Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Human Rights Action blog March 6-12

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012



Journalist Bob Rugurika was released on bail on 19 February 2015 after being detained for a month. The Bujumbura Court of Appeal ordered his provisional release on 1 8 February 2015 with his bail set at Burundi francs 15,000,000 (around US$9,430) . He was released on condition that he appears monthly before the relevant investigating magistrate and does not leave the country without the magistrate’s authorization.


Dongria Kondh girls.
‘We are born of this earth, and this earth is ours. Niyamgiri belongs to us.’— Laksa Majhi photo Jason Taylor
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 Dongria Kondh of India. We are not asking you for action, but we would like to share their story of a major victory. The Dongria Kondh of India’s Niyamgiri Hills have won a heroic victory against mining giant Vedanta Resources to save their sacred hills. The Supreme Court told Vedanta in 2013 that the Dongria must decide whether to allow mining on the Mountain of the Law. The Dongria answered with an unequivocal ‘No’. Their story of resistance to a plan to mine bauxite in their territory, which would have meant the complete destruction of a people and a way of life is inspiring and we invite you to read it.

While we have no indigenous tribe action this week, we have a heavier than usual load of human rights and labor actions.  Since the violators of human rights are hyperactive, it is our job to try to match them.


Thanks to Guy and Tilly for this one. Arubika Suleymanova, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin, is facing deportation to the Russian Federation or to an as yet unknown third country. If returned she is at risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Please act on her behalf.



Human rights activist Jaison C Cooper and Thushar Nirmal Sarathy were arrested on 30 January on suspicion of being involved in unlawful activities because they had ‘pro - Maoist’ materials in their homes. They were denied bail on 3 March, and continue to be held in judicial custody. Please act on their behalf because their only "offense" is possession of printed material which has been ruled to be not a crime by Indian courts.


The detention of Tatar rights activist Rafis Kashapov has been extended until 27 April. There are concerns about his health and prison conditions.  Please act on his behalf and call for the right of free expression in Russia.


Five young women activists have been detained in unknown location s in China after planning to hold events against sexual harassment to mark International Women’s Day . They have not had access to a lawyer and are at risk of torture and other ill - treatment. Please act on their behalf.


Trade union leader Jimena Lopez was sacked from her cabin crew job after a successful organizing drive at her workplace. Please join the worldwide campaign to get Jimena her job back. Firing for union organizing activity is an attack on working people everywhere.

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