The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 23-29

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

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

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 call your attention to the Amazon Conservation Team. Their mission statement makers their activities clear:

“The Amazon Conservation Team (ACT) was founded in 1996 by the world-renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Mark J. Plotkin and noted Costa Rican conservationist Liliana Madrigal. Observing the lack of attention paid to indigenous rainforests, comprising over 25% of the Amazon basin, Dr. Plotkin and Ms. Madrigal created an organization based on a unique strategy: biocultural conservation, which rests on the conviction that the people who best know, use, and protect biodiversity are the indigenous people who live in tropical forests. By partnering with indigenous tribes to map, manage, and protect the most isolated rainforest regions, ACT protects the biodiversity, culture, and health of the Amazon’s ecosystem-the flora, the fauna, and the people. ” They are rated highly by Charity Navigator. In view of what is happening in the Amazon region today, a donation to this body is very important.

Wings for Special Kids.


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


INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands in the name of conservation. We know that tribal people are the best conservators of their environment. We are repeating our call on their behalf. Please raise your voice for them.

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


Look for these logos:

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and see for yourself the extent of modern slavery.

URGENT ACTION CASES

UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action Victory! Nafosat Olloshkurova Released


Uzbekistani blogger and human rights defender Nafosat Olloshkurova was released from a psychiatric institution on 28 December. She was violently detained by police on 23 September 2019 while monitoring and reporting about a peaceful protest. On 26 September she was placed in a psychiatric institution and subjected to medical treatment without her consent. Nafosat Olloshkurova should have never been deprived of her freedom in retaliation for her legitimate human rights work.

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

Nafosat Olloshkurova, a blogger and human rights defender from Uzbekistan, was released on 28 December and was able to join her family in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’s capital.

Nafosat Olloshkurova was one of 14 people given administrative detention after police broke up a peaceful protest march from Khorezm to Tashkent on 23 September 2019. She had been monitoring the march and covering developments on Facebook under her pen name Shabnam Olloshkurova. She was filming the police’s intervention during the protest when they detained and beat her. On 26 September, Nafosat Olloshkurova was forcibly placed in a psychiatric hospital in Urgench, western Uzkbekistan, after a police officer claimed she had “attempted suicide”. On 30 September, the administrative court of Urgench approved the Prosecutor’s Office’s request to transfer her to the psychiatric hospital for two months. On 28 November, the court decided to extend her detention in the psychiatric hospital until 27 December.

On 27 December a panel of psychiatrists reviewed her case and decided to release her from the psychiatric hospital. Despite her release, Nafosat Olloshkurova will remain under psychiatric observation.

Nafosat Olloshkurova was targeted for her legitimate human rights work and should have never been deprived of her freedom or subjected to medical treatment against her will.

HONDURAS

Urgent Action Victory! Rio Blanco Land Defenders’ Protection Extended


Members of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) reviewed and agreed on new protection measures with the Honduran government, including for Rosalina Dominguez, member of the Río Blanco community who faced threats in 2019.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.On 16 July 2019, COPINH told Amnesty International that members of the community of Río Blanco, Intibucá, Honduras, saw their food crop intentionally destroyed affecting 25 families. The attack took place in the same area where Rosalina Dominguez, her four sons, and two other members of the community of Río Blanco were threatened last 30 April and 1 May 2019 by a group of at least seven people, one of them armed. COPINH called on the Honduran government to investigate these threats and guarantee their safety given the history of attacks against this community fighting against the construction of Agua Zarca dam in the Gualcarque River.

In September 2019, members of COPINH and representatives of the Honduran Protection Mechanism held a meeting to discuss their protection measures, in accordance with the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, MC-112-16. The protection mechanism and COPINH reviewed these measures and agreed on new ones, taking into consideration the latest attacks on members of Río Blanco in Intibucá. For security reasons, it is not possible to disclose which protection measures have been taken and which ones remain outstanding so far.

We believe that the public campaign on behalf of COPINH, including appeals sent by Amnesty International members, contributed to these positive developments. Amnesty International continues to monitor the situation and will work with COPINH to ensure all the protection measures that have been committed to are implemented and the attacks investigated and will react if further action is required.

GREECE

Urgent Action: Grant Asylum-Seekers and Migrant Children Healthcare

Since July 2019 asylum-seekers and children of irregular migrants are prevented from accessing the public health system in Greece. An asylum law introduced in November has regulated the issue but implementing measures are still lacking, putting the life and health of thousands of children and adults at risk.

TAKE ACTION

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Urgent Action Update: Human Rights Defender Held Incommunicado

Human rights defender Joaquín Elo Ayeto continues to be detained in Black Beach Prison, in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. He has been detained since 25 February 2019, when he was arrested in his home in Malabo. Joaquín was tried for defamation and threats against the President on 21 November 2019. Almost two months later, the sentence has not yet been read. On 2 January 2020, without any official notification or apparent cause, Joaquín was transferred to an incommunicado cell of the prison.

TAKE ACTION

EGYPT

Urgent Action: Three Journalists Arbitrarily Detained

Sola

On 26 November 2019, plainclothes police officers arbitrarily arrested journalists Solafa Magdy, Hossam el-Sayed and Mohamed Salah from a cafe in Dokki, Cairo. They confiscated their mobile phones, laptops and car. A day later, State Security prosecutors detained Solafa and Mohamed pending investigation on charges of “joining a terrorist group” and “spreading false news”, while Hossam was accused of “membership in a terrorist group.” In detention, NSA officers beat Solafa on her right arm and side for refusing to give them access to her mobile phone. The prosecutor renewed their detention for 15 days pending investigations.

TAKE ACTION

TURKEY

Stop the attack on rights at Cargill Turkey – Reinstate #TheCargill14 now!

Fourteen union activists have been continually protesting after being unfairly dismissed from their jobs on April 17, 2018 while organizing a union at Cargill-Turkey’s corn-milling facility in Bursa-Orhangazi.

This is not the first time Cargill management in Turkey has fired workers for attempting to exercise their rights. In 2015, a court ruled that workers were unfairly dismissed for trying to organize a union at the same plant. Turkey’s legal system, however, offers an escape route: as an alternative to reinstating workers who are sacked for forming or joining a union, companies can pay compensation. Cargill opted to pay for its human rights violations rather than reinstate the victimized workers.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 9-15

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 call your attention to the Malala Fund. This is a an international, non-profit organization that fights for girls’ education. It was co-founded by Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate and her father, Ziauddin. Malala Fund breaks down the barriers preventing more than 130 million girls around the world from going to school. Malala nearly paid for her advocacy with her life and is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate. This foundation is most worthy of your support.

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With help from Gulmakai Champion Rotimi Olawale, this 15-year-old mentors other girls and talks to their parents about why they should be in school.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands in the name of conservation. We know that tribal people are the best conservators of their environment. Please raise your voice for them.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc-8427-001_1170.jpg
Congolese officials hand the top official (and WWF employee) of Salonga National Park an assault rifle. Some of the park’s guards have been accused of gang rape, torture and murder.© Sinziana-Maria Demian / WWF

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

URGENT ACTION CASES

Urgent Action Update: Communities in Boyaja, Choco (western Colombia) Threatened by Armed Groups

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is palaciios-colombia.jpg

Human Rights Defender Leyner Palacios has been vocal about the presence of these illegal armed groups in the territories of the communities of Bojayá. On December 31, 2019, 300 members of the Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia placed four communities of Bojayá under forced confinement. On January 3, 2020, the AGC threatened Leyner Palacios and gave him two hours to leave the territory of Bojayá or they would kill him. We urge the Colombian government to take immediate action to guarantee his protection.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Urgent Action Update: Verdict Date Set for Two Lebanese Men

The Federal Supreme Court has set 20 January 2020 to issue its verdict in the case of two Lebanese men, including Ahmed Nimr Sobeh, who are appealing their conviction and sentences. The Court is yet to set the date to hear the appeal of a third Lebanese man, Abdelrahman Talal Chouman. The three men had been sentenced by the Federal Appeal Court in a trial that did not meet international fair trial standards.
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INDONESIA

FreeRioWijaya: Indonesian trade unionist jailed for union safety activities

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 4284.jpg

On 20 August 2019, Rio Wijaya, a dedicated trade unionist from the Indonesian dockers’ union Serikat Pekerja Jakarta International Container Terminal (SP JICT), was brutally attacked by security guards at Hutchison Port’s terminal in Jakarta, and subsequently Rio was arrested and detained under false allegations of defaming and assaulting the security guards on 21 November 2019. Please join us in demanding that Hutchison Ports do everything within its powers to set the record straight and facilitate the immediate release of Brother Rio and that all charges leveled against him are dropped.

L

Prometheus and Pandora XXIV

Our featured image shows Prometheus bringing fire to humanity. Was it a good idea?

IN MEMORIAM

Jessye Norman September 15, 1945 – September 30, 2019

This great opera singer died last month of septic shock and
multiple organ failure, age 74. She won four Grammy Awards and the
National Medal of Arts. Norman made her operatic debut as Elisabeth
in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser in 1969 in Berlin and went on to
multiple prominent roles, including the title role in “Aïda” in
productions in Berlin and Milan, the role of Cassandra in Hector
Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” and at the Metropolitan Opera in Arnold
Schoenberg’s “Erwartung,” among many others.

She performed the work of many composers throughout her career —
including Schubert, Mahler, Wagner, Brahms, Satie and others — and
by the 1980s was widely recognized as one of the leading sopranos
in the world. She sang an unusual range of roles and is reputed to
have said the pigeon holes belong to pigeons.

Among the numerous honors bestowed upon Norman were: Musical
America ‘s musician of the year, 1982; honorary doctorates from
Howard University (1982), Boston Conservatory of Music (1984),
University of the South (1984), and Harvard University (1998). She
was given the honor of being named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts
et des Lettres from the French government, 1984. She also received
awards for many of her recordings.

A detailed obituary can be found in the NYTimes.

ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS January 18, 1951 – October 17, 2019

House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) urged Congress April 2 to support issuing subpoenas over Trump administration security clearances. (The Washington Post)

Elijah E. Cummings, a Democratic congressman from Maryland who
gained national attention for his principled stands on politically
charged issues in the House, his calming effect on anti-police
riots in Baltimore, and his forceful opposition to the presidency
of Donald Trump, died Oct. 17 at a hospice center in Baltimore. He
was 68.

He campaigned tirelessly for stricter gun control laws and help for those addicted to
drugs. But it was as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and
Reform — the panel charged with maintaining integrity in government
— that Mr. Cummings may have left his most lasting legacy. The
position gave him sweeping power to investigate Mr. Trump and his
administration, and he used it.

He was born to a family of Southern sharecroppers and Baptist
preachers,and grew up in the racially fractured Baltimore of the
1950s and 1960s. At 11, he helped integrate a local swimming pool
while being attacked with bottles and rocks. “Perry Mason,” the
popular TV series about a fictional defense lawyer, inspired him to
enter the legal profession. “Many young men in my neighborhood were
going to reform school,”
he told the East Texas Review. “Though I
didn’t completely know what reform school was, I knew that Perry
Mason won a lot of cases. I also thought that these young men
probably needed lawyers.”

A summary of his life and career may be found in Heavy.

He had an adversarial relationship with Trump. In an interview with
The Times in May, Mr. Cummings was asked what message he would like
to send to the president.

“I want to send a message that we have one life to live, Mr.
President,”
he replied. “This is no dress rehearsal. And that the
American people simply want to live their lives without fear of
their leaders. And we, as leaders, have a duty and a responsibility
to keep our promise to them when we ran for office and won — and
that is to make their lives better. While we’re all on this earth,
that’s my message.”

Detailed obituaries can be found in the NYTimes and the Washington
Post.

RANT ABOUT A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE.

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators

By Ronan Farrow

Little, Brown and Company, 448 pages, $30

In their last blog Pandora and Prometheus ranted about the lack of male accountability when an unwanted and unexpected pregnancy pops up in the wake of a romantic fling. Now they would like to address the question of accountability when the higher echelons of a major corporation close ranks to protect the sexual predators in their midst. Two years ago Ronan Farrow writing in the New Yorker and his colleagues at the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey shared a Pulitzer prize for exposing the deep sexual corruption in the entertainment industry. Now they have all come out with books, Kantor and Twohey with She Said and Farrow with Capture and Kill.

Farrow, like his New York Times peers, has chosen to frame his narrative around his own journalistic project — how he came to publish the blockbuster story of movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual predation. But unlike Kantor and Twohey’s triumphal tale of working within a supportive news organization, much of Farrow’s story is about working against the news network, NBC, where he was employed as an on-air investigative journalist and where he did much of his reporting on Weinstein, though that reporting would never air. (He eventually published in The New Yorker.

Farrow’s book is reviewed in detail in the Cut by Rebecca Traister who points out the lethal level of corruption at NBCU. In her view, the detailed individual cases, such as rape of Brooke Nevils by a senior executive, Matt Lauer, are not the main disclosure. As Traister puts it-“Rather, it’s the whole, intricate puzzle Farrow puts together, with astounding reportorial reach and detail: a weave of phone conversations, texts, in-person meetings, the exchange of gifts and information between powerful people in network news, magazines, law firms, and politics — all, Farrow suggests, in service of the protection of powerful men and the suppression of stories about the harm that they’ve done.”

The revelation in Catch and Kill is not that there are corrupt people; it is that corrupt people are in control of our media, politics, and entertainment and that, in fact, many of them remain in control — two years after the mass eruption of stories of harassment and assault that Farrow played a big part in precipitating.

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Andrew Lack, Matt Lauer, and Noah Oppenheim. Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

A major step forward was announced recently by Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC host, who produced a statement from NBCU management releasing all women who signed non-disclosure agreements from their commitment. Maddow produced the document minutes before interviewing Ronan Farrow on her program. She quoted her bosses whom she was busy busting “We very much wanted to break this story, which is why we assigned it and supported it editorially and financially for seven months. We are profoundly disappointed that we weren’t able to do so,” recited Maddow. “This story,” of course, was the story of the sexual harassment and abuse by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — an investigation that Farrow had tried to complete under the roof of NBC News, but the network either blinked (Farrow’s version) or couldn’t broadcast the weak tea that was presented to it (NBC News’ version).

In his interview with Maddow, Farrow said he knew of women who felt “constrained” and “agonized” over their nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements with NBC News, adding that he expected the company’s new statement “would go a long way” toward encouraging other women to come forward with claims of misconduct.

Prometheus and Pandora think that what is most troubling is that while a few lambs were sent to the slaughter, the media giants are still continuing their corporate culture.

OUR BEST WISHES FOR JOHN LEWIS

Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, according to a press release from his office. We all wish him success in his struggle with the deadly illness. Many prominent people are praying for him, but we seriously doubt the efficacy of prayer and tend to agree with Ambrose Bierce about prayer. We certainly agree with Mike Lukovich in hoping for the best.

For the record Edmund Pettus was a leader of the Klan and a committed racist. The bridge in Selma was the starting point of the march led by Martin Luther King.

CONGRATULATIONS

Prometheus and Pandora along with their amanuenses wish to congratulate Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo who share the Booker prize for 2019. The judges of this year’s Booker prize have “explicitly flouted” the rules of the august literary award to choose the first joint winners in almost 30 years. The chair of judges, Peter Florence, emerged after more than five hours with the jury to reveal that the group of five had been unable to pick a single winner from their shortlist of six. Instead, despite being told repeatedly by the prize’s literary director, Gaby Wood, that they were not allowed to split the £50,000 award, they chose two novels: Atwood’s The Testaments, a follow-up to her dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, and Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other, which is told in the voices of 12 different characters, mostly black women.

While Margaret Atwood is a known and established writer, Bernardine Evaristo’s winning marks a milestone. She is the first black woman to win the Booker since it began in 1969. Pandora and Prometheus say cheers for the jury that broke the rules and best wishes to both ladies.

STUDY OF A HUGE GLACIER AND FEARS FOR THE FUTURE

Thwaites Glacier (75°30′S 106°45′W) is an unusually broad and fast Antarctic glacier flowing into Pine Island Bay, part of the Amundsen Sea, east of Mount Murphy, on the Walgreen Coast of Marie Byrd Land. Its surface speeds exceed 2 km/yr near its grounding line. Its fastest flowing grounded ice is centered between 50 and 100 km east of Mount Murphy. It was named by ACAN after Fredrik T.
Thwaites (1883 – 1961), a glacial geologist, geomorphologist and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Reuben Gold Thwaites was his father.

Public Radio International (PRI) has published a detailed study of the glacier and its dangers in their program The World.

A view of the glacier

Melting of Antarctica’s massive Thwaites Glacier could add one to two feet of global sea level rise in the next 50 to 100 years, and unlock far more in the years beyond.

A voyage by icebreaker to the remote glacier’s face laid the groundwork for a 5-year international research effort to try to answer urgent questions about Thwaites’ future. The World’s Carolyn Beeler is our guide to the journey, with real-time dispatches from the ship and deep dives into the science and the stakes for our future.

We call this program to your attention and recommend that you click and open the articles. It is unsettling but essential to our awareness of reality. The scientist Bill Mckibben

Right Livelihood Award 2014 Stockholm 12/ 2014 Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

has been one of the protagonists of the climate change issue for decades. This week he lays out the parameters and the dangers of inaction on the part of leaders. OTOH, people are beginning to react en masse and there still is hope for the future.

FILM REVIEW

The Irishman (titled onscreen as I Heard You Paint Houses) is a 2019 American epic crime film directed and produced by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. It stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, with Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin, Stephen Graham, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Jesse Plemons, and Harvey Keitel in supporting roles. The film follows Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a truck driver who becomes a hitman and gets involved with mobster Russell Bufalino (Pesci) and his crime family,
including his time working for the powerful Teamster Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino) The film has won widespread critical acclaim.

ONWARD VOYAGER

The Voyager 2 spacecraft has left the heliosphere — the huge bubble of charged particles that the sun blows around itself — and is now in interstellar space. The exit took place in November 2018 and analysis of the data acquired has now been published

This artist’s concept shows the locations of NASA’s Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft relative to the heliosphere, or the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by our Sun. Both Voyagers are now outside the heliosphere, in a region known as interstellar space, or the space between stars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

We have a special interest in the Voyager spacecraft since one of us (A) was a member of the plasma detector team during the planetary phase of the mission.

When the planetary phase ended with the Neptune flyby in 1989, our project scientist Prof. Stone of CalTech quoted from T.S.Eliot,

…Fare forward.
O voyagers, O seamen,
You who came to port, and you whose bodies Will suffer the trial
and judgement of the sea, Or whatever event, this is your real
destination.’ So Krishna, as when he admonished Arjuna On the field
of battle.
Not fare well,
But fare forward, voyagers.”

Indeed our Voyagers are faring forward into regions of space never before observed in situ by man made instruments. We hope to learn much from this foray into interstellar space.

SILLY TIME

Welcome to the new decade with Randall and Cynthia

We old codgers need to keep up with the times…

Happy new year indeed,

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update January 2-8

Our feature 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 again remind you of the Afya Foundation who arrange to transport medical supplies and equipment to needy countries in Africa. This charity is most worthy of your support.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsiders such as the threat of extinction of Kawahiva in the rainforests of Brazil.<div class=”clearer”> <h2>THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY</h2> <p>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 <a href=”http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_246549/lang–en/index.htm”>ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labo</a>r which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the <a href=”http://www.antislavery.org/english/”>anti slavery campaign.</a> There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers’ supply chains cannot be overemphasized.</p> </div>

tackling-modern-slavery-preview


Look for these logos:<div class=”separator”><figure><a href=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ac349-index.jpg”><img src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/ac349-index.jpg?w=77&amp;h=92&#8243; width=”77″ height=”92″ border=”0″></a></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1174 aligncenter” src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/logo_rfa.jpg?w=300&#8243; alt=”logo_rfa” width=”150″ height=”150″></figure></div><div><figure><img class=” size-full wp-image-1180 alignright” src=”https://arkee12.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/utz_certified.png?w=280&#8243; alt=”utz_certified” width=”140″ height=”112″></figure></div><div></div>

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for the end of child marriage in the UK. It is a ghastly thought to consider the legality of child marriage in a progressive modern country.

URGENT ACTION CASES

SLOVAKIA

Urgent Action Victory! Bill Restricting Abortion Rights Rejected

The Slovak Parliament rejected a bill aimed at obstructing access to safe and legal abortion. If adopted, this bill would have undermined women’s privacy and autonomy and subjected them to harmful stigma, humiliation and degrading treatment.
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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 5 December the Slovak Parliament (National Council) rejected a bill that required women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound scanning and to view and obtain an ultrasound image of the embryo or the foetus. The proposal was an alarming attempt to rollback reproductive rights in Slovakia.

Among the 150 MPs in the Slovak Parliament, only 59 voted in favor of the bill, meaning it did not meet the requirement for a simple majority of 76 votes. Twenty-four MPs voted against the bill and 40 abstained.

In a joint letter published on 18 November, more than 30 organisations -including Amnesty International – called on all Slovak MPs to reject the bill. Similarly, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe called for the rejection of the legislative proposal and any other legislative proposals that could limit women’s access to their sexual and reproductive rights. The outcome of the voting is a huge victory for women and for all activists who spoke out and mobilized in Slovakia and internationally against this harmful bill.

The original bill was also prohibiting “advertising” on abortion and imposing a fine of up to 66,400 Euros on those who order or disseminate it. This prohibition risked a chilling effect on the provision of access to information on sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, by medical providers.

MYANMAR

Urgent Action Update: New Convictions for “Peacock Generation” Members

Four members of the Peacock Generation, a satirical poetry troupe in Myanmar, have been given additional jail terms after being found guilty of “online defamation”. The four are among a group of seven Peacock Generation members charged under well-known repressive laws after they staged peaceful performances criticizing the military. Six are currently in prison, now serving sentences of between one and a half and two and a half years. They are prisoners of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.

TAKE ACTION

RWANDA

Urgent Action: Pastor’s Daughter Arbitrarily Detained

Jackie Umuhoza, daughter of exiled pastor Deo Nyirigira, was arrested on the morning of 27 November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. On 28 November, after her family and friends raised the alarm on social media, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau confirmed on Twitter that Jackie Umuhoza had been arrested on 27 November on suspicion of treason and espionage. She remains in detention without having been brought before a judge.

TAKE ACTION

IRAN

Urgent Action: Kurdish Activist Needs Urgent Medical Care

Detained labor rights activist Bakhtiar Rahimi, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, was arrested on 27 November 2019 in Marivan, Kurdistan province. Bakhtiar Rahimi has serious heart and kidney conditions for which he needs daily medication. The Iranian authorities have denied him access to a lawyer and permitted him only one very brief phone call to his family since his arrest.

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The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 19-25

Our featured image shows our beloved Miriam (1947-2012) a great friend and human rights defender. We wish a happy holiday to those who celebrate Hannuka, Christmas or Kwanza.

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 call your attention to Reporters without Borders aka Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) This an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. We invite you to see their press freedom rankings and to make a donation. You can also check out where your country ranks. We call for donations to RWB and suggest that you consider joining or supporting The Forum on Information and Democracy. An example of persecution of journalists, especially women working as reporters, will exemplify how severe the press freedom situation is.

Urooj Iqbal was gunned down on 24 November outside her home in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province (photo provided by the family – Image: DB / RSF

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is forced contact. There are more than a hundred uncontacted tribes around the world. They are a vitally important part of humankind’s diversity, but they face catastrophe unless their land is protected. We’re doing everything we can to secure their land for them, and to let them live. But we depend on you!

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

Look for these logos:

”logo_rfa”
”utz_certified”

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

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

URGENT ACTION CASES

EGYPT

https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwrite.amnestyusa.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2019%2F09%2FEGYPT-e1567791659389.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

Urgent Action Update: Housing Rights Researcher in Detention

On 26 November 2019, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, a housing rights researcher with the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), appeared at the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Cairo after 167 days of enforced disappearance since his arrest at his home in Moqattam, Cairo, on 11 June 2019.

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UZBEKISTAN

Urgent Action Update: Defender Kept in Forced Psychiatric Detention

On 28 November a court decided to extend the detention of Uzbekistani blogger and human rights defender Nafosat Olloshkurova in a psychiatric hospital. Nafosat Olloshkurova was detained and beaten by police on 23 September while monitoring and reporting about a peaceful protest. She was placed in psychiatric detention on 26 September. There are serious concerns that she is being subjected to medical treatment without her consent and that her health has deteriorated while in detention. She must be immediately released.

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SENEGAL

Urgent Action: Nine Activists Jailed for Protesting

Nine activists: Guy Marius Sagna, Mamadou Diao Diallo, Malick Biaye, Pape Abdoulaye Touré, Babacar Diop, Souleymane Diockou, Ousmane Sarr, Souleymane Ndjim and Fallou Galass, were arrested on 29 November 2019 in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and charged with “participation in an unauthorized gathering”. Eight of them have been held in detention since then and are on hunger strike. The health of two of the activists has deteriorated since.

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ALBANIA

Solidarity with the miners – end repression now!

The Trade Union of United Mineworkers of Bulqiza (Albania) announced its formation on 17 November 2019. Five days later, the chairman of the union was dismissed by AlbChrome, part of a very powerful corporation (Balfin) and the biggest mine company operating in the region. In response, the workers boycotted work demanding the reinstatement of their union leader and subsequently an end to worker repression, and higher wages. Please click and read on and add your voice to the protest.

Charity

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 12-18

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 call your attention to Books for Africa,. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, sorting, shipping, and distributing books to children and adults in Africa. With headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, and warehouses in St. Paul and Atlanta, Georgia, BFA’s mission is to end the book famine in Africa. Books For Africa is the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 28 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. In 2012 BFA shipped 2.2 million books valued at $28.3 million to 22 African countries, with an additional 616 computers and 15 brand new law libraries.

Books For Africa has received the top rating of 4 stars from Charity Navigator.org and meets all standards set by the Charities Review Council.Please choose your donation aim at this site.

A book opens a world to a child

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because conservation colonialism. Organizations such as WWF have committed crimes against people in Africa. It is well known that tribal people who have lived in the land for centuries are the most effective conservators. When local people are not allowed to hunt for food, but trophy hunters from abroad are welcomed and encouraged, it is obvious that something is basically wrong. Please stand up for the rights of tribal people.

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

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

Hear from a victim.

URGENT ACTION CASES

GUINEA

Urgent Action: Five Activists in Detention

Alseny Farinta Camara

Five pro-democracy activists, Alseny Farinta Camara, Moussa Sanoh, Boubacar Diallo, Thierno Seydi Ly and Thierno Oumar Barry, were arrested on 14 November 2019 in Kindia, western Guinea, and charged with participation in an unauthorized gathering. They are all members of pro-democracy coalition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC in French). Two of the activists require medical attention.

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COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Thousands in Need of Urgent Protection

2,250 Persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) are under siege by the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) – groups that are denying them access to food and basic healthcare services. On 17 November, the Ombudsman’s office reported that the armed groups threatened social leaders opposing their presence in the zone and were putting landmines around the few areas with phone coverage. We urge Colombian authorities to deploy a comprehensive protection plan to protect Bojayá’s communities’ rights.

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RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Rights Defender Facing Trumped-Up Charges

Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar activist, asks to draw attention to the fact that “repression and persecution on the grounds of national belonging or religious belief are taking place in the internationally recognized “Ukrainian” Crimea”

The trial of Server Mustafayev has started following his transfer to a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, southwest Russia. Server Mustafayev is a human rights defender from Russian-occupied Crimea who has been in detention since May 2018, under false terrorism-related charges. He is a prisoner of conscience, targeted solely for his human rights activism, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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BELARUS

Urgent Action: Viktar Paulau at Risk of Imminent Execution

Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus
Viktar Paulau. Credit: Investigative Committee of Belarus

Viktar Paulau is at risk of imminent execution after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction and death sentence on 12 November. Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, without exception, as the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

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POLAND

Reinstate sacked union leaders at Castorama,

UNI Commerce calls upon trade unions and workers worldwide to urge Castorama to re-instate 10 trade union activists in Poland.
Castorama is a brand of Kingfisher PLC, a British multinational home improvement company which employs 12,000 workers in 80 stores in Poland. NSZZ Solidarnosc Commerce, an affiliate of UNI Commerce, launched an organizing campaign for Castorama workers.

Please join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update December 5-11

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 call your attention to Action Against Hunger.

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist whose primary goal is to create a better way to deal with deadly hunger. For almost 40 years, this global humanitarian organization has been on the front lines treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries; serving more than 20 million people in 2017 alone. Action Against Hunger is the leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. The organization is committed to doubling the number of children who receive urgent hunger care, from three million to six million by 2020. Of every dollar donated, 93 cents go directly to saving lives today and preventing hunger tomorrow.

Please donate to this worthy cause. They are rated highly by Charity Navigator.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is eviction from their lands because of economic desires of outsiders .

The only international law that can secure tribal peoples’ land rights is the International Labour Organization Convention 169. ILO 169 recognizes and protects tribal peoples’ land ownership rights, and sets a series of minimum UN standards regarding consultation and consent.

ILO 169 has been around since 1989, but only twenty-two countries have ratified it so far. At this rate, it will be another 170 years before every country has ratified the Convention. Every country that does so, strengthens its force, and gives tribal peoples a greater chance to survive and thrive.

Please call upon your government to ratify ILO 169.

What does ILO 169 say?

It protects tribal peoples’ right to:

  • Own the land they live on and use
  • Make decisions about projects that affect them
  • Equality and freedom

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

logo_rfa
utz_certified

Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. We invite you to join Freedom United        and raise your voice to call for the end of slavery on tea plantations. Please link to the Slavery in Focus page of the Guardian and post it to your social media in the hope that it will go viral and shame some people and corporations.

Twinings has joined Yorkshire Tea and published a full list of their suppliers from Assam, just two months after Traidcraft Exchange launched their campaign. Together, Twinings and Yorkshire make up nearly one-third of the UK tea market so these are significant steps forward.

URGENT ACTION CASES

We call on all our readers to sign up for the Annual Write for Rights of Amnesty International..

SAUDI ARABIA

Urgent Action Victory! Disappeared Qatari Father and Son Released

On 1 November 2019, the Saudi authorities released two Qatari citizens, Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (70) and his son Abdulhadi Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (17), who then returned home to Doha. On 18 August 2019, their family lost all contact with them as they travelled through Saudi Arabia to visit relatives. Amnesty International was concerned that they may have been forcibly disappeared and urged King Salman to reveal the whereabouts of the father and his son and immediately release them unless they were promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence.

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

On 1 November 2019, the Saudi authorities released two Qatari citizens, Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (70) and his son Abdulhadi Ali Nasser Ali Jarallah (17) after arbitrarily detaining them. They both returned safe and sound to their family house in Doha and are both in good health. A relative told Amnesty International that they had been “detained without charge, but due to public pressure, they were released.” Amnesty International had good reason to believe that the two Qatari citizens were detained by the Presidency of State Security.

Ali Jarallah and Abdulhadi Jarallah had disappeared for more than two months and were unable to contact their family. They entered Saudi Arabia on 15 August 2019, on valid family visas on their way to visit Ali Jarallah’s brother in Dammam, in the Eastern Province. They were in contact with their family in Qatar until 18 August, when they were nearing the city of al-Hofuf in the Eastern Province.

Ali Jarallah is diabetic and suffers from heart and kidney problems as well as high blood pressure. He is on regular medication and must attend his regular doctor’s appointments in Doha.

Amnesty International called on King Salman to immediately reveal the whereabouts of Ali Jarallah and his son Abdulhadi Jarallah; to disclose the reason for their detention and release them unless promptly charged with a recognizable criminal offence, in accordance with the principles of due process recognized by international law.

UKRAINE

Urgent Action Victory! Police Protect Transgender Rights March

On 23 November, adequate police protection enabled up to one hundred transgender rights activists in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, to hold the 2019 Trans March and mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. The police successfully prevented attempts by groups openly advocating hatred and discrimination to disrupt the event.

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

Transgender rights activists were able to hold a march on 23 November in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. Police officers successfully protected the event, known as Trans March, allowing up to one hundred activists to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

The successful protection of the Trans March comes in striking contrast with the similar event in 2018, when police failed to protect participants, did not take action against members of violent groups who attacked the march, and instead forced transgender rights activists into a nearby metro station effectively terminating their peaceful assembly.

This year the Trans March began at Mykhailivska square in central Kyiv with a minute of silence and followed with speeches by transgender rights activists. The participants of the Trans March were protected by a police cordon from members of groups openly advocating hatred and discrimination, assembled nearby. The police successfully curbed at least one real attempt to breach the cordon.

Twenty minutes after the beginning of the gathering, transgender rights activists proceeded to march through the central streets of Kyiv. The marchers’ column was protected by dozens of police officers. There were also dozens of police officers patrolling nearby streets and areas from which the marchers could be potentially attacked, including on their way back from the event. The march ended at Poshtova square and all participants were able to safely leave the area using a nearby metro station.

Organizers of the Trans March have thanked everyone in Ukraine and internationally whose support has contributed to this positive outcome.

ETHIOPIA

Urgent Action Victory! University Lecturer Released

University lecturer Firew Bekele was released on 19 November, after spending three months in detention for his alleged role in writing and publishing a book “the Hijacked Revolution”. He was a prisoner of conscience and should have never been persecuted.

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

Firew Bekele, a marketing lecturer at Rift Valley University, was released on 19 November. He was arrested on 17 August and charged under Ethiopia’s draconian Anti-Terrorism Proclamation (ATP).

For the last decade, the ATP has been constantly used to suppress any form of dissent. Firew Bekele was accused of writing a book that criticizes Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Firew Bekele denied having written the book. The head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission, visited Firew Bekele in prison and called for his immediate release following the publication of Amnesty International’s Urgent Action on 20 September.

SLOVAKIA

Urgent Action: Abortion Rights at Risk in Slovakia

Slovak MPs are debating a bill that aims to further restrict access to abortion. If passed, it would require women seeking abortion care to fulfil a number of mandatory requirements that are not justified by medical reasons and would undermine women’s privacy, personal integrity, autonomy in decision-making about health care and will subject them to harmful stigma, humiliation and degrading treatment. The Slovak Parliament must urgently reject this bill.

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TURKEY

Urgent Action: Free Author Ahmet Altan

On 12 November, renowned Turkish author and former newspaper editor Ahmet Altan was detained after a court overturned the decision taken on 4 November to release him from over three years in detention. Ahmet Altan is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released.

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NIGERIA

Omoyele Sowore

Urgent Action: Human Rights Defenders Must Be Released

Nigerian authorities have continued to detain human rights defenders Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare at the Department of State Services in Abuja, and Agba Jalingo in Calabar prison, southern Nigeria, since their arrests in August. They are facing trumped-up charges of treason because they demanded government accountability. The maximum penalty for the offense of treason is the death penalty. They must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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SOUTH KOREA

Protecting safe rates for truck drivers
In partnership with the International Transport Workers Federation and the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU).

In South Korea, 1,000 people die annually due to truck crashes because big corporations like Samsung and Hyundai force low rates onto truck drivers forcing them to work long hours, overload their vehicles and speed, putting all road users at risk. Korean truck drivers work over twice the annual average for OECD countries, but as ‘owner drivers’ they are entirely unprotected by labour law. Please join the protest.