Category Archives: Arkeeblog

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 17-23

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

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

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

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 turn our attention to the Center for Biological Diversity. Their mission statement reads:

Our Mission: Saving Life on Earth

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive.

These bears are victims of oil drilling and climate change

Join us. They are highly rated by all the charity monitors.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for people on the Peruvian contact border.

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:

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 lend your voice to the call for freedom for girls. They need help all over the world.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Homophobic Crackdown In Chechnya Resumes


The Chechen authorities have unleashed a new wave of attacks on people believed to be gay or lesbian. At least 40 individuals have been arbitrarily detained and tortured in Chechnya, a republic in the south of Russia. At least two people are reported to have been tortured to death.

TAKE ACTION

MOZAMBIQUE

Urgent Action: Journalist Arbitrarily Detained Incommunicado

Amade Abubacar, a journalist at Nacedje community radio, was arrested on 5 January 2019, by the police in Macomia district, Cabo Delgado province, northern Mozambique. The police confiscated his cell phone, handcuffed him and took him to Macomia’s Police Station. Amade Abubacar was arrested when he was interviewing internally displaced civilians who fled their homes due to the intensification of violent attacks in the northern Cabo Delgado. Amade Abubacar is being held in incommunicado detention, he has not been officially charged with any crime and has not been granted access to his lawyer.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action Update: Woman Attacked for Seeking Justice for Son

Endangered human rights defender

On 11 January, two unidentified men in a motorbike shot three times at the car in which Alfamir Castillo was in a rural area of the municipality of Pradera, Valle del Cauca Department, southern Colombia. Alfamir Castillo was with her husband and two bodyguards granted by the National Protection Unit and were not injured. Alfamir Castillo has faced several threats and attacks for years as she is seeking justice for the unlawful killing of her son by members of the Colombian armed forces.

TAKE ACTION

KAZAKHSTAN

Stop repression and physical attacks on leaders of independent unions; hands off Larisa Kharkova, Erlan Baltabai and Dmitriy Senyavskiy

Please click and join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 3-9

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

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

220px-holbein-erasmus1
bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

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 turn our attention to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
UCS was founded in 1969 by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire. Appalled at how the U.S. government was misusing science, the UCS founders drafted a statement calling for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems. Please support this worthy cause, highly rated by charity monitors.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for people on the Peruvian contact border.

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 and many others published by Walk Free.


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 lend your voice to the campaigns against modern slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

IRAN

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a British mum serving a five-year prison sentence in Iran – but she hasn’t committed any crime. She was recently released on a three day leave from prison to visit family – but has now, crushingly, been returned to prison. She has done nothing wrong. Help secure her freedom by signing our petition now.

CHINA

Google is planning to re-launch its search engine in China – and in doing so, cooperate with the Chinese government’s repressive online censorship and surveillance rules.

Act now to protect internet freedom in China.

BAHRAIN

Urgent Action: Deported Bahraini at Risk of Ill-Treatment

On 20 October 2018, Ali Mohamed al-Showaikh was deported from the Netherlands and arrested upon arrival at Bahrain International Airport. For more than ten weeks since, he has been held without access to an attorney while the Public Prosecution’s terrorism unit proceeds with charges against him. There are strong reasons to fear he has been subjected to ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

Thailand: Union leaders sacked, fined for demanding rail safety

The State Railway Workers’ Union of Thailand (SRUT) organized a nationwide rail safety campaign following the fatal train derailment on 5

October 2009 at Khao Tao Station in Thailand, which killed seven and left several others injured. The government is punished the leaders of the union for highlighting the unsafe condition of th e railroad. Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 28-January 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)

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Fistula Foundation

Kate-and-Mukwege-thumbnail-for-blog
Nobel Peace Prize Awarded To Fistula Surgeon – Dr. Denis Mukwege

. Fistula is a childbirth injury largely eradicated in the developed world, but still devastating women in the poorest countries.
It’s treatable with life-transforming surgery.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced “development.” Forcing “development” or “progress” on tribal people does not make them happier or healthier. In fact, the effects are disastrous. The most important factor by far for tribal peoples’ well-being is whether their land rights are respected.

One of the results of forced contact

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 put an end to domestic slavery.

PARAGUAY

Urgent Action Victory! 200 Families No Longer at Risk of Forced Eviction

Families from the Guahory Community, Eastern Paraguay, are no longer at imminent threat of forced eviction. The implementation of the Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property has been suspended in their community.

On 13 July, 200 families from the Guahory Campesino Community in Eastern Paraguay were at imminent risk of a forced eviction due to the decision to implement the Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property in their community. This led to the deployment of about 400 police officers in the area. Following the release of the Urgent Action, the implementation of the Joint Action Plan was suspended, and the police officers left the community.

The Joint Action Plan for Punishable Actions for Trespassing on Property (Plan de Acción Conjunta para Hechos Punibles de Invasión de Inmueble Ajeno) is an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police which sets out the actions these three bodies would take to stop the potential trespass on property. Amnesty International has identified that this procedure leads to veiled forced evictions, carried out without due safeguards to respect and protect the right to decent housing.

Furthermore, after meetings between the Director of Human Rights of the Public Ministry, the Deputy Minister of Security of the Ministry of the Interior, the Director of Human Rights of the Ministry of the Interior and Amnesty International, an interinstitutional working group was created to review the Joint Action Plan. On 31 October, this working group held its first meeting, and it is expected to hold at least two more meetings in which Amnesty International, the Paraguayan Coordination of Human Rights (CODEHUPY – Coordinadora de Derechos Humanos del Paraguay) and the United Nations will be invited to present their positions on the plan.

We will continue to monitor the status of these discussions to determine whether further action is required.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: Indigenous Communities Attacked and at Risk

The Pemón Indigenous communities in the Canaima National Park (western Venezuela) were the target of a violent attack during a two-day military operation, for which there was no justification. The communities fear for their safety in the context of these operations and the militarization of their ancestral territory ordered by the national government.

TAKE ACTION

MEXICO

Urgent Action: Bill to Give Armed Forces Control of Security

Mexican legislators could pass a bill for a constitutional reform that would broaden the powers of the armed forces providing them wider policing authority and permission to remain on the streets of Mexico permanently. The bill is tabled for voting in the chamber of deputies.

TAKE ACTION

UAE

Urgent Action Update: Hunger-Striking Academic In Critical Condition

Dr Nasser bin Ghaith’s health has severely deteriorated. The prominent Emirati economist and academic has been on hunger strike for over 70 days in al-Razeen prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protest the detention conditions and the denial of access to medical care. He is a prisoner of conscience.

TAKE ACTION

Prometheus and Pandora XX

In our featured image Murphy wishes all a Happy New Year in the name of Prometheus, Pandora and the amanuenses YandA.

As we all know,  Prometheus and Pandora orbit Saturn and keep the f-ring in place. Their old friend Titan orbits much farther out, but they may visit him in the Google blogger if this Gutenburg editor foisted upon us by WordPress continues to drive us nuts.

The Charity Corner has found a home on the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action site. Promethus and Pandora hope that you will visit there, take the actions and make the donations.

IN MEMORIAM LYUDMILA ALEXEYEVA 1927-2018

Lyudmila M. Alexeyeva, a leader of the Russian human rights movement in the Soviet Union and in the era of President Vladimir V. Putin, died on on December 8in a Moscow hospital. She was 91.


Ms. Alexeyeva arriving at a New Year’s Eve anti-Kremlin protest in downtown Moscow in 2009.CreditIvan Sekretarev/Associated Press

Ms. Alexeyeva had been Russia’s most prominent surviving Soviet-era dissident, harking from the same generation as the physicist Andrei Sakharov and the novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Though frail, she took part in street protests until about eight years ago.

She spent about 50 years in the Russian opposition, starting as a typist for a samizdat journal in the 1960s and continuing as an observer of politicized court hearings against street protesters under Mr. Putin. She was considered the grandmother  of the Russian human rights movement Even President Putin came to visit her on her 90th birthday. Detailed obituaries can be found in the Economist and the NYTimes.



President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia visiting Ms. Alexeyeva on her 90th birthday at her Moscow home last year.CreditPool photo by Alexei Nikolsky


ON THE DEMISE OF LIBERAL DEMOCRACY

 We have been ranting a great deal about the erosion of liberal democracy around the world, especially in the US and Israel. Now we would like to look a bit at  the theory around it. The late Professor J.L. Talmon of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, devoted much effort to clarifying the difference between liberal democracy and totalitarian democracy.

Jacob Talmon (1916-1980)

Talmon was a leader of the Cold War liberals and at the same time a Zionist., i.e. a Jewish nationalist. The apparent contradiction between liberalism and nationalism created a tension in his philosophy. As pointed out by M.H. Hacohen in a detailed essay in the History of European Ideas, Talmon lived in two worlds. Hacohen argues that that Talmon’s nationalism (Zionism included)—historicist, romantic, visionary—lived in permanent tension with his liberalism—empiricist, pluralist, pragmatic. 

Talmon himself regarded his mission as  “an attempt to show that concurrently with the liberal type of democracy there emerged from the same premises in the eighteenth century a trend toward what we propose to call the totalitarian type of democracy”

Professor Talmon finds the ground for the antagonism between the two types of democracy in a radical difference of attitude toward politics, which grows out of a radical difference of philosophy. Liberal democracy assumes that politics is largely a matter of trial and error, and it regards political systems as mainly “pragmatic contrivances of human ingenuity and spontaneity.” Totalitarian democracy on the other hand is “based upon the assumption of a sole and exclusive truth in politics” and it “postulates a preordained, harmonious and perfect scheme of things” toward which history inevitably tends and toward which recalcitrant human nature must, if necessary, be driven.

This theoretical framework is very relevant to what is happening in the world today. A recent issue of The Atlantic (October 2018) devotes a large section to articles about the demise of democracy. The examples are mostly from the US scene such as the article about losing the habits of democracy by Yoni Applebaum, but a description of the loss of democracy in Poland by Anne Applebaum provides an enlightening view of the process. The stages are:

  • Polarization.
  • Conspiracy theories.
  • Attacks on the free press
  • An obsession with loyalty

Recent events in the United States follow a pattern Europeans know all too well. We see it happening in Israel as well. The concepts of Professor Talmon are alas an accurate description. Anne Applebaum, in the article cited above, refers to the Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian who chronicled an even more extreme shift in his own country in the 1930’s. He described how, one by one, his friends were drawn to fascist ideology, like a flock of moths to an inescapable flame. He recounted the arrogance and confidence they acquired as they moved away from identifying themselves as Europeans—admirers of Proust, travelers to Paris—and instead began to call themselves blood-and-soil Romanians.
In the light of the above, it is easy to understand the obsession of the far right with George Soros. This Hungarian born American billionaire has donated huge sums to support liberal democracy in the former Soviet bloc countries. As a result he is the bogyman target that these regimes need to deflect the dissatisfaction of their people. Soros-bashing has already spread to the US and is a harbinger of what lies ahead for the Western world of Trump and Brexit.

Whereas in Israel the defining “truth” to which we are supposed to subscribe is the idea of establishing a state for the Jews of the
world (vid. Talmon’s tension above), in other countries it is nativism, for example, Trump’s white Christians or Marine La Pen’s “France for the French” nationalism. For young American Jews who grew up with the defining values of American Jewish political culture: a belief in open debate, a skepticism about military force, a commitment to human rights inter alia it does not make sense to push these values aside when considering Israel. It puts them off to see the PM of Israel consorting with the autocrats of Europe such as Orban of Hungary and other proponents of “illiberal Christian democracy” which will put an end to the era of multiculturalism. The violence of Israel’s rule over the Palestinians is indeed driving American Jews to protest.


Demonstrators march towards Trump Hotel in Washington to protest against the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


In Israel we have an additional component, the Messianic drive, that guides the politics of the settlers block, Gush Emunim. Prof. Talmon summed up this irrational mind set well “Claims such as those of Gush Emunim sound to the international community much like that biblical passage— Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the Valley of Ayalon “would sound in an astronomers’ debate.”Of course a lack of connection to reality is not unique to Israel…

FILM REVIEW: ROMA

Roma is a 2018 drama film written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Cuarón also produced, co-edited and photographed the film. It stars Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Daniela Demesa, Enoc Leaño and Daniel Valtierra. Set in the early 1970s, the film is a semi-autobiographical take on Cuarón’s upbringing in Mexico City, and follows the life of a live-in housekeeper to a middle-class family. The title refers to the Colonia Roma, a neighborhood in Mexico City.

The film has won universal critical acclaim, as well as many awards, starting with the Golden Lion when it had its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival. The review in Rolling Stone by Peter Travers begins “If a thing of beauty is a joy forever, as John Keats famously said, then the surpassing loveliness and bracing brilliance of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma will never pass into nothingness. …”
Other reviews are in the same style, such as the Guardian (Peter Bradshaw): “Alfonso Cuarón’s new film Roma is thrilling, engrossing, moving – and just entirely amazing, an adjectival pileup of wonder. He has reached back into his own childhood to create an intensely personal story, and this is the second time I have seen it since the premiere at this year’s Venice film festival, hoping to get a clearer view of those later images that on first viewing were made wobbly by tears. Same problem, though. Those coming to see this film had better prepare themselves to be emotionally wrung out.”

This is a film definitely worth your time to see.

A WORD FROM SCIENCE

December 26, 2018

All About Ultima: New Horizons Flyby Target is Unlike Anything Explored in Space

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is set to fly by a distant “worldlet” 4 billion miles (6.4 billion kilometers) from the Sun in just a few days, on New Year’s Day 2019. The target, officially designated 2014 MU69, was nicknamed “Ultima Thule,” (pronounced “ultima toolee”) a Latin phrase meaning “a place beyond the known world,” after a public call for name recommendations. No spacecraft has ever explored such a distant world.


This is the first detection of Ultima Thule using the highest resolution mode of the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. Three separate images, each with an exposure time of 0.5 seconds, were combined to produce the image. All three images were taken on Dec. 24, when Ultima was 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) from the Sun and 6.3 million miles (10 million kilometers) from the New Horizons spacecraft.
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Ultima, as the flyby target is affectionately called by the New Horizons team, is orbiting in the heart of our solar system’s Kuiper Belt, far beyond Neptune. The Kuiper Belt is a collection of icy bodies ranging in size from dwarf planets like Pluto to smaller planetesimals like Ultima Thule and even smaller bodies like comets — which are believed to be the building blocks of planets.

This is indeed exciting news in geekdom and you are all invited to share the fun on New Year’s Day.

SILLY TIME

What If?

Pile of Viruses

What if every virus in the world were collected into one area? How much volume would they take up and what would they look like?

Dave

The answer is interesting and quite creative.

Some of our older readers might appreciate:


The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 20-27

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

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

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

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote














A resident searches for items among the ruins of a villa after the area was hit by a tsunami, at Carita beach in Padeglang, Banten province, Indonesia, Decemnber 23, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Asep Fathulrahman/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.


CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the disaster of the Indonesian tsunami.   The situation there is terrible. Global Giving accepts donations on behalf of local support organizations.


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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

A major calamity for indigenous people is enforced contact which can be deadly. Please act for people on the Peruvian contact border.

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 lend your voice to the call to free Gaspar Matalaev.

URGENT ACTION CASES

AMNESTY WRITE FOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Your words have power

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Please join the campaign.

TURKEY

Urgent Action Victory! Court Lifts Ban on Anti-War Protestors

A Turkish court has lifted travel bans on 30 students facing terrorism-related charges for taking part in a peaceful protest on 19 March. The court rejected the students’ allegations of torture and other ill-treatment while they were in custody on the basis that ‘the incident did not take place in the presence of the court’. The students are still facing charges of ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organization’ and could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

On 3 October, the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 32 lifted travel bans on 30 students from Boğaziçi University facing terrorism-related charges for their participation in a peaceful protest against Turkey’s military involvement in Afrin, Syria. The court however refused to accept the students’ complaints of torture and other ill-treatment in custody and did not order an investigation, instead instructing the students’ lawyers to ‘submit any complaints of torture to the public prosecutor’. One of the lawyers representing the students spoke to Amnesty International about the case: ‘An incident that should not even warrant an investigation under Turkish law has become this strange thing that has opened the door to many rights violations, from the [violation of the] right to education to the [violation of the] physical integrity of the human body.’ The lawyer also confirmed that the students’ legal representatives are in the process of preparing an official complaint to be submitted to the public prosecutor’s office in connection with the students’ treatment during police custody.

Twenty-two of the students had previously been taken into police custody in April and May 2018 on the basis of ‘camera images [which] showed their mouths as open in a manner indicating that they were shouting slogans, showing that they were taking [an] active and continuing part in the protest which included hanging banners with the slogans: ‘Kurdistan will be a graveyard for fascism’; ‘We do not want supporters of the Free Syrian Army in our school’; ‘[Standing] shoulder to shoulder against fascism’; and ‘The palace wants war, the people want peace.’ Eight of the 22 students were released on bail soon after their arrests, on the grounds that the protest footage did not clearly show them shouting slogans or taking an active role during the demonstration. The remaining 14 students were only released on bail after the first hearing on 6 June 2018, during which they also complained of torture and other ill-treatment in detention. The remaining eight students could not initially be located by police and their cases were added to the trial after they came forward to the authorities.

In participating in the protest, the students exercised their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, guaranteed under both Turkey’s Constitution and international human rights law. The authorities must ensure the students’ allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in detention are promptly, thoroughly, independently and impartially investigated and all those found responsible brought to justice in a fair trial.

As all 30 students are free on bail, this case no longer requires urgent action. Amnesty International will however continue to closely follow developments and reopen the action if and when necessary.

Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

PARAGUAY

Urgent Action: Queer Artist at Risk of Going to Prison

Bruno Almada Comas, a young queer artist, is being accused of “acts of exhibitionism” based on a performance denouncing violence and discrimination faced by LGBTI people in Paraguay. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for 19 December. If he is found guilty he could face one year in prison.

TAKE ACTION

MEXICO

Urgent Action: Bill Could Further Pretrial Detention

The Mexican Congress could pass a constitutional amendment in the following weeks that would force judges to order pretrial detention in cases involving a broad series of crimes. Contrary to international law, the reform does not provide that judges can waive it or assess any evidence before determining if such deprivation of liberty is appropriate.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Christian House Church Members Criminally Detained

Li Yingqiang is among about 100 members of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, Sichuan province, who have been detained after a raid by the police on 9 December 2018. Without access to his family or a lawyer of his choice, he is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION


CANADA

Canadian Postal Workers Forced Back to Work, Supporters Jailed

On November 27, over 50,000 postal workers in Canada were legislated back to work by the Liberal government after five weeks of rotating strikes, effectively removing their right to free and fair collective bargaining and their right to strike as per the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, December 13-19.

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

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to a charity that we have supported morally for a long time. We refer to Survival International and ask you to donate to it.

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. They are the best conservationists--help that fact go viral.

WWF are backing a park in the Congo Basin. It’s called Messok Dja.It is the home of the Baka people.

 Please help the Baka peopleh

But the land doesn’t belong to WWF. It’s the home of the Baka people, who have lived there for generations.They get everything they need from the forest, but are now being illegally evicted.

WWF are funding armed rangers, who beat and torture any Baka who go into the forest.

Paulette Mobouma, a Baka woman, said: “They beat me badly, they thrashed me, it’s terrible what these people have done. Our forest has been completely taken over.”

It’s an abuse of the Baka’s rights, and it also means the park is doomed to fail. WWF’s own wildlife crime expert Rohit Singh even admits that: “Without community support [rangers] cannot protect a park.”

So WWF’s plans are a disaster for the forest, its wildlife, and the people who call it home.

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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:

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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 lend your voice to the call to free antislavery activists in Mauritania.


URGENT ACTION CASES

AMNESTY WRITE FOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Your words have power

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Please join the campaign.

STATE OF PALESTINE

Urgent Action Update: Hunger-Striking Detainee Admitted to Hospital

The Palestinian authorities have transferred social justice activist Suha Jbara to a hospital in Jericho following a deterioration in her health condition. She has been on hunger strike since 22 November to protest against her arbitrary detention. Her next court hearing is scheduled for 20 December.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Land Claimant Leader at Risk

Enrique Cabezas, leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territory in Curvaradó (Chocó department, western Colombia), has received several threats in response to his work defending the ancestral territory and the right of the communities to not to be involved in the armed conflict.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

Lift the ban on peaceful ‘Saturday Mothers’ protest

4,372 taken. Help us reach 5,000

On 25 August police shot tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets at peaceful protesters in Istanbul.

The protesters were mainly women – some of them in their 80s – from the ‘Saturday Mothers’, a group who hold regular vigils for their relatives who disappeared in suspicious circumstances. The women have faced years of violence from the Turkish authorities.

President Erdogan once promised the Saturday Mothers safety. He’s gone back on his word. Email Erdogan now, demanding that they are allowed to peacefully protest.

Hungary

Stop the slave law

On December 12 the Hungarian Parliament adopted the “Slave Law” which could require workers to do overtime work up to 400 hours a year. Further, the reference period is increased to 36 months. The law was passed without proper consultation with social partners, through misuse of the Parliamentary procedures. Please join the worldwide protest!

STATE OF PALESTINE

Urgent Action Update: Hunger-Striking Detainee Admitted to Hospital

The Palestinian authorities have transferred social justice activist Suha Jbara to a hospital in Jericho following a deterioration in her health condition. She has been on hunger strike since 22 November to protest against her arbitrary detention. Her next court hearing is scheduled for 20 December.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Land Claimant Leader at Risk

Enrique Cabezas, leader of the collective of Afro-descendent territory in Curvaradó (Chocó department, western Colombia), has received several threats in response to his work defending the ancestral territory and the right of the communities to not to be involved in the armed conflict.

TAKE ACTION

HUNGARY

Stop the slave law

On December 12 the Hungarian Parliament adopted the “Slave Law” which could require workers to do overtime work up to 400 hours a year. Further, the reference period is increased to 36 months. The law was passed without proper consultation with social partners, through misuse of the Parliamentary procedures. Please join the worldwide protest!

TURKEY

Lift the ban on peaceful ‘Saturday Mothers’ protest

TURKEY-POLITICS-DEMO

4,372 taken. Help us reach 5,000

On 25 August police shot tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets at peaceful protesters in Istanbul.

The protesters were mainly women – some of them in their 80s – from the ‘Saturday Mothers’, a group who hold regular vigils for their relatives who disappeared in suspicious circumstances. The women have faced years of violence from the Turkish authorities.

President Erdogan once promised the Saturday Mothers safety. He’s gone back on his word. Email Erdogan now, demanding that they are allowed to peacefully protest.


The Miriam Slesinger Human Rights Action Update December 6-12

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

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

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Global Fund for Women.

Mission statement:

“The Global Fund for Women is a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. We use our powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. We are committed to getting money and attention where it will make the biggest difference in the fight for gender equality. Since 1987, Global Fund for Women has invested in nearly 5,000 grassroots organizations in 175 countries, helping to win rights for millions of women and girls.”

The charity has a good rating with Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is racism. Please help stamp it out.

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:

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 lend your voice to the call to end child slavery.


URGENT ACTION CASES

AMNESTY WRITE FOR RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
Your words have power

Sometimes a letter can change someone’s life. That’s the premise of Write for Rights, Amnesty’s global letter-writing campaign and the world’s biggest human rights event.

Every December, Amnesty supporters across the globe will write millions of letters for those whose basic human rights are being attacked. They are people like you, continuing a long tradition of writing letters to right some of the world’s biggest wrongs. And it’s not just letters – it could be petitions, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, photos, postcards. Please join the campaign.

CHINA

Urgent Action: Risk of Imminent Execution for Hong Kong Citizen


The death sentence of Hong Kong citizen Wu Zongxi is currently under review by the Supreme People’s Court. If approved, the authorities will sign an order to carry out his execution, placing him in imminent risk. Wu Zongxi’s family is gravely concerned about his physical and mental state, as they have not been allowed to meet him since he was detained more than four years ago.

TAKE ACTION


 

 RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender’s Sentencing is Imminent

On 26 November, Oyub Titiev – prisoner of conscience and the head of Russian NGO Memorial’s office in Grozny, who has been in pre-trial detention since 9 January 2018 – was denied release on bail. Chechnya’s Shali City Court also rejected the request by his lawyers that Oyub not be kept in a cage during hearings. His next hearing is on 10 December. He must be released immediately and unconditionally and all charges against him dropped.

TAKE ACTION

BANGLADESH 

Global confectioner Perfetti Van Melle is attacking rights in Bangladesh

Dutch-based confectioner Perfetti Van Melle, makers of Mentos, Chupa Chups and Alpenliebe among other global brands, doesn’t believe workers in Bangladesh have the right to form a union, and is aggressively attacking workers attempting to form one. Please join the protest.