ALP politicians using refugees to promote themselves
... The Coalition and Labor have joined forces to vote down a motion to grant amnesty to almost 270 asylum seekers currently in Australia. ...
Labor will be supporting this legislation because it is our policy. "Opposition" Leader, Bill Shorten speaking on the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 [House of Representatives Hansard - 24/6/15]
ALP helps Coalition lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]
Hundreds rally for Baby Asha in Brisbane [SBS - 13/2/16]:
...The crowd became particularly incensed when Labor MP Terri Butler tried to address the rally.
Chants of "Shame Labor Shame" drowned out the local MP as she tried to criticise Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the situation, with many in the crowd also lambasting Labor's track record on refugees and asylum-seekers. ...
Town Hall Sydney today. Close the Camps protest at ALP State Labor conference ...
Image: @JSalmonupstream [13/2/16]
@RedDragon1917 [13/2/16]: ... Refugee protest outside the NSW ALP conference in Sydney ...
Homestay agency AHN figures out that Australia was never serious about accepting 12,000 Syrian migrants [ABC - 12/2/16]
Stop the lies and false choices: Australia no longer accepts refugees and is stopping people from seeking asylum by pushing boats back and torture [SBS - 10/7/15]
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.
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 19/8/14]
... A report has been written and signed by 111 International Parliamentarians led by ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights [APHR] to send to President, Barack Obama of America in the coming US ASEAN Summit for restoration of full human rights and real democracy in Burma.
In the aforementioned report, the only Burma national, Ex-Rohinyga Member of Parliament (MP) U Shwe Maung from Burma is also included among the 111 persons of International Members of Parliament (MPs) who have signed the report to send to Barack Obama, President of America, said an American Rohingya resident to Burma Times. [Burma Times - 13/2/16]
Bangladesh and IOM begin census of Rohingya refugees [BBC - 12/2/16]:
Unregistered Rohingyas in Bangladesh to be counted in first census - BBC News The Bangladeshi government has started its first census of unregistered members of the Rohingya ethnic group.
It is thought more than half a million live in the country without authorisation after fleeing persecution in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Many Rohingya people are stateless, and they have been subject to people-trafficking in large numbers.
The census will last several weeks and organisers hope to find out more about Rohingyas' socio-economic conditions.
Many are very poor. Tens of thousands are registered as living in two refugee camps in Bangladesh.
The census will be carried out in co-operation with the International Organization for Migration and will involve house visits.
So far there have only been small-scale research projects and estimates of the numbers of unregistered Rohingyas there.
Rohingyas are a distinct Muslim ethnic group. In Myanmar, from which many have fled, Rohingyas' rights are heavily restricted. Most are not recognised as Myanmar citizens.
In 2015 tens of thousands were stranded at sea after surrounding countries would not let them in.
The deaths of two 15-year-old girls Friday on the campus of an Arizona high school are believed to be the result of a murder-suicide, police said.
The 10th graders at Independence High School in Glendale had single gunshot wounds and a weapon was found near their bodies, police said.
A suicide note was located. A shooting was reported just before 8 a.m., when the first classes were scheduled to start, said Officer Tracey Breeden. Officers found the girls under a covered patio. ... [CNN - 13/2/16]
US deploys more Patriot missiles in South Korea [Guardian - 13/2/16]
Russia is seeking stronger relations with Indonesia in an effort to boost economic and other forms of cooperation between the two countries, according to Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Mikhail Galuzin. ... [Jakarta Post - 13/2/16]
Saudi Arabia, which is leading air strikes against rebels in neighbouring Yemen, has warned the United Nations and international aid groups to protect staff by removing them from areas held by Houthi rebels.
A short note sent by the Saudi Embassy in London on Friday said the intention was to "protect the international organisations and their employees", presumably from coalition air strikes. ... [Al Jazeera - 12/2/16]
US Defense Secretary meets with Emirati Defense Minister [US Department of Defense – 12/2/16]
US Defense Secretary meets with Saudi Defense Minister [US Department of Defense - 11/2/16]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq
US Department of Defense [12/2/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in 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 Iraq
Ground-attack, attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 20 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mosul, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units, suppressed an ISIL mortar position, and destroyed 21 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL weapons cache, an ISIL supply cache, and two ISIL assembly areas.
-- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Ramadi, five strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL machine gun, an ISIL bed down location, an ISIL command-and-control node, and two ISIL vehicle bomb-making facilities.
-- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [12/2/16]:
Baghdad: A roadside bomb exploded today morning in Amin neighbourhood east of Baghdad killing two persons and wounding 6............................
President al-Assad speaks to AFP on Syrian and regional developments [SANA - 12/2/16]
Syria ceasefire deal doesn't stop Russia’s air task force operation — official [TASS - 12/2/16]
New report says Syrian death toll is 470,000 [Anadolu Agency - 11/2/16]:
... The report said that 45 percent of the Syrian population had been displaced, more than four million have become refugees in other countries and six million others were internally displaced.
The report also touched upon economic losses in Syria, saying the war had cost $255 billion and that almost 14 million people had lost their livelihoods. ...
UNHCR concerned over increasing restrictive measures, urges effective comprehensive European response [Media Release - 12/2/16]:
... Solutions to Europe's situation are not only eminently possible, but have already been agreed by States and urgently need to be implemented. Stabilization is essential and something for which there is also strong public demand.
Within the context of the necessary reduction of dangerous sea arrivals, safe access to seek asylum, including through resettlement and humanitarian admission, is a fundamental human right that must be protected and respected.
Regular pathways to Europe and elsewhere are important for allowing refugees to reach safety without putting their lives in the hands of smugglers and making dangerous sea crossings.
Avenues, such as enhanced resettlement and humanitarian admission, family reunification, private sponsorship, and humanitarian and refugee student/work visas, should be established to ensure that movements are manageable, controlled and coordinated for countries receiving these refugees.
Recent successive announcements of national measures aiming at trying to appear more unattractive than the neighboring country only underlines the dire need for an effective comprehensive European response, the problems cannot simply be shifted from one country to another.
A race to the bottom helps no-one.
UNHCR recognizes the challenges some European countries are facing due to significant arrivals of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.
Clearly States have a sovereign right to manage their borders; however, this must be done in accordance with national, EU and international law.
The possible damaging impact of individual measures and practices on the rights and lives of refugees has to be considered.
NATO's Response to migration is dangerously myopic [Médecins Sans Frontières - 11/2/16]
@MSF_Sea [11/2/16]: How to stop children drowning? #SAFEPASSAGE. Nobody will put their child on a boat if there is an alternative.
At the request of Frontex - the European Agency for the coordination and the border patrol - the Italian Coast Guard is offering help in rescue activities for migrants in the waters of Greece as part of Operation Poseidon.
The Italian Coast Guard is present with two patrol boats and a helicopter, whose costs are covered by the European Union .
In this context migrant rescues by the Italian Coast Guard will continue.
Throughout the night, the crew of the patrol boat CP 292 has been engaged in the rescue of three rubber boats in distress .
After nearly 18 hours of navigation and 160 miles traveled, the patrol has rescued a total of 47 migrants, all male, then continued to the Port of Kos. [Media Release - 12/2/16]
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon in the last 24 hours? ----> @ItalianNavy [12/2/16]: #UltimOra #SAR nave Borsini #MarinaMilitare ha soccorso gommone con 89 #migranti di cui 9 donne e 30 minori
A refugee father and son. Idomeni. Several people have already died from cold, but they were not European @GabrielTizonf1
Image: @Marodriguez1971 [12/2/16]
When will professional organisations issue CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL statements of support for their members and DO THE RIGHT THING?
DEMAND the closure of Australia's refugee concentration camps.
Vigil taking place outside Lady Cilento Children's Hospital now in support of hospital staff refusing to discharge asylum seeker child.
Queensland Nurses' Union [12/2/16]
AMA Forum - The health care of asylum seekers and the harms caused by immigration detention, especially for children:
Being locked up indefinitely in isolated detention is a form of abuse.
It is wrong to leave people seeking asylum in indefinite detention facilities that lack proper health care, and where they are exposed to physical, sexual, and emotional trauma.
The current Government’s policy, supported by the Federal Opposition, poses significant risks to the health and wellbeing of asylum seekers, especially children.
As an organisation representing medical practitioners, we are compelled to advocate for an urgent change in policy.
All asylum seekers and refugees, independent of their citizenship or visa status, should have universal access to basic health care. This is clearly not happening.
All children being held in immigration detention facilities should be immediately released to a safe environment. This is a matter of human decency and human rights. Regardless of the High Court decision, there is absolutely no reason why children should continue to be held in detention facilities.
Children in detention are being harmed. Detention has long-term consequences on their psychological, physical, and emotional health. This is morally and ethically unacceptable. Infants and children must be removed from immigration detention.
Alongside Professor Owler, other invited speakers at the Forum include:
•Professor Elizabeth Elliott AM, Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Consultant Paediatrician Children’s Hospital at Westmead
•Professor David Isaacs, Clinical Professor, Paediatrics and Child Health, Children’s Hospital at Westmead
•Ms Alanna Maycock, Paediatric Nurse, Children’s Hospital at Westmead
Date: Sunday, 21st February 2016
Venue: Ionic Room, SMC Conference and Function Centre, 66 Goulburn St, Sydney
Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm
RSVP: By COB Thursday, 18th February 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Protests in Brisbane in support of Nauru baby [Guardian - 13/2/16]:
Refugee advocates will gather outside Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Hospital to show solidarity over a baby being kept there by staff who fear she’ll be sent back to the immigration detention in Nauru.
It’s understood the baby girl, who is about a year old and is known as Asha, suffered burns when boiling water was accidentally spilt on her on Nauru.
She has recovered but medical staff at Lady Cilento say they won’t discharge her until a “suitable” home is found.
Saturday’s protest, organised by the Refugee Action Collective, is to show solidarity with hospital staff, a spokesman for the collective said.
“The action by the hospital staff is a great step forward. Hospital workers have recognised that Nauru is not a safe or suitable environment for children,” said Ian Rintoul in a statement.
On Friday night, about 30 people gathered for a vigil outside the hospital.
13 February 2016