United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 12/11/16]
Turkish airstrikes kill 18 “Daesh terrorists” in northern Syria [Daily Sabah – 12/11/16]:
... The United States sees the YPG as its main partner against Daesh in Syria, while Turkey argues that both are terror groups and Washington should not pick-and-choose when it comes to terrorist groups. ...
... In an interview with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV, Erdoğan said the 3 million refugees in Turkey could march to Europe, without explaining how they might do that.
In a progress report released earlier this week, the EU severely criticized Turkey for backsliding in democracy but praised its efforts to contain refugees inside the country. ... [Keep Talking Greece - 12/11/16]
@moas_eu [12/11/16]: ... #MOAS #Phoenix has been engaged in rescue of approx. 700 people on a large wooden boat since early this morning #Med
@MSF_Sea [12/11/16]: Thankfully all are now safe but we had our heart in our mouth the whole time. It's 2016 & these #people have no other way to reach safety.
@msf_field [11/11/16]: "We owe our fellow humans a safe, legal escape route. They have not chosen this situation" Antonia is on @MSF_Sea ...
@SRodrigoruiz [11/11/16]: Imagen del rescate hoy de 44 personas en el #Mediterráneo que cruzaron desde Marruecos a costas #Andalucia
@SRodrigoruiz [11/11/16]: #ESPAÑA @APDHA rechaza apertura de centro de internamiento de extranjeros en #Algeciras #CIEsNo
Myanmar military resume attacks - including airstrikes - on Rohingya villages in Maungdaw [RVision TV - 12/11/16]:
3:30 PM: Burmese troops are indiscriminately firing at Rohingyacivilians at ‘Kyein Chuang.’ People fleeing to and fro in fear. A heavy explosion was heard at Kyeing Chaung village. [Rohingya Mirror Reports, MSRV]
4 PM: Burmese air-force started dropping bombs on the Rohingya villages: Dar Gyi Zar (Chudo Gozi Bil) and Yekai Chaung Kwa Sone (Bor Gozi Bil) in Northern Maungdaw, Myanmar.
Swapping human beings is NOT refugee resettlement.
Human Rights Watch [18/4/07]:
A deal between the United States and Australia to trade refugees housed at Guantanamo Bay for those held on the island nation of Nauru upends international refugee standards, Human Rights Watch said today.
“Refugees are human beings, not products that countries can broker and trade,” said Bill Frelick, Refugee Policy director at Human Rights Watch.
“The United States and Australia have signed a deal that bargains with lives and flouts international law.”
Under the deal announced on April 18, some 90 Sri Lankan and Burmese refugees now held at an Australian-run immigration detention camp on the Pacific island nation of Nauru would be sent to live in the United States.
Up to 200 refugees could be sent each year. Australia, in turn, would take up to 200 Cuban and Haitian refugees held at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Australian and US authorities have subjected their respective interdicted asylum seekers to refugee status determination procedures. Australia keeps asylum seekers, even those determined to be genuine refugees, on Nauru as a part of its efforts to avoid its legal obligations to refugees. Now refugees who were found to have a well-founded fear of persecution will be transported half-way around the world.
“The only conceivable reason for this ‘refugee swap’ is to deter future asylum seekers from trying to reach the United States or Australia by boat,” said Frelick.
“Yet, international refugee protection principles hold that detention and similar measures should never be used solely as a deterrent to other would-be refugees.”
Human Rights Watch said that it is already difficult to be identified as a genuine refugee by US authorities at Guantanamo or the Australians on Nauru.
The Haitians and Cubans must first have passed shipboard screening immediately after being picked up at sea, before even being brought to Guantanamo, and then must convince an immigration official that they are genuine refugees. In this situation, they do not have the access to a lawyer or judicial review that they would have on US territory.
By housing refugees on Nauru and at Guantanamo Bay, Australia and the US are trying to avoid their legal obligations under the 1951 Refugee Convention.
The trade deal violates the spirit of the legal obligation not to expel a refugee, except for national security reasons and only after a decision in accordance with due process standards.
Neither government cited any national security rationales for the exchange in refugees.
The deal – seemingly designed to deter refugees by frustrating their desire to join relatives and émigré communities at a nearby destination – also violates longstanding principles in refugee law that countries should endeavor to keep refugees unified with family members.
The international conference that adopted the 1951 Refugee Convention called on governments to ensure that “the unity of the refugee’s family is maintained.”
Often, Haitians and Cubans identified as refugees at Guantanamo Bay have family members already inside the United States.
“In many other aspects of US and Australian law, family unity is of utmost importance,” Frelick said.
“The US Supreme Court has even called keeping families together ‘an enduring American tradition,’ but apparently that doesn’t apply if you’re a genuine refugee, fleeing persecution.”
No opposition and no journalism as the media produce another version backgrounding Turnbull's nothing announcement, and Australia's anti-refugee torture, turnback and exile policy remains unchallenged [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/11/16]:
... But it is understood Mr Turnbull will announce measures to ensure the deal doesn't become a "pull factor" – a marketing tool for people smugglers throughout the region to convince asylum seekers to board boats.
This is expected to include a renewed focus on the frontline activities of Operation Sovereign Borders. ...
The Straits Times [1/2/16]:
... The UNHCR had 153,850 refugees and asylum-seekers registered with it in Malaysia at the end of September 2015, with the overwhelming majority - 142,630 - from Myanmar and the rest from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Palestine and other nations.
The Rohingya are the biggest by number of migrants in the region. ...
ALP and Shorten use strong arm tactics in attempt to silence No Pride in Detention float at Sydney Mardi Gras [Guardian - 7/3/16]:
... A No Pride float organiser, Amy Thomas, told Guardian Australia the suggestion the float could be removed was “completely unacceptable to us”.
“The compromise was that we would let others go in front of us,” she said.
“The marshals were made to hold us back while a couple of floats which came from further along Oxford Street went ahead of us … Obviously they wanted to avoid the embarrassment of the hypocrisy of Bill Shorten and the Labor party’s position on offshore processing.”
Thomas said she was disappointed in the event organisers.
“The origins of Mardi Gras were a protest for gay rights and it’s long been a venue for that,” she said.
“It is a situation where you have LGBTQI refugees on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG and in both countries homosexuality is illegal and subject to years of imprisonment. [Both parties] know they’re placing people in that situation. You can’t march on the streets against homophobia and not be questioned on what I say is a selective view on homophobia.”
Japan Supreme Court dismisses appeal over deportation death of Ghanaian man [Japan Today - 12/11/16]:
The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal for compensation from the family of a Ghanaian man who died after being restrained by immigration officials during deportation.
In a decision dated Nov 9, the top court’s second petty bench upheld a lower court ruling that overturned an earlier order for the state to pay damages to the family.
According to the final ruling, Abubakar Awudu Suraj, 45, died after being restrained when he was put on a flight to Cairo at Narita airport near Tokyo in March 2010.
He resisted the officials trying to get him on the plane.
The deportee was gagged with a towel and forced to lean forward while seated in the cabin.
In March 2014, the Tokyo District Court admitted that the man suffocated because of the officials’ action, saying it was an “unlawful act” to force him to lean forward while seated even though he was not resisting forcefully.
The district court ordered the state to pay about 5 million yen ($47,000) in damages to the plaintiffs, his wife and mother.
But the Tokyo High Court judged that the man died due to chronic heart disease, rejecting all damages claims by the bereaved family.
In July 2012, the Chiba District Public Prosecutors Office decided not to file charges against the officials due to a lack of evidence.
Japanese Schindler: The diplomat who saved thousands of Jews [South China Morning Post - 11/11/16]
Citizenship Law tears family apart [Jakarta Post – 12/11/16]
A man has been hit in the face with a metal bar during a home invasion and burglary on the Gold Coast on Friday afternoon.
Police said about 2.45pm four men forced their way into an Ocean Street residence at Burleigh Heads and hit a 49-year-old male occupant in the face multiple times with a metal bar. ... [Brisbane Times - 12/11/16]
Police investigating deaths of young woman and ex-boyfriend in Southport apartment [Nine MSN - 12/11/16]
A man has been charged with glassing a driver outside a fast food shop on the Gold Coast.
A 19-year-old man was driving out of the carpark on the Gold Coast Highway in Palm Beach at about 1am on Saturday when he got into an argument with a pedestrian who then allegedly struck him in the face with a glass, police say. ... [Yahoo - 12/11/16]
A man remains in a serious condition in hospital this morning after being struck by a car in Southport last night.
The 45-year-old man was crossing the Gold Coast Highway, otherwise known as Marine Parade, near Railway Street when he was hit by a southbound ute just before 6pm.
Paramedics raced to the scene and worked on the victim in the middle of the road for around half-an-hour.
Once stable, the man was then placed on a stretcher and wheeled into the back of an ambulance.
Police said the man was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious condition. ... [MYGC - 12/11/16]
Woman killed in two-car smash at Nimbin [Tweed Shire Echo – 11/11/16]
Two bereaved women blockading the gates to the Pike River mine say they are doing it to show the country they have had enough of waiting for progress.
Anna Osborne, whose husband was one of the 29 men killed in the mine six years ago, is at the gates along with Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her son, Ben.
The sit-in was part of a protest by families of the victims and their supporters just outside the mine's gates.
They are demanding the Pike River mine not be permanently sealed before the 29 bodies within are recovered. ... [RNZI - 12/11/16]
An Israeli man faces a murder charge after police discovered body of his compatriot, a former police officer, encased in newly poured concrete at a house in Bang Bua Thong district in Nonthaburi.
Shimon Biton, 50, was apprehended at the rented house in the Pattrawan housing estate in tambon Laharn on Saturday after the body of Eliyahu Cohen, 63, was found buried under a staircase.
Police said Mr Biton, 50, confessed to having killed his Israeli friend in a fit of jealousy on Tuesday after learning that the latter had had an affair with his girlfriend. ... [Bangkok Post - 12/11/16]
Hundreds of thousands gather in Seoul to condemn President Park Geun-hye [Korea Herald - 12/11/16]
Obama suspends efforts to win congressional approval for TPP [Reuters - 11/11/16]
Japan has signed a controversial deal to sell civil nuclear power equipment and technology to I ndia, despite resistance from campaigners, as the two countries seek to boost business and security ties.
The pact, signed on Friday in Tokyo by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi , marked the first time Japan agreed to such a deal with a country that is not a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. ... [Al Jazeera - 12/11/16]
Braving crackdowns by India, these young Kashmiri volunteers keep neighbourhoods safe [Global Voices - 12/11/16]
The Foreign Office has congratulated Donald Trump over his victory in the US elections and welcomed his offer to mediate between Pakistan and India on the Kashmir dispute.
In an interview with an Indian newspaper in October, Trump had said he would be pleased to mediate between Pakistan and India. ... [Daily Times - 11/11/16]
An Aboriginal elder’s efforts to stop a quarry development at Cedar Point near Kyogle will be heard in the NSW Land and Environment Court next week.
Gidubul Elder Robert Williams, represented by public interest environmental lawyers EDO NSW, will argue that that the quarry is situated on a ceremonial men’s site, and that quarrying is likely to harm Aboriginal objects at the site.
Mr Williams argues that works at the quarry should not go ahead without an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit. ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 11/11/16]
Tamil fishermen protested in Mannar this week, demonstrating against Sri Lankan state sponsored colonisation of Sinhala fishermen into the region. ... [Tamil Guardian - 10/11/16]
Three Myanmar men were remanded for seven days beginning today to facilitate an investigation following the discovery of four bodies in Kampung Tanjung Hilir, Bekelam, Bachok, on Oct 30.
The remand order was issued by court’s registrar Mohd Rusli Ahmad at the Magistrate’s Court, here today.
Kelantan Police chief Datuk Dr Ab Rahman Ismail said the three suspects, aged between 30 and 55, were nabbed in a special operation carried out by the Bukit Aman Serious Crime Division the Kelantan Police yesterday. ... [Malay Mail Online - 12/11/16]
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Myanmar (FCCM) says it is deeply concerned about arrest of the Eleven Media Group's CEO Dr Than Htut Aung and chief editor Wai Phyo.
They were charged under Section 66(d) of the Telecommunications Act by Yangon chief minister Phyo Min Thein over an article “A year after the Nov 8 polls” by Than Htut Aung. ... [ELEVEN - 12/11/16]
@Aungaungsittwe [12/11/16]: Army torch #Rohingya village Zambunna&surrounding area
@Aungaungsittwe [12/11/16]: As #Rohingya Zambunna of Maungdaw is on fire, #Rohingya from other villages r leaving fr their houses
@nslwin [11/11/16]: Today two #Rohingya from #Baggona arrested on suspicion of “online defamation" over #Facebook. Will @amnesty campaign for them?
Thousands in Chittagong protest Myanmar atrocities against Rohingya [Arakan Times - 11/11/16]
ASX Announcement, 20 October 2016: Woodside 3rd Quarter Report: Planning continues for a minimum of 4 wells in 2017 [Rakhine Basin, Myanmar]
Rights groups demand end to indefinite detention of 1,000s of Rohingya refugees in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia [MSRI/Bangkok Post - 12/3/16]
Indonesia seeks funding from Australia to build more IOM concentration camps as refugee bottleneck intensifies [Jakarta Post - 10/8/16]
The impact of Australian policies: What "stopping the boats" means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]:
... While it is widely reported in the media that the number of boats leaving Indonesia for Australia has significantly dropped since the commencement of OSB, NGOs in Indonesia highlight that people seeking asylum have continued to arrive to the country.
While some live in supported shelters or independently in the community, others are locked up in immigration detention centres.
By 2015 there were 33 sites of immigration detention throughout Indonesia.
Australian funding through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expanded the capacity of this detention network since 2011. ...
UNHCR's Volker Turk helps Australia shirk international responsibilities following sham Bali Process meeting [23/3/16]
Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.
Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.
In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.
The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014. ...
"WHERE IS FREEDOM? AFTER THREE YEARS!"
Day 79 Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru - 6 June 2016 via @fawaz_ss088129 [6/6/16]
... Why do people set themselves on the fire front of UN? Because they remind us how human rights is a big business in this country and there is no real action. ... Mina Taherkhani - political prisoner of the Australian government, Nauru [Guardian - 7/11/16]
Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants Francois Crepeau meets with refugee concentration camp profiteers AMES Australia [6/11/16]
“If you don’t know about the camps and what you are signing up for with the job, where have you been living for the past 23 years? Doctors and nurses and teachers are not high school students. They know about the abuses.
"Doctors, nurses, teachers — just say no. Boycott the jobs.”
Concentration camp profiteering organisations who have expressed support for refoulement and refugee boat turnbacks, are discredited ---> Save The Children not saving anyone [Green Left Weekly – 10/9/16]:
.. Save The Children board members, including a Corporate Social Responsibility academic, declined to speak with Green Left Weekly on the record.
Green Left Weekly has uncovered that a corporation that provides military ships to the Department of Defence is the employer of one board member.
This is critical because one of the specific questions RISE asks is: “Paul Ronalds, the CEO of Save The Children — Australia, publicly urged refugee advocates to accept asylum seeker boat turnbacks are here to stay.
Considering the fact that the operation of boat turnbacks endangers the lives of asylum seekers does your organisation endorse this compromise of human lives, including the lives of children?” ...
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
Writing in The Australian, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds makes a more reluctant argument for the same conclusion: that organisations supporting refugees should embrace the opportunity for bipartisan consensus by abandoning active support for the principle of non-refoulement:
Although we may not like turnbacks, it is clear the policy is here to stay. Now we and other advocates for the rights of asylum-seekers must look beyond this aspect of the policy and concentrate our efforts on implementing a genuine regional framework, which we have long called for. ...
As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.
But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.
They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’ ...
"Choice" for Australia's political prisoners remains: Detention, refoulement or exile. No journalism. No opposition. Australia's anti-refugee policy remains unchallenged. [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/11/16]
... Labor's immigration spokesman Richard Marles has called offshore processing "the single most important policy that any Australian government has made". ... Australia's refugee detention centres are concentration camps and must be closed, Stephen Charles, QC, former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal [The Age - 4/5/16]
Ben Lomai is leading Australian political prisoners' compensation case in the PNG Supreme Court [PNG Loop - 4/11/16]
"Cost is escalating": Lawyer for Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island speaks about PNG Supreme Court compensation case [RNZI - 9/11/16]:
... Ben Lomai: The first order that we're seeking is for the asylum seekers to be returned back to Australia. Secondly, if they could not be returned back for some reason then to consider a third country, and we are seeking compensation as well for the asylum seekers. So those are in a nutshell the three major orders that we're seeking and of course we are also seeking time frame, one of which is for the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea to come back to the court after 30 days to inform the court as to what they have done in terms of compliance with the orders.
Ben Robinson Drawbridge: Given the possibility of the detainees being resettled in third countries...
BL: We are very much aware of the likely resettlement in third countries, but as you will note, that has not been confirmed yet at this stage. We're happy, in fact, if there is such an arrangement in place and if indeed that arrangement is successful, of course we'll need to seek instruction from our clients as to whether they are happy to go to a third country and I think they will be. So the only outstanding issue will be an issue for compensation. We have already been advised that he state has offered to to settle compensation, probably in lieu of the fact that they have now some arrangement in place for resettlement into a third country.
BRD: You were given that indication by the PNG government that they would address compensation?
BL: Yes, that's the proposition that has been put, but of course that will be a matter for the PNG government and the Australian government to talk about those issues under the terms of the 2013 MOU (memorandum of understanding) because as agreed between these two governments that Australian government should be responsible for all costs associated with offshore processing.
BRD: Did you set out in the application a set amount of compensation per refugee?
BL: Yes, we want the best figure. As it is now the law has already settled on 300 per day, but we will be asking for more per refugee and it depends on how long they have been detained. So it's not like it's a blanket amount and everybody will be getting that much. Obviously it will be on a case by case basis. If an asylum seeker who's been detained for 100 days and if we apply the current rate it will be 300 thousand. Or if we ask for more, the court gives us 500 maybe half a million, or if the court gives us 1000 then it will be a million. That will be in PNG Kina unless we can convince the court that it should be in dollars.
... I won't leave Manus without my rights, because they used my body, my soul for their political ends. ... Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island lodge new claim for illegal detention compensation [ABC - 8/11/16]
Philadelphia immigrant community leaders react to 2016 US Presidential election [Juntos - 10/11/16]:
... Our communities will not live in fear.
We will continue to organize and fight against whatever anti-immigrant policies and executive actions president-elect Trump pursues.
The fight is not over and we are committed to fighting back against all injustices. We will never stop fighting for our liberation.
“The result of this election is disheartening but unfortunately not surprising at all. We have known that racism and hate have always been present. We as people of color live and breathe this every day in this country. We need to take this as a call to action. Now is the time, more than ever to organize and fight back. We have seen what we can accomplish when communities raise their voices, from administrative relief for young people to dismantling the toxic relationship between ICE and local police. We are more powerful than any politician or political party” said Olivia Ponce, Juntos community leader.
As the current administration comes to an end, we demand that President Obama do everything in his power to dismantle the deportation and detention infrastructure he has created during his tenure in office.
He can start by closing the Berks family detention center today and enact a moratorium on all deportations immediately.
Obama should not allow Donald Trump to take the helm of the deportation machine he has built in the last few years, especially by a President Elect that led a campaign grounded in hate against immigrant communities.
“President Obama has gone down in history as the Deporter in Chief, having built and maintained an efficient deportation machine during his administration, but he still has the power to stand with our community. He can make his last stand and prove to us that he is for the people. We cannot afford another passing of the buck. Our families may be undocumented but we remain unafraid and will continue to fight until not1more deportation is a reality in this country” said Miguel Andrade, Juntos community leader.
New close Guantánamo video reminds President Obama he has just 70 days left to close the prison before he leaves office [10/11/16]
@wikileaks [11/11/16]: President Obama has a political moment to pardon Manning & Snowden. If not, he hands a Trump presidency the freedom to take his prize.
Despite Trump fears, Snowden sees a hopeful future [Wired - 10/11/16]
@AlexanderAbdo [10/11/16]: Arguing against NSA surveillance in the 9th Cir today. The courts are more important than ever.
"Al Qaeda leader" killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan [TBIJ - 11/11/16]
An American drone strike thought to have struck Islamist militants in Somalia actually killed 10 members of a regional force allied with the United States, according to results of a Pentagon investigation that have not yet been made public. ... [Washington Post - 10/11/16]
12 November 2016