Thursday, December 26, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Dec. 21-26

Miriam, Human Rights Defender, 1947-2012

We wish a happy holiday season and new year to all our readers. Let us hope that 2014 will see an improvement in the human rights situation around the world.

The abuse of striking railway workers in South Korea is continuing. The right to strike is an essential human right and must be defended. Please click and join the protest. We also request that you contact new media to protest about the new blackout with respect to this struggle. At the bottom of the linked page you will find some media contacts.

Amnesty is calling for a petition to request clemency for Chelsea Manning. Respect should be given to her motivation which was to try to  spark a meaningful debate on the costs of war and specifically on the conduct of the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please join the action
© REUTERS/Jose Luis Magana  

This is worse than usual homophobia.  Please act to stop the bill to put gays in prison for life. The Ugandan parliament has passed a bill that would do just that.  The president may veto it, as he has promised to do before, if enough international pressure is applied. We have to act now.

We keep returning to that place in matters involving the abuse of women. Please sign on to the petition protesting the gang rape of a woman in Papua New Guinea and the subsequent arrest of a woman human rights defender assisting her.  You are asked to copy the letter into an email and send it to the address given.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Dec. 13-19

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Advice for use of letter templates: if you download them from the cloud via the link, you  must further click on the download menu under the file tab to chose an editable format such as rtf or docx.

The activist Zhang Lin is at risk of being sentenced to five years in prison as a result of his peaceful activism defending his daughter’s right to education. It is believed that he has been targeted due to his association with the “New Citizens’ Movement”. His trial will begin on 18 December. He has several health problems and may not be receiving the medical treatment he requires. Please act on his behalf. A template letter is available.

Workers at the Accor Group's Ibis Tamarin hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, have been struggling for rights and recognition since their union was formed and legally registered in August 2012. Management's aggressive response to their efforts to claim their rights has now escalated.  Please click on their behalf.

Kellogg's locks out Memphis workers to force the expansion of disposable jobs - tell them to lift the lockout! Please click to help these workers.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Dec. 6-12

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
During this Human Rights Week, let us honor Miriam's memory by doing what she did so well and would want us to do--defend human rights.

The Committee of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared in Honduras (COFADEH) is one of the country’s main human rights organizations. Its work includes seeking justice for current human rights abuses by the security forces and for “disappearances” in the 1980s, and training local human rights activists. Their brave work places them at great risk.  Please open the site and write on their behalf.

Two years after the shocking massacre of striking oil workers in Kazakhstan, seven activists remain in jail.  Please join the action

We all love potato chips, but they turn bitter if there are connected with union busting. Please tell PEPSICO
that their Frito-Lay workers in India are being subjected to terrible abuse and to do something about it. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Human Rights Update Nov. 30-Dec. 5

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Terrible amendments to the penal code are being put forward. They include at least 26 amendments to the country’s Penal Code such as::
  • public stoning to death for ‘adultery’ by married people
  • amputation of hands and feet for theft and robbery
  • up to 100 lashes for unmarried people found guilty of ‘adultery’.   
Please act at once.
Bringing back stoning is a betrayal of the Afghan people © UNHCR / J. Tanner

 Global Campaign Targets Violence Against Women And Girls Caused By 'militarism'
 Please join this campaign sponsored by Amnesty International. There are actions aimed at several countries. Please do as many as you can. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Nov. 22-28

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

We have in the past called for action to obtain justice for Miriam Lopez who was raped by Mexican soldiers and then held for seven months on false charges. She had the courage to complain, but nothing has been done. Our friends from Amnesty Australia are running a campaign for her. Let us all join them.  It is a good idea to send a copy to your local Mexican embassy. As AI Australia write on their site:

Without your help, Miriam will not receive the justice she deserves for the awful crimes committed against her.

On Human Rights Day, 10 December, we will close this action and present all your names to Jesús Murillo Karam, Mexico’s Federal Attorney General. It will mark two years that Miriam has been waiting for justice.
In our experience, emails can be go down when flooded with actions from around the world. Take action and send your email now to Jesús Murillo Karam.
Miriam Lopez, LWM 2013 stamp artwork
Demand justice for Miriam López © Amnesty International


The plight of the Awa people in Brazil has attracted major media attention. They have been recently featured in both Vanity Fair and the Sunday Times. The result has been 55,000 letters to the Brazilian authorities and suddenly they have become a priority.
STANDING TALL Awá men and boys, in the Território Indígena Awá, in the Brazilian Amazon.

We applaud the media celebrities who have joined this campaign and are proud to have been part of it. We shall continue to monitor this action. We invite you to display the Awaicon. 
Brazil: Save the Awá 

 In Morocco a girl who has been raped is forced by law to marry her rapist. This of course condemns her to a life of misery at the mercy of a man who attacked her and will continue to do so.  Please sign a petition to put an end to this terrible practice.
End Moroccan Laws Requiring Women To Marry Their Rapists

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Nov. 15-21

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Sixty families from two rural communities in the state of Maranhão, northeast Brazil, were left homeless and landless after being forcibly evicted by Maranhão police. The community Campo da Bandeira has also been threatened and intimidated by gunmen patrolling the area. Four community leaders have been “marked down for death”. Please act on this issue. A template letter to the Brazilian authorities is available for personalized editing on your part.

Acts of intimidation are being carried out and false charges are being raised against labor activists in Mexico. Please protest and demand the dropping of the charges. If the form comes up with my details, just erase them and put in your own. The site can be too user-friendly at times.

Australian-based manufacturer of medical gloves and condoms, Ansell continues to attack its workers. Suspending striking trade union members in Sri Lanka and replacing them with contracted scabs puts a bad stain on Ansell’s products that are exported throughout the world. Please join this campaign here. Also please send the solidarity message to our sisters and brothers in the free trade zone of Sir Lanka.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Nov.8-14

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
In 1996 the Pahari activist, Kalpana Chakma, from the Chittagong Hill Tracts, disappeared. At 23 years old, she was abducted from her home in Lallyagona village, Baghaichari, Rangamati district. Since then the police have done little or nothing to bring her abductors to justice. The courts have rejected the feeble "reports" and excuses of the police. Please click to sent a letter to the Home Minister demanding justice for Kalpana Chakma.

Eskinder is serving an 18 year prison sentence in Ethiopia for ‘incitement to commit terrorist acts’ and ‘treason’ - but he is neither a terrorist nor a traitor. He is a firm believer in free speech and an honest journalist, which frightens dictators. . Please sign the petition to bring him home.


 He is a brave activist who wrote:

‘Individuals can be penalised, made to suffer (oh, how I miss my child) and even killed. But… I will live to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It may or may not be a long wait. Whichever way events go, I shall persevere.’
Eskinder Nega

Oscar López Triviño was murdered on November 9 in the Colombian city of Bugalagrande a day after he and other members of his union, SINALTRAINAL, received death threats from paramilitaries. The union had been on hunger strike at Nestlé beginning November 5. Please join the protest of the  IUF against this anti-union terrorism and the call for action on the part of the Colombian government.


Sean Bailey has been fired by McDonald's in New Zealand as punishment for testifying before a Parliamentary committee about labor abuses by his employer. This is not only immoral and unjust, but also illegal since penalties for testimony in Parliament are a violation of the law. Please click and join the protest against this action and demand Sean Bailey's reinstatement. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Human Rights Action update Nov. 1-7

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
We have an update on the case of the human rights defender Cao Shunli who is in detention for her
human rights activities. A template letter to the authorities is provided Feel free to edit and personalize it. While we have acted on her behalf in the recent past, Amnesty International is calling on all of us to keep up the pressure on the Chinese authorities with respect to Cao Shunli. Please help put in this terrible case.

Human rights defender Kyaw Hla Aung remains arbitrarily detained in Myanmar over three months after he was arrested in connection with his peaceful activities. He has been charged with multiple offenses and is facing a lengthy prison sentence. There are serious concerns regarding his lack of access to his lawyer. Please act.  A template letter is available which you may edit and personalize.

 Human rights abuses by the Chinese government continue unabated in Tibet. 
 China’s leaders are mounting an intense campaign to draw a veil over their rights abuses and persuade governments to vote them onto the UN Human Rights Council. So if enough of us shine a light on what’s going on in Tibet -- squashing an ancient religion, banning journalists, dawn arrests --we can get China to back away from its hard-line policy in order to be sure of getting the 97 votes it needs. Please sign the AVAAZ petition.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Human Rights Action update Oct. 26-31

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
The indigenous people of Botswana are being subject to systematic persecution by the government of Botswana. Despite court orders to enable them to maintain their hunting-gathering life style, the government is pushing them out of their ancestral lands under the bogus claim of conservation. The truth is that their lands happen to be rich in diamonds and the DeBeer Corporation is using various blandishments to obtain mining concessions from the government. Please act on behalf of the Bushmen.

Survival International is calling for protests and a tourist boycott of Botswana.
Botswana attracts tourists with images of the Kalahari Bushmen, whilst driving them off their lands
Botswana attracts tourists with images of the Kalahari Bushmen, whilst driving them off their lands
Since Jun e 2012 aviation workers in Turkey have been in dispute with Turkish Airlines (THY) over their right to strike and the dismissal of 305 workers who took industrial action on May 29, 2012 to protest the government's plan to ban strikes in the aviation sector. Turkish Airlines responded by sacking these workers via text message and email. CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO TURKISH AIRLINES.

Over six months have passed since the Rana Plaza disaster and compensation has been paid to only a tiny fraction of the victims.The INTERNATIONAL LABOR RIGHTS FORUM  is calling for protests. We quote them:
"Since 2005, over 1,800 workers have been killed in preventable factory fires and building collapses in the Bangladesh garment industry. Now over 100 companies have joined together in the Accord on Fire and Building Safety to prevent further tragedies. But most US companies are still refusing to join the Accord and to pay their fair share of compensation to the victims of factory disasters. 
This week marks six months since the Rana Plaza building collapse - read our new report: Still Waiting: Six months after history's deadliest apparel industry disaster, workers continue to fight for compensation. "
Please act and think twice before enjoying the low prices of Walmart and Gap. Those prices represent blood.If the petition comes up with my details, just erase and put in your own.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Oct. 18-24

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
This month we mark the passing of a year since the death of our beloved Miriam. Her daughters marked the event with a memorial that included a lecture by a linguist on the influence of foreign languages on Hebrew. This was an appropriate memorial for Miriam's career as a translator. Her efforts on medical translation in which she strove to bring medical services to marginalized populations merged her professional persona with her human rights defender aspect. Her attitude towards human rights defense was that it was something to do and not to talk about too much. This blog is dedicated to her memory and we hope we are getting someone somewhere to do something for human rights. Now to work:

The pattern of forced evictions goes on.  Demolition without any warning took place in Bagou village, Haidian district, Beijing. Please act on this. A template letter is available. Just remove my formatting and use it freely.

AWID calls our attention to a series of death threats against community activists in Oaxaco State in Mexico. Please respond to the request for actions. A template letter is available.

Nearly 2 years ago, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman* was raped at a party by a high school football star and grandson of a powerful local politician in Maryville, Missouri. But now, he’s walking free while Daisy and her family struggle to survive with what happened to her. Please sign the petition to put an end to the cover up. It is a repeat of the Steubenville rape story.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Human Rights Action update Oct. 11-17

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Death and disaster have again struck the garment industry in Bangladesh. On October 8 hundreds of workers were inside the Aswad Composite Mills factory when the fire broke out. Eight workers were killed and 50 were injured, some critically. Walmart and Gap are the chief clients. of this factory and despite the eloquent declarations in the wake  of the building collapse that took so many lives. Walmart has low prices in the West because of execrable and dangerous working conditions in the East. Please join in the protest to the Walmart owners. The form will come up with data from Yosefa, just type in your own details and click to send.

Human rights defender Cao Shunli, who was taken away by police on 14 September at Beijing Capital International Airport, has been arbitrarily detained. She is a prisoner of conscience and may have been subjected to enforced disappearance. Her whereabouts and legal status are unconfirmed. Please act on her behalf.

We have some cases from the Web site AWID for Association for  Women's Rights in Development. The actions come with prepared template letters. The Take Action tab is at the bottom of the page and is hilghlighted.

The first is from Cuba: :Human rights defender Ms Damaris Moya Portieles physically attacked at her home and arrested Please take action on behalf of human rights defender Damaris Moya Portieles.Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided.

In Colombia 14 women human rights defenders have been killed this year in the rural region of Cauca. On 30 September 2013, human rights defender and campesina leader Ms Adelinda Gómez Gaviria was killed in Almaguer, Cauca region. Please act to obtain justice for her and other victims and to call for an end to these killings.

Cuba: Human rights defender Ms Damaris Moya Portieles physically attacked at her home and arrested

Take action on behalf of human rights defender Damaris Moya Portieles.
Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided.
Thank you for taking action.
- See more at:

Cuba: Human rights defender Ms Damaris Moya Portieles physically attacked at her home and arrested

Take action on behalf of human rights defender Damaris Moya Portieles.
Copy the enclosed letter and send it to the address provided.
Thank you for taking action.
- See more at:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Oct. 3-10

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Human rights defender Cao Shunli, who was taken away by police on 14 September at Beijing Capital International Airport, has been arbitrarily detained. She is a prisoner of conscience and may have been subjected to enforced disappearance. Her whereabouts and legal status are unconfirmed.  Please act on her behalf.

Social activist Adela Gómez Martínez’s health is at risk while she is in a prison in El Amate de Cintalapa, Chiapas State, Mexico. There is fear for her safety and that the detention could be a reprisal for her activism.   Please act for her.

The teachers' union is in danger of being decertified. Their crime? Allowing retirees and employees who have been dismissed to remain members of the union. The government is using this tactic, which violates all union practices in the world, to try to break public sector unions. Please join the protest.

Andy Hall is a researcher who defends the rights of migrants in Thailand, including migrants from Burma. Instead of investigating his charges, a case has been trumped up against him. Please join the call from the UK Burma campaign to have the charges against him dropped.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Human Rights Action Update, Sept. 29-Oct. 3

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

We start this week with two calls from Survival International, the organization that fights for the rights of indigenous, uncontacted people and tribes whose native habitat is under attack by economic interests and who are abused systematically. Since they usually have no immunity to the diseases that we carry around with us, contact can be lethal. All they want is to be left alone.

The people of the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean have become objects of a most degrading type of tourism. The Jawara tribe are treated like safari animals. Please sign the petition to the Indian government to put a stop to this outrage and join the boycott.
Vehicles queue to enter the Jarawa reserve along the Andaman Trunk Road
Vehicles queue to enter the Jarawa reserve along the Andaman Trunk Road
© G Chamberlain/ Survival
.The Penan people in Malaysia are suffering from logging in their forest habitat.
The trees come down, the rivers become silted and the fish and game upon which they live are driven out. Please write to the Chief MInister of Sawarak to protest this persecution.

Over half the population of Nairobi are living in squalor caused by the failure of the government to deal with the housing issues of the population. Housing is a human right. Please join the Amnesty International call to stop this practice in Kenya.
The remains of City Carton settlement in Nairobi, after bulldozers flattened the area. May 2013. © Amnesty International

Please join a campaign to support Canadian workers who are being bullied by their employers and whose hard-won rights are being taken away.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Human Rights action update September 21-25

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
We are again bringing out the blog a day earlier because of tomorrow's holiday of Shmini Atzeret. Next week we hope to be back to the "after the holidays" normal schedule.

Please act to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Prisoners of Conscience, arrested only because of their beliefs and use of their right of expression.

Further information on UA: 181/13 Index: ASA 17/032/2013 China Date: 19 September 2013

Legal scholar and human rights activist Xu Zhiyong and his associates Song Ze and Li Huanjun have been formally arrested in Beijing. They are prisoners of conscience, who are likely to face trial, and are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
According to his lawyer, Xu Zhiyong was formally arrested on suspicion of "gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place" on 22 August 2013 by the Public Transportation Safety Protection Branch of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau. He is held at the Beijing No. 3 Detention Centre. His arrest is in connection with his continuous human rights work and his recent peaceful advocacy for the “New Citizens’ Movement”.
One of his associates, Li Huanjun, a volunteer with Gongmin, an NGO Xu Zhiyong founded, was formally arrested on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” around 20 August 2013. She is held at Beijing Municipal No.2 Detention Centre. Li Huanjun, a housing rights activist, joined Xu Zhiyong’s anti-corruption campaign in 2013. Song Ze (also known as Song Guangqiang) who had been volunteering with Gongmin and is known for helping petitioners (people seeking redress for perceived injustices) was confirmed to have been formally arrested on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” on 16 August 2013. He is held at Beijing Municipal No.3 Detention Centre. Xu Zhiyong, Li Huanjun and Song Ze have been assigned lawyers. There is no new information regarding another associate Li Gang who was detained on 12 July 2013 and was also held at Beijing Municipal No.3 Detention Centre.

According to an overseas advocacy group Chinese Human Rights Defenders, as of 18 September, nearly 60 individuals who associated themselves with the “New Citizens’ Movement” are known to have been criminally detained or subjected to enforced disappearance. Twenty-nine of them are known to have been formally arrested.

The charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison while “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” carries of up to ten years’ imprisonment.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language:
n Urging the authorities to release Xu Zhiyong, Li Huanjun, Song Ze and Li Gang immediately and unconditionally;
n Calling on the authorities to ensure that the above four are not tortured or otherwise ill-treated and have regular access to their families, lawyers and any medical attention they may require.

Chief Prosecutor of Beijing Municipal People’s Procuratorate
Cao Jianming Jianchazhang
Beijingshi Renmin Jianchayuan
9 Beidaijie, Jianguomen, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100005
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Procurator

Director of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau
Fu Zhenghua Juzhang
Beijingshi Gong'anju
9 Dongdajie, Qianmen
Beijingshi 100740
People's Republic of China
Fax: + 86 10 65242927
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:
Director of the Beijing Municipal Justice Bureau
YU Hongyuan Juzhang
Beijingshi Sifaju
39 Houguangping Hutong
Nanxiaojie, Xizhimennei, Xichengqu
Beijingshi 100035
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 58575684
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA: 181/13. Further information:

Additional Information
Xu Zhiyong teaches at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. After he was released on bail to await trial, Xu Zhiyong, along with several human rights lawyers including Teng Biao, in 2010 set up another initiative to continue their work which is called “Citizen” (‘Gongmin’ in Chinese, although in China people continue to refer to this initiative by the name of Xu Zhiyong’s previous NGO, Gongmeng).
In May 2012 in an article China Needs a New Citizens’ Movement, Xu Zhiyong describes the “New Citizens’ Movement” as a peaceful cultural, social and political campaign. The activities he suggests people take include disseminating the “New Citizen Spirit” online and in the streets; practicing “New Citizen Responsibility” by rejecting corruption and by doing good for society; using the “Citizen” sign or other identifying methods; participating in civic life by holding meetings to discuss the political situation; helping the weak; and uniting to share and coordinate work.
The article is available online at:
The charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place” (Article 291 of China’s Criminal Law) applies to people who gathered to disturb order at railway stations or bus terminals, wharves, civil airports, marketplaces, parks, theatres, cinemas, exhibition halls, sports grounds or other public places, or to block traffic or undermine traffic order, or resist or obstruct public security administrators of the State from carrying out their duties according to law. If the circumstances are serious, a ringleader can receive a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
The charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (Article 293 of Criminal Law) carries a maximum of five years imprisonment if the person commits one of the acts of creating disturbances, thus disrupting public order such as forcibly taking or demanding, damaging, destroying or occupying public or private property with serious circumstances; or creating disturbances in a public place, thus causing serious disorder in such place etc. If the person gathers others and commits the behaviours repeatedly that seriously undermine public order, he or she will receive a maximum of ten years imprisonment but no less than five years imprisonment.
According to article 169 of China’s Criminal Procedure Law, once a person has been formally arrested, the People’s Procuratorate should make a decision on whether to prosecute within one month of a case being transferred by the public security organ, with the possible extension of half a month. However, the People’s Procuratorate also has the power under the Article 171 to remand the case to a public security organ for supplementary investigation, or conduct the investigation itself if they consider the evidence provided to be insufficient for prosecution. In cases where supplementary investigation is to be conducted, it shall be completed within a month. Supplementary investigation may be conducted twice at most. During this time the suspects would typically remain in custody.
In pre-trial detention, which applies until which time suspects are brought to trial, detainees can only meet with their lawyers and not for example, with their family members.
Names: Xu Zhiyong (m), Li Gang (m), Li Huanjun (f), Song Ze (m)
Gender m/f: both

Further information on UA: 181/13 Index: ASA 17/032/2013 Issue Date: 19 September 2013

Individuals Campaign Team

Email: /
Hotline: via switchboard (cannot be dialled from outside the building) (+44) 20 7413 5500 extension 5051

We have asked you in the past to plead for Warren Hill, a severely retarded person about to be executed in Georgia for murder. The US Supreme Court has ruled in the past that such intellectually disabled persons cannot be executed, but Georgia, as other states, finds ways to circumvent the Court. We are linking you to an editorial in the New York Times and request that you put it out on your social networks to raise awareness of this issue.

Victor Crespo a union organizer in Honduras is in deadly danger and has had to go into hiding.  Please click to ask the government and President of Honduras to take steps to protect him.
Victor Crespo.

This is hard to believe, but the Secretary  General of the UN is trying to bust the union of the employees of the organization. Please join this voice of protest.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Human Rights Action Update Sept. 14-18

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
The blog is a day early this week because of the Succot holiday. We wish you all a happy holiday, moadim lesimcha.

Human rights activists in China are in danger of torture. Please act.

Activist tortured by police, please act. Luis Rafael Escobar Ugas, a Venezuelan human rights activist has been in detention since March for participating in a protest. He has been tortured and threatened. He is ill and is not receiving the urgent medical care he needs.

The highest ranking policewoman in Afghanistan has been assassinated.
Lieutenant Negar, 38, died on Monday morning in hospital after two unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot her in the neck on Sunday near police headquarters in Lashkar Gah.
Lieutenant Negar, 38, died on Monday morning in hospital after two unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot her in the neck on Sunday near police headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Human rights action update Sept. 6-12

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

We start with a full text UA from the China Action Program of Amnesty. Please act.

UA: 243/13 Index: ASA 17/030/2013 China Date: 11 September 2013

Households risk imminent forced eviction
Six households in Bagou village, in Haidian district in Beijing are at risk of forced eviction on 14 September. The authorities have failed to provide the protections required and the residents are at risk of being rendered homeless.
On 9 September, the six households involving 28 people received a notice from the police to vacate their homes by 14 September. According to the notice, if they don’t vacate their homes in time, they will be evicted and their homes bulldozed according “to the law”. Authorities have failed to provide, opportunities for genuine consultation, adequate compensation and alternative housing, and fair legal remedies. Residents have also been harassed, threatened and beaten.
In 2003, approximately 6000 households in Bagou received news they would need to vacate the area as the local authorities had sold the land in their village to developers to build a ‘green belt’ around Beijing. After a series of acts of harassment and intimidation by the developers, most residents were forced to leave the area. Today, only six households remain.
The six households, who have been living in the area for generations, have legally challenged the eviction on a number of grounds including that the offers for compensation did not meet the standards set in the Land Administration Law and that, the developer had misrepresented the environmental assessment and built residential and commercial estates instead of the “green belt”. Their latest appeal submitted to the Beijing City Higher People’s Court on 19 November 2012 is currently under review.
The six remaining households include two physically disabled people, six elderly people and five children. In recent months, harassments of the residents has increased. Dozens of people in plain clothes and in police uniforms with riot gear have congregated at the village threatening to demolish the remaining houses.

Please write immediately in English, Chinese or your own language:
n Urging the authorities not to evict the people in Bagou village, Haidian district in Beijing while their appeal is pending in court and without following due process requirements including adequate notice and compensation.
n Urging the authorities to investigate and stop all acts of intimidation and harassment carried out both by state and non-state actors
n Urging the authorities to ensure that nobody is rendered homeless as a result of an eviction and those who cannot provide for themselves are provided adequate alternative housing.


Beijing Municipal People's Government Mayor
Wang Anshun Shizhang
Beijingshi Renmin Zhengfu
2 Zhengyilu, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100744
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 84371700
Salutation: Dear Mayor

Beijing Municipal Party Committee Secretary
Guo Jinlong Shuji
Beijingshi Weiyuanhui
3 Taijichangdajie, Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100743
People's Republic of China
Tel: +86 10 65121118 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Secretary

And copies to:
Beijing Municipal No.1 Intermediate People’s Court
Ji Luohong Yuanzhang
16 Shijingshanlu, Shijingshanqu
Beijingshi 100040
People’s Republic of China
Tel: +86 10 6863 9038 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear President

Individuals Campaign Team

Email: /
Hotline: via switchboard (cannot be dialled from outside the building) (+44) 20 7413 5500 extension 5051

Please demand that the government of Slovakia put an end to discrimination against Roma children.
Vigil in front of Slovak embassy in London  to end segregation of Roma children © Amnesty International
Our friends at Amnesty Australia are calling our attention to past abuses in Sir Lanka and the refusal of the government to take responsibility. Please help a bereaved father obtain justice for his son who was murdered by security forces.  
Dr Manoharan © Amnesty International
Dr Manoharan's son was murdered by Sri Lankan security forces seven years ago © Amnesty International

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Human Rights action update August 30-Sept. 4

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

 SHANA TOVA שנה טובה 

We are bringing out the blog a day earlier because of the Rosh Hashana holiday.

Solidarity pays off
We are pleased to start the New Hebrew Year with news of a victory by hotel workers in  Toronto.

Enforced disappearances at the hands of the military, the police and criminal groups are becoming more and more common in Mexico. We present here a detailed discussion and ask tweeters to use the links given there. We also have a specific case that requires action.

Please act to protect the residents of the Nahua-Nanti Reserve for uncontacted tribes from invasion of their territory by the Peruvian Ministry of Mines and Energy, which is leading the aggressive campaign to send hundreds of gas workers into the uncontacted and isolated Nahua and Nanti Indians' forest, detonate thousands of explosive charges, and sink wells to pump out more gas from their reserve.  These people have no immunity to the diseases carried by the gas workers and can be wiped out by this forced contact.
These people need your help