Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Human Rights Update July 13-20

Miriam, human rights defender, 1947-2012


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 your attention is drawn to UNITAF. Unitaf is the social initiative of the Yehuda Tribitch Fund for Social Involvement which operates a network of day care and after-school centers for the children of migrant workers and asylum seekers in Tel Aviv. .Certainly they are worthy of a generous donation from all of us.


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. We send you to the campaign page and urge you to choose a cause to support.  View this video.


We have added this section to the blog in order to join the struggle against slavery worldwide. This week we refer you to the the ILO’s Protocol on Forced Labor which is all about modern slavery. We call your attention to the anti slavery campaign. There you can sign up for action updates.The importance of checking your sellers' supply chains cannot be overemphasized.
Look for these logos:


Think of your own child or grandchild

Blast it out and make it go viral. Find a campaign to work for. Light must be made to shine in the darkest of places. Also please note the Urgent Action call concerning slavery in Mauritania

GOOD NEWS Good News! - Ukraine: 

Ivan Bezyazykov Released From Detention

Ukrainian officer Ivan Bezyazykov was released from detention by the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine on 5 July after spending more than 22 months in captivity and being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. He has reunited with his wife and children in Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

No further action is requested of the UA Network. Many thanks to all who sent appeals.


Release Whereabouts of Oleksandr Dydovych

Oleksandr Dydovych was arbitrarily arrested on 17 December 2015. His wife was allowed to exchange letters with him until 16 April, while he was in the Security Service of Ukraine’s unofficial detention. His fate and whereabouts are unknown since then, and there are serious concerns about his safety. Please act on his behalf.


Mauritania: Release Nine Anti-Slavery Activists

Nine members of the anti-slavery organization Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement in Mauritania (IRA) have been in incommunicado detention since their arrests. They were charged on 12 July with rebellion, use of violence, attack against the police and agents of justice and membership of an unrecognized organization. They are at risk of ill-treatment while in detention.  Please write to the authorities and demand their release.


Release 15 Peaceful Protestors

15 factory workers and student union members are detained in Myanmar and face a range of criminal charges for their peaceful protest to demand better working conditions. They are prisoners of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released. Please write for them and call for their immediate and unconditional release. Madam Aung San Suu Kyi, why are you allowing this to happen?


Union organizer expelled

Orhan Akman, a German trade union organizer who has been working for UNI Americas in Peru over the last few years, has been expelled from the country. Through peaceful demonstrations alongside Peruvian workers, Akman has successfully overseen unionization and collective bargaining at companies such as Cencosud. The Peruvian government has accused Akman of “disrupting public order, tranquility and social peace” and has therefore been refused reentry to the country. Despite the authorities claiming to have evidence to corroborate these claims, no proof has been produced. We demand that Mr. Akman’s name be completely cleared and that he is entitled to freely enter and move throughout the country. Please click and join the protest.



AFP Demand fair terms for freelance photographers

French-owned multinational media group Agence France Presse (AFP) is trying to steal workers' rights. AFP is imposing rights-grabbing new contracts on freelance photographers working in a number of countries outside of France, where photographers benefit from being covered by a collective agreement. It is discrimination. The contracts are abusive and exploitative. They seek to take away photographers' copyright in return for no additional payment. It is theft. The contract requires photographers to sign a global, irrevocable, perpetual licence to allow the company to use their photos and videos on any medium, in any language, in any form including in any future products. Despite a demand from the unions the company have failed to withdraw the contracts. They want to profit by stealing workers' rights. Don't let them. Please click and add your name.


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