GO BACK TO WASHINGTON.
WE NEED HUMANITARIANS AND STATESMEN AND WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA.
NOT A NEVERENDING PARADE OF REHABILITATED FASCISTS.
Image: @DaisyKLewis [19/7/13]
Once again Dutton thanks news producers across Australia for protecting him in their current affairs programs and evening bulletins
First they came for the refugees and the Kiwis: After the Australian media's unanimous appraisal of today's fascist violence on Christmas Island, Dutton - and his ALP mates - are this week set to pass laws to strip citizenship.
The Daily Blog [10/11/15]:
... Marama Fox walked out, David Cunliffe walked out in disgust, Jacinda Ardern walked out, Grant and Iain walked out..
…more MPs followed after John Key’s despicable politics today in Parliament.
Watch as John Key demeans the dignity of the position of Prime Minister by screaming that the Opposition are ‘backing rapists’ (from the 2nd minute in)
For the record, the Government can’t tell us that any of the NZ citizens detained on Christmas Island have sex convictions.
Disgraceful politics by John Key – this is a new low for the Prime Ministership. NZ citizens are being beaten and held in dangerous detention camps by our mate Australia and the best the Prime Minister of NZ can do is scream at the Opposition that they are ‘backing rapists’? ...
Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015
NSA phone records collection 'likely violates constitution', US judge rules [Guardian – 10/11/15]
Murder of two Syrian citizen journalists condemned by UNESCO chief [Media Release - 9/11/15]
Reporters Without Borders condemns the arrests of a prominent journalist and a newspaper owner and the suspension of a TV anchor this past weekend in Egypt, where covering terrorism stories or questioning President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s policies is now off-limits. ... [Media Release - 9/11/15]
@codepink [10/11/15]: Activists from Code Pink at the #Kotel in Jerusalem right now.
Israeli forces detained 36 Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight Monday, including 24 alleged "Hamas operatives" in the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya, Israeli and Palestinian sources said. ... [Maan - 10/11/15]
Israeli forces raid East Jerusalem hospital for 3rd time [Maan - 9/11/15]
An Israeli settler opened fire at Palestinian farmers harvesting olives in the Nablus district on Monday, a Palestinian official said.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that an “extremist settler from the illegal Maale Levona settlement stepped out of his car on the main road and fired from a machine-gun at Palestinian farmers.” ... [Maan - 9/11/15]
Lebanese officer among wounded in Jordan shooting [Naharnet - 9/11/15]:
A Lebanese officer was among those who were wounded Monday when a Jordanian policeman opened fire at a police academy in al-Muwaqqar, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency reported.
It identified the officer as 23-year-old Internal Security Forces lieutenant George Hazzouri, saying he sustained "very light injuries."
Earlier in the day, Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani confirmed that a “Lebanese citizen” was among the wounded.
Two U.S. instructors, a South African and a Jordanian were killed in the incident, Jordanian officials and the U.S. embassy in Amman said.
The shooter, identified as police captain Anwar Abu Zeid, also wounded two American instructors and four Jordanians in the attack at the Jordanian International Police Training Center.
Momani said that the assailant was gunned down by colleagues at the center in al-Muwaqqar, 30 kilometers east of Amman.
Ghani meets with China's special envoy for Afghanistan, Pakistan [TOLO News - 10/11/15]
Three policemen have been killed and a fourth wounded during a Taliban attack in the Deh Rawood district of central Uruzgan province, an official said on Tuesday. ... [Pajhwok - 10/11/15]
US Air Force general says impressed with Saudi-led operations in Yemen [Channel News Asia - 10/11/15]
@YemenPostNews [10/11/15]: 13 Saudi AIRSTRIKES in Sanaa over one hour. ...
A 400-strong Sudanese force arrived in Yemen's port city Aden Monday in support of pro-government forces preparing to confront a possible new offensive by rebels on the country's south.
Yemen's loyalist forces, backed by Saudi-led coalition strikes, supplies and troops, pushed the rebels out of Aden as part of an operation launched in July to take back territory they had lost.
Four other southern provinces -- Lahj, Daleh, Abyan and Shabwa -- were also retaken by the forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
But the Iran-backed rebels this weekend recaptured several positions in the south. ... [Ahram - 9/11/15]
A Virginia man has died in war-torn Yemen, the State Department confirmed Monday. ... [USA Today - 9/11/15]
Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill three Nigerian refugees in Cameroon [Reuters - 9/11/15]
Burundi experiencing 'deep political crisis' with hundreds dead since April, Security Council told [UN Media Release – 9/11/15]
The Russian Air Force in Syria has made 137 sorties over last three days, hitting 448 infrastructure facilities belonging to Islamic State and other terrorists groups in the country, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. ... [RT - 9/11/15]
University of Missouri president and chancellor step down amid race row [CNN - 10/11/15]
As Missouri activists block journalists, a divide over ‘respect’ and rights [New York Times - 9/11/15]
One person was killed and a second was in custody after a police shooting Monday night on the campus of Spartanburg Methodist College in northwest South Carolina, authorities said.
Thom Berry, a spokesman for the State Law Enforcement Division, told NBC station WYFF of Greenville that a campus police officer was investigating a report of a car break-in and came upon two people in a car.
The car took off, striking the officer, who opened fired, Berry said.
One person in the car was killed, and the other was in custody, Berry said. The officer was treated at the scene and wasn't believed to have been seriously injured, he said. ... [NBC - 10/11/15]
Gunman kills one and wounds two near Penn Station [New York Times - 9/11/15]
US military trains 4,800 Iraqi soldiers [Middle East Monitor - 9/11/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [9/11/15]:
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
Bomber, fighter, attack, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 13 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Abu Kamal, three strikes struck an ISIL petroleum junction point and two ISIL gas and oil separation plants.
-- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicle-borne bombs, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL building, three ISIL fighting positions, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
-- Near Hawl, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, and attack aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Albu Hayat, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and suppressed another fighting position.
-- Near Mosul, one strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL building, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Sinjar, four strikes destroyed two ISIL command and control nodes, 12 ISIL fighting positions, and suppressed an ISIL rocket position.
@SaraCantosGarci [9/11/15]: Llega otra embarcación a #Lesbos. Hoy van casi 100. Sirios, afganos e iraquíes @PROACTIVA_SERV atendiéndolos.
Merkel must call highest level UN emergency summit over refugees [The Automatic Earth - 9/11/15]:
… You can’t let the people, the children, drown at random and expect to come away with your positions intact. And just because international politics these days focuses a lot on trying to deflect responsibilities by pointing to others, and to international bodies, blood on one’s hands doesn’t wash off easily, and in the end not at all.
Blaming the refugees themselves, as the head of EU border agency Frontex attempted once again by labeling them , is as useless as it is disgraceful. People fleeing war zones to save their lives are not ‘illegals’.
Blaming the ‘smugglers’, an even more popular EU pastime, makes no sense either.
If the smugglers were Europe’s biggest concern, it would grant safe passage to refugees.
That would stop ‘smuggling’ in one fell swoop. But it would demand a level of political courage that nobody, not Merkel either, possesses.
What drives policies across the board still comes down to the prevailing wish, fed to European populations by media and politics, to keep things as they are. To maybe invite the token refugee, but to prevent sudden or large changes in the society people happen to live in.
And while that may be understandable, it doesn’t mean it’s always realistic. Sometimes change is inevitable. We may find it easier to accept that when it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes than in the case of mass migrations, but all of these are regular occurrences throughout history. In the end, all we can do is make the best of it, in the most humane way we know of, or descend into mayhem.
Israeli court upholds policy of indefinite detention and/or exile to third country [Jerusalem Post - 10/11/15]
The Home Office has been accused of breaching its guidelines on handcuffing asylum seekers, which were updated after an elderly man with dementia died while shackled in a detention centre near Heathrow.
The charity Women for Refugee Women has complained about the use of restraints on female detainees at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre in Bedford.
The charity says detainees are being asked to wear handcuffs to chain them to a security guard for visits to a local hospital. In a letter to the Home Office, it says the measure is humiliating to women who are not prisoners, and could be unlawful. ... [Guardian - 10/11/15]
Myanmar: Disenfranchisement of Rohingya a good election result according to the US [Gulf Times - 10/11/15]:
... “We’ve said it is difficult to see how this can be a truly free and fair election given the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya population, the 25 per cent of parliament guaranteed to the military and other structural problems,” said Tom Malinowski, assistant US secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labour.
“But there can still be a result that credibly reflects the overall desires of a majority of the Burmese people.” ...
War crimes suspect Jagath Jayasuriya takes up diplomatic post in Brazil [Tamil Guardian - 9/11/15]
A DIY solution in South-East Asia [Asylum Insight - November 2015]:
... With MOAS now in South-East Asia, it remains to be seen how they will work with governments in the region. Australia’s focus on turning back boats and enacting punitive measures against migrants and refugees at sea is in conflict with MOAS’ mandate to save lives at sea and their commitment to comply with international law. However, given the recent glimpse of humanitarianism in Australian refugee policy in response to the Mediterranean crisis, perhaps the work of MOAS will be the impetus for Australia to work constructively with other states, and with MOAS, towards a humanitarian approach and regional response to the local refugee crisis.
The faux left is more vital to fascism than the far right
.@RichardMarlesMP says his party would be working on meaningful third country options, not like the one with Cambodia ....
"tweeted" by @amworldtodaypm [10/11/15]
Fazel and Reza were brave sons. They fought for their lives with the Australian government and the dark ocean.
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites [9/11/15]:
Fazel’s village is near Reza Barati’s. Their villages are beside a river and a high high mountain. My home is near their homes. There is only a mountain between us. A mountain and a river between our homes.
My mother climbed up the mountain today and went to Fazel’s mother’s home.
My mother, Reza’s mother and Fazel’s mother are crying together.
I heard Seymare river is crying with them.
Under Fazel’s village is one of the most ancient and oldest cities in the world. It is called Sirwan. They are crying on the oldest city for Reza and Fazel.
I heard that all of Kurdistan’s beautiful mountain’s are crying. All of Sirwan is crying – mountain, river, wild flowers… All of Sirwan is crying with out mothers.
I hear the oldest songs the mothers are singing in Ilam city, Sirwan and Kurdistan. I hear their voices crying from this Manus prison.
I hear the oldest song from the mothers. It is called Moor.
Moor is the oldest song the Kurdish mothers sing for their boys and warriors who lose their lives fighting with enemies that attack Kurdistan land. It is a song for brave sons.
Fazel and Reza were brave sons. They fought for their lives with the Australian government and the dark ocean.
When I was in Kurdistan, many times I climbed up that highest mountain. There are the oldest oak trees there. I hear the oak trees are crying too.
My heart is so heavy because I heard the deepest sorrow Moor from my mother today.
I have never heard a Moor like this Moor that Reza’s, Fazel’s and my mother are singing.
This is Kurdish culture. We are born by song, live by song, fight by song and die by song.
I feel deepest sorrow because of Fazel’s death.
He deserves the deepest Moor song.
My heart is heavy because I am crying and listening to Moor for my best friend in a prison on the remotest island in the world.
I never thought I would hear Moor for the bravest of Kurdish sons in a remote island in the heart of a big ocean.
I always think about the Moor my mother will sing for me when I die.
I thought that song would be sung in beautiful Kurdistan. I am sure Reza and Fazel thought like me but their lives were taken in remote places, not in Kurdistan.
They lost their lives because of injustice.
They lost their lives in a foreign land.
Who was there when their lives were taken?
My mother, Reza’s mother and Fazel’s mother are together singing the deepest Moor.
– Behrouz Boochani
(Kurdish journalist incarcerated Australia’s black site on Manus Island)
Close the camps!
No more deaths in detention.
No more refugees in detention
Image: @FFFADmelbourne [10/11/15]
@FFFADmelbourne: Civil disobedience won't end until refugees r settled in Australia ...
@akaWACA: #PramJam4Golestan making some noise in the Liberal Party Headquarters ... [Melbourne]
Nauru government issues "refugee baby boom" propaganda as gutless Greens, unions and professional medical organisations use refugee children and pregnant women as sickening bargaining point, and refuse to reiterate calls to CLOSE THE CAMPS [RNZI - 10/11/15]
... Aspen Medical, which provides medical services at Nauru Hospital, took the extraordinary step on Thursday to search LinkedIn urgently seeking a neonatologist able to fly out in 24 hours to oversee the baby’s delivery.
“I know this is a long shot but Aspen Medical has been requested to provide a Neonatologist to fly to Nauru tomorrow (6 November), for a week. There will be a baby born by planned caesarean which will require the care and oversight of an experienced neonatologist,” the company wrote in a LinkedIn message to doctors.
Doctors were even asked to nominate a salary.
“I am also curious about what your salary expectations might be for such a role (even if you aren’t actually interested), or if you happen to know of someone else who may be interested.” ...
... Hatami’s husband Rashid, wrote to the IHMS and the Immigration Department and to detention managers Transfield on Nauru at least three times in September appealing for help for his wife, but his appeals were ignored. ... [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 6/11/15]
Waiting for an indication Amnesty Australia has begun steps required to visit Nauru
Amnesty International says it's heartened by Nauru's invitation to international bodies to go to the island and check out its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees.
Nauru issued the invitation during its human rights review at the United Nations on Tuesday.
Amnesty's Pacific campaigner Rebecca Emery says Amnesty has not been able to get in to check out the situation around asylum seeker processing but will now apply.
She says the group would like to see how policies like the ban on social media are working.
"On the face of it we'd be concerned it's an excessive and disproportionate restriction but we are keen to have a closer look at the situation that Nauru described in the UPR review for ourselves to see what is actually happening with women and children in Nauru." [What about the men?]
Rebecca Emery says Amnesty is encouraged by the steps taken by Nauru since its last review.
Waiting for an update from "Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru" on the progress of their journalist visa application.
And we're also still waiting for an explanation as to why they appear to have backpedalled from their original stated aim of closing the camps [Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru - 3/11/15]
International community condemns Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers during Universal Periodic Review at UN
Human Rights Law Centre Media Release [10/11/15]:
Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers received unprecedented condemnation from the international community as the Government appeared before the Human Rights Council in Geneva overnight for its major four yearly human rights review in a process known as the ‘Universal Periodic Review’.
Australia was questioned by 107 countries with at least 60 recommendations criticising Australia’s policies on asylum seekers and refugees.
The Human Rights Law Centre’s Director of Advocacy and Litigation, Anna Brown, said that Australia’s efforts to demonstrate leadership on topics such as the death penalty and the rights of older people were overshadowed by the wave of condemnation on policies of mandatory detention, offshore processing and boat turn backs.
“Australia’s potential to be a human rights leader is being completely undercut by its tremendously harsh treatment of people seeking asylum. Last night at the UN, there were calls from nations in every region and political grouping in the world, for Australia to change its policies. At a time when there is an unprecedented number of people around the world in need of safety, a wealthy democratic nation like Australia should be part of the solution, but instead we are rightfully being condemned on the world stage for being part of the problem,” added Ms Brown.
In its opening remarks the Australian Government acknowledged the challenges the country faced in a number of areas but stated that its “strong” policies on asylum seekers and migration had built public confidence and saved lives as sea.
“The Government’s generally constructive and positive approach to its review last night was undermined by its one-eyed and shallow justification for its treatment of people seeking asylum. Fronting a forum like this and just repeating a tired mantra wont fool anyone – it actually just damages our international credibility,” said Ms Brown.
The UPR process is a ‘review by peers’ and Australia received constructive criticism from allies such as the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
Australia - 23rd Session of Universal Periodic Review [VIDEO - UN - 9/11/15]
... New Zealand made a submission to the council, but the Government did not question Australia's treatment of asylum seekers or other detainees at Australian detention centres.
Instead it commended Australia for amending its Sex Discrimination Act to provide protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
"However, we note that further work is needed in the areas of indigenous and minority rights. New Zealand recommends that Australia continue to address inequalities affecting human rights in the areas of health, education, employment and income that disproportionately affect indigenous peoples and other minority groups.
"While we commend Australia's signature of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, New Zealand recommends that Australia ratify OPCAT and implement a National Preventative Mechanism.
"Finally, New Zealand recommends that Australia introduces measures to address issues related to the treatment of persons with disabilities, including considering the implementation of recommendations from both the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws, and the Senate inquiry into high levels of violence and abuse of persons with disabilities in institutional and residential settings.
"We wish the delegation a successful review."
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said she was appalled the Government did not question Australia's record on detention centres.
She said the Maori Party had sent the Government a series of questions to ask Australia but had been told they were not needed.
Marama Fox said she was astonished and could not understand why questions were not raised.
"It smacks of this matey relationship the Government wants to have with Australia. But they need to open their eyes. Australia has not afforded us the same courtesy," she said.
Members of the of Australia's delegation defended the country's policies on asylum seekers.
"Irregular migration flows pose particular challenges to a managed and equitable system of migration," said John Reid of the attorney-general department, who led the delegation.
"Strong border protection measures" had helped maintain the government's significant humanitarian resettlement and assistance programmes, he said, citing its offer to resettle 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq.
"No asylum seeker who engages our (international) protection obligation is ever returned to a situation of danger," said Andrew Goledzinowski, ambassador for people-smuggling issues in the foreign ministry.
Today we announce the appointment of Mr Andrew Goledzinowski AM as Australia's next Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues. ... [Foreign Minister Media Release - 24/11/14]
... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.
You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.
And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.
But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...
A recent Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT didn't even get to a vote because Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected. It was the fastest objection ever!
Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.
The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?
Senator Moore: Yes.
The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.
Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.
Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.
No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]
Questions for oral answer [New Zealand Parliament - 10/11/15]:
ANDREW LITTLE to the Prime Minister: What action, if any, has he taken to follow up on his statement to Malcolm Turnbull regarding New Zealand-born Australian detainees on Christmas Island, "I think, in the spirit of mateship, there should be some compassion shown"?
KELVIN DAVIS to the Minister of Corrections: Does he have confidence in Serco's ability to train its prison staff; if so, why?
Operational update #5 - Disturbance at Christmas Island Detention Centre [Department of Immigration - 10/11/15]
... Labour's Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis said he had spoken to some detainees by telephone about events now unfolding.
"Things have really kicked off, the riot squad has moved in waving their batons, apparently gas canisters have been fired.
"There's reports of people being hit with rubber pellets, people are barricading themselves in their rooms, just trying to keep themselves safe." he said.
He said he fears someone could be killed. ... [RNZI - 10/11/15]
Australian media still parroting government spin, no ascertainable opposition and so called human rights groups silent.
... Australia is not interested in a peaceful resolution ... to be honest I'm concerned if some of these guys will be alive in a couple of hours. ...
Labour MP Kelvin Davis has been in touch with New Zealanders in the detention centre and says he's hearing distressing accounts of what's happening. [AUDIO - RNZI - 10/11/15]
“Stand-off” continues and tension grows on Christmas Island [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 10/11/15]:
Around 50 people have spent the night on the oval (green zone) of Christmas Island detention centre, as more police and Serco guards gather on the perimeter of the centre.
As of 2.30am Christmas Island time, no attempt had been made by police or guards to re-enter the detention centre.
Late yesterday, television had been cut off to the centre.
Some food had been left at the gate of the centre and detainees told to collect it. Armed police and others in full riot gear can be seen outside the detention fences.
Detainees report that drones have been circulating over the centre and the Federal police have been issuing instructions through a megaphone to ‘dump any weapons and return to your rooms.’
Most detainees have remained in the accommodation blocks in any case.
“The government talks about ‘restoring order’ in the centre, but restoring order to the riot police and Serco’s Emergency Response Team will only mean a return of the brutal rule of force inside the detention centre, that led to the explosion on Christmas Island.
“The ‘behavioural management’ regime inside Christmas Island is reminiscent of the behaviour familiar in Guantanamo Bay. It relies on solitary confinement, 24 hour surveillance, denial of access to a phone or the internet and systemic force, reprisals, and beatings by the Serco guards of anyone who they consider steps out of line.
“There is a widespread belief that Serco guards were involved in the death of Fazal Chegeni because of their experience of the guards in the detention centre,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“One of the first measures detainees took inside the detention centre when the guards withdrew late Sunday night was to free the detainees from the hated high security Red Compound.
“Christmas Island is being used as the punishment centre of the government’s detention regime. People are arbitrarily moved there as a punitive measure. It is much worse than jail. There is no reason for the so-called ‘criminal deportees’ to be in immigration detention. They have done their time, according the criminal justice system.
“There is no reason for the asylum seekers to be there. They have committed no crime. Fazal, whose death ignited the tensions inside the detention centre, should never have been in detention. He should never have been on Christmas Island.
One Facebook message from inside the detention centre, referring to the Fazal’s death reads, “On Friday night our brother managed to get over the fence and spend his last days in the living hell, a free man….Whatever happened to our brother is [the doing] of immigration and Australian Border Force.”
“The punitive regime on Christmas Island must end. Like Nauru and Manus, Christmas Island should be closed,” said Rintoul.
Nicer cages, higher wages: Melissa Parke and friends want you to vote for the ALP [New Matilda - 10/11/15]
ABC, AM [16/9/14]:
... CHRIS UHLMANN: Now some of the same people in the left are concerned about your border protection policies. Is there any likelihood you'll abandon your commitment to offshore processing?
BILL SHORTEN: No.
CHRIS UHLMANN: That's a firm rolled gold commitment; you're not going to abandon it?
BILL SHORTEN: No.
CHRIS UHLMANN: Will it be changed in any way?
BILL SHORTEN: No, we support regional resettlement. And we support the offshore processing.
The Saturday Paper [27/9/14]:
... [Melissa] Parke plays a different role, as Labor navigates an awkward environment in which its options for criticising the government are circumscribed by its desire to be part of Team Australia.
She provides an alibi for Labor to avoid a loss of votes to the Greens as it joins the government in backing tougher terror laws and military action in the Middle East and continues to offer bipartisan support for offshore processing of asylum seekers. Some Coalition MPs argue Bernardi plays a similar role in placating those Liberal supporters who were disappointed that Abbott abandoned the 18C changes.
As Labor leader Bill Shorten stresses that he is “working very well together” with Abbott on national security, it doesn’t hurt to have at least one opposition MP putting an alternative view. It’s a fine line, though, as left-wing Labor senator Sue Lines discovered late last month when Shorten rebuked her for accusing the government of using the threat of terrorism to deflect attention from the budget.
Back in May when Parke and Burke first raised their intention to pursue a caucus motion on ending offshore detention, there was frustration among Labor MPs at the timing, distracting as it did from the backlash to the budget. The motion was destined to fail.
Some also feared that, by reopening the debate, Parke was risking exposing Labor to attack over whether it was strong enough to manage the electorally sensitive issue.
But Parke is not a loose cannon and her recent statements have been carefully worded. Even dissent in modern Labor is often tightly scripted.
Although Dastyari’s remarks on refugee policy earlier this year were reported as pitting him against Shorten, his speech had in fact been vetted by the party’s leadership.
10 November 2015