Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012

We wish all our Eastern Orthodox Christian readers a Merry Christmas  and a Happy New Year to all. Let us hope for a worldwide improvement in the protection of human rights.

EMBASSY FINDER Survival International provides a useful tool for locating the embassy of any country in your country.


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.

This week we focus on  the the Yanomami, who are the largest relatively isolated tribe in South America. They live in the rainforests and mountains of northern Brazil and southern Venezuela. They number approximately 32,000. Mining, ranching, and health care chaos threaten Yanomami
Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami leader and shaman surrounded by children, Demini, Brazil.
Davi Kopenawa, Yanomami leader and shaman surrounded by children, Demini, Brazil.
© Fiona Watson/Survival
For thousands of years, the Yanomami have thrived in the rainforests of South America. Now, they are struggling as the government fails to protect them from criminal invasions, attacks and disease. Please read the history of the interaction of the Yanomami with ranchers and gold miners and check out the options for helping the Yanomami at the bottom of the page.


In the wake of the horrible Peshawar school massacre, the government has ended its moratorium on executions. While indeed the event was terrible, we nonetheless oppose capital punishment on moral and human rights grounds. Please write and call upon the Pakistani government to halt executions. People are sentenced to death in Pakistan for crimes such as "blasphemy" which do not constitute the type of serious offense for which capital punishment is allowed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Pakistan is a state party.



Film director Ines Ben Othman was arrested on 19 December 2014 after lodging a complaint for harassment by a police officer. She is in custody, facing one year in prison for insulting that police officer. (We note that in Israel too you can go to jail for "insulting a public employee" which tells you something of democracy. The law is almost never applied). Please write and protest this heavy-handed police behavior.



Four human rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested and detained in Myanmar after participating in a peaceful demonstration against the shooting to death of a protester the week before. The four have been detained solely for the lawful exercise of their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and must be immediately and unconditionally released. Please write and call for the release of these prisoners of conscience.

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