Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Human Rights Action Update June 23-29

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012


Survival International provides a useful tool for locating the embassy of any country in your country. You can also find embassies at this link.


In the wake of the closing of the Titan and Pollyanna blogs, we are continuing the charity corner here.
This week, we are referring you to Reporters without Borders, an international organization devoted to freedom of expression and information around the world. We quote the mission statement:
  •     To continuously monitor attacks on freedom of information worldwide;
  •     To denounce any such attacks in the media;
  •     To act in cooperation with governments to fight censorship and laws aimed at restricting freedom of information;
  •     To morally and financially assist persecuted journalists, as well as their families.
  •     To offer material assistance to war correspondents in order to enhance their safety.
    rapport 30 ans
Please go to the site and donate to the extent of your ability.


Mercy Corps are pleading for help with the supply of clean water in the refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon where those who fled the conflict in Syria are living in terrible conditions in the heat of this summer. Please donate.

Refugee families gather water from a communal water stand at Zaatari camp. Water is only provided once every four days. All photos: Sumaya Agha for Mercy Corps


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 call your attention to the Guarani people of Brazil who suffer at the hands of violent ranchers. For the Guarani, land is the origin of all life. But violent invasions by ranchers have devastated their territory and nearly all of their land has been stolen. Guarani children starve and their leaders have been assassinated.
Guarani children work on the sugar cane fields which now cover much of their people's ancestral lands in Mato Grosso do Sul state
Guarani children work on the sugar cane fields which now cover much of their people’s ancestral lands in Mato Grosso do Sul state
Hundreds of Guarani men, women and children have committed suicide. Please take the steps recommended at the end of the page.


We have added a new section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. We refer you to the site of Walk Free where you can find a large number of campaigns against manifestations of slavery in different countries. The number of people living in slavery is of the order of 35 million, which indicates the extent of the problem. We suggest that you look up the Fair Trade movement in your country and make an effort to avoid buying slave-produced products.
 Look for this logo:

This week we call your attention to the issue of women trafficking in Argentina. A typical story goes like this:
"Aged 23, Carolina was promised a career as an actress after losing her job at a supermarket in Colombia. Instead, when she arrived in Argentina, she found she had been tricked and was trafficked into sexual exploitation." 
Carolina (not her real name) is one of  77,300 people estimated to be trapped in modern slavery in Argentina. The government claims to be about to do something, but despite donations and protests by thousands of women, nothing has been done. Please register your protest.


Filipino national Mary Jane Veloso was scheduled for execution for alleged drug smuggling, in April, but was granted a last-minute stay of execution.  Please call upon the President of stop her execution.


Economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and newspaper editor Fernando Mbanze have been charged with crimes against the security of the state in relation to a Facebook post on poor governance in Mozambique. Their trial begins on 3 August. Please call upon the government to drop the charges against them since their only "offense" was use of freedom of expression


Alagie Abdoulaye Ceesay, the managing director of the independent Gambian radio station Teranga FM, was rearrested on 17 July by members of the Gambian security forces after being abducted and released earlier on in the month. He has since been held incommunicado without access to his family or a lawyer. Please join the call for his release.


Urge Gov. Jerry Brown to commute Kevin Cooper's death sentence.  There exists great doubt of his guilt in the murder for which he was convicted.

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