Thursday, January 30, 2014

Human Rights Action update Jan.24-30

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Human rights defender Kyaw Hla Aung is in poor health in Sittwe prison, in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. He is suffering from arthritis and high blood pressure; moreover there are concerns he is not receiving adequate medical treatment in detention. He has been detained arbitrarily for over six months despite the so-called democratization of the country. Kyaw Hla Aung was arrested on 15 July 2013, the same day that Myanmar’s President Thein Sein promised that there would be no more prisoners of conscience in the country by the end of the year. Despite this promise, many prisoners of conscience – including Kyaw Hla Aung – are believed to be behind bars in Myanmar. Please act on his behalf.

Human rights defenders in the city of Barrancabermeja, in the Magdalena Medio region in north-eastern Colombia, have received death threats.  Please act to call upon   the Colombian authorities to fulfil their obligations regarding the protections of human rights defenders as specified in the 1998 UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, to which Colombia is a state party.

Leaders of the Aeroflot airline pilots association have been arrested as part of a union busting action on the part of the government. Please click to protest.  If the form comes up with my details,just replace with yours.

Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the well-being of Dmitrii Bulatov, a prominent activist in the Euromaydan demonstrations in Kyiv, Ukraine. His family have not heard from him since the evening of 22 January and believe he has been abducted. He is one of the main organizers and participants of the Automaydan rallies whereby convoys of cars participate in the Euromaydan demonstrations which have been ongoing in Kyiv since November 2013. He would be well known to the Ukrainian authorities for his activism. Please act on his behalf.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Human Rights Action Update Jan. 17-23

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
For once, let us start off with some good news.

Uganda’s president has refused to sign a bill that would impose harsh sentences for gay people, including life imprisonment, temporarily sidestepping a clash with foreign donors who have condemned the legislative push for years.
An asylum seeker from Uganda covers his face with a paper bag in order to protect his identity as he marches with the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force during the Gay Pride Parade in Boston, Massachusetts June 8, 2013.
Some gay Ugandans have fled the country, saying they are being persecuted
Details can be found in the NYTimes or the BBC  web site. WE can only hope that the international pressure will continue to work and  that this issue can be put behind us and the gay people of Uganda.

Belarus is the last country in Europe still carrying out executions: in 2012 it executed three men. Four death sentences, including Eduard Lykau’s, were pronounced in 2013: Rygor Yuzepchuk was sentenced on 24 April, Pavel Selyun on 12 June and Alyaksandr Haryunou was sentenced to death by a court in the city of Homel on 14 June. On 22 October, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus overturned the death sentence passed by the Homel Regional Court against Alyaksandr Harunou and returned the case for reconsideration. We have just been informed of a death sentence passed on a 53 year-old man, Eduard Lykau. Whatever heinous crimes he committed, we are still adamant in our opposition to capital punishment. Please act on this case to call for the commutation of the sentence.

Prisoners of conscience are being abused and may be tortured.. This is an Amnesty International case brought to our attention by Guy and Tilly. Thank you. All cases of abuse of prisoners and detainees must be dealt with firmly and quickly. It is indeed ironic that the prison director is named Liberty...


Óscar Arturo Orozco, a trade unionist in Colombia, is President of the Caldas branch of the Confederación Unitaria de Trabajadores (CUT). He was recently brutally attacked while attending a peaceful demonstration, and is currently in hospital in a very serious condition. IndustriALL global union have launched a major global online protest campaign demanding an end to the attacks against trade unionists.  Please take a moment to send your message. Also trade union leaders have been killed. Most recently we've learned about Ever Luis Marín Rolong, a regional leader of the SINALTRACEBA brewery workers union who was murdered on January 4 by unknown gunmen who fired six times at him, as he was waiting for a bus in the town of Soledad.

The IUF has just launched an online protest campaign demanding an end to the murders and for the government to ensure the security of trade unionists at risk

Please open the link and act on these two campaigns.

Leaders of the Aeroflot airline pilots association have been arrested as part of a union busting action on the part of the government. Please click to protest.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Human Rights Action update Jan. 10-16

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 to chose an editable format such as rtf or docx. 

The Spanish Council of Ministers is due to take a decision on the extradition request by Kazakhstan regarding asylum-seeker Aleksandr Pavlov. Credible evidence indicates that Aleksandr Pavlov, an associate of Kazakhstani opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, would risk torture if returned to Kazakhstan. The Spanish Council of Ministers has the power to stop the extradition and should do so. Please open the file and act as requested.

Prominent Tibetan monk, Karma Tsewang, was detained on 6 December in Chengdu, south-west China, on suspicion of "endangering state security". Sixteen of his supporters were also detained after they demanded his release. They have not been allowed access to lawyers and are at risk of torture.  Please act on his behalf.

The infamous bill mandating life imprisonment for LGBT activity is on the President's desk. He has the power to veto it until the end of the month. Again, please join the outcry against this monstrous violation of human rights.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Human Rights Action update Jan.4-9

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
An Indian diplomat has been arrested in the US for what amounts to keeping a household servant in slavery. Now the Indian government and the UN are conniving to get her a situation of diplomatic immunity. This is totally unacceptable. Please register your protest here.


 Refugees from the Syrian conflict who have made their way through Turkey to Bulgaria are being housed in unacceptable conditions. An initial outcry by Amnesty led to some improvements but the situation is still bad and the conditions are inadequate. Please join the protest.

Eric Lee welcomes us back to the barricades of the struggle for workers rights. Please join the new campaign for Canadian workers and the old campaign for the employees of Kellogg's.   We also ask you to protest against government violence towards workers in Cambodia

Cambodian factory strikers met by police | Source: Reuters

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Human rights action update Dec. 27-Jan. 3

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012
Happy New Year to all and may 2014 be a better year for human rights.

This year we were ill during the annual Amnesty Write-a-Thon in which people from all over the world act during the period of International Human Rights Day on behalf of individuals who are at risk or are subject to active persecution by autocratic regimes. Over 1.6 million actions were taken this year. On the philosophy of better late than never, we invite you to enter this site and to act on behalf on these people who have been chosen to be the subjects of the event.  Many of them are cases that we have dealt with during the past year.