Emergency Protest: Stop the Deportations from Manus Island




Refugee Action Collective (Victoria):




Monday, August 17 at 5:00pm

City Square 44-86 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000

Join the Refugee Action Collective to call for a halt to the pending to deportations of asylum seekers on Manus Island who have been given notice of their deportation following the rejection of their claims.

We urgently need to be able to add them to a high court case in PNG to stop this, and call on the Australian government to only remove asylum seekers from the hell hole of Manus Island to bring them to the Australian mainland where they can be processed and resettled into the community.




We are still watching and noting the ongoing silence of Australian politicians, the UNHCR, human rights groups and legal associations  ----->  After being detained for over two years, “failed” refugees are to be imminently deported from Australia's death camp on Manus Island. [Guardian - 2/8/15]:


... Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, said the advocacy group would seek injunctions against the removal of any asylum seekers from PNG until a constitutional challenge to Manus Island detention centre is heard by the supreme court.

The challenge argues asylum seekers have been systematically denied due process and the protection of their rights under PNG law, and demands enforcement of their rights under the constitution.

Rintoul said the injunction would be sought when the case is back before the court on 17 August. ...




Defying the Border Force Act: Speaking out against detention cruelty



Refugee Action Collective Queensland:

Sunday, August 30 at 2:00pm

Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End, Brisbane


* Dr John-Paul Sanggaran (Christmas Island whistleblower)

* Benedict Coyne (Australian Lawyers for Human Rights)

* Dr Richard Kidd (Doctors for Refugees)

The Coalition’s oppressive Border Force Act was passed in July with Labour’s support. It threatens doctors, teachers, and other workers with two years jail if they speak out about what they witness in detention.

This is a clear attempt to silence criticism of the impact of offshore detention on asylum seekers. Over 40 former detention workers including doctors and health professionals have signed an open letter declaring they were prepared to defy the laws.

This forum will feature Dr John-Paul Sanggaran who wrote and circulated this letter of defiance and who in 2013, along with 14 other doctors, wrote a 92 page “Letter of Concern” about the substandard medical care of asylum seekers on Christmas Island.

Dr Richard Kidd, the co-founder of Doctors for Refugees will also speak; while Benedict Coyne from the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights will give a legal perspective






... This represents American psychologists rejoining the 17th century, repudiating torture as a means of state power.  ... We shouldn't be involved in abusing detainees ... President-elect of the British Psychological Society, Peter Kinderman No more torture: World’s largest group of psychologists bans role in national security interrogations [Democracy Now - 10/8/15]







Vietnamese returned to Persecution? Australians should know [Refugee Council of Australia – 7/8/15]:

Australians have a right to know about the welfare and safety of the 46 Vietnamese asylum seekers who were forced back to the country they were fleeing, says the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA).

“Forty years ago this year Australia accepted the first refugees fleeing the communist regime in Vietnam. Today the Communist Party remains in office in Hanoi and the Abbott Government has confirmed that, for the second time this year, it has sent back asylum seekers in cooperation with the Vietnamese Government,” RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said.

“If the Australian Government is so confident that these people are not refugees, why the need for so much secrecy? Why not assess their claims thoroughly? Why detain them at sea where they cannot access legal advice and where there is no opportunity for any scrutiny of the process? Why not let UNHCR or another independent body monitor what is happening?

“This is not the behaviour of a Government that ensures that it lives up to its obligation to protect persecuted people; this is the behaviour of a Government that has something to hide.”

The cursory screening of asylum seekers coming by boat directly from countries of origin was introduced in 2012 by the Gillard Government, when it was applied to people fleeing Sri Lanka.

“Refugee claims are often very complex and it is simply not possible to assess these claims fairly or accurately through a rushed screening process on the high seas,” Mr Power said.

“We know that some of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers who were forcibly repatriated after being screened at sea subsequently fled to another country where they were found to be refugees and others ended up in detention on return. We are already hearing reports that some of the Vietnamese asylum seekers returned during this latest incident have been detained.

“It is a fundamental principle of international law that people seeking safety and protection not be returned to their persecutors. Many Australians would be shocked to learn that the Australian Government is prepared to risk returning vulnerable people to serious harm.

“The process of screening at sea is not about protecting refugees. It is about trying to shirk our responsibilities towards people who are seeking help.”

According to UNHCR statistics, at the end of last year there were 313,419 refugees around the world who originated from Vietnam, with 3,140 Vietnamese people waiting for a decision on their asylum claims. Of the 1,863 asylum claims from Vietnamese people finalised around the world in 2014, 17.7% were positive.

“The Australian Government’s own statistics show that, in the two years to June 2014, 33% of the negative decisions for Vietnamese asylum seekers who arrived by boat were overturned by the Refugee Review Tribunal,” Mr Power said.

“It is clear that some Vietnamese citizens still need protection from persecution. It is difficult to believe that, among the 92 asylum seekers forcibly returned to Vietnam this year, there was not a single person whose claim for protection from persecution warranted further investigation.”






Queensland Police Commissioner biased against regional Senior Sergeant who stole fridge from Mt Isa community organisation, court finds [Brisbane Times - 11/8/15]






Dearly beloved

We are gathered here today

To get through this thing called life

Electric word life

It means forever  - and that's a mighty long time

But I'm here to tell you

There's something else

The after world

A world of never ending happiness

You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills

You know the one, Dr. Everything'll Be Alright

Instead of asking him how much of your time is left

Ask him how much of your mind, baby

'Cause in this life

Things are much harder than in the after world

In this life

You're on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down

Go crazy, punch a higher floor

'Let's Go Crazy', Prince [1984]






British psychologist’s work for GCHQ Deception Unit sparks criticism among peers [The Intercept - 8/8/15]






Her grievance with authorities arises from the perceived inaction of the Australian Defence Force in responding to allegations she was raped during the 12 years in which she was employed by the ADF, the court heard.


Yahoo [10/8/15]:

A Queensland woman allegedly caught on CCTV petrol bombing police vehicles and council chambers in NSW insists the evidence against her is circumstantial.

Kalisa Winn, 32, has been held in custody since February, when she was arrested over an alleged plot to blow up HMAS Cairns naval base in far north Queensland, also using petrol.

The base houses about 900 staff and 14 vessels.

Winn allegedly sent text messages to the facility outlining threats and police later found her car near the base with a large stockpile of fuel inside.

She represented herself on Monday during a bail application in the Brisbane Supreme Court in which she appeared by video conferencing.

Winn also faces proceedings in NSW after she allegedly threw bottles of petrol at the Botany Bay council chambers and police vehicles in Mascot in September last year.

Her grievance with authorities arises from the perceived inaction of the Australian Defence Force in responding to allegations she was raped during the 12 years in which she was employed by the ADF, the court heard.

She told the court the evidence against her relating to the incidents in NSW was "made circumstantial" in June and she had recently applied to have the charges dropped.

"Ms Winn, the material before me suggests you were captured on CCTV making that attack," Justice John Byrne replied.

As such, there was a substantial risk she would petrol bomb a naval, military or police facility if granted bail, he said.

"Nothing that the applicant has said persuades me that the demonstrable risk could be reduced to an acceptable degree by conditions that might be attached to any bail order," Justice Byrne said.

Winn walked from the video conferencing room as Justice Byrne dismissed the application.





... The court heard the man had berated some of his alleged victims in the past when they reported the abuse to their mother.  ...  Gladstone grandfather abused children for 28 years [Yahoo – 10/8/15]


Man charged with wilful damage of Wynnum court house, police station [Yahoo – 10/8/15]




Fatal traffic crash, Bajool

QPS Media [10/8/15]:

A man has died and two others have been injured following a single vehicle traffic crash in Bajool this afternoon.

Initial information suggests just after 2.50pm the vehicle left the roadway and collided with a power pole on Port Alma Road.

A male passenger in the vehicle died at the scene.

A second male passenger suffered serious leg injuries and was transport to hospital for treatment.

The male driver suffered minor injuries and was also transported to hospital for treatment.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.






Victorian Homicide detectives interview woman over Wyndham Vale lake crash [Nine MSN - 10/8/15]





Boy, 1, hurt after car rolls into stroller, Rockhampton

Yahoo [10/8/15]:

A one-year-old boy has been taken to hospital after an unoccupied car rolled into his stroller in Rockhampton.

The boy suffered leg injuries and abrasions in the accident just after noon on Monday, a Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said.

He's since been taken to Rockhampton Hospital in a stable condition.


Finland:  Footage shows monster truck's massive tyre bounce into crowd, injuring six including two children [Mirror – 9/8/15]







Netherlands monster truck accident kills three people [BBC - 29/9/14]






A Bungendore woman accused of shooting her partner in the back had been assaulted by the man shortly before, a court has heard. ... [Canberra Times - 10/8/15]




Armed robbery, Algester

QPS Media [10/8/15]:

Police are investigating following the armed robbery of a taxi driver in Algester overnight.

Shortly after midnight the taxi reportedly attended Dalmeny Street to collect a fare when a man entered the taxi, produced a knife and demanded money from the driver.

The taxi driver complied with the demands and the man fled the scene on foot with a sum of cash and a mobile phone.

The 28-year-old male taxi driver was not physically harmed during the incident.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.



14-year-old girl charged with armed robbery, Nerang




QPS Media [10/8/15]:



 Police have charged a 14-year-old girl following the armed robbery of a convenience store in Nerang this afternoon.

Police will allege around 5.15pm the girl, armed with a knife, entered the Adalong Place store and demanded cash from the shop attendant.

The 36-year-old male shop attendant complied with the demands and the girl fled the store on foot with a sum of cash.

The girl was located by police a short time later on McLarens Road and taken into custody.

A 14-year-old Nerang girl has been charged with one count of armed robbery and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.





Suspicious house fire, Banyo

QPS Media [10/8/15]:

Police are investigating following a suspicious house fire in Banyo early this morning.

Around 2.10am police and emergency services were called to a Railway Parade residence following reports that it was engulfed by fire.

Fire services extinguished the fire however the single story dwelling was significantly damaged.

The home was vacant at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

The fire is being treated as suspicious and a crime scene has been established with investigations into the cause of the fire continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.




Firefighters battle large house fire, Tugun

Yahoo [10/8/15]:

Fire crews are battling a large house fire at a beachside suburb on the Gold Coast.

The single storey home, on San Michele Street at Tugun, went up in flames shortly before 3pm on Monday.

Three fire crews are trying to get the inferno under control.






Second Surfers Paradise inferno engulfs building

MYGC [10/8/15]

A second Gold Coast building fire in as many days has kept emergency services busy with investigations into the possibility the two are linked after revealing a fire at a vacant Surfers Paradise apartment block overnight was lit deliberately.

Police declared both areas as suspicious and set up crime scenes with the latest fire occurring on Sunday night in an abandoned apartment complex in Surfers Paradise.

Around 8.20pm police and emergency services were called to the abandoned unit complex on The Esplanade following reports that one of the units was engulfed by fire.

Local fire services extinguished the fire before it spread and confirmed the unit complex was vacant at the time of the fire with no injuries reported.

In a separate Gold Coast fire incident over the weekend, a blaze engulfed the Oak building and closed off a section of the highway.






Queensland government inspectors hospitalised after gasfield visit



Brisbane Times [10/8/15]:


Four Queensland government workers were hospitalised while investigating an underground coal gasification plant at the centre of serious pollution allegations.

Documents obtained by the ABC reveal the environment departmental investigators suffered suspected gas poisoning while testing soil at the site of the Linc Energy operation at Hopeland, west of Brisbane.

One of the workers said he was nauseous for several hours and his blood tests showed elevated levels of carbon monoxide.

An expert study commissioned by Queensland's environment department, also obtained by the ABC, says gases released at the plant have caused the permanent acidification of nearby soil.

Hopeland Community Sustainability Group's Shay Dougall said locals were furious the government report would not be released to them until next month.

"We are disgusted that we were living 24/7 with the UCG nightmare and have been complaining to the government about it for the last three years," she said.

"We're told the government investigators became sick, but what about the landholders who have lived with this toxic mix constantly?"

In June, the department levelled a fifth charge of causing serious environmental harm against Linc Energy following a four-month investigation into soil contamination.

The previous charges were brought against the company in April last year.

Linc has denied any wrongdoing and has said it will defend all charges before the courts.



Toxic underground coal gasification (UCG) must be banned throughout Australia [Lock The Gate - 10/8/15]



Regional visitors coming to Sydney to attend CSG moratorium debate [Lock The Gate – 10/8/15]




Ports blockade: Workers refuse to unload boats in Brisbane and Sydney

ABC [10/8/15]:

Protesting workers have refused to unload the first cargo ship to arrive at Hutchison Port operations since the company sacked 97 workers in Brisbane and Sydney via email and text message last week.

The ship Capitaine Tasman arrived at Port Botany in Sydney about 9:30am on Monday, but went back out to sea about an hour later still fully laden.

Staff at the Port of Brisbane are blocking the road to Berth 11, where a ship was due to dock Monday morning but failed to arrive.

Picket lines were drawn at ports in both cities after Hutchison Ports Australia axed staff in messages about 11:30pm last Thursday, citing substantial financial losses.

Chanting demonstrators in Brisbane said the late night dismissals were disgraceful and un-Australian, and have vowed to continue the protest until the decision is reversed.

At both sites, trucks turned around and left as soon as they saw the rallies, while protestors in Brisbane prevented cars from entering the area.


The Maritime Union of Australia is fighting the sackings through Fair Work Australia and the courts.

Bob Carnegie from the Maritime Union Australia (MUA) said his members were ready for a fight over the "horrific treatment of a group of average Australian workers".

"We will win this dispute because our resolve is stronger, our belief is total, we are the wronged party," he said.

"Hutchison have all the wealth in the world, Lee Karshing the major shareholder of HPH, is worth $46 billion, he's the richest man in Asia.

"Well all of his billions of dollars can't defeat us."

The workers are defying a Fair Work Commission order, issued on Friday evening, to return to work.

But Mr Carnegie said they were acting on workplace safety concerns.

"The members who are rostered on have gone to work ... as a collective they have made the decision that when they walk into the terminal, that they would only work if they were offered a safe working environment, which it isn't," he said.

"The company has hired [foreign] security guards on 457 visas that they brought in late at night over the water, not through the terminal ... and they have no maritime industry security clearance cards.

"It's extraordinary ... these people are allowed by Hutchison and the Federal Government to just break all those rules and regulations for the idea that they can somehow break the back of the trade union organisation on the Australian docks.

"And to see that in this country the so-called security laws are being completely flouted by a major trans-national company is worrying in the extreme."

Mr Carnegie said workers would only perform cargo care so that farmers and companies did not lose perishable stock.

The MUA and Hutchison are expected to return to the Fair Work Commission later today.

The ABC has contacted Hutchison for comment.



Stranded Indonesian sailors saved in Somalia

Jakarta Post [10/8/15]:

The Foreign Ministry said on Monday that 12 Indonesian crew members had been saved from a South Korean fishing vessel, which was stranded in Somalia earlier this month.“Alhamdulillah [Praise God].

Due to good coordination between the Indonesian Embassy in Nairobi [in Kenya] and the Putland Police [in Somalia], 32 sailors, including 12 Indonesians, were rescued,” the ministry’s director for protection, Lalu Muhamad Iqbal, said in a press statement.

Lalu said that the Indonesian embassy in Nairobi had also contacted the 12 sailors, who were staying in a Hotel in Putland, Somalia.

The embassy and the Foreign Ministry were coordinating with the owner of the ship to ensure that the Indonesian crew members would be flown to Nairobi, Kenya, Lalu added.

“Their return can be direct to Indonesia or via the ship’s port of origin, Salalah in Oman. Certainly, we will make sure that [the 12 Indonesians] have their rights upheld,” Lalu said, as quoted by kompas.com.

A storm stranded Al Aman, a fishing vessel, on Aug. 4.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has ordered her team to coordinate with local authorities to help the Indonesian crew.


PNG: Hanuabada shooting investigation to start soon

PNG Loop [10/8/15]:

A fresh team of investigators will be sorted out for the Hanuabada shooting investigations.

This according to Deputy Police Commissioner for Administration Jim Andrews is so that the team can be neutral in their findings.

The previous team of investigators will need to hand over all their case briefs, for the new team to go over them.

Andrews says that to date, no work has been done with regards to the case as most of the briefs have yet to be handed to the new team.

He says that most of the findings and major key evidence uncovered previously will need to be looked at again.

Also, all eye witnesses will need to be spoken to as well to try to get a fresh perspective on the case.

Andrews adds that police will also have to take into account the inclusion of additional information in the form of a bullet that was handed over by the shooting victim who survived.


PNG: Grandson of Sir Dadi Toka killed; families want justice for deaths [EMTV - 24/1/15]:


Two men are dead while three were injured, from a clash between Hanuabada villagers and local police. One of them is the grandson of senior statesman, Sir Dadi Toka.

The families of the victims have demanded that justice is served on the policemen involved.

The families of the deceased are still trying to come to terms with the death of their sons.

The news conference was held where the two men were alleged to have being shot by police.





West Papuans evicted


PNG Facts [10/8/15]:

More than 30-40 families from West Papua living at the Hohola West Papuan Compound in NCD were forced by the Police to evict the area this morning.

According to the Chairman of West Papua People's Human Rights Protection, Jeffery Bomae, there was a dispute on the area that the compound is located, as a man from Kerema has taken them to court claiming title of the land.

Bomae says proper process has not been followed to have his people evicted as the case is still at the National Court.

"Our court case with the Kerema man over the land that we are settling on was heard at the District Court which during the time of hearing, on three (3) occasions he was absent, so the case was pushed forward to the National Court for hearing and it is still in court," said Mr Bomae.

"We the People of West Papua are recognized by the PNG Government and the area that our compound is located in Hohola belongs to the PNG National Housing Corporation, but this person that is trying to have us evicted is saying that he has title over the area," Mr Bomai said.

He said that the leaders and representatives of West Papuans at the Hohola Compound are now at the NHC Office to get a letter from them to give to the police who are still at the Compound to disperse as the matter is still in court and that proper processes were not followed. PNGFM








Solomon Islands Prime Minister supports West Papua joining Pacific Islands Forum [Free West Papua Campaign - 10/8/15]



Israeli police release settlers held in raid linked to firebombing [Times of Israel – 10/8/15]




... "Paris is handing Israel a nice bit of PR on a plate," Simonnet told France Inter radio."I fear it will go very badly and I think it sends a bad message." ...  Tel Aviv beach day in Paris causes unholy row  [France 24 - 10/8/15]




Israeli strike kills four Palestinian children playing soccer on Gaza beach [Mondoweiss - 16/7/14]

















Nine MSN [2/8/15]:


Asylum seekers whose refugee claims have been rejected and face the possibility of being stateless could be sent to Papua New Guinean jails.

The warning is in leaked documents from PNG Immigration, circulated to about 50 asylum seekers, with unsuccessful claims, at the Manus Island detention centre. Those who can be deported should prepare to leave while those deemed stateless will remain at the centre or be transferred to any location including "correctional institutions".

"If (Immigration and Citizenship Services) assesses that you cannot be removed to your country of origin, you will remain in custody until you are able to obtain a visa to lawfully enter and reside in PNG or another country," a document says.

Some PNG prisons have huge problems with overcrowding.

Asylum seekers who voluntarily agree to depart will be eligible for some financial help, the document says, but those who don't will miss out.

Asylum seekers will undergo departure planning interviews over the coming days and will have the opportunity to provide any last minute information about their claim.

The documents say they have a right to have a PNG-certified lawyer present but it will be difficult for the asylum seekers to arrange legal representation because of a shortage of lawyers on the island.

"If the lawyer charges a fee, this must be paid by you," a document says.

AAP understands August 20 has been slated as the possible deportation date.

The asylum seekers' removal could affect the availability of witnesses for a PNG constitutional challenge against the legality of the Australian-run detention centre being brought by lawyer Ben Lomai.

The case is due to return to the court later this month.






@MSF_Sea [10/8/15]:   This 16 month old from #Syria was rescued in May. We haven't forgotten her but we hope she will grow to forget us.





@MSF_Sea [10/8/15]:   BREAKING: #Phoenix just rescued 114 people from this rubber dinghy. Among them 21 women & 11 minors ...







Today during questiontime in the Senate, Attorney-General George Brandis fobbed off Senator Penny Wright's question about the extradition of a Chilean torture, murder suspect.



This was followed by a Dorothy Dixer which enabled Senator Michaelia Cash to expand on Minister Dutton's gloating about Australia's murderous refugee policy.




... “It’s one thing to kill people, but it’s another to make their bodies disappear. Many people died – it was a civil war. But disappearing the bodies – it makes my heart ache. It wouldn’t have been so painful if they had only handed over the bodies.”  ...



Adriana Rivas




[The Other 9/11, SBS - 2013]





Detention adds death to distress and despair [Revive - 10/8/15]:


...  In a further blow to the tenuous morale of the asylum seekers at Yongah Hill IDC, around 90 were given letters last week notifying them that they were being transferred to the Darwin Wickham Point Immigration Detention Centre – some were moved the next day, the others are waiting for a knock on the door any time now.

This has created great distress to those who have received social support and assistance from CARAD visitors and others, including their legal representatives, for several years.

This social support is very important for their mental wellbeing and indeed access to legal representation is a basic right.

This surprise removal also forces them to re-explain their stories, reliving their trauma yet again to a new batch of case workers, medical staff, and others.

We cannot underestimate the negative impact this has on their mental health. ...





... The department did not answer questions about the cost of the move or the reasons behind it.  ... [West Australian - 10/8/15]





Anti-deportation Action -Tuesday 11 August [Refugee Rights Action Network WA]:

‘Allen’ is an ethnic Tajik from Afghanistan. Last month the Australian Border Farce (oops force), tried to deport him to danger.

They may attempt to deport him again this Tuesday.

RRAN is flagging an anti-deportation action at terminal T1, Perth International Airport form 6PM on Tuesday 11 August.

We will be handing out flyers to travelers letting them know that there is a deportation occurring on Emirates flight EK421 at 22:10.

We hope that some brave souls on the flight will object to ‘Allen’ being deported on that flight. It is within the purview of the captain to disembark ‘Allen’.

Kabul is a war zone at the moment. We believe ‘Allen’ will be in danger. He has refused to cooperate with his deportation. He has refused a repatriation package, even though he knows that this means indefinite detention in Australia. He has already spent three years in detention here. For him, detention is better than death. A fate already suffered by his brothers and father.

So join us at T1 from 6.00 pm.

No Deportations to Danger.

-Watch our for updates in case the deportation is cancelled … again-




Suicide attack targets main gate of Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul [Khaama - 10/8/15]




10 Steps to Wean US Foreign Policy off Militarism

Medea Benjamin, CODE PINK [teleSUR - 4/8/15]:

US progressives are delighted to see the US administration making some progress on the diplomatic front with Cuba and Iran. We should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US foreign policy towards one based on respect, cooperation and diplomacy.

President Obama, after spending most of his time in office pursuing foreign policies similar to those of George Bush, has now discovered diplomacy. While he hasn’t stopped US military intervention overseas, including his signature drone strikes, he has brokered two historic deals: one with Cuba to begin the process of normalizing relations and the nuclear deal with Iran that he is now struggling to pass through Congress.

US progressives who are delighted to see some progress on the diplomatic front should now clearly define what a progressive foreign policy looks like, and push presidential candidates and other officials to move US policy towards one that is based on respect, cooperation, and diplomacy, including the following:

1. Reduce Military Spending, Build a Peace Economy

None of the presidential candidates have been calling for a significant reduction in the bloated military budget that eats up half the discretionary funds in the US budget. They should. How else can we find the funds needed to invest in key areas such as sustainable energy projects, infrastructure, care for veterans, education, or affordable housing? The US must move away from a war economy to a peace economy, including a major transition program for workers to move from military- to peace-based jobs.

2. Expand the Use of Diplomacy

The US should extend the policies started under the Obama Administration of making peace with Cuba and Iran to other conflict areas of the world, including the unresolved conflict on the Korean peninsula where an Armistice Agreement from 1953 needs to be replaced with a Peace Treaty. The US should stop dumping more weapons into the Middle East, and instead focus on political resolutions to the wars in Syria and Iraq. The same is true for the Israel-Palestine conflict, where the US should stop arming Israel and stop protecting Israel from being held accountable for its actions at UN bodies.

3. Abide by International Law - No Unauthorized Wars

The US should cease the practice of launching wars not authorized by Congress or the United Nations. It should stop extrajudicial killings, including the use of weaponized drones, and support a global treaty banning these weapons systems.

4. Work Toward A Nuclear-Free, Peaceful World

While the US is pushing Iran to abide by its obligations under the NonProliferation Treaty (NPT), it has not carried out its own obligations with respect to cutting its US nuclear arsenal. The US should hold Israel accountable for its illegal nuclear weapons and promote a nuclear-free world. It should stop intimidating Russia, including putting an end to NATO expansion on its borders and removing the missile defense systems from Europe.

5. Promote Women in Peacemaking

After many years of struggling to pass UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that calls for the full involvement of women in preventing, resolving, and recovering from conflict, the US should put more focus on implementing this resolution. If women had been represented at the Syria peace talks, for example, they might have made progress; instead, the only ones at the table were men with guns—not a great recipe for peace.

6. Close Overseas Military Bases

The United States spends at least US$100 billion a year on over 800 bases in 70 nations, not counting permanent ongoing trainings and exercises. Many of these bases are in countries where they are not welcomed and have caused friction with the local communities. The US military should close all foreign military bases and use our soldiers to protect us here at home.

7. Observe US Law Prohibiting the Sale of Weapons to Human Rights Violators

Weapons manufacturing and sales are big business in the US, and those who profit from these sales are always trying to stop the US from implementing its own laws prohibiting weapons sales to human rights abusers. The largest US weapons deal in human history is with the repressive regime of Saudi Arabia; US taxpayers foot the over 1 billion-dollar-bill to arm the barbaric Egyptian regime that came to power in a coup. And the list goes on. The US should stop the practice of giving or selling weapons to countries that are human rights violators. Period.

8. End the Militarization of Police Departments and Borders

The militarization we see overseas, with the US engaged in endless war, is reflected in the arming of police in US communities and border regions. Military weapons such as tanks and grenade launchers should have no place in domestic law enforcement. The US should end the policy of transferring military-grade weaponry and surveillance equipment from the military to local police department and stop the massive militarization of our borders.

9. Stop Illegal Detention of Prisoners in Guantanamo and Elsewhere, Hold Torturers Accountable

The US post-9/11 history of torture and indefinite detention is reprehensible. Even today, over half of the remaining prisoners in the Guantanamo prison have been cleared for release by various US agencies but they are still being held after 13 years! The cleared prisoners should be released immediately and the others should be given trials in federal courts. And the US personnel and advisors responsible for the torture should be charged and tried in a court of law. The Guantanamo prison should be shut down and the base returned to the Cuban people.

10. Respect Whistleblowers--and Our Privacy

The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any other president. The US government should recognize the value of whistleblowers in serving the best interests of the public. Whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning should be pardoned. And the US should put an end to the myriad programs of mass surveillance, including the bulk collection of personal data.

While some sectors of our society benefit from excessive militarism, the majority of Americans don’t. Election season is a good time to let people running for office know that America would be safer and more prosperous if it stopped seeking enemies overseas and instead focused on building a peaceful foreign policy and a peace-based domestic economy.





 Bernie Sanders event shut down by Black Lives Matter activists [MSNBC - 9/8/15]





Man shot by officers in Ferguson after he fired on SUV, police say [St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 9/8/15]






... In his own brief remarks, Brown’s father Michael Sr on Sunday asked only that people stop asking him how he was feeling, which he described as “the dumbest question” a year after the loss of his eldest son.

“I just don’t get it,” he said.

“How about, ‘How was your day?’, or ‘How is this moment?’” ...



Ferguson marks Michael Brown anniversary with silence and protest [Guardian - 10/8/15]






18 refugees found hiding in truck on British motorway [Ahram - 9/8/15]




At least 20 militants loyal to the regime in Riyadh have reportedly been killed in a Saudi airstrike on Yemen. 

Yemeni sources said the airstrike during the late hours of Saturday targeted an area along a coastal road heading toward the southern embattled city of Zinjibar, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

Meanwhile, at least 16 children and women were injured after Saudi-backed militants fired mortar shells in Yemen’s southwestern Ta'izz City.  ... [Press TV - 9/8/15]




Extrajudicial killings rise in Pakistan police crackdown in Karachi [Reuters - 10/8/15]



Mexican missing-student activist killed in Guerrero state [BBC - 9/8/15]



A bomb attack at a police station in Istanbul has injured five police officers and two civilians, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

The attack targeted the police station in Istanbul's Sultanbeyli neighbourhood early on Monday morning and caused a fire that collapsed part of the three-story building, the agency reported.  ... [Al Jazeera - 10/8/15]







Gunmen kill 10 in attack on village in Mali: army spokesman [Reuters – 9/8/15]








Ferguson protests mostly peaceful on anniversary of Brown shooting [Reuters - 9/8/15]







DC police shoot woman who brandished knife near fire scene [Washington Post - 8/8/15]:




... In interviews, two witnesses said that when police encountered the woman, she had a knife, which they described as relatively small.

One witness, Gerald McBrayer, said she held “a little steak knife” and received no warning. Another witness, Nathan Strickland, said the woman had a steak knife with what he described as a “skinny,” 6-to-8-inch blade. ...



United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [9/8/15]:


U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, four airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL recoilless rifle firing position.

-- Near Aleppo, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles and two ISIL anti-aircraft artillery pieces.

-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck an ISIL tank.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the Iraqi government:

-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Habbaniyah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position.

-- Near Makhmur, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mosul, five airstrikes destroyed three ISIL excavators and two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Ramadi, three airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL structures, an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL staging area and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL armored vehicle and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL sniper firing position.






The United States sent six F-16 jets and about 300 personnel to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Sunday ... [Yahoo - 9/8/15]





@IraqiSMCEn -  Iraqi Spring Media Center [9/8/15]:




Anbar: The alliance air force has targeted the civilian homes in Jubeil area and Risala neighbourhood near Al-Thalith Bridge in Fallujah ............................



The alliance air force bombs Fallujah............ [VIDEO]





Iraqi PM bids to cancel posts of deputy PM and vice president [Reuters - 9/8/15]





Israeli forces shoot dead Palestinian after alleged stabbing attack [Maan – 9/815]




UN slams force-feeding of hunger strikers as human rights violation [Maan – 9/8/15]





Physicians for Human Rights says doctors refusing to perform treatment for Palestinian on hunger strike [Jerusalem Post - 9/8/15]




David Conley told Harris County Sheriff's investigators that he broke into his former home and killed eight people because the woman he formerly lived with had changed the locks on the doors, according to a Harris County prosecutor. ... [USA Today - 9/8/15]





US justices speak about death penalty, but executions go on [Economic Times - 9/8/15]





@MSF_Sea [9/8/15]:   "I knew that the journey would be dangerous. But what was the alternative? We could not survive in Eritrea or Sudan"


Turkish navy rescues 2,631 refugees in four days [Middle East Monitor - 8/8/15]:

The Turkish naval force rescued 2,631 illegal migrants in four days after their boat capsized in Aegean Sea to the West of the country, Anadolu News Agency reported on Friday.

Referring to a statement issued by the governorate of Izmir, where there is a Turkish seaport and naval base, Anadolu said that 50 rescue operations were carried out between the 4th and 7th of August.

The operations were carried out under the name 'Hope Operation in the Aegean Sea' launched by the Turkish Naval Forces.

The statement mentioned details about places, missions and numbers of migrants rescued in the operation. It also said that two bodies of migrants were retrieved from the sea during the operation.






Dutton's refoulement gloating remains unchallenged by Australia's so called opposition politicians and the media and human rights establishment.



The silent majority goes unheard:  Griffith University academics respond to the latest obscenity from Australia's Minister for Immigration [6/8/15]





Nowhere Line:  Voices from Manus Island awarded Best Documentary Short Film at MIFF



Tweeted by @SandiHLogan - National Communications Manager, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra [19/7/13] - (Sent at 5.12 PM - minutes after Rudd's announcement)





Melbourne International Film Festival


Director/Producer – Lukas Schrank


Jury statement


The challenge for the filmmakers of this documentary has been to tell us a crucial story of our present political moment when we are forbidden by law to listen to the story, to see the real documentary evidence of the story. In this eloquent and inventive short film, animation and surreptitiously recorded telephone conversations with asylum seekers convey the full horror of the events on Manus Island that led to the death of an Iranian asylum seeker. In bearing witness with such authority and with such skill, this film honours the best of what is possible in the documentary form.



Surely Human Rights Watch would want their message conveyed to people in Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, Hobart too?





Will the voices of refugees - or those of the lawyers defending them - be heard? 



How many refugees will have been forcibly returned as human rights groups maintain their silence about Australian government/IOM activities? 



Will these events be livestreamed/broadcast and /or recorded for the benefit of those who don't live in Sydney and Melbourne (and who aren't members of the human rights establishment), or will the discourse stay contained in its exclusive, unthreatening little bubble?




Manus Event: Inside Australia’s Pacific Non-Solution [Human Rights Law Centre]:


Two years after the ‘Regional Resettlement Agreement’ between Australia and PNG was announced, more asylum seekers sent to Manus have died than been resettled and 945 men continue to languish indefinitely in detention.

The Human Rights Law Centre’s Daniel Webb and Human Rights Watch’s Elaine Pearson recently returned from Manus Island, Papua New Guinea where they were investigating conditions on the ground.

We hope you can join us on either Tuesday 11 August in Melbourne or Wednesday 19 August in Sydney for a briefing and public discussion about the current conditions facing refugees and asylum seekers on the island and the many pitfalls of Australia’s asylum seeker policies.

The facilitated panel discussion and public question and answer session will feature:

Daniel Webb, Director of Legal Advocacy, Human Rights Law Centre

Elaine Pearson, Australian Director, Human Rights Watch

Event Details – Melbourne

MC: Michelle Bennett, host of RRR’s Spoke program

Date: Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Time: 5:45pm for a 6:00pm start (event will conclude by 7.30pm)

Venue: King & Wood Mallesons, Level 50, Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Cost: $25 full | $15 concession

Tickets: Book Melbourne here

Generously hosted by King & Wood Mallesons


Event Details – Sydney

MC: Mark Davis, one of Australia’s leading investigative journalists

Date: Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Time: 5:45pm for a 6:00pm start (event will conclude by 7.30pm)

Venue: Gilbert + Tobin, Level 37, 2 Park Street, Sydney

Cost: $25 full | $15 concession

Tickets: Book Sydney here

Generously hosted by Gilbert + Tobin.

Event jointly produced with Human Rights Watch.







If you want Australians to support your organisation, please refocus on exposing and campaigning against human rights abuses rather than perpetuating elitism and helping the media suffocate the debate. Freedom Raffle 2015 No 23




Nearly 1 million affected by Myanmar floods; 99 dead [The Hindu – 9/8/15]







IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation [10/8/15]:  ‪#‎Rohingya‬ families affected by the floods in Rakhine were supported with food provisions.




You have media "synergies".   PROVE IT.  Show us where (and to whom) Australian "aid" is going [Australian Embassy in Myanmar - 9/8/15]:

Family kits each containing 50 essential relief items including hygiene kits, school learning materials, torches, FM radios and blankets are prepared for loading onto a RAAF C17 aircraft in Malaysia, bound for the people of Myanmar affected by floods.

Australia prepositions stockpiles of emergency humanitarian aid in Malaysia under a partnership agreement with the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot.






Rohingya flood victims abandoned by Burmese government [Burmese Rohingya Organisation UK Media Release – 7/8/15]





Singapore oil tanker found wthout cargo off Sumatra

Jakarta Globe [9/8/15]:

A ship with 3,500 metric tonnes of marine fuel oil that was reported missing in the Malacca Strait off Malaysia on Saturday, has been found in Indonesian waters without its cargo, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said.

The 10 crew members of the Singapore-registered tanker MT Joaquim, which had been on its way to Langkawi, Malaysia, from Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia, were released by a group of hijackers early on Sunday, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said in a statement.

The ship was found near Rupat Island in Riau province with its cargo missing, said the agency’s deputy director general of operations, Maritime Vice-Admiral Ahmad Puzi Ab Kahar.





10 August 2015