US veterans who firebombed Japan in WWII meet survivor [Japan Today - 10/12/15]:
.. All five veterans crashed during the final months of the war and were taken prisoner by the Japanese.
“You’re a survivor, I’m a survivor too,” Hanley told Nihei.
Nihei, who survived under layers of people who fell on top of her, said she was happy the men had taken the time to see the damage of the firebombing despite their suffering during their captivity.
“I wonder if they had thought of the people on the ground when they dropped the bombs,” she said.
“But I’m more thrilled by the fact that we, who were witnesses of that moment in history, are reunited at this place 70 years later. They must have had mixed feelings about coming here, so I’m so glad they came.”
From January 1944 to August 1945, the U.S. dropped 157,000 tons of bombs on Japanese cities, according to the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey.
The death toll from the bombings is estimated at more than 300,000, while another 15 million were left homeless. ...
Oakland, Calif., Mar. 1942. A large sign reading "I am an American" placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor. The store was closed following orders to persons of Japanese descent to evacuate from certain West Coast areas. The owner, a University of California graduate, will be housed with hundreds of evacuees in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war. [Library of Congress]
World's first IVF puppies born to surrogate mother dog [BBC - 10/12/15]
Kaia, the Netanyahu family dog, bit MK Sharren Haskel from the Likud party, as well as Or Alon, husband of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Wednesday evening, during a Hanukkah menorah-lighting ceremony held at the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. ... [Ynet - 10/12/15]
Israel and the United States on Thursday successfully tested a ballistic missile interceptor as the Jewish state seeks to upgrade its defenses in the face of regional threats, officials said. ... [Naharnet - 10/12/15]
President Rivlin to Obama: Israel has no war with Islam [Haaretz - 9/12/15]:
... Rivlin began by praising Obama and thanking him in the name of people of Israel for America's financial, military and diplomatic support of Israel.
"Israel has no greater friend than the U.S. and I want to say this loud and clear. The people of Israel thank you from the bottom of our heart," he said, adding that American support helps Israel deal with the threats it faces.
Obama for his part, began by reiterating his commitment to Israel's security and stressed that it was "one of the most important principals of U.S. foreign policy – under Republican and Democrat administrations alike."
3 injured by live fire during Israeli raid on Tulkarem [Maan - 10/12/15]
A former member of a Jewish terror group and his wife were shot and injured on Wednesday evening in a drive-by shooting near Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank, Israel's army and media reported.
Shaul Nir, a former member of the Jewish Underground, a group which carried out a string of terror attacks in the 1980s, was seriously to moderately wounded in the shooting near Tulkarem, and his wife, Rachel Nir was lightly wounded. ... [Maan - 9/12/15]
Policeman killed in drive-by-shooting in Egypt's Giza [Ahram - 10/12/15]
BP enlarges its stake in major gas project in Egypt's Nile Delta [Ahram - 9/12/15]
Israel is unlikely to pass up on the near $1.8 billion awarded it in compensation for Egypt halting a natural gas supply contract in 2012, even though the two countries both want a way out of the dispute, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday. ... [Ahram - 9/12/15]
Two bombs struck the city of Aden, Yemen, on Wednesday. The first struck an abandoned Catholic church in the Mualla district of the city and the second went off outside an office of the Yemeni Foreign Ministry in the Almansoura district.
No casualties were reported in either attack and no organization has claimed responsibility. Yemen’s internationally-recognized government is currently operating from Aden while the capital and much of the country is contested by Houthi rebels. ... [Foreign Policy - 10/12/15]
Troops in Burundi battled a nearly 100-strong force of fighters, a local governor said Thursday, amid fears that violence is spreading in the troubled nation.
Two gunmen have been killed and 11 captured in clashes since Tuesday in the southwestern Rumonge district, said governor Juvenal Bigirimana after a gang of 80 to 100 men entered the town of Burambi, some 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of the capital Bujumbura. ... [Daily Star - 10/12/15]
UNAMA condemn Kandahar airport attack as death toll climbs to 54 [Khaama - 10/12/15]
At least 20 Afghan asylum seekers have been killed and wounded in a traffic accident in Iran, an eyewitness said on Thursday.
Amanullah, one of the migrants, wrote on his Facebook page the incident took place late on Wednesday in the Khash township of Iran’s Sistan Baluchistan province. ... [Pajhwok - 10/12/15]
Taliban clashes force Herat residents to flee their homes [TOLO News - 9/12/15]
Residents of Maidan Wardak province on Wednesday gathered at the provincial governor's office and called for justice over the recent deaths of nine children who were killed in government forces attack. ... [TOLO News - 9/12/15]
Today, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today delivered a petition signed by more than 547,000 people to the White House, calling for President Obama to consent to an independent investigation of the deadly U.S. airstrikes on MSF's trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. ... [Media Release - 9/12/15]
US servicemen contradict military's account of attack on MSF hospital In Afghanistan [Huffington Post [9/12/15]
The Philippines' police board has dismissed 21 officers for being "co-conspirators" in the country's worst political massacre six years ago when the son of a politician and his bodyguards shot dead 58 people, including 32 journalists.
The officers were dismissed for failing to stop the killings in the southern province of Maguindanao in November 2009, according to a police statement issued on Thursday.
All but one of the officers were found guilty of grave misconduct.
The remaining officer, Inspector Saudi Matabalao Mokamad, was found to have ignored the shooting he heard from the crime scene and to have failed to report it to his superiors.
He was dismissed on lesser charges. ... [Al Jazeera - 10/12/15]
Rwandan genocide fugitive arrested in the DRC [UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals - 9/12/15]:
Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo have today arrested one of the nine ICTR fugitives, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, a former mayor of Nyakizu Commune in the Prefecture of Butare.
Mr Ntaganzwa was indicted by the ICTR for genocide and crimes against humanity for the massacre of thousands of Tutsis at various locations in his locality including at Cyahinda Parish and at Gasasa Hill during the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsis during which moderate Hutus and others who opposed the genocide were killed. He was also alleged to have orchestrated the rape and sexual violence committed against many women. He was one of the six fugitives whose cases were referred to Rwanda by the Prosecutor of the ICTR under Rule 11bis for trial.
I really am a pessimist. I've always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It's something essentially splendid because it's not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.
George Washington University allows flags to fly from dorm rooms — unless they’re Palestinian [The Intercept - 9/12/15]
Hundreds of protesters marched and chanted in the Loop and the Mag Mile Wednesday, demanding the resignation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the wake of videos showing alleged police misconduct.
The protest began in the morning outside City Council chambers within minutes of the mayor finishing a 45-minute speech on making police more accountable, at times going off script and appearing to choke up with emotion.
The protests continued into the evening, largely dispersing about 5 p.m., as some protesters headed to Chicago Public Safety Headquarters for a Chicago Police Board meeting later Wednesday evening. ... [Chicago Tribune - 9/12/15]
Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric amplified on local talk radio
[The Intercept - 10/12/15]:
Here’s the latest from “my” (and coram’s) “progressive” San Francisco Bay Area news:
Prison worker’s East Bay clash with Muslims probed as hate crime
A state Corrections Department employee is being investigated for a possible hate crime after she was captured on video aggressively confronting two Muslim men who were praying in a Castro Valley park over the weekend, officials said Wednesday.
Denise Slader clashed with the men of Middle Eastern descent as they were praying near the entrance to Lake Chabot Regional Park around 3 p.m. Sunday, said Carolyn Jones, a spokeswoman for the park district.
Slader apparently made a comment to a friend about the men, and one of them walked over and tried to engage her in a discussion about religion. The conversation escalated to the point where Slader began shouting at the men, “Your God is Satan,” “Allah is Satan,” and “The Quran is evil,” Jones said.
Much more at the source, with video.
I called one of our local Islamic centers, today, to apologize for the hateful, inhumane and un-American behavior of so many of our fellow citizens and politicians. I’m going to do the same with the others nearby and I’m going to visit as many as I can, personally, to express solidarity face-to-face and contribute some bags/boxes of Halal groceries to their food drives.
Any way we we can reach out with kindness and understanding and perhaps reduce the effects of the viciousness, ignorance and hatred . . .
Conservative justices expressed deep doubt on Wednesday about a university student admissions policy that gives preferences to racial minorities during a testy U.S. Supreme Court session in a case that could decide the fate of programs aimed at fostering racially diverse campuses.
But conservative Anthony Kennedy, who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, raised the possibility of sending the closely watched case back to a trial judge to let the University of Texas submit more evidence to defend its consideration of race among other factors in picking applicants.
This suggested Kennedy might be unwilling to throw out the school's affirmative action policy entirely. ... [Reuters - 9/12/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [9/12/15]:
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.
Strikes in Syria
Fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL oil well-head.
-- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike struck an ISIL oil well head.
Strikes in Iraq
Rocket artillery and fighter, bomber, attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 22 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed four ISIL bunkers and seven ISIL trenches.
-- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, two ISIL rockets, and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Kirkuk, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, suppressed an ISIL mortar system, and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed four ISIL rockets.
-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Qayyarah, seven strikes struck an ISIL logistical facility, an ISIL training facility, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL weapons storage facility, two ISIL staging areas, and an ISIL tactical unit, and destroyed an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Ramadi, four strikes struck three separate large ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed three ISIL bed down locations, two ISIL light machine guns, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL recoilless rifle, four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tactical vehicle, three ISIL buildings, four ISIL vehicle bombs, an ISIL vehicle bomb making factory, an ISIL staging area, an ISIL compound, an ISIL resupply location, and two ISIL command and control nodes.
-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, immobilized an ISIL vehicle, and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL homemade explosives cache, an ISIL bed down location and an ISIL vehicle bomb making factory.
US Defense Secretary opens door to US ground support for Iraqi forces in Ramadi at Senate Armed Services Committee [CNN - 9/12/15]
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Jordan may send 90,000 military to fight IS [TASS - 10/12/15]:
Around 100,000 foreign military, including 90,000 from Arab countries, may be deployed to Iraq to fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, Iraq Press Agency quoted politician Hanan Al Faltawi as saying.
Al Fatlawi said that she received this information from reliable sources after talks between US Senator John McCain and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The meeting took place on November 27 in the joint American-Iraqi operational headquarters in Baghdad that coordinates military actions against IS, she added.
"Foreign forces of 100,000 - 90,000 from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Jordan and 10,000 from the United States - will be stationed in Iraq’s western parts," Al Fatlawi noted.
The politician added that "the Iraqi prime minister openly expressed bewilderment over McCain’s statement but was told that everything had already been decided." ...
... [New Zealand] Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed Mr Carter had sent a letter to the government last Friday.
He said it was a generic letter asking for help including elite troops, air strikes, provision of ammunition and training. ... [RNZI - 10/12/15]
Turkish fighter jets carried out a new barrage of air strikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq overnight, the army said on Wednesday.
And police officer was killed by snipers in Turkey's restive Kurdish-dominated southeast on Wednesday, local security sources said.
The air bombardments "destroyed" targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in several northern Iraqi regions including its main stronghold on Qandil mountain, the army said in a statement. ... [Yahoo - 9/12/15]
@IraqiSMCEn -Iraq Spring Media Center [9/12/15]:
Anbar: Sources:The government's air force has shelled Albu Ali Al-Jasim in Ramadi killing two children and wounding two others .........
Anbar: Sources:The government's air force has shelled civilian homes in Albu Sha'ban area in Ramadi killing 9 persons from one family including women and children .........
@MSF_Sea [9/12/15]: This little family is on their way back to #Athens and to a very uncertain future
Police move 2,300 migrants from FYROM border to Athens [Ekathimerini - 9/12/15]:
... A total of 45 buses were used to transfer the migrants from a makeshift camp in Idomeni and the surrounding area to the capital, according to a police statement which said most the migrants are from Pakistan, Somalia, Morocco, Algeria and Bangladesh.
The migrants are to be put up in former Olympic venues in Elliniko and Galatsi and in a temporary reception facility for immigrants that opened in Elaionas over the summer. Police officers on Wednesday were stopping buses heading toward Idomeni with more migrants from the Aegean islands and conducting checks.
All migrants that are not from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria – the nationalities that FYROM border guards are allowing to pass – were being taken off the buses and sent to Athens, the official said.
Complicating matters, FYROM police were said to have started building a second fence on the Balkan country’s frontier with Greece in a bid to keep out migrants trying to slip through. ...
@B3njaminGow [10/12/15]: NGOs and volunteers run night shifts on the beaches, and light fires to signal a safe landing area #refugeecrisis
@B3njaminGow [10/12/15]: Taken one night at To Kyma beach with the Spanish Lifeguards, Pro-Activa. You see how dark it is to do rescue work
@guardiacostiera [9/12/15]: #NaveDiciotti della #GuardiaCostiera salva 87 #migranti su un gommone in procinto d'affondare
Manufacturing Consensus - Hilary Benn's speech
[Media Lens - 9/12/15]:
… The myth of corporate media impartiality – vital for retaining readers' support - makes it hard for structurally pro-war media to declare too openly in favour of the West's endless wars. What they can do is celebrate speeches that just happen to be pro-war. To applaud skills of oratory, courage, leadership – to note that numerous politicians and journalists (all with a lucrative, warmongering axe to grind) admired the speech - is a powerful way of supporting war without looking too obviously biased. In his article, Mark Curtis wrote:
'I've been monitoring the mainstream media for 30 years and cannot remember a time like this: literally everything is being thrown at Corbyn.'
Indeed, the propaganda war being waged on Corbyn and the related support for war and Benn's wretched speech – has moved beyond mere bias. The British corporate media are no longer merely channelling distorted news and views to democracy; they are openly working to undermine democracy.
In effect, state-corporate power is telling the 250,000 people who voted for Corbyn, and anyone else who supports anti-war politics, that the Corbyn option is not allowed. Democracy is one thing, but his brand of politics goes too far.
When elite interests determine what is and is not politically possible, we are entering the realm of fascism.
Powerful Democracy Now reports from Calais, where - like Manus Island, Nauru, Villawood, Yongah Hill, Christmas Island etc - refugees are being punished, and have been abandoned by the UN [9/12/15]:
... AMY GOODMAN: And talk about what—when you were in Syria, where you lived with your family, what you did, what your parents do.
MAJD: We have a building, whole building. My family was in the upstairs, and they have a factory. Yes, a paint factory.
AMY GOODMAN: Uh-huh, a paint factory, yes.
MAJD: Paint factory, yes. It was bombed from five years ago. Yeah, I was living a good life—cars and houses and the parties and everything. Yeah, we lost everything right now.
AMY GOODMAN: I’m surprised you can still smile.
MAJD: Yeah, I have to. If I don’t smile, it will be the end of my life.
AMY GOODMAN: I see on your phone you have a picture of your family. Can you show me?
MAJD: Yes, this is my family, my small brother and my father and my sister—daughter—I don’t know how to call it.
AMY GOODMAN: How many months or years do people stay here?
MAJD: Most of them about—there is no specific time or something. Some people, one week; some people, one year. Yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And is it legal? Will the police come and take you out of it, this house or this tent?
MAJD: I told you, there is no specific thing to do with the police. It’s not legal, but they can’t take us out. Yes, it’s complicated. They call it a jungle. Yes, it’s where the animals live. They treat us like animals.
AMY GOODMAN: Does the U.N. know that you’re here, that this refugee camp is here?
MAJD: I think we are invisible to the U.N. here. We didn’t see anyone from them. And we didn’t have any help and anything from them. Yeah, I saw them in Greece and other countries, but here, there is no one. They don’t see us. I don’t know. They don’t care, maybe. Yes.
What do survivors of war have to do to live in peace?: Voices from France's largest refugee camp [Democracy Now - 9/12/15]:
... NAJIBULLAH: My name is Najibullah. I am from Afghanistan, Kabul. And I was working with the U.S. Marines back in Helmand province, Musaqara. And—
AMY GOODMAN: When?
NAJIBULLAH: It was 2011, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: What were you doing?
NAJIBULLAH: I was interpreter with the U.S. Marines, yeah. And we were in a FOP, forward operation base. And then, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And how long did you work?
NAJIBULLAH: I was working with them seven years—seven months, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And then, also for a U.S. contractor?
NAJIBULLAH: And before that, yeah, I was also working in a construction company, in Creative International company. They were running a project by the name of Crowded House. That project was from the DOD side for—they were creating culverts, bridges and retaining walls for the people of Daykundi province, yeah.
AMY GOODMAN: And so, did you apply for immigration to the United States?
NAJIBULLAH: Yeah, I applied for a special immigration visa, but they—because I was working just for seven months, the U.S. government refused to give me visa because they said, "You just worked for seven months, not one year." And I sent a letter from the Creative International company that I—as evidence that I worked with them also. So, if we put all together, it becomes more than one year. But still they said, "That’s not a kind of evidence. You should send us a HR letter from the international company."
AMY GOODMAN: Sort of on letterhead from Creative International.
NAJIBULLAH: Yeah. So they said—but that letter which I had, that was from the—from those people who was working with us from the DOD side. And those numbers and emails were just, you know, local from Afghanistan. And by the—from the day they left Afghanistan, those numbers—emails doesn’t work. And what I am trying to say, that working with the U.S. government, it doesn’t matter; you work just one day or a year or two years or for four years, it doesn’t matter to the Taliban. As long as you work with them just one hour, you’re condemned to death. So, that’s what happened to me. I was condemned to death. And I am asking the U.S. government why they refuse me to give me a visa. And that’s why I’m here. That’s why I am here, I’m facing this difficulty.
Australian establishment media types give high profile coverage to Thai police plane arrival asylum seeker.
Rohingya refugees still trapped in Myanmar - Australia still criminalising and stopping 1,000s of asylum seekers throughout South East Asia from seeking protection.
Rohingya kids in the rain during the rainy season in Sittwe's Muslim Quarter, now effectively a sealed ghetto.
Image: @andreapitzer [16/7/15]
... Paween did not name the senior officials he alleges are complicit in the human trafficking trade in Thailand, but says the jungle camps would have needed influential oversight to stay open.
“A person who can detain hundreds of people without being arrested for so many years cannot be an ordinary citizen.”
There were many more government officials that should be prosecuted, including those at senior levels. “Human trafficking is a big network that involves lots of the military, politicians and police. While I was supervising the cases I was warned all along.”
He also blames “influential people” for his transfer.
“By re-posting me to the deep south of Thailand it means they want to kill me.” Paween fears that the upcoming trials will be compromised and that many of those charged will not be convicted. He was due to be a key witness at the trials and knows that many witnesses will feel intimidated from giving evidence.
“I feel so sad and it’s so unfair that these people will not be punished.”
Guardian investigation uncovers extensive role of authorities, fishermen and traffickers in enslaving thousands of Rohingya, who were held in deadly jungle camps Read more Paween’s asylum claim is likely to have international implications. Thailand has previously been annoyed that Washington downgraded it to the lowest category in a report that assesses countries’ willingness to fight human trafficking.
Top Thai policeman seeks political asylum in Australia, fears for his life [ABC - 10/12/15]
The United States has been obsessed with controlling the movement of refugees in South East Asia (especially their attempts to reach Australia) for a long time.
Human rights are of scant consideration to the key players in this decades long humanitarian crisis - the priority is to render large numbers of desperate people invisible as they are enslaved, shunted into camps and detention centres, or deported back to danger.
Since the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar has officially declared it is "open for business" - but only to some.
The urgency to diminish regional sympathy (and following on from that, possible sanctions, along with a co-ordinated rescue and resettlement effort) for displaced and persecuted persons fleeing this miracle of rapacious, corporate-style democracy, is obvious.
Hence the more recent conflation of seeking asylum with "trafficking" and "people smuggling", and the media's blackout of any possibility that Australia has a responsibility to act.
ROHINGYA MOVED FROM ACEH TO MEDAN, AWAIT NEXT STEPS [22/12/09]:
... IOM staff told Consulate Medan that UNHCR had been in touch with them about giving status determinations to the Rohingya as early as December 21 but were holding off as per IOM's request. ...
BURMESE ROHINGYA UPDATE -- GOI WORKING WITHIN THE BALI PROCESS [28/7/09]
IRREGULAR MIGRANT FLOWS SURGING THROUGH INDONESIA [10/6/09]:
... According to Jim O'Callaghan, Regional Director for Southeast Asia Immigration at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the numbers of irregular migrants residing in Indonesia are an estimated 2000, the highest since around the year 2000 when Afghans and Iraqis streamed through Indonesia en route to Australia. With the calm sea sailing season of July to November imminent, he expects an even larger inflow later this year. There also has been an increase in Pakistanis, O'Callaghan told DepPol/C.
The migrants are generally treated well in Indonesia. [UNHCR's Francis] Teoh, in fact, asserted that that Indonesians are "almost too nice," not deporting irregular migrants who have no claim to protection status. A few return voluntarily but most will not.
Part of this is cultural, not wanting to force the migrants to return home and being very concerned about their human rights, but this is mostly because Indonesian Immigration has a zero budget to deport immigrants. Australia is funding all voluntary repatriations but will not fund deportations from Indonesia.
IOM Indonesia is taking care of many failed asylum seekers already rejected by UNHCR three times, a few for as long as seven years. Because of the surge in numbers and concern that this could be a pull factor, Indonesia recently began keeping migrants in immigration detention centers rather than letting them move about freely in community settings, IOM explained. Detentions centers are now overflowing, IOM said.
The GOI, meanwhile, has an icy relationship with UNHCR. Desra Percaya, Director for International Disarmament and Security at the Foreign Affairs Department, told DepPol/C that UNHCR does "nothing" to resettle refugees elsewhere, which is the cause of the problem. That is why the GOI is now keeping migrants under detention, to force UNHCR to resettle refugees. However, UNHCR explained that it is processing the refugees and resettling them as quickly as possible, limited by how quickly third countries are willing to take refugees.
UNHCR RECOMMENDS REFUGEE PROTECTION FOR ROHINGYAS; MORE ON SRI LANKANS [19/5/09]:
UNHCR has determined that 269 of the nearly 400 migrants who landed in Aceh in January and February 2009 are Rohingyas who came to Indonesia either directly from Burma or via Bangladesh (ref B). UNHCR has determined that they would face persecution if they are returned to Burma. UNHCR intends to grant them refugee status, Francis Teoh, UNHCR Head of Protection, told Labatt.
IOM is currently using USD 236,000 in Australian funding to care for the Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants, but most of this money will be used to repatriate the Bangaladeshis, Hamilton said.
IOM will soon need the USD 280,000 requested from PRM, as it has no other sources of funding at this time. Mission requests that PRM advise on the status of this request.
BURMESE REFUGEES PUT GOI IN TOUGH SPOT [1/5/06]:
... UNHCR suggested to us that a Burmese refugee would have a strong asylum claim given the on-going human rights abuses in Burma but they cannot process asylum claims for refugees that do not request it. UNHCR quietly approached the Indonesian government on April 28 for their concurrence to send an UNCHR team to interview the 77 Burmese as possible asylum cases. UNHCR expects the Indonesian government to provide an answer by May 2. Our contact was sensitive to Indonesia's desire to handle the case discreetly rather than be seen by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as commenting on the human rights condition in Burma. (Note: Although our UNHCR contact did not mention Papua, we note that given the GOI's vehement objection to Australia's decision to grant temporary visa's to Papuan asylum seekers, it is likely another reason the GOI will be hesitant to be seen as promoting asylum for the Burmese. End Note). ...
BALI PROCESS REINVIGORATED, SEEKS ANSWERS TO ROHINGYA CRISIS [17/4/09]:
... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.
Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.
Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."
Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...
Australia incarcerates and tortures 1,000s of human beings.
Media spend Human Rights Day discussing greyhounds and playing court jester to Malcolm Turnbull.
Human rights establishment pat each other on the back for maintaining the status quo - if not emboldening human rights atrocities - with their partisan point scoring and/or silence.
Not one Australian politician - or human rights organisation - has responded to this letter from Manus refugees [Independent - 2/12/15]:
... The Independent has contacted the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection for comment.
Democracies don't incarcerate and torture people seeking asylum ----> Save Mohammad Albederee [10/12/15]:
Mohammad is in hospital in Pt Moresby.
He was told on Tuesday he would not be allowed to travel back to Manus Island detention centre yesterday as promised so he is again refusing fluid and medical treatment.
He is scared and very tired and wants to be with friends.
He is in great pain and wants this to end.
He has infection in his stomach and liver and cannot eat or drink.
His mental health is shattered.
This situation has become impossible for him.
Only decisive action by the government to
medically evacuate him to stronger medical and psychological supports will give
him any chance of survival.
Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru [10/12/15]:
Today is Human Rights Day.
We believe in a future that is free of violence and abuse, particularly the violence that is used to control women and girls all over the world.
There are many who will think that Australia is already free of violence, but this year alone 78 women have lost their lives to domestic violence in our country, women and children asylum seekers are kept in barbaric and in humane conditions in offshore and onshore detention, politicians control asylum seeker women's reproductive rights as some sick PR stunt, and they continue to ignore and taunt those who fall victim to rape and sexual violence.
2015 is almost over. We have been barred from visiting Nauru and the Australian government has not removed the women and children asylum seekers from the island, but we will continue to fight for their freedom and justice in 2016.
We believe everyone should have freedom from fear, and freedom from violence. These rights are what we will work towards in the coming year.
On Human Rights day. teachers across oz telling @TurnbullMalcolm #freetherefugees #EducationNotDetention
Image: @markgoudkamp [10/12/15]
@Mel_Newby [10/12/15]: Nearly 30 teachers from St Albans at recess today demanding #EducationNotDetention ...
@JoshuaPocius [10/12/15]: Academics from UniMelb demand that @TurnbullMalcolm #CLOSEtheCAMPS! #EducationNOTDetention; #refugees welcome here!
@rac_canberra [9/12/15]: #Educationnotdetention more of the letter from #Manus thanking teachers for taking action on human rights day ...:
This is letter from Manus Island asylum seekers to Australian teachers.
We want to begin by saying thankyou very much to all of you our wonderful teachers for this powerful rally - allow us to offer you these few words from the Australian prison of Manus Island.
We thank you for standing up with us while the entire world was silent. We appreciate deeply your support. This rally means powerful can give us energy to struggle with this hellhole of Manus it can prove to us that they are many people caring about us and they are against this injustice mandatory detention.
Among us we have many teachers and we need you to help us tell the truth about the situation on Manus Island hell to Australian government and the rest of people that we should be free.
While your country have been faced with the critical difficulty crisis due to constant flow of war torn people and all the world is witnessing that Australia is [endured] to exercise its human and moral responsibility through providing hundreds and thousands of refugees and asylum seekers with protection.
The government has imprisoned us 900 asylum seekers for 29 months on Manus Island in the heart of Pacific ocean. The sitation is utterly inhuman and difficult too over this period.
We have been under heavy mental pressure. We can't sleep without sedatives because of the torture that we endured here.
We have lost two of our friends due to the locals attack us and also lack of health facilities that the government has done everything to persecute us.
We desperately request from all the teachers, doctors, advocates and lawyers - including ordinary people of Australia - to urge the government to cease the illegal detention of us in this hell hole and fulfil its international obligation in relation to refugees.
We have fled war and persecution - just like other refugees in Australia.
We need safety and resettlement in safe place.
The government have treated us like criminals or animals [in barn] and call us boat criminals or queue jumpers, illegal people cos we came by boat like many others did before us.
Many international organisations put their reports out about our difficult situation on Manus Island prison such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
We have come to Australia seeking for protection, not persecution, because they have signatured to UN Convention off 1951 to protect the asylum seekers and refugees.
We don't have option to come legal to your country because of ongoing war in our homelands, even there's no article in law mention that a person who come by boat is not [ineligible] for protection.
The government has blackmail us and used us for their own political interest to obtain [many] of people.
The staff who work with the contractors, they [torture] us to get money from human abuses.
We heard the government made many deals with different countries to send us there but unfortunately those countries have humanity and moral the reluctant to accept us.
The entire world looking at us as if we are criminal, but the fact is we are running away from the danger behind us.
We risked our own life to reach Australian soil, hundreds of men women and children lost their life on ocean because of protection.
We are not criminals. Not criminals. Not criminals.
We are good people like others, seeking for help and safety place. We know the teachers are the only people that could understand our agony, cos of them, today we have peace in many places.
Cos of them, the world become better place.
Cos of them we have justice and equality in every corner of the world.
Cos we have [chairman] presidents, ministers, lawyers and so on, if there's no teacher in this world we will live in darkness.
Finally we want to say thankyou very much for taking out your time to participate in this powerful rally that send message to many people around Australia, and the world.
We wish one day we will repay you.
Thankyou kindly, regards,
Manus Island asylum seekers Abdul Aziz
Dozens of journalists, activists and family members of jailed journalists held a protest Wednesday in front of Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate in Cairo to call for the release and provision of medical treatment for detained journalists, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.
Those attending the protest, which was organised by the Journalists Syndicate's Freedoms Committee, chanted against the "ongoing detention" of journalists by the state.
Khaled El-Balshy, the head of the Freedoms Committee, said that the protest is one of the first steps in a campaign titled "We will provide medical care and ensure their release, journalism is not a crime."
He added that the campaign, which was launched Monday by the syndicate, will continue until "all detained journalists are released."
According to El-Balshy, there are currently 32 journalists – not all syndicate members – detained and jailed in various cases, including 18 in cases related to journalism.
Around eight of these detainees are in dire need of medical care, El-Balshy told Ahram Online. ... [Ahram - 9/12/15]
Students protesting development plan met with violence in Ethiopia [Al Jazeera – 8/12/15]
Two - including teenage boy - charged with thought crimes, following anti-Muslim raids across Sydney [Nine MSN - 10/12/15]:
... Police said the Raby man and Georges Hall teenager were arrested at their homes this morning, and then later charged with one count each of conspiracy to conduct an act in preparation for a terrorist act. ...
Police have raided the home of an Australian tech entrepreneur identified by two US publications as one of the early developers of the digital currency bitcoin.
On Wednesday afternoon, police gained entry to a home belonging to Craig Wright, who had hours earlier been identified in investigations by Gizmodo and Wired, based on leaked transcripts of legal interviews and files. Both publications have indicated that they believe Wright to have been involved in the creation of the cryptocurrency. ... [Guardian - 9/12/15]
The man accused of shooting three people to death and wounding nine others at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last month declared himself guilty and a "warrior for the babies" during an outburst in court on Wednesday. ... [Reuters - 9/12/15]
Protected and unaccountable Minister Dutton continues torture and abuse of women and children in Australia's refugee concentration camps [ABC - 10/12/15]:
... Gerard Baden-Clay's successful appeal against his murder conviction shows "the law's an arse", Acting Federal Justice Minister Peter Dutton says. ...
10 December 2015