United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 10/2/17]
... The Iraqi Security Forces are leading the Coalition's fight to rid Iraq of ISIL.
They are willing to take the brunt of the fighting to liberate their country and do not seek or desire the Coalition's participation in direct ground combat operations.
The Government of Iraq welcomes the Coalition because we are assisting them with our unique capabilities, at their request. ...
The Iraqi War Media Cell announced that they have changed requirements and processes for all media outlets planning to cover Iraqi forces during the next phase of the Mosul campaign. ... [CENTCOM - 10/2/17]
Hungary to imprison refugees in container camps [Yahoo - 10/2/17]
Two refugees who had applied for asylum in Greece two months ago and are awaiting their pending requests to either be approved or denied, stole a boat and attempted to escape from Chios and return to Turkey.
A 32 year-old Syrian and a 28 year-old man from Egypt stole the boat from St. Hermione port early on Wednesday and set sail for the Turkish coasts.
They were spotted by a Frontex patrol vessel, taken back to Chios and the two refugees were arrested with charges of theft.
The boat was returned to its owner.
Meanwhile, a total of 52 migrants and refugees arrived at Chios in the last 24 hours while no arrivals were reported on Lesvos and Samos.
Police said that on Thursday 9,921 people were recorded in the hotspots on Lesvos, Chios and Samos. [Greek Reporter - 9/2/17]
Greek forces beat, leave refugees at Turkish border [Daily Sabah - 9/2/17]:
... Over the past weeks, some 40 migrants who snuck into Greece with the hope of seeking asylum were illegally deported after they were allegedly beaten by Greek security forces who then towed the refugee boats back to Turkish waters.
This practice, illegal under international conventions, continued late Wednesday as well.
Fourteen Syrians and one Afghan migrant were forced to return to Turkey after they were beaten by Greek officers, they claimed. ...
Italy unveils plan to enslave, imprison and expedite the removal of refugees - while dogwhistling about integration [The Local - 9/2/17]
@guardiacostiera [8/2/17]: #GuardiaCostiera italiana in #Grecia dal 1° febbraio con @Frontex: motovedetta CP286 effettua 2 operazioni #SAR 30 #migranti isola #Megisti
At least 172 Cuban nationals who tried to enter the United States following the end to an immigration policy known as “wet foot, dry foot” are now in detention facilities, awaiting for the results of their removal proceedings, federal agencies have confirmed.
Exactly where they are being held was not revealed. ... [Miami Herald - 9/2/17]
Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by private prison corporations seeking to block the release of government documents about their immigration detention practices.
A federal judge ruled in July, in a case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Detention Watch Network (DWN), that under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the government must release details of its contracts with private prison corporations.
The government chose not to appeal, but the United States’ two largest private prison corporations, the GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), recently rebranded as “CoreCivic,” intervened to stop the release and filed an appeal of their own. ... [Center for Constitutional Rights - 8/2/17]
Deportation postponed as gay Mexican immigrant fights to stay in US [The News & Observer - 9/2/17]:
... In 2013, Molina-Mendoza tried to cross the border in Tamaulipas, Texas, only to sign a voluntary deportation because he didn’t think he had any choice.
“They caught me,” he said.
“They asked if I was in danger going back to my country. They told me if I said yes I would probably be in jail for three or four years, and it was most likely I would still be deported. They encouraged me to sign it.”
Later, he learned about political asylum and decided to try to come to the United States again.
This time, in 2014, he went directly to a border crossing gate in Otay Mesa, Calif. He said he was detained for three days in a “cooler,” not allowed to bathe or brush his teeth, and then sent to a detention center.
He said he stayed there for three months before his family found a U.S. sponsor and paid $7,500 for his release pending his asylum claim. ...
The daughter of the Arizona mom who was deported to Mexico gave this heartbreaking speech [Fusion - 10/2/17]
... Broken families, broken lives
Please reunite us so we can start living.
Day 6th of Protest on Nauru Island ... [Image: @elahe_zivardar - 10/2/17]
After nearly 4 years torture, and being subjected to a sham "refugee assessment" process, Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island offered bribes to leave PNG [RNZI - 10/2/17]:
... The PNG Supreme Court has ordered the closure of the centre where about 900 men have been detained four years to deter others from illegally entering Australia [as punishment for attempting to seek asylum in a country which is supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.]
The Kurdish journalist and detainee [political prisoner], Behrouz Boochani, said immigration officials offered a group of asylum seekers from Nepal [and Bangladesh] between $10,000 and 15,000 dollars each to leave PNG.
Mr Boochani said the men were also offered between $20,000 and $25,000 each, if they left as a group.
He said the men were told the financial incentives would reduce they longer it takes them to agree to depart.
The lawyer representing men in the detention centre, Ben Lomai, said the process for determining refugee status was flawed.
Mr Lomai said he was applying for a court injunction to stop the deportations.
Bundled into body bags and chained --> April 2016: US authorities deport Nepalese, Bangladeshi and Indian asylum-seekers [SouthAsia.com.au - 10/4/16]
Lawyer says court proceedings concerning the asylum seekers still before the Courts [The National - 10/2/17]:
Ben Lomai, who is representing 731 asylum seekers at the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island, will ask the court to stop the PNG Immigration from deporting his clients.
This move comes after two men from Nepal were given deportation orders by the PNG Immigration at 4am yesterday.
Lomai told The National that the reason for an interim injunction against the deportation was that his clients had an interest in matters before the courts in PNG.
“They (PNG Immigration) can’t just deport them like that,” Lomai said.
“We need to stop the deportation so that those matters can be resolved properly in court.
“What happened is that there was a Nepalese who was put on a flight this (yesterday) morning and I believe he should be here in Port Moresby but I haven’t confirmed where he actually is right now.
“I will get back to my contacts to see if they can identify his whereabouts.”
Lomai explained that an earlier case in the Supreme Court had been struck out by the court which meant that an earlier court order which stopped deportation was also removed.
“That means that right now there is no order in place to stop the deportation,” he said.
“The only thing now is to go back and ask for the orders so that they (court) can grant the orders to stop deportation of the two men.”
Lomai said there were three separate court proceedings concerning the asylum seekers that were still before the Courts.
According to the private lawyer, one proceeding was before the Supreme Court while two were in the National Court.
Lomai said he would have to choose which proceeding to file the application for an injunction to stop the deportation.
He plans to have the application filed by today and secure a hearing as soon as possible.
Kurdish Iran Journalist Behrouz Boochani told The National yesterday that two asylum seekers from Nepal housed in the Mike Compound in the centre were deported because they were deemed to have a negative status.
“People with negative status are in shock and they are trying to know what will happen,” Boochani said. He described the situation in the centre as “scary,” since the deportation began.
Man who escaped PNG/Australia anti-refugee regime - but was deported from Fiji - moved to Bomana prison ahead of bail decision [ABC - 10/2/17]:
A district court has ordered Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari be moved from Port Moresby's police cell to Bomana prison outside of the city until a decision is made on his bail application next week.
The 20-year-old, who was deported from Fiji to Papua New Guinea last week, appeared in court today.
His lawyer Loani Henao asked the court to grant bail so that Mr Sawari would be free to have access to his medical doctor and psychiatrist.
Over recent days Mr Sawari was being treated at a private hospital for dehydration and mental illness.
Police prosecutors objected to the application, saying there was no evidence to prove he was in a "life or death situation" and that as a refugee he did not have any right to apply for bail.
The court magistrate rejected this.
Prosecutors also reasoned bail should not be granted as there was no guarantee he would turn up to court as required.
A decision on the bail application will be made on February 14.
Mr Sawari has been charged with giving false information in a passport application.
Australia has agreed to sell 10 refurbished military vehicles to Fiji.
Australia's defence minister Marise Payne said the Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicles will be used to support Fiji's United Nations "peacekeeping missions" in the Middle East. ... [RNZI - 10/2/17]
Netanyahu cancels Fiji trip [RNZI - 19/1/17]
Israel criticises Fijian President of UNGA [PINA - 4/12/16]:
Israel has taken issue with the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson of Fiji, wearing the Palestinian flag during last week's International Solidarity Day with the Palestinian People.
Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon says it was unfortunate Thomson wore the Palestinian flag at an UN event whose sole purpose was to slander Israel.
Danon described the UN event as a cynical Israel-bashing festival.
The UN has adopted dozens of resolutions over Israel's actions and policies, many of which Israel ignores. ...
Colonel Kalouniwai returns to Fiji after serving two years as Chief of Staff for UNDOF in the Golan Heights [Fiji Sun - 23/1/17]
Fiji’s commitment to Israel will continue Bainimarama tells Netanyahu [FijiVillage.com - 8/11/16]:
... Bainimarama also passed on the invitation for the Israeli Prime Minister and his family to come to Fiji and enjoy a holiday here.
Bomana Prison: Where beaten, "arrested" hunger striking Manus refugees calling for the UN were held without charge in January/February 2015.
Hunger striking refugees beaten, thrown into Bomana - all overseen by an "adviser from the Australian government" [PNG Facts - 24/1/15]
Guardian [VIDEO - 23/1/15]:
... Video footage obtained by Guardian Australia shows dozens of asylum seekers and refugees held in a single, windowless prison cell.
There is no furniture in the cell. Almost all the men lie close together and motionless in tight lines on the floor.
A man speaking on the video – whose voice has been altered to avoid identification – alleged the men were beaten by security guards employed by Wilson and by police while in custody.
“They have beaten everyone in this camp. We are totalling 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us,” he said.
The video shows marks on some of the men’s bodies.
It ends abruptly when a noise is heard, apparently outside the cell.
Australia is building a dedicated immigration prison for asylum seekers whose claims for refugee status are not successful at Bomana, but that is not yet ready.
The men moved to Port Moresby will be housed in the existing prison.
A PNG government source told the Nation the asylum seekers would be moved to the capital’s prison over the next week.
“Forty or 50 asylum seekers will be flown to Port Moresby,” he said. “This has caused concern among senior management at Correctional Service because of the security of our own prisoners.”
Last month Pato signed documents declaring both the Bomana and Lorengau prisons, and the Manus police lock-up, “to be relocation centres for the temporary residence of asylum seekers pending the determination of their refugee status under Papua New Guinea law”, the government source said. ...
Pleas from #ManusProtest ... [Image: @rranwa - 16/1/15]
The persecution of Australia's exiled political prisoners won't end until the policy ends ---> Iranian refugee, Mohammad Rezza Najafi Movafagh has made an appearance at the Boroko District Court on the charge of being in possession of marijuana. ... [PNG Loop - 10/2/17]
@BehrouzBoochani [10/2/17]: Today our lawyer will go to court to stop deporting people.Although the Australian gov does not respect any court or law. Justice is a dream
"WHERE IS SANCTITY OF LAW? STOP PLAYING GAMES ... EVERY DEATH IN PNG AND NAURU IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS" - Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island - May 2016
Australia's professional associations and unions refuse to condemn torture and death by medical neglect; journalists refuse to ask them to [Guardian - 10/2/17]
Refugees tortured and lied to by the Australian government for nearly 4 years - continue being tortured and lied to [SBS - 8/2/17]:
... Abdul said that he too attempted self-harm a few months ago as his frustration and despair grew day-by-day.
"They torment us [psychologically] until we harm ourselves, then they treat us," he says.
"A few months ago, I cut my wrist with a razor, they treated me, then brought me back to the detention centre," explains Abdul.
"I can’t sleep, I think about my future, I lost the best years of my life, what crime did I commit to be treated like this?" ...
During the UNHCR visit to Nauru in April 2016, refugees were told by a delegation lead by Thomas Albrecht they should expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".
Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"
Kenyan government says it will appeal High Court ruling stopping closure of Dadaab refugee camp [The Star - 9/2/17]
Kenya’s Dadaab: How not to close a refugee camp [News Deeply - 15/9/16]:
These days, my phone rings in the early hours of every morning.
It is some of the many residents of Dadaab, the world’s largest refugee camp, calling to tell me that they don’t want to go back to Somalia.
They say there is war in Somalia, there are no schools, no hospitals. They are afraid.
The Kenyan government has said they must leave by November or else, security officials announced in a public meeting in the camp, the government will “come for them.”
I tell them not to worry, that they can stay in the camp and no one will force them to go back. But they don’t believe me. Kenya has rounded up and returned refugees before.
And the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has told them nothing to the contrary. ...
Kenya’s repatriation program for Somali refugees, fueled by fear and misinformation, does not meet international standards for voluntary refugee return.
Many refugees living in Kenya’s sprawling Dadaab camp, home to at least 263,000 Somalis, say they have agreed to return home because they fear Kenya will force them out if they stay.
In May 2016, the Kenyan government announced plans to speed up the repatriation of Somali refugees and close the Dadaab camp in northeastern Kenya by November.
Kenyan authorities, with officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), then stepped up a 2013 “voluntary” repatriation program ... [Human Rights Watch - 15/9/16]
Thomas Albrecht UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Refugees for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific [Kaldor Centre - UNSW]:
... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi, which, in close collaboration with the Organization’s Headquarters, works with offices in the East and Horn of Africa as well as the Great Lakes Region to ensure strategic coherence, programme quality and results, management effectiveness and financial due diligence and accountability for UNHCR's operations.
From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Albrecht served as Deputy Regional Representative at the UNHCR Regional Representation for the United States of America and the Caribbean, located in Washington ...
Both were young, with their whole lives ahead of them.
Both leave grieving families and friends behind. ...
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [4/12/15]:
What did 22 year old Yamatji woman, Ms Dhu, and 24 year old Iranian man Hamid Kehazaei have in common?
Both should never have been detained in the first place; Ms Dhu was taken to the lock-up for unpaid fines, a trivial offence that attests more to socio-economic disadvantage and systemic racism than to any criminality on her part.
Hamid came to Australia in search of safety, he committed no crime, yet he was interned on a remote island for a year in unsanitary, inhumane and degrading conditions.
Both died from septicaemia, an infection which if diagnosed and treated quickly can be remedied with antibiotics. Staff waited until they were critically ill, slumped on the ground and unable to move, before they acted with any sense of urgency.
Both experienced delays to their treatment and were subject to fatal errors of judgement on the part of both custodial and medical staff.
Both were perceived as no more than racialised bodies in systems that are structured to fail them; both were 'othered' by mainstream Australian society. ...
... Speaking in Farsi from the family home in Tehran, Goldone Kehazaei told Guardian Australia she had not heard her son’s voice since his diagnosis.
“Not even before he boarded the plane,” she said, “They didn’t allow anyone to go with him on the plane, they said he had to give written permission, but he was too ill and unaware of his surroundings at that point. I was very upset because if I was there I would have held his hand and given him some comfort.
“On the plane his heart stopped and by the time he got to hospital the infection had spread and blood wasn’t getting to his brain. Only his heart and lungs were functioning. His brain and kidneys had failed.”
“No one called us [from the hospital] because it was the weekend, so we called ourselves and they said: ‘We don’t know who you’re talking about’. ...
Coroner: Ms Dhu's death preventable, police unprofessional and inhumane [SBS – 16/12/16]:
Coroner Ros Fogliani delivered her findings to a packed court room today in Perth and said Ms Dhu's death could have been prevented if she had been given antibiotics, and found police acted unprofessionally and inhumanely.
During the inquest, some police testified they thought Ms Dhu was faking illness and was coming down from drugs, while some medical staff also thought she was exaggerating.
Coroner Fogliani said on Friday that Ms Dhu's death could have been prevented if her illness had been diagnosed days earlier.
She said Ms Dhu's treatment was unprofessional and inhumane.
Ms Dhu, whose first name is not used for cultural reasons, died two days after being locked up at South Hedland Police Station in August 2014 for unpaid fines totalling $3622.
Ms Fogliani made several recommendations in her findings and also agreed to release footage showing Ms Dhu's final hours, except for vision of her moments before death.
Yesterday her grandmother Carol Roe urged the coroner to make the footage publicly available.
"I hope the Coroner hands down the truth. Then we will feel like there has been some justice. Then we can put my girl to rest," said Ms Roe.
"People need to see with their own eyes how my girl was treated. All Australians need to see this footage - we all need to stand together and say enough is enough, no more Aboriginal deaths in custody."
This year is the 25th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Western Australia continues to have the highest Aboriginal imprisonment rates in Australia. ...
Harrowing footage of the final moments of Ms Dhu's life has been released after the 22-year-old's family won their fight to "show the world the truth" about how she was treated before her death in custody. ... [The Age - 16/12/16]
10 February 2017