Category Archives: Human Rights

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update April 19-25 2018

Our featured image above shows Miriam (1947-2012) a great 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 the Helen Keller International Foundation-mission statement:

“Our mission is to save and improve the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable.”

This charity is highly rated by Charity Navigator and by GiveWell..

GirlTryingonFrames_0

Girl trying on frames

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.

 

The photos reveal a thriving, healthy community with baskets full of manioc and papaya fresh from their gardens.

When left alone they thrive

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 watch some videos with the stories of victims and survivors. They will tell you what they want you to do.

URGENT ACTION CASES

ISRAEL/OPT

Urgent Action Victory! – Gazan’s Second Leg Saved From Being Amputated

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On 16 April, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that 20-year-old journalist Yousef al-Kronz, who was seriously wounded by Israeli forces on 30 March during Land Day protests in the Gaza Strip, must be permitted to leave Gaza for urgent medical care in Ramallah to save his remaining leg.

On 16 April, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that 20-year-old journalist Yousef al-Kronz, who was seriously wounded by Israeli forces on 30 March during Land Day protests in the Gaza Strip and has already lost one leg to amputation, must be permitted to leave Gaza for urgent medical care in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to save his remaining leg. Three Israeli judges ruled unanimously in his favor, accepting a petition filed by human rights groups Adalah and Al Mezan Center For Human Rights on 8 April 2018. Yousef al-Kronz was transferred to the Arab Istishari Hospital in Ramallah on 16 April and will undergo surgery on Sunday 22 April.

On 1 April, Adalah and Al Mezan had submitted a request to exit Gaza on behalf of Yousef al-Kronz to the Israeli military Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), a unit of the Israeli ministry of defence. After three days without response, the two human rights organizations sent a follow-up letter to COGAT on 4 April. COGAT responded on 5 April, with a rejection of the request, apparently because it believed that Yousef al-Kronz had participated in mass protests on 30 March. On 8 April, the two organizations filed a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court demanding that Israel allow Yousef al-Kronz to leave the Gaza Strip to travel to Ramallah, where his legs could possibly be saved. Despite the urgency of the request, the court decided not to hold an immediate session and gave the government three days to respond. Due to the delay, the condition of one of Yousef al-Kronz’s legs deteriorated to the extent that it had to be amputated at a hospital in Gaza, while his other leg has remained at risk of needing to be amputated without immediate medical treatment.

Yousef al-Kronz is a media and journalism student at al-Azhar University in Gaza City and works with the Palestinian Media Association. He told Amnesty International that he was covering the Land Day protests, east of al-Borej refugee camp, when he was shot in both his legs on 30 March near the Israel-Gaza fence.

Yousef al-Kronz spoke to Amnesty International on 17 April to thank all those who took action on his behalf: “I thank you all so much for your support that helped save my second leg from being amputated. I almost lost hope that I would be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah and my leg would be saved, but thank God there are people out there who care about me and did everything necessary to make sure that I received the adequate medical treatment outside of Gaza.”

He said, “I only represent one case of an injured person from Gaza. There are still many injured and sick people in Gaza who are in need of urgent medical care. I was lucky to leave, but others are still struggling to get to hospitals that would save their lives. I call on all people of conscience to not stay silent to what’s happening in Gaza.’’ He added, ‘’This is not my suffering, my suffering is the sufferance of all Gazans who lack basic human rights to live in dignity.’’

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

MYANMAR

Urgent Action Victory! – Kachin Pastors Released in Prisoner Amnesty

Image result for Nawng Lat

Kachin pastors Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng have been released from prison following a Presidential amnesty on 17 April 2018. The two men had been detained since December 2016 in connection with their role organizing a visit by journalists to Monekoe town, northern Shan State, to show the destruction allegedly caused by Myanmar Army airstrikes.

Kachin pastors Dumdaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng were released from Lashio prison in Myanmar’s Shan State on 17 April 2018. They were unconditionally released as part of a Presidential amnesty of 8,490 prisoners, including prisoners of conscience and arbitrarily detained individuals.

The two men were detained in December 2016 and held for a month in military custody without any charge and no access to their lawyers and family. They were detained shortly after they helped organize a visit by journalists to the site of an alleged military airstrike in late November 2016. They were charged under Article 17(1) of Myanmar’s 1908 Unlawful Association Act and 2012 Import and Export Law. Amnesty International believes that these charges were politically motivated and linked to their role in reporting alleged human rights abuses by the Myanmar military.

On 27 October 2017, they were each found guilty and sentenced to two years and three months in prison. Dumdaw Nawng Lat was sentenced to an additional two years in prison for “defamation” under Section 500 of Myanmar’s Penal Code in connection with a newspaper interview where he discussed the alleged airstrikes.

While Amnesty International welcomes the release of Dundaw Nawng Lat and Langjaw Gam Seng, the fact remains that they should never have been arrested and imprisoned in the first place.

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

MYANMAR

Urgent Action Victory! – Kachin Prisoner of Conscience Freed

Lahpai-Gam-Resized

Kachin prisoner of conscience Lahpai Gam has been released from prison following a Presidential amnesty on 17 April 2018. Detained since June 2012, he was tortured during interrogation and falsely accused of being a member of an “unlawful” association. Lahpai Gam suffers from ill-health, which further deteriorated while he was in detention.

Lahpai Gam was unconditionally released from Myitkyina prison in Myanmar’s Kachin State on 17 April 2018 as part of a Presidential amnesty which saw the release of 8,490 prisoners, including prisoners of conscience and arbitrarily detained individuals.

Lahpai Gam was arrested in June 2012 in Kachin State in northern Myanmar. He was held incommunicado for almost a month before being transferred to Myitkyina prison, and was tortured by the military during interrogation. Falsely accused of being a member of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic armed group in Myanmar, and of involvement in the bombing of a bridge in Kachin State, he was sentenced to a total of twenty years’ imprisonment. However, due to insufficient evidence, the Supreme Court overturned the convictions under the Unlawful Association Act and two of the four counts under the Explosive Substances Act. The two remaining charges were upheld based on a confession letter dated from the time he was tortured and held incommunicado.

Throughout his incarceration, Lahpai Gam maintained his innocence, and Amnesty International believes the case against him was politically motivated. In November 2013, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) declared Lahpai Gam’s arrest and detention to be arbitrary on the grounds that it restricted his rights to freedom of movement and residence, to freedom of thought and conscience, to freedom of expression and opinion, and violated the principle of non-discrimination.

While Amnesty International welcomes the release of Lahpai Gam, the fact remains that he should never have been arrested and imprisoned in the first place.

Many thanks to all who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

INDIA

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defender Threatened at Her Home

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Pavitri Manjhi has faced continued threats, harassment and intimidation in relation to her peaceful activism. Visited at her home by two men every evening from 3 to 5 April 2018, she has been told to withdraw all formal complaints filed by Adivasi villagers against two private companies who allegedly defrauded members of the community of their land.

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CHILE

Urgent Action: Indigenous Leader on Hunger Strike Hospitalized

CORDOVA

The health and life of Mapuche Indigenous spiritual leader Machi Celestino Córdova, imprisoned since 2014 in Temuco, central Chile, is at risk after having spent more than 90 days on hunger strike, which he started in protest after the authorities denied him access to his ceremonial altar or rewe.

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KAZAKHSTAN

Urgent Action Update: Prisoner of Conscience Released on Bail

akmaral

On 13 April, prisoner of conscience, Akmaral Tobylova was released on bail. She had been under house arrest since 13 March, and is charged with financing an extremist organization merely for browsing an opposition party website.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action update March 22-28

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”.

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

bobmarleysomepeoplefeeltherainquote

 

CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to Concern Worldwide, which is a global humanitarian organization focused on the world’s most vulnerable. Their mission statement:

Concern Worldwide USA is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries. Since its foundation in 1968, Concern Worldwide – through its work in emergencies and long-term development – has saved countless lives, relieved suffering and provided opportunities for a better standard of living for millions of people. We work primarily in the countries ranked in the bottom 40 of the United Nations Human Development Report. Concern implements emergency response programs as well as long-term development programs in the areas of livelihoods, health, HIV & AIDS, and education.

They have a particular interest in gender inequality.  

The charity is highly rated by Charity Navigator.

 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

This week we point you at the uncontacted frontier.

Straddling the borders of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia is the Uncontacted Frontier – home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on the planet.

Where their land is intact, they are thriving.

But elsewhere, oil exploration, loggers, drug-traffickers and roads are putting their lives on the line.

Survival is calling on the three governments to uphold the law and prevent their destruction.

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 join the campaign to have all Commonwealth nations abolish slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Victory! Activist Released and Given Deportation Reprieve

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On 15 February, Ali Feruz was released and arrived in Germany a few hours later. The release came after the Supreme Court’s decision on 25 January to uphold the activist’s appeal and overturn the 2017 decision to deport him to Uzbekistan. Ali Feruz had been detained since August 2017 for supposedly violating the terms of his stay in Russia.
On the morning of 15 February, Novaya Gazeta journalist and Amnesty International activist, Ali Feruz (born Khudoberdi Nurmatov) was taken to Sheremetyevo airport, in Moscow, under police escort, where he boarded a plane at 11:20am to Frankfurt, Germany. On 20 February, it was reported that he received a refugee status.

On 22 January, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation rescinded an earlier decision to extradite Ali Feruz to Uzbekistan and two days later, upheld the activist’s appeal, overturning the 2017 decision by a lower court to deport him to Uzbekistan. In its decision, the Supreme Court noted that the detention of a foreign national pending expulsion from Russia “should not be understood as grounds for detaining them for an indefinite period”. The Court sent the case back for consideration to the Moscow City Court. On 2 February, the Moscow City Court granted Ali Feruz permission to leave Russia for a third country, taking into consideration the fact that he had had a travel document from the International Committee of the Red Cross and a German visa allowing travel to Germany.

Ali Feruz told Amnesty International on 6 March that he is still adapting to life in Germany. His plans are to continue his work of activism and journalism. He says he does not plan to take a long break, as he hopes to be useful in a rapidly changing world. He holds that Amnesty International’s campaign, with others, played a crucial role in his release and is grateful for the support.

Ali Feruz was arrested and detained in Moscow in August 2017, for supposedly violating the terms of stay on the territory of the Russian Federation. On 21 November 2017, the Basmannyi Court of Moscow found him guilty, and ruled that he should be deported back to his home country. Ali Feruz fled Uzbekistan in 2009 after allegedly being detained and tortured by the Uzbek security services, who attempted to make him their secret informant.

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

 

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Lawyer Detained Incommunicado

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Beijing lawyer Yu Wensheng has been detained for more than two months without access to a lawyer of his choice. While the Public Security Bureau in Jiangsu province have admitted that they are holding him, his exact whereabouts are unknown. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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USA

Urgent Action: US Must Not Deport Gay Asylum Seeker to Ghana

immigration

Sadat I. fled homophobic attacks from a criminal group in Ghana and has been held in US immigration detention since requesting asylum there in January 2016. US authorities are seeking to forcibly return Sadat to Ghana, where he faces human rights violations by police and the groups he fled. Sadat must immediately be released on parole pending the resolution of his asylum claim, and under no circumstances be deported to Ghana.

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ETHIOPIA

Urgent Action: Two Men Held for Criticizing the Government

Image result for Seyoum Teshome and Taye Dendea

Seyoum Teshome and Taye Dendea were both arrested from their homes in March for publicly criticizing the Ethiopian government during the State of Emergency.

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KAZAKHSTAN

Urgent Action: Woman Detained for Reading Opposition Website

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Since 13 March, the police have threatened bloggers, activists and members of the public across Kazakhstan with prosecution for supporting the opposition political party, Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan, on social media. Akmaral Tobylova, is currently under house arrest, accused of financing an extremist organization charges, merely for browsing the party’s website. She is a prisoner of conscience.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, March 15-21

Our featured image above shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012), a devoted 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 the an Israeli charity:

“Ofek Liyladenu” – Our Children’s Horizon, was established in Israel in 1997, as the national non-profit association of parents of children with blindness and visual impairment.  Ofek Liyladenu is a big community for more than 1200 families from all parts of Israeli society: Jewish, Muslims and Christians, and provides support and services to the children and their families. There are 4,000 children with blindness and visual impairment in Israel (2,500 legally blind). We believe that the children not only can be integrated into society, but grow and become active citizens and leaders. They should be able to exercise their right for equality and become capable members of Israeli society and so making it a better stronger society. With our trust and support the sky is the limit.

ofekIMG_0759

The director of the organization is our dear friend Yael Weiss-Rind. Please make a generous donation to help these children.

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.

This week we focus on the aboriginal people of Australia.  Read the post and try to help them, if only by a letter to your local Australian ambassador.

aus-abor-jmi-08_article_column

Aboriginal cave art, Australia.
© John Miles/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 lend your voice to the call to close the Libyan slave markets.

URGENT ACTION CASES

INDIA

Urgent Action Victory! – Kashmiri Photojournalist Released on Bail

Kamran Yousuf was granted bail and released from prison on 14   March 2018, following six months of pre-trial detention. He has been charged with several criminal offenses including ‘waging war against the government of India’, and faces life imprisonment if convicted. Kamran Yousuf, a  free lance journalist, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in September 2017 in relation to a case of alleged funding of terror-related acts as well as accusations that he had thrown stones at security forces.
On 14 March 2018, after six months of pre-trial detention,  he was  released from prison after a special court in Delhi granted his bail application the previous day. In January 2018, the NIA formally charged Kamran Yousuf, along with 11 others, with offenses
under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Act (UAPA), including ‘criminal conspiracy’,waging war against the government of India’, committing ‘unlawful activities’ and being a ‘member of a terrorist organization’. The
primary evidence put forward for these charges were that  his mobile number was “persistently located at places where counter-terrorist operations were in progress” and that he was not a “real journalist” as he had not covered developmental activities carried out by the government. If convicted of the charges, Kamran Yousuf,who is 20 years of age, faces life imprisonment. Amnesty International believes the charges against Kamran Yousuf to be fabricated and politically motivated, and part of an attempt to stifle journalism in Kashmir. The special court, in its order granting bail for Kamran Yousuf, observed that the NIA failed to provide any evidence to show the accused indulged in stone pelting activities at any site, establish any direct links between him and the other accused in the case or prove he was member of any specific banned organization or that he was involved in “terrorist activities”. In response to the claims made by the NIA, the court further  observed that “mere presence of the accused at the site of incident is not sufficient to implicate such accused, who is a journalist, for the offenses that allegedly occurred during that period at that site” and that Kamran Yousuf covered “all kinds of incidents ranging from social, cultural, political and economical and other activities in the Kashmir Valley and as such…his presence on the sites of stone pelting incident etc is intrinsic”.
Kamran Yousuf will still face trial for the criminal offenses laid against him in January, however, the court stated that holding the NIA’s “accusation as prima facie true” would cause a “serious dent” to the personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Amnesty International will continue to monitor his trial and issue updates, as appropriate. Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.

SYRIA

Urgent Action Victory! – 35 Ill and Injured Evacuated from Eastern Ghouta

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An air strike has reportedly killed 15 children and two women sheltering in an underground school in Syria’s besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region.

A further 35 patients awaiting medical evacuation in besieged Eastern Ghouta have been evacuated to Damascus city for medical treatment and care. 496 patients are still awaiting evacuation. They require urgent medical treatment.

On 12 March, the armed group Jaish al-Islam and Russia agreed to allow the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to evacuate injured and ill civilians from Douma, a town in Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus city. On 13 March, 35 ill and injured were evacuated to Damascus city for medical treatment. Medics told Amnesty International that 33 of the evacuees were among the 529 patients awaiting evacuation since July 2017. A further two patients had recently been evacuated due to the severity of their injuries.

The previous medical evacuation took place on 27 December 2017 when the Syrian government approved the medical evacuation of 29 critical cases of the 558 patients from Eastern Ghouta. This evacuation was completed on 29 December 2017, with 17 children, six women, and six men transferred to hospitals in Damascus, where they are being treated for serious injuries or medical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and kidney failure. Eastern Ghouta has been besieged by government forces for six years; the area is home to around 400,000 civilians.

We will continue monitoring the situation in Eastern Ghouta and will be sharing all relevant updates and actions on our story page, available here.

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

UKRAINE

Urgent Action: Police Must Protect Women’s Rights Activists

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Across Ukraine, marches marking International Women’s Day, on 8 March, were marred by violence against peaceful demonstrators. Far-right groups physically attacked and have threatened with further violence women’s rights activists taking part in the event. The local police say that they are unable to offer protection from far-right groups.

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UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action Update: Tortured Journalist Must Be Immediately Released

On 8 February, human rights activists reported that two SNB officers leading the investigation on the case against detained journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev had been suspended and that the General Prosecutor’s Office had initiated investigations into allegations of torture and fabrication of a criminal case. Bobomurod Abdullayev, however, remains in SNB detention.

bobo

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MÉXICO

Urgent Action: 48 Asylum Seekers at Risk of Refoulement

mex

48 people including families and children, who came to Mexico looking for protection, are at risk of being deported to possible persecution or grave human rights violations in their countries due to unusual failures in the procedures of Mexico´s refugee agency and migration authority.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Indigenous Yukpa People Face Eviction

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An elder Yukpa woman is braiding a basket that are sold to help support the community [Bram Ebus/Al Jazeera]

Yukpa indigenous people that crossed to Colombia are facing eviction and threat of being sent back to Venezuela violating their rights as a binational population. The Colombian State is denying their right to remain in the country and their rights as Indigenous Peoples.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update, March 8-14

Our featured image shows Miriam Shlesinger (1947-2012), a 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 Reporters without Borders, who serve to protect our right to be informed. Being a journalist is fraught with danger. As of today, the press risk barometer shows:

Violations of press freedom barometer

The figures in 2018
  • 4 journalists killed
  • 2 citizens journalists killed
  • 1 media assistants killed
  • 181 journalists imprisoned
  • 123 citizens journalists imprisoned
  • 15 media assistants imprisoned
    capture_decran_2016-04-09_a_12.55.26
    This organization defends not only the journalists, but also us who need truthful information. The struggle is world wide. Both governments and terrorists seek to impede the function of journalists.
    rsf_1140

 

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. 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.

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 call for the repeal of the Lebanese law that forces a girl to marry her rapist.

URGENT ACTION CASES

PERU

Urgent Action: Threats Against Environmental Defenders

3500

The Chaparrí Reserve is a wildlife hotspot, particularly known for its population of the rare spectacled bear. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters

Alleged land traffickers harass and threaten members of the Save Chaparrí Defense Front of the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve in Peru. The members of the Front fear for their safety.

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USA

Urgent Action: Withheld Evidence At Issue As Execution Nears

William Montgomery is due to be executed in Ohio on 11 April for a 1986 murder he says he did not commit. Six federal judges argued he should have had a new trial because a police report contradicting the state’s theory of the case was withheld from the defense.

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CHINA

Urgent Action: 20 Relatives of Uighur Journalist Detained

Related image

Approximately 20 relatives of Gulchehra Hoja, a Uighur journalist living abroad, have been detained and are at risk of torture. Based in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China, her family members are all thought to have been targeted due to Gulchehra Hoja’s work.

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VENEZUELA

Urgent Action: Detainee Missing in Venezuela

cao

The fate and whereabouts of Gilber Caro, imprisoned in Venezuela for political reasons, have been unknown since the early hours of 2 March. Gilber Caro has been arbitrarily detained since 11 January 2017. He is being unlawfully tried before a military court despite being a civilian and Member of Parliament.

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INDIA

Urgent Action: Indigenous Peoples Advocate Arrested for “Sedition”

hrd_upendra_nayak

Upendra Nayak, a 65 year old lawyer who defends the rights of indigenous Adivasi people, was arrested by the Odisha state police in eastern India on 20 February 2018 for his alleged links with Maoist armed groups, in relation to cases registered by the police over eight years ago. Upendra Nayak faces charges including ‘sedition’ under the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the draconian anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). If found guilty, he could face life imprisonment.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update February 8-14

miriam

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

Our feature image above shows a Bushman child from Botswana where his people are subject to virulent racial discrimination.

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 Against Malaria Foundation. They are highly rated by GiveWell. Their mission–

What do they do? AMF (againstmalaria.com) provides funding for long-lasting insecticide-treated net (LLIN) distributions (for protection against malaria) in developing countries.

Does it work? There is strong evidence that distributing LLINs reduces child mortality and malaria cases. AMF has conducted post-distribution surveys of all completed distributions to determine whether LLINs have reached their intended destinations and how long they remain in good condition. AMF’s post-distribution surveys have generally found positive results, with some exceptions, but have some methodological limitations.

Nonetheless, we call upon you to support the fight against malaria, the main killer of children in Third World countries.

 

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. 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.

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 slavery in the Thai chicken industry.

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action Victory! – Governor Stays Execution After Juror Plea

On 8 February, the Ohio Governor issued an eight-month reprieve for Raymond Tibbetts, who was due to be executed on 13 February. The decision came after he received a letter in support of clemency from one of the jurors from the 1998 trial.

Raymond Tibbetts was sentenced to death in 1998 for the murder of Fred Hicks in 1997. The sentence survived the appeals process despite what a federal judge described in a dissent in 2011 as the trial lawyer’s “failure to engage in basic preparation” of mitigation evidence about the defendant’s traumatic upbringing. Evidence raised on appeal, she wrote, “revealed a much more chaotic and abusive environment” in parental and foster care than the jurors had heard about. Such “shocking” and “utterly disturbing” details would have given them “compelling” reasons to vote for life, she wrote. In January 2017, however, the Ohio parole board recommended by 11 votes to one that the Governor deny clemency. The majority acknowledged Raymond Tibbetts’s “traumatic” childhood, but decided that they could not “say, with any reasonable degree of confidence, that the outcome of the trial would have been different had his trial attorneys presented that mitigation evidence in the manner suggested by his current attorneys”.

A man who served as a juror at Raymond Tibbetts’s trial wrote a detailed letter dated 30 January 2018 to Governor John Kasich after reviewing the mitigating evidence which had been seen by the parole board but not the jury. The juror expressed his “deep concerns about the trial,” in light of this information and concluded that “[b]ased on what I know today I would not have recommended the death penalty.” In an Ohio capital case, a jury must be unanimous for the death penalty for that to be the outcome.

The former juror wrote: “Governor, if we are going to have a legal process that can send criminals to death that includes a special phase for mitigation shouldn’t we get it right?” He wrote that “this is not about my conscience beyond having an opportunity to explain how I believe the trial process was not well served in this case”. He urged the governor to commute the death sentence. Among his reasons were “the truly terrible conditions, understated at trial, of Tibbets (sic) entire childhood”; “The lack of preparation if not outright malpractice on the part of the defense for the sentencing phase”; and “The apparent ineptitude of the defense team in not calling Tibbets sister to testify”. He also suggested that the scant nature of the mitigation case had allowed the prosecution to “dismantle” it. In her 2011 dissent, the federal appeals court judge had noted that not only had the abuse been mentioned only “vaguely and in passing” at the trial, “it is important to remember one of the State’s tactics during the penalty phase was to challenge the legitimacy of the defense’s mention of childhood abuse, however minimal the reference”.

On 8 February, Governor John Kasich wrote to the Chair of the Ohio Parole Board requesting that the board convene a new hearing to review the case “in light of this new information”. To “facilitate this process”, the Governor said he had issued an eight-month reprieve. The Warrant of Reprieve holds that the death sentence will now be carried out at 10am on 17 October 2018 “unless further reprieve or clemency is granted”.

Raymond Tibbetts’s defense team has expressed its gratitude for “the crucial support of Ohioans to Stop Executions, Amnesty International, and other grassroots organizations who mobilized their strong network to contact Ohio’s Governor on behalf of Ray.”

No further action by the UA Network is requested at present. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

 

UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action Update: Tortured Journalist Must Be Immediately Released

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On 8 February, human rights activists reported that two SNB officers leading the investigation on the case against detained journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev had been suspended and that the General Prosecutor’s Office had initiated investigations into allegations of torture and fabrication of a criminal case. Bobomurod Abdullayev, however, remains in SNB detention.

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AZERBAIJAN

Urgent Action: Azeri Activist Conscripted Despite Ill-Health

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Azeri activist Ulvi Hasanli has been conscripted for military service, despite being in ill-health, and sent to the zone of the unresolved conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh. Following a medical examination in September 2017, he was exempted from military service until 2019 on grounds of ill-health; an ultrasound showed he had inflamed kidney and kidney stones. However late in October the decision was reversed and he was detained and taken to a military base to begin his military service. Amnesty International believes he is being targeted because of his peaceful activism.

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MEXICO

Urgent Action Update: Threats to Journalist Reporting Disappearances

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Mexico’s missing people

On 19 January a television reporter published videos from surveillance cameras that suggest that police from Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, were involved in six of seven cases of disappearances that occurred in late December and early January. Days after, the reporter received threats on Twitter.

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NORTH KOREA

Urgent Action Update: Forcibly Returned Woman Faces Treason Charges

A woman named Koo Jeong-hwa (aged 24, previously identified as Lee Su-jung in China) has been detained since 3 December 2017 in North Korea and a decision on her sentence is expected from the Ministry of State Security in March 2018. She is at risk of being sent to a political prison camp together with her 4-year-old son, where they may be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

 

 

Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update February 1-7

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Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

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

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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”.

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CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the International Medical Corps. Their mission statement:

“We provide training and deliver emergency health care and related services to those affected by conflict, natural disaster and disease no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions. We train people in their communities, providing them the skills needed to recover, chart their own path to self-reliance and become effective First Responders themselves.”

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Fighting hunger and famine

 This charity is highly rated by Charity Watch.

 

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

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

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

But it’s not enough, foreign ranching companies continue to destroy the Ayoreo’s forest home to make way for cattle, and uncontacted Ayoreo may soon have nowhere left to hide. Act now to help them.

par-ayo-gat-08_article_column

Members of the Paraguayan Ayoreo-Totobiegosode group on the day they were contacted for the first time, in 2004.
© GAT/Survival

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

tackling-modern-slavery-preview
You can download this book

Look for these logos:

 

logo_rfa
utz_certified

 

 

 

 

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and take a step to help a young victim of trafficking who is in danger of being deported to Viet Nam where he has no family.

URGENT ACTION CASES

CHINA

Urgent Action Victory! Two Memorial Activists Released on Bail

Independent writers Li Xuewen and Zhan Huidong (aka “Xiaozhang” or “Headmaster”), detained due to their participation in the July 2017 seaside memorial for late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, have been released on bail.

Li Xuewen was released on bail and sent back to his hometown in Xiaogan Prefecture, Wuhan City in Central China on 15th January 2018. After his release, Li Xuewen posted on his Twitter account a thank you message to all his friends who had supported him while in detention. He also mentioned that he did not plead guilty nor sign any statement of repentance in custody.

Zhan Huidong was released on bail just over a week later on 23 January. A day after his release, he tweeted that while he had also suffered some mental pain, he had learnt a lot in detention. In his words, ‘The detention has left an indelible mark in my life and brought glory to my soul’. He thanked all his friends who have cared about him, writing that “they made me stay optimistic and live up to my ideals during my detention”. He is currently taking rest at home.

Both men had been criminally detained at Xinhui District Detention Centre on of suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order” since December 2017. Under Chinese law, defendants released on “bail” can see the charges against them dropped if they do not commit further violations of the law in a 12 month period, and often remain under close police surveillance. Amnesty International will continue to monitor the situation.

No further action is requested from the UA network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.

CHINA

Urgent Action: Lawyer Detained for “Inciting Subversion”

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Beijing human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng is currently being held under “residential surveillance in a designated location” on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”. Held incommunicado and denied all access to a lawyer and his family, he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action: Health Fears for Detained Hong Kong Bookseller

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Gui Minhai (who holds dual Swedish-Chinese citizenship) was on a train headed to Beijing with two Swedish diplomats to seek formal diagnosis for a neurological condition when he was suddenly seized by approximately ten plainclothes officers. His current whereabouts are unknown, further increasing the risk of torture and other ill-treatment and concerns for his health.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Bombing Near Indigenous Territory in Chocó

While carrying out operations against the National Liberation Army (ELN), the Colombian Security Forces bombed near the Wounaan Indigenous reservation of Chagpien Tordó, in the municipality of Litoral de San Juán in Chocó, injuring a minor. Nearby communities are currently forcibly displaced as fear of new operations threaten the population. Various criminal organizations are for the territory which is valuable for drug traffic routs and cultivation of illegal crops

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CAMBODIA

Urgent Action Update: Serious Health Concerns for Detained Politician

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Kem Sokha, president of the dissolved main opposition party, was denied bail on appeal on 1 February, despite his seriously deteriorating health. Held in isolated pre-trial detention since his arrest on 3 September 2017, he faces up to 30 years imprisonment if convicted of politically motivated charges of treason.

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THE MIRIAM SHLESINGER HUMAN RIGHTS ACTION UPDATE JANUARY 18-24

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Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

Our featured image above shows the commitment of our featured charity to the issue of access to clean water everywhere.

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  Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. The stated mission is: “To advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.”

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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 theft of their land. Raise your voice in protest.

mg-3343_article_column

Damiana Cavanha, leader of the Apy Ka’y community, has seen the deaths of three of her children and her husband. She is determinedly planning a reoccupation of their ancestral land where they are buried.
© Paul Patrick Borhaug/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 lend your voice to the call to  stop forced labor of prisoners in the USA.

us-detention-page-header

URGENT ACTION CASES

USA

Urgent Action: Execution Set For Crime Man Cannot Remember

Vernon Madison is scheduled to be executed in Alabama on 25 January. His lawyers maintain that he lacks a rational understanding of the reason for his execution as a result of severe strokes which have left him with dementia and unable to remember the crime.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

Urgent Action: Two Indigenous Activists Face Life Imprisonment

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Adivasi activists Judhishtira Jena and Babula Samal have been arrested for their role in the resistance to forced acquisition of land for a steel plant. Both men also face numerous other cases, some of which are with regard to alleged actions ten years ago. If convicted, they could face life imprisonment.

TAKE ACTION

UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action Update: Independent Journalist Must Be Immediately Released

bobomurod

On 10 January, the family of Uzbekistani independent journalist Bobomurod Abdullayev, held since 27 September 2017 in an Uzbekistani National Security Service (SNB) detention center, was allowed to see him for the first time in three months. While the family saw no visible signs of torture, concerns for his well being remain. He has had no access to independent legal representation since December 2017.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Esmail Abdi back in prison – free him now

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Tehran teacher union leader Esmail Abdi was taken back to the Evin prison on Saturday 20 January. Esmail Abdi had been released on furlough on 9 January. A temporary reprieve from his six-year sentence started in 2016. Iranian authorities denied extending his furlough, despite his poor health resulting from harsh detention conditions. Please join the protest.