The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update May 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 disasters in southern Africa. Mozambique was lashed with two deadly cyclones, Idal in March and six weeks later Kenneth in late April. There had been no such cyclones in a decade and now two in close sequence. UN weather experts say it is unprecedented for two cyclones of such intensity to hit Mozambique in the same season.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also said that no previous records show a cyclone striking the region as far north as Kenneth.It said a fact-finding mission would examine the “impact of climate change and sea-level rise on Mozambique’s resilience” to extreme weather.

The devastation is catastrophic and the need for both rapid emergency aid and long term help in rebuilding is huge. Many governments and NGO’s are trying to help and we call upon you to step forward with donations. You might consider the Mercy Corps or Oxfam for example.

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Families have been left displaced by the cyclones

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

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

THE STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

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utz_certified

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

 

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Victory! Mikhail Tsakunov Released, Trial Ongoing

Prisoner of conscience Mikhail Tsakunov was released under travel restrictions on 26 April after spending almost a year in pre-trial detention. He was arrested in May 2018 and charged with violence against a police officer for his peaceful participation in an opposition rally. The criminal proceedings against him are ongoing and he is still facing up to five years in prison if convicted.

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

PHILIPPINES

Urgent Action: End Attacks Against Human Rights Defenders

Cristina Palabay of Philippines-based human rights alliance Karapatan received on 22 April a text message from an unidentified person warning her and several others that they are targeted to be killed this year. Hours earlier, Karapatan member Bernardino Patigas was shot dead in Escalante City, Negros Occidental. He is the second human rights defender killed who was on a supposed ‘hit list’ released in 2018. The killing of Patigas and the threats against Palabay come amid increasing risks for human rights defenders in the country.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

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Urgent Action Update: Labor Activist Held Incommunicado

Wei Zhili, an editor of “New Generation” (xinshengdai) a website which monitors and reports on internal migrant workers in China, has been transferred to secret incommunicado detention since 20 April 2019. Under this form of detention, he does not get access to a lawyer of his choice. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

COLOMBIA

Urgent Action: Thousands in Need of Urgent Protection

7,000 persons from Indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Bojayá, Chocó (western Colombia) face live-threathening and forced displacement risk as the guerrilla National Liberation Army (Ejército de Liberación Nacional, ELN) and the paramilitary group Gaitanistas Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia) are increasing hostilities in their territory. The communities of Unión Baquiaza, Union Cuití, Carrillo, Playita, Mesopotamia and Egoróquera are at risk. In Chocó several assassinations of community leaders recently occurred, and communities are constantly under threats from armed groups without any preventive action from national authorities.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action:
Help Muslims in Xinjiang, China, observe Ramadan
Write to the organization representing Muslim countries and demand it speaks up for Muslims being denied the right to practice their religion in Xinjiang.

TAKE ACTION

UGANDA

Urgent Action Update: Apaa Communities Attacked, Forcibly Evicted

Fresh evictions in Apaa | Uganda Press REVIEW®

Since 3 January, rangers from the Uganda Wildlife Authority have been carrying out forced evictions of communities in the Apaa area in northern Uganda. They have burnt homes, looted property and attacked community members. Hundreds of people have been rendered homeless, while several others remain at risk of forced evictions.

TAKE ACTION

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Update April 4-10

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

Books for girls in Libya

This week we turn our attention to hBooks for Africa, A simple name for an organization with a simple mission. We collect, sort, ship, and distribute books to students of all ages in Africa. Our goal: to end the book famine in Africa. The charity is highly rated by Charity Navigator and other charity monitors and is worthy of your support.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

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

A major calamity for indigenous people is land theft. Please help take a stand against this pernicious practice.

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 Demand Dignity for Domestic Workers in Australia and everywhere.

URGENT ACTION CASES

BOLIVIA

170918bcvnz-refugees1-editorial.vnz_refugees1

Urgent Action: Venezuelan Refugees Persecuted and Deported

On 17 March, police and immigration officers arbitrarily detained 14 Venezuelan refugees (three women and 11 men) at a shelter in La Paz, Bolivia, who had participated in a peaceful demonstration at the Cuban Embassy against human rights violations in Venezuela on 15 March. Officers took them to an immigration office, interrogated them and accused them of “conspiracy” and “political activities in exchange for money”, violating their right to due process. That same day, six of them were arbitrarily deported to Peru, which was the entry point to Bolivia. The remaining eight, who had applied for asylum, were released but five subsequently fled to Peru fearing further persecution. Those released who remain in Bolivia currently fear persecution and arbitrary deportation. According to local organizations and witnesses, many were ill-treated and threatened by police officers. Urge the Minister of Government to stop persecuting and arbitrarily deporting Venezuelan refugees in need of international protection.

TAKE ACTION

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action Update: Two Jehovah’s Witnesses Still Detained

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Artur Severinchik was released from detention on 15 March by the Khanty-Mansiisk Regional Court’s decision of 7 March. Yevgeniy Fedin and Sergei Loginov, remain behind bars and face risk of torture and other ill-treatment. They are prisoners of conscience and should be released immediately and unconditionally.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

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Urgent Action Update: Restrictions on Released Human Rights Lawyer

Immediately after human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong was released from prison on 28 February 2019, he and his father and sister were taken away. While they have now been returned to his family home, he remains under tight surveillance and is being constantly followed, with no freedom to choose his employment. Having completed his two-year sentence for ‘inciting subversion’, Jiang Tianyong was a prisoner of conscience and should never have been detained for practicing his right to freedom of expression.

TAKE ACTION

INDIA

That’s terrible, that’s Tetley! – tea workers denied their human right to safe drinking water

For the past two years workers, mainly women, on plantations in the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal which supply tea giant Tetley have been organizing to demand decent water and sanitation – a fundamental human right. Please read more and join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update March 28-April 3

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

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

220px-holbein-erasmus1

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


CHARITY CORNER

This week we turn our attention to the Global Fund for Women. They fight for women’s rights everywhere.

Beneficiary of women's agriculture project in Uganda speaks to her community

Women’s Human Rights

HELP AMPLIFY THE VOICES WHO CHANGE OUR WORLD

Global Fund for Women supports women-led groups who are demanding rights in their own communities. For Women’s History Month, use your voice to support courageous activists shaping our future. 

What are women’s human rights?

Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; and to earn a fair and equal wage.

As the now-famous saying goes, “women’s rights are human rights.” That is to say, women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet almost everywhere around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.

Pleased donate to a charity well 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.

A mission statement:

We fight for tribal peoples’ survival. We stop loggers, miners, and oil companies from destroying tribal lands, lives and livelihoods across the globe. We lobby governments to recognise indigenous land rights. We document and expose the atrocities committed against tribal people and take direct action to stop them.

We give tribal peoples a platform to speak to the world. We’ve had over 200 victories since 1969, but our work is far from over and we need your help.Find out more

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 ask some questions about the tea you drink.

URGENT ACTION CASES

UKRAINE Urgent Action Victory!

Police Protects Women’s Day Rally

The International Women’s Day rally organizedVitalina Koval, Ukraine - Human Rights Defenders World Summit

by human rights defender Vitalina Koval in Uzhgorod, western Ukraine, on 8 March was a success. Participants were well protected by the police and able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly safely.

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

The International Women’s Day rally organized by Vitalina Koval, a defender of women’s rights and LGBTI rights, in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod successfully took place on 8 March and was well protected by the police.

This was a highly significant change, as Women’s day events organised by Vitalina Koval in 2017 and 2018 had been targeted by far-right groups and the police failed to protect participants. Vitalina Koval is still seeking justice for the attack she suffered during the 2018 event, when six members of a far-right group threw red paint at her and other participants, causing chemical burns on her eyes.

There were reports that far-right groups were present in Uzhgorod on 8 March and they had openly stated their intention to disrupt the event. However, thanks to national and international pressure, including extensive campaigning by Amnesty International as part of and as a continuation to the global Write for Rights 2018 campaign, the authorities put in place the necessary measures and ensured safety of the 2019 rally.

BELARUS

Urgent Action: Protect Rights of Juvenile Prisoners

Emil Astrauko and Vasily Sauchanka are held in a juvenile prison in Belarus in conditions which violate their human rights and are subjected to harassment and discrimination by the prison authorities. Following flawed trials in 2018, they were sentenced to 10 years in prison each for minor drug offences. They were 17 years old at the time of their arrest. Their case is emblematic of thousands of teenagers imprisoned in appalling conditions following unfair trials for minor drug-related offenses.

TAKE ACTION

CHINA

Urgent Action Update: Detained Uighur Has Nervous Breakdown

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Hankezi Zikeli is detained in a “transformation-through-education” centre in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and is believed to have suffered a nervous breakdown. An aunt of Gulchehra Hoja, a Washington based journalist, Hankezi Zikeli is one of 25 relatives who have been detained since January 2018. Without any access to a lawyer, there are grave fears that they are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

TAKE ACTION

USA

End child marriage in Massachusetts.

Did you know children can legally marry in Massachusetts?

In fact, with parental consent and a judge’s approval there is NO minimum age to marry. Between 2000 to 2016, more than 1,200 children under age 18 were married in Massachusetts. Almost all were girls marrying adult men.

Child marriage can easily be forced or coerced by parents. Research on the impacts of child marriage shows it is deeply harmful putting girls at risk of negative health problems, interrupted education, poverty, and domestic violence.

TAKE ACTION

 

   

Prometheus and Pandora XXI

Our featured image shows a schema of the interior of a proton

IN MEMORIAM

AMOS OZ


Born: May 4, 1939, Jerusalem
Died: December 28, 2018, Tel Aviv
Spouse: Nilly Zuckerman (m. 1960–2018)
Movies: A Tale of Love and Darkness, The Little Traitor, Tsahal, My Michael

Amos Oz was an Israeli writer, novelist, journalist, and intellectual. He was also a professor of Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. From 1967 onward, Oz was a prominent advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

In Israel we have an additional component, the Messianic drive, that guides the politics of the settlers block, Gush Emunim. Prof. Talmon summed up this irrational mind-set well “Claims such as those of Gush Emunim sound to the international community much like that biblical passage— “Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the Valley of Ayalon “would sound in an astronomers’ debate.” Amos Oz addressed this issue. His article on the meaning of secular Judaism was republished in Haaretz on the occasion of his death.

Amos Oz leaves behind a legacy of literature and and moral and philosophical leadership. He was a moral leader of the progressive left and strongly espoused the cause of human rights, in particular for the Palestinians suffering under the occupation. There is a detailed obituary in the Jewish Virtual Library as well as a beautiful elegy written by his daughter, Fanya Oz-Salzburger.


CAROL CHANNING

January 31, 1921 – January 15, 2019

Carol Channing, the Broadway star best known for her enduring portrayal of the meddlesome matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in the musical “Hello, Dolly!,” has died. She was 97. She won three Tony Awards, including one for lifetime achievement.

Dolly was actually the second of two roles that made Channing’s reputation. The first was Lorelei Lee, the gold-digging dingbat in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” which opened on Broadway in 1949. The show’s popular song, “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” was often played as Channing’s entrance music until the title song from “Hello Dolly!” trumped it.

“Carol Channing had only two major roles to her credit,” Miles Kreuger, president of the Los Angeles-based Institute of the American Musical, said in a 2006 interview with the Los Angeles Times. “But she is regarded as one of the great stars of American theater. That in itself is a phenomenon.”


The caricaturist Al Hirschfeld drew Carol Channing as the matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello, Dolly!” in 1964. The critic Walter Kerr called her “maybe the only creature extant who can live up to a Hirschfeld.” Credit Al Hirschfeld Foundation

Obituaries can be found in the Washington Post and the NYTimes.

ANDRE PREVIN

April 26, 1929-February 28, 2019


André Previn in 1965. He conducted, composed, played jazz piano and scored movies in a musical life that spurned categories.Credit Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

André Previn, who blurred the boundaries between jazz, pop and classical music — and between composing, conducting and performing — in an extraordinarily eclectic, award-filled career, died on February 28 at his home in Manhattan. Previn modeled himself on Leonard Bernstein who showed that a musician can cross lines and appear in several genres. He received a number of awards and honors for his outstanding musical accomplishments, including both the Austrian and German Cross of Merit, and the Glenn Gould Prize. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center,the London Symphony Orchestra, Gramophone Classic FM, and in 2010 was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy. For his 80th birthday celebrations in 2009, Carnegie Hall presented four concerts which showcased the diversity of his career.
A full and detailed obituary can be found in the New York Times. Gail Eichenthal wrote an appreciation of Previn’s career in the KUSC blog.

THE RANT


In the last few blogs Prometheus and Pandora have held forth at length about the difference between liberal democracy and the totalitarian version. They have referenced Jacob Talmon and others. Now they would like to discuss the question of the evolution of liberal thought and the failure of the expected turn to liberal democracy in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union. In the New York Review of Books, David Bell reviews three studies that deal with the history of liberalism and its rise and fall.

Can Democracy Work?: A Short History of a Radical Idea, from Ancient Athens to Our World
by James Miller
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 306 pp., $27.00

The Lost History of Liberalism: From Ancient Rome to the Twenty-First Century
by Helena Rosenblatt
Princeton University Press, 348 pp., $35.00

On the Spirit of Rights
by Dan Edelstein
University of Chicago Press, 325 pp., $40.00
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, 1830

We would like to quote the optimistic conclusion to the review by Bell:

“Anyone reading these three books, particularly in the current grim political moment, will come away convinced of the fragile nature of the ideas underlying rights-based liberal democracy. They will grasp more clearly than ever that this liberal ideal, which seemed to triumph in the late twentieth century, had a tortuous history, with its successes dependent on a host of contingent factors. Readers will also be left in no doubt about some of the less savory things that often accompanied it. Miller pays due attention to the “carnival of atrocities” during the French Revolutionary Terror, even as France undertook its first grand experiment with democracy. Rosenblatt emphasizes the elitist,exclusionary tendencies inherent in the history of liberalism. Edelstein notes that, thanks to the concern with property of both the French Physiocrats and English common lawyers, the ideal of rights that triumphed in the eighteenth century can be seen as “the intellectual forefather of free-market fundamentalism.”

Yet at the same time readers will come away with the realization that the liberal ideal has a much richer, deeper, more varied past than they might imagine from accounts that stress only the supposed Anglo-American path to “classical” liberalism. Perhaps forms of liberal democracy built upon narrowly individualist notions of rights and liberty, and that deny most citizens the chance for meaningful political participation, are indeed too fragile to offer sufficient protection against unfettered capitalism and the rising inequalities we see today around the world, as well as against surges of angry populism. But there are other ways to think about liberal democracy, inspired by constitutional models that strive to maximize democratic participation, by forms of liberal thought that emphasize moral action and the common good, and by a vision of human rights that extends broadly and fully across the globe. The French Revolution, for all its radical excesses, offered one such vision, and a particularly powerful one. Despite its well-documented flaws, its ideals may still be able to inspire those seeking to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.”

The most pessimistic of the three is Miller who recognizes that today, profound social transformations have left the democratic ideal more imperiled than ever. Increasing inequality makes it more difficult for people to have their voices heard; government secrecy deprives them of the information necessary for political participation; and in an age of globalization many of the most pressing problems, such as climate change, require global, not local, solutions. America’s current plight spurs Miller (drawing on F. Scott Fitzgerald) to some passionate and anguished prose:

“This is what democracy in America often seems like: an elusive fantasy, forever out of reach, forever unrealized, even as its most eloquent bards, trapped in their own prejudices, are “borne back ceaselessly into the past.””

But he still holds out hope that some version of the Condorcetian ideal of local democratic restraints on national governance might yet continue to inspire contemporary democratic movements.

Prometheus and Pandora look upon the plethora of books and academic studies that have come out since the election of Trump and the rise of authoritarian regimes imposed upon people by their own voting as an expected but irrelevant reaction to what is happening. Our academic friends prefer to sit comfortably in their ivory towers and write books about how the world is going to hell in a basket. It would be more to the point if they would use their prestige and position to persuade the public that it is in its interest to preserve the frail institutions of democracy. In 2015 Andy Borowitz, writing in the New Yorker, claimed that millions of people are fed up with arguing with idiots. In particular he noted the difficulty of getting people to understand that climate change is real and dangerous and that gun control is a prime societal need. Indeed, these things are a tough sell, but turning our backs is not a viable option.

TIDBITS FROM SCIENCE

NO SNAKES IN IRELAND

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Since St. Patrick’s Day falls this month, Prometheus and Pandora decided to take a look at the beloved folk legend that in addition to bringing Christianity to the Emerald Isle, the fifth century saint also banished the snakes from Ireland. In fact, the reason for the absence of snakes in Ireland is much more complicated. In truth, there never were any snakes in Ireland for the good reason that geology was against them. The full story is told by Sara Fechts writing in Popular Science and it is more interesting than a saint waving a staff.

OPPORTUNITY ROVER DECLARED DEAD

Opportunity working hard on Mars

The Mars rover Opportunity has finally been declared dead after eight months of failed attempts to contact it. The rover, along with its twin Spirit that operated on the other side of the planet, was set up to run for 90 days. In reality, it operated for nearly 15 years. Both rovers were dropped onto the planet in 2004. Spirit failed after getting stuck in a sand drift in 2010, but Opportunity continued to operate until a major dust storm blocked its solar cells from recharging. The mission is now over, leaving a treasure trove of new data. The Mars Exploration Rovers tell us of an ancient time when Mars was awash in water, with good conditions for supporting microbial life. Here is a link to one of the rovers’ most significant discoveries about the red planet.

INSIDE THE PROTON

A new study published in Phys. Rev. Letters provides a detailed description of what goes on inside a proton. At the center of a proton, the pressure is greater than that found inside a neutron star. Calculations were carried out over a year, using a theory called Quantum Chromodynamics with supercomputers. The results show that the pressure inside a proton is about 10**35 pascals or about 2.6*10**22 times the pressure at the center of the Earth.

Phiala Shanahan and William Detmold, both at MIT, find that the simple picture of a proton as three quarks held together by a bunch of gluons is incomplete. Their work is described in Live Science and is of major scientific importance, albeit esoteric to most of us. Their model of the proton is shown above as our featured image.

BOOK REVIEW


Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad by Åsne Seierstad, translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 418 pp., $28.00; $16.00 (paper)

The book is reviewed in a forthcoming issue of the New York Review of Books, published online, by Christopher de Bellaigue for those with access, It is also reviewed in the NYTimes by Suzy Hansen. Asne Seierstad established herself as a writer with her 2003 book The Bookseller of Kabul which was an international best seller. She went on to write two books of reportage, the first about Baghdad in the run-up to the 2003 invasion, the second about Chechnya following the brutal war there. She then wrote about the killer Breivik and now has moved on to the Norwegian jihad. The book chronicles the attempt of Sadiq Juma, a Somali immigrant to Norway to retrieve his two daughters who have run off to Syria to join ISIS.

The Interpol notice issued in October 2013 after the Juma sisters left Norway for Syria

The story is harrowing, but it tries to provide an answer to the question of the failure of Western liberal society to integrate these young Muslim women.

SILLY TIME


What If? What if the Earth stopped rotating? -Andrew Brown

In the Bible (Josh X, 12) we hear the request
“Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the Valley of Ayalon “

Randall has an answer and it is not a cheerful one. Of course a slight slowing of the rotation might help true love.

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--SkaFOV4E--/c_scale,dpr_2.0,f_auto,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/fufbqhqclf0pi2ehnyon.jpg
We have blogged for human rights, but Barney gives perspective
What more need be said?
Spring is coming…
Our oncologist claims that all men talk nonsense including her husband…


The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update March 21-27

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

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

220px-holbein-erasmus1

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


CHARITY CORNER

At the request of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Eiffel Tower’s lights were turned off for a minute at 6:30 p.m. today on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists to pay tribute to Saudi newspaper columnist Jamal Khashoggi and all the other journalists in the world whose murders have so far gone unpunished.

This week we turn our attention to Reporters Without Borders, or Reporters Sans Frontières, an international non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes and defends freedom of information and freedom of the press. The organization, with a head office in Paris, France, has consultant status at the United Nations. Its core belief:

Freedom of expression and information will always be the world’s most important freedom. If journalists were not free to report the facts, denounce abuses, and alert the public, how would we resist the problem of children-soldiers, defend women’s rights, or preserve our environment? Please support this worthy organization

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.

Dams on the Amazon can destroy indigenous tribes. Your support can help us fight for the most vulnerable people on the planet.

https://www.survivalinternational.org/assets/numiko/photos-min/protestors-with-placards-1000w@2x-min-39fae92bc40f9124fa78420623645c8a.jpg

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 trafficking in children at bogus orphanages.

URGENT ACTION CASES

IRAN

Urgent Action Update: 38 Years and 148 Lashes for Women’s Rights Defender

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Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes after two grossly unfair trials. The charges against her stem solely from her peaceful human rights work, including defending women’s rights and her outspoken opposition to the death penalty.

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EGYPT

Urgent Action Update: Held Incommunicado Despite Release Order

On 19 February 2019, a judge ordered the conditional release of Egyptian activist Islam Khalil. On 25 February, the police moved Islam to al-Santa police station to complete his release procedures, but instead of releasing him the authorities held him incommunicado. On 10 March 2018, Islam was forcibly disappeared after National Security Agency officers had abducted him. He remained in arbitrary detention for almost a year facing the trumped-up charges of “membership in an illegal group” and “disseminating false information.” His family believes that Islam is at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment while in incommunicado detention.

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ZIMBABWE

Urgent Action: Activist, Opposition Members Charged with Treason

Activist Rashid Mahiya and Members of Parliament with the opposition, Joanna Mamombe and Charlton Hwende were arrested on different dates in Zimbabwe. All three have been charged with ‘subverting a constitutional government’ which attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. This charge is in connection with a three-day national shutdown called for on 14-16 January in protest against a hike in fuel prices.

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CHINA

Release Jailed Labor Rights Activists Exercising Rights to Freedom of Association

In partnership with the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the only independent and democratic trade union federation on Chinese soil, and Globalization Monitor, a Hong Kong-based NGO that monitors the adverse effects of capitalist globalization on workers and the environment. Please click and join the protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update March 14-20

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

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

220px-holbein-erasmus1

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


CHARITY CORNER


This week we turn our attention to Women of the Wall who were severely abused by orthodox people at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and were abandoned by police who chose not to protect them. The link connects you to the charity monitor Israel Gives through which you can donate to them. Their mission statement says in part: ” As Women of the Wall, our central mission is to attain social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls , pray, and read from the Torah, collectively and aloud, at the Western Wall.
We work to further our mission through
social advocacy, education and empowerment”.


Women of the wall with torah at the kotel

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 STRUGGLE AGAINST SLAVERY

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

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

Look for these logos:

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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 loans to Uzebekhistan as long as forced labor is used in the cotton fields.

Slavery under the auspice of the World Bank

URGENT ACTION CASES

ISRAEL/OPT

Urgent Action Victory! Palestinian Lawmaker Released

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

On 28 February 2019, Palestinian lawmaker and prominent political figure Khalida Jarrar was released from HaSharon prison in central Israel, after spending 606 days in detention without charge or trial.

Following her release, Khalida Jarrar thanked Amnesty International and all those who took action on her behalf: “I thank you all very much for standing up for my rights and of those of other Palestinian prisoners and detainees. While I was detained, I had no doubt that Amnesty’s members and supporters from all over the world would stand again to denounce the arbitrary administrative detention and to demand my immediate release.’’ She added: “I’m free now, but I left at least 48 female Palestinian prisoners and detainees behind Israeli prison bars, whose lives are extremely difficult and filled with misery. I hope that Amnesty could continue to campaign on cases of Palestinian prisoners in the face of injustice. The support and mobilization should continue until the release of all Palestinian political prisoners and detainees. My final message to all Amnesty supporters, is that the fight for human rights never ends and it is on us to continue these efforts.’’

On 2 July 2017, Khalida Jarrar was arrested from her home in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli military commander of the West Bank issued a six-month administrative detention order against her on 12 July 2017, and since then the order has been renewed three times, on 31 December 2017, 17 June, and 25 October 2018. Although six months is the maximum period of detention for each administrative detention order, each order can be renewed indefinitely under Israeli military law.

Khalida Jarrar, is a Palestinian parliamentarian and outspoken critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories as well as the security cooperation between the Palestinian and Israeli forces. For decades, Khalida Jarrar has been harassed and intimidated by the Israeli authorities for her political and human rights engagement. Israel has banned her from travelling outside the country since 1998.

TAJIKISTAN

Urgent Action Victory! Opposition Activist Released

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Opposition leader Sharofiddin Gadoev returned safely to the Netherlands on 2 March. He had been held by the Tajik authorities following his arbitrary arrest in Moscow on 14 February and forcible return to Tajikistan.

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

On 2 March Sharofiddin Gadoev was transferred without identification documents from Dushanbe, Tajikistan’s capital, to Frankfurt, Germany, and returned safely to the Netherlands the same day. He is the leader of Group 24, an opposition political movement banned in Tajikistan, who legally resides in the Netherlands.

Sharofiddin Gadoev was arbitrarily detained on 14 February by the authorities in Moscow, during a trip to meet representatives of the Russian Security Council. On 15 February, he reappeared in Dushanbe, and on 20 February he was transferred to an undisclosed place by officers from the Tajik Interior Ministry and special forces. The Tajik authorities did not disclose his whereabouts or lay official criminal or administrative charges against the activist.

Prior to his trip to Russia Sharofiddin Gadoev recorded a precautionary video stating he had no intention of returning to Tajikistan, where he is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and unfair prosecution. After his forcible return to Dushanbe photos were published falsely claiming that Sharofiddin Gadoev was visiting friends and family in Tajikistan.

Sharofiddin Gadoev, a is believed to have been released following interventions from international human rights organisations and European governments.

SOMALILAND

Urgent Action Victory! Poet Acquitted and Released

Team

Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan, a poet in Somaliland, was released on 25 February. He had been arrested and detained on 12 January after reciting a poem the previous day in which he called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and criminal justice system.
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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

Abdirahman Ibrahim Adan alias Abdirahman Abees, a poet in Somaliland, was released on 25 February. This was after the Hargeisa Regional Court acquitted him of the charge of ‘insulting the state’.

He was arrested in Hargeisa on 12 January in connection with a poem he had recited on 11 January at the Mansoor Hotel in Hargeisa. In the poem, he highlighted human rights violations people in Somaliland face including police brutality, arbitrary detention and the degrading treatment of prisoners. The poem also called on the Somaliland government to reform its prisons and the criminal justice system.

His lawyer called to thank Amnesty International for publicly speaking out against Abdirahman’s detention

TURKEY

Urgent Action: Turkey Must Release Civil Society Figures

Osman Kavala (pictured above), Yiğit Aksakoğlu and 14 other prominent civil society figures are facing life in prison after a court accepted an indictment against them on 4 March. They are wrongly accused of ‘attempting to overthrow the government or prevent it from performing its duties’ for their alleged role in ‘directing’ the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Osman Kavala has already been remanded in pre-trial detention for over 16 months and Yiğit Aksakoğlu for almost four months. The rest of the accused are currently free pending trial. The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Osman Kavala and Yiğit Aksakoğlu and drop the trumped-up charges against all 16.

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VIET NAM

Urgent Action: Prisoner of Conscience Suffers Behind Bars

Photo of Huynh Truong Ca

Prisoner of conscience Huỳnh Trương Ca is being held in conditions of detention that further violates his rights. He shares a small, unlit cell with four other prisoners and cannot leave the cell, not even for meal times. The only time he leaves the cell is once a month for family visits. He also suffers several illnesses, yet the prison authorities refuse to provide him with the medical treatment he requires. The Ministry of Public Security plans to move him to another facility far away from his hometown. We call on the Vietnamese government and its Ministry of Public Security to release Huỳnh Trương Ca immediately and unconditionally.

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PARAGUAY

Urgent Action: Indigenous Community Attacked by Armed Men

The Ysati Indigenous community in the district of Itakyry (department of Alto Paraná, southeast Paraguay) had their crops and six houses burned down and 55 people, of which 38 children, were displaced because of the violence. Community members are afraid that new attacks could take place and they are forced to flee. We urge the Attorney General to launch an immediate investigation on the attacks against the Ysati Indigenous community and to bring those responsible to justice.

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HAITI, INDONESIA, IRELAND, THE PHILIPPINES AND THE UNITED STATES

Coca-Cola is becoming a serial human rights offender

Human rights abuses are accumulating at The Coca-Cola Company. That makes Coke a serial offender when it comes to failing to respect the human rights of workers and acting to remedy abuses. The right of all workers to form, join and be represented by a union for collective bargaining is an internationally recognized fundamental human right. Please click and join the Zero Rights protest.

The Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights Action Update March 7-13

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

the This week we turn our attention to the Helen Keller International. The mission is to prevent blindness where possible. Our mission is to save and improve the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. They have high ratings from Charity Watch and Give Well.

Helen Keller International (HKI) is proud to announce that we have been rated a “top charity” by GiveWell for the second year in a row for our vitamin A supplementation program.

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.

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 ask who picked my tea?

URGENT ACTION CASES

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Urgent Action: Three Jehovah’s Witnesses At Risk of Torture

On 15 February Russian law enforcement officials carried out raids on homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Surgut and arrested at least 40 people. There are credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in custody. Sergei Loginov, Artur Severinchik and Yevgeniy Fedin remain remanded in custody and are at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment. They are prisoners of conscience, detained solely in connection with their religious beliefs, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.

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TAJIKISTAN

Испания: гражданину Таджикистана грозит экстрадиция

Urgent Action: Opposition Activist at Risk in Tajikistan

Sharofiddin Gadoev is believed to be held by the Tajik authorities following his arbitrary arrest in Moscow on 14 February and forcible return to Tajikistan. He is a member of Tajikistan’s opposition National Alliance coalition and Group 24, an opposition political movement banned in Tajikistan. Sharofiddin Gadoev is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

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MEXICO

SAMIR FLORES UNA MENTE PERVERSA PONE FIN A SU VIDA 😢

Urgent Action: Environmental Rights Defender Killed

Samir Flores Soberanes, environmental, land and territory human rights defender, was shot dead on 20 February, after receiving several death threats for his work defending the territory of his community. Samir was a member of a grassroots collective for environmental and the territorial protection called Front of Peoples in Defense of the Earth and Agua in the states of Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala (southeast Mexico). He was also vocal against the geothermic project called “Proyecto Integral Morelos” and had received written death threats and was beaten by an unknown group in October 2018.

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Myanmar hotel workers are fighting for their rights!

In 2015, after a majority of workers at the Hotel Tharabar Gate in the heart of the country’s famous Bagan Archeological Zone formed their union, management attempted to dismiss elected union chairman Ko Nay Myo Win. Hotel staff including non-union members protested, and management relented. The union then joined together with other local hotel unions (including the union at the Bagan Hotel River View) to form the area-wide union organization HLOB, which elected him chairman. Please click and support their struggle.