizations Leading the Charge Against the Coronavirus Epidemic in Asia. We suggest you open this file and choose your beneficiary.

WINGS FOR SPECIAL KIDS.

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

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is the lack of respect for their basic human rights.We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognize indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them. Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights protected

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview

You can download this book

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice against the marketing of the products of slavery

URGENT ACTION CASES

BELARUS

Urgent Action Victory!

Russian Jehovah’s Witness Released

On 7 April the Prosecutor General’s office in Belarus denied Russia’s request to extradite Jehovah’s Witness Nikolai Makhalichev. Nikolai Makhalichev is facing unfounded charges of ‘extremism’ in Russia, stemming solely from exercising his right to freedom of religion, which led to his detention in Belarus on 21 February. Following the refusal to extradite him to Russia, Nikolai Makhalichev was immediately freed from detention. He is now awaiting the decision on his asylum application in Belarus.

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

On 7 April the Prosecutor General’s office denied Russia’s extradition request for Jehovah’s Witness Nikolai Makhalichev. He was immediately released from detention and went to his friend’s house in Viciebsk, northeast Belarus. Nikolai Makhalichev is currently awaiting the decision on his asylum application in Belarus.

Jehovah’s Witnesses face persecution in Russia where their organization was arbitrarily banned as “extremist” in April 2017. The criminal investigation against Nikolai Makhalichev started in January 2019. He was charged under Articles 282.2 (1) and 282.3 (1) of the Russian Criminal Code for purportedly “organizing activities of an extremist organization” and “financing extremist activities” punishable by up to ten and eight years in prison, respectively. Nikolai Makhalichev has never held any formal position with Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. According to his representative, he was just a believer who participated in their religious services. During the investigation, Nikolai Makhalichev was put on an interstate wanted list which led to his arrest and detention on 21 February in Haradok, northeast Belarus.

Amnesty International regards the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia as an arbitrary and discriminatory measure, and a violation of the right to freedom of religion. The organization has called on the Russian authorities to quash the judicial decisions that have criminalized Jehovah’s Witnesses’ teachings and practices.

MADAGASCAR

Urgent Action Update: Domoina Ranabosoa Temporarily Released

Domoina Ranabosoa was released from pre-trial detention in Antanimora prison, Madagascar, on 7 April, but still faces charges. Amnesty International calls on the judicial authorities to immediately and unconditionally drop the charge held against her, as the laws which have led to this charge discriminate against LGBTI people.

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PHILIPPINES

Urgent Action: Residents Seeking Covid-19 Relief Charged

Police violently dispersed a peaceful protest by Quezon City residents who had gathered to demand government aid during the COVID-19 community quarantine. 21 protesters were arrested, detained and released on bail 5 days later. We 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. The authorities must also investigate the police’s use of force to disperse the protest.

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BELARUS

Urgent Action: Two Young Brothers on Death Row


Brothers, Stanislau and Illia Kostseu aged 19 and 21, were sentenced to death on 10 January for the murder of their next-door neighbor. When the verdict was read out in the Mohilev regional court, eastern Belarus, the public gallery applauded the decision. The Supreme Court hearing on their case will happen soon and if the sentence is upheld, they will be at imminent risk of execution. The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and their death sentence should be commuted.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Detained Rights Defender Must be Released

Crimean human rights defender Server Mustafayev has recovered from a viral respiratory infection he suffered from for almost a month. During his illness he received inadequate medical care and he continued to be brought to appear in court. His trial before a Russian military court has been adjourned and he remains in detention. Server Mustafayev’s health remains frail which makes him more vulnerable to COVID-19. He is a prisoner of conscience and should be immediately and unconditionally released.

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