Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Human Rights Action Update March 31-April 6


Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger. The Greek and Latin words on the book translate to "The Herculean Labors of Erasmus of Rotterdam".



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


This week we will be parochial rather than universalist. The Passover/Pesach holiday is approaching and MOT's and their friends will be sitting down to Seder tables groaning under the weight of the delicacies on them. There is a tradition of charity called Kamcha d'Pascha  (קמחא דפסחא) or flour of Passover designed to enable the poorest amongst us to share the joy of freedom from slavery.  In Israel you can donate via the Reform Movement or just phone 1-700-50-19-19. Elsewhere, contact your local synagogue and they will be glad to help you do the right thing for the holiday.

Good News!

INDONESIA: Prisoner Granted Medical Care (UA 289/15).  

Malukan prisoner of conscience, Johan Teterissa, was granted medical treatment by prison authorities for a condition affecting both his legs and hindering his movement. Many thanks to those who sent appeals. No further action is requested of the UA network.


Kachin peace activist Patrick Kum Jaa Lee has been released on 1 April after serving his 6 months sentence. He was imprisoned for a Facebook post mocking the Myanmar army. Many thanks to those who sent appeals. No further action is requested of the UA network.


Mexican human rights defender Gustavo Castro Soto, sole witness to the murder of Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres, has returned to Mexico. Honduran authorities had previously ordered him to remain in the country until 6 April.  Many thanks to those who sent appeals. No further action is requested of the UA network.


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 struggle for survival of the Kawahiva, an uncontacted tribe in Brazil. In the Brazilian Amazon, the uncontacted Kawahiva Indians teeter on the brink of extinction. For years Survival has been pressing for their land to be recognized, but now loggers are invading.

The tribe is forced to live on the run, fleeing violence from outsiders. Attacks and disease have killed their relatives. Please call upon the Brazilian government to demarcate and protect their land and forest habitat.


We have added a new section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the site of the CNN Freedom Project  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 these logos:


This week we refer you to ECPAT, a global network dedicated to protecting children. They coordinate research, advocacy and action to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Read their message and find a way to help them, if only by putting out the word on your social media.


Last week we called for a search for missing Ukrainian lawyer, Yuri Grabovski. His body  was discovered on 25 March in a shallow grave in woods, about 100 km outside of Kyiv. The authorities must guarantee the safety of his colleague, Oksana Sokolovskaya, and the new lawyer who has replaced Yuri Grabovski, and ensure that they can defend their clients without any hindrance. Please call for a thorough investigation of the murder and protection for the surviving lawyers.


Release 17 Youth Activists. 

Seventeen Angolan youth activists have been sentenced to jail terms of between 2 years and 8 years six months. They are all in prison, except for Nuno Dala who is on hunger strike and in hospital. Please call for their release.

USA Execution--thanks to Guy for calling our attention. 

Ivan Telguz was scheduled to be executed in Virginal on April 13. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued a temporary stay of execution for Ivan Teleguz, a Ukrainian national who was convicted of ordering the 2001 murder of his girlfriend, Stephanie Sipe. He was scheduled to be put to death on April 13. Please write to call for a commutation of the death sentence.


Demand justice for Palestinian circus performer held in Israel

23-year-old Mohammad Faisal Abu Sakha has been held by the Israeli military without any contact with his family since late last year. He hasn’t been charged with a crime and the authorities refuse to give a reason for his detention. Please act for him.  You can also sign an email petition. 31,382 actions  taken. Help us reach 50,000


Anyone who can make a European politician listen should join the call against  renewed authorization in the European Union of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup and the world's most widely-used herbicide.


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