And still Australian human rights groups and professional lawyers associations stay silent. WHY? ----> The lawyer for a Brisbane schoolgirl detained by the Immigration Department says he has been denied access to his client.
Kevin Kardirgamar has been trying to see Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor in the Wickham Point detention centre since Monday.
Teachers, supporters and the husband of the Brisbane high school student engaged the Darwin lawyer after Ms Shamsalipoor was transferred from Brisbane's immigration detention on August 7.
Mr Kardirgamar said the Australian Border Force rejected his attempts to provide legal representation because he did not have signed authority from her.
"Of course that was impractical," he said. "I couldn't get any signed authority from the client unless I get to see her in the centre." ... [ABC - 14/8/15]
Given the Australian government's secrecy (and media gatekeeping), I reserve the right to believe EVERY allegation of torture on Nauru (or Manus Island) AS FACT.
Dutton still the only Australian politician to respond to the latest torture allegations.
ALL OTHER POLITICIANS ARE SILENT.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says claims by an Australian guard that asylum seekers at Nauru detention centre were water-boarded are "unsubstantiated" and the firm at the centre of the allegation strenuously denies the assertion. ... [ABC - 14/8/15]
Commonwealth sued over negligence of 5yo asylum seeker detained on Nauru [ABC - 14/8/15]
Whistleblower claims torture at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru
Nine MSN [14/8/15]:
Asylum seekers at Nauru have been water-boarded and secured to metal frame beds that are thrown into the air so they crash onto the floor, says an Australian guard at the detention centre.
The unnamed whistleblower, who works for Wilson Security, made the explosive torture allegations in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry examining abuse at the centre.
He gave a detailed explanation of a technique called "zipping".
"This process occurs by using cable ties to secure an asylum seeker to a metal bed with metal bars at the base ... the bed is thrown into the air and injury caused to the asylum seeker as the bed strikes the floor," he said.
Wilson Security has rejected the water-boarding and zipping claims and dismissed the submission as "inflammatory, incorrect and misleading".
"There is not, and has never been, any suggestion that this has ever occurred - apart from this unparticularised and generalised claim," the company said.
The firm urged the parliamentary committee not to make the submission public because it could cause "significant distress, consternation and agitation at the centre, and compromise the safety of people there".
The submission alleges guards regularly goaded asylum seekers into reacting and then bashed them, but the company denied there was a "random cycle of abuse".
The guard accused his employer of regularly shredding incriminating documents, a claim the security firm also denied.
He said Wilson Security staff bashed a male refugee senseless following an incident at the Jules nightclub in Nauru and the refugee was later thrown from the club's balcony.
The refugee had allegedly touched a female aid worker inappropriately, he said.
The company's version of events is that the intoxicated refugee was removed from the venue after sexually assaulting the female worker, who did not wish to press charges.
The refugee returned later with two companions and confronted staff who had removed him.
"They defended themselves and there was a resulting altercation," the company said, adding there were no serious injuries and the police were not called.
The guard claims Wilson Security staff are heavily comprised of former Australian and New Zealand soldiers who harbour ill will towards people from countries where they served in war.
"Many Wilson Security staff fought against the asylum seekers they are now guarding," he said.
The company said it employs a diverse workforce and provides continuing cultural awareness training.
The guard also said staff were given no training on how to deal with detainees' mental health issues.
"Rather, asylum seekers were simply cast as criminals from the start," he said.
The company insisted its training is up to scratch and staff are required to treat asylum seekers with respect and dignity based on a code of conduct.
Comment has been sought from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
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]
Immigration attempts first forced removal from Manus Island: injunctions sought
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [14/8/15]:
Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday 13 August, Immigration authorities used a show of force by PNG police as the first phase of attempting forced removals of rejected asylum seekers on Manus Island.
Up to six PNG police marched into Oscar compound to remove a 27-year-old Iranian asylum seeker from Oscar Compound. The man has been placed in a newly built solitary confinement prison compound inside the detention centre, and been given a notice that a PNG immigration has completed a deportation risk assessment and found ‘there is no legal barrier to your removal’
It is expected that up to 10 other “double-negative” asylum seekers could get similar treatment in coming days. The ‘failed’ asylum seekers have been told they can still access financial incentives with IOM if they voluntarily agree to return home.
Around two weeks ago, Immigration posted notices of “Departure Planning information.”
The very public use of the PNG police in Oscar is clearly an effort to intimidate asylum seekers into voluntarily signing to return to their homes countries.
Papua New Guinea has no arrangements with Iran to accept forced removal of asylum seekers.
“There is no reason to believe that PNG is any more able to arrange forced removals to Iran, than Australia,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The use of force is designed to coerce people into signing to return ‘voluntarily’.”
The action against the ‘double-negatives’ also comes on the eve of final directions hearings for Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby, scheduled for Monday 17 August.
“The Immigration Department is trying to pre-empt the Supreme Court challenge, “ said Rintoul.
“We will seek injunctions in the Supreme Court to prevent any removals from Manus Island, before there is a final consideration of the Supreme Court constitutional challenge to the detention centre,” said Rintoul.
“The Australian and PNG government have been abusing asylum seekers' human rights since they were first moved to Manus Island. The Immigration Department would like nothing better that to remove some of the evidence by getting some of them to sign to return to their countries.”
“Immigration should halt any moves to forcibly remove asylum seekers from Manus Island. They have always been Australia’s responsibility. In the name of deterrence they have been the victims of the worst offshore mistreatment. They should all be brought to Australia.”
It is impossible to call for freedom while supporting the ALP.
Beware of those pretending to do both.
Make sure you number every box and put the LNP last!: ... QTU members are calling on Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Federal Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton to immediately return to Brisbane a group of students who have recently been removed to detention from Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation, where they were living while studying at state schools in Brisbane. ... [Queensland Teachers Union Media Release - 14/8/15]
@welcome2aussie [14/8/15]: In Brisbane? Join the Rally for Mojgan today, and all asylum seeker students at risk of missing out on education ...
@nvrcease2learn [14/8/15]: #freeMojgan No state school student should be in detention. Mojgan must be allowed to finish Year 12 and return home. [Outside LNP HQ, Waterfront Place, Brisbane]
@nvrcease2learn: "I don't want to inherit a racist and ignorant country" - Yeronga SHS student
Australia stopped accepting UNHCR refugees in October 2014.
Fluffy Morrison puts a price signal on child abuse - and the media unquestioningly lap it up
Women's Weekly [July 2015]
PETER LLOYD: Income management will be introduced in Adelaide as a child protection method, following the death of a four year old girl in a case that shocked the state.
The coroner who investigated the death of Chloe Valentine made a raft of recommendations, including that income management be used when children are deemed at risk.
The Federal Social Services Minister Scott Morrison today announced the strategy would be rolled out in Adelaide, and may be used in other states in the future.
But it won't be happening outside of Adelaide, despite the coroner saying it makes no sense to restrict the practice of money management to a geographical area.
In Adelaide, Natalie Whiting reports.
Inquest into the death of Chloe Lee Valentine [SA Coroner - April 2015]:
… I make it quite plain that child protection income management was not available during Chloe Valentine’s lifetime. Its relevance in this finding is not to demonstrate that another tool that was available at the time was not used, but rather to:
1) Note the existence of this tool from mid 2012;
2) Consider what preventative opportunities the use of this tool might have afforded had it been available during Chloe’s lifetime;
3) Consider the use that has been made of child protection income management by Families SA between mid 2012 when it became available and today;
4) Make appropriate recommendations.
14.11. It seems to me to be an unnecessary burden on the effectiveness of income management to require a person’s consent. It is quite clear from the evidence that I heard in this case that Ashlee Polkinghorne would never have consented to income management, and yet it is obvious that it would have been highly effective in diverting her income to Chloe’s welfare rather than to drugs for Ashlee’s personal use. In short, the imposition of a requirement that consent be obtained before this tool is used effectively renders it impotent in this State. This is clearly demonstrated by the statistics I have referred to above.
14.12. Mr Cantwell also gave very helpful evidence about the mechanics of income management arrangements. For example, if a person living in the Playford area becomes subject to child protection income management, they cannot escape its consequences merely by moving out of the Playford area. Once they are subject to income management they remain subject to income management. Mr Cantwell said that there are a large number of merchants who accept the ‘basics card’ that is provided by Centrelink for income management purposes. He also said that Centrelink replaces basics cards that are lost free of charge and immediately upon the person presenting to a Centrelink office. Thus in that respect the cards are more convenient than bank issued credit cards. Mr Cantwell also said that it would be possible for a child protection worker in South Australia through a conversation with his or her counterpart in Mr Cantwell’s Department to negotiate the application of child protection income management upon a person who was not resident in the Playford area if the child protection worker wished to do so.
... Aboriginal Legal Service chief executive Dennis Eggington described the decision as disappointing and said the court had been set up to fail because of a lack of resources in the community to address the underlying causes of offending.
“It is astounding that in other jurisdictions, such as New South Wales and Victoria, these types of specialist courts have been proven to be very effective,” Mr Eggington said.
“This is an indictment on WA that we have not been able to make these courts work. I think there was a lack of will to make these courts work.” [West Australian - 14/8/15]
New Zealand: US consulate warns citizens not to attend Auckland TPP rally
"I'd just say to the US Embassy, Auckland isn't Ferguson and the police won't be shooting people.
"It'll be a peaceful demonstration, they should just relax and maybe they should come along - they might learn something."
The United States Consulate has issued a warning to US citizens about "the risk" of attending a large anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal rally planned for Auckland tomorrow.
TPP protests will be held in several cities, with the biggest one set to march down Auckland's Queen Street.
The US Consulate is urging American citizens to avoid the march, saying the police estimate a crowd of about 8000 people.
It said even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational, and reminded people to exercise caution around large crowds or protests.
The consulate said the State Department remained very concerned about the threat of violence against its citizens around the world.
Protest rallies against New Zealand signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will be held in several cities, with the biggest one set to march down Queen St.
The US consulate has sent an email to American citizens in New Zealand, urging them to avoid the march.
It says the police estimate a crowd of about 8000 and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational.
The embassy said it was not an unusual case - it had issued warnings about large protests in the past and has provided Radio New Zealand News with copies of three similar advisories about pro-Palestinian rallies last year.
Greens trade spokesperson Russel Norman, who will be part of the protests tomorrow, said American citizens had nothing to fear.
"I'd just say to the US Embassy, Auckland isn't Ferguson and the police won't be shooting people.
"It'll be a peaceful demonstration, they should just relax and maybe they should come along - they might learn something."
Protests are expected to be held in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and possibly some smaller centres.
The internet wins again! -----> Dallas Buyers Club piracy case: court dismisses many of studio's 'surreal' claims [Guardian -14/8/15]
United States "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [13/8/15]:
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.
Airstrikes in Syria
Attack, bomber, fighter and fighter-attack aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Abu Kamal, two airstrikes destroyed an ISIL front end loader and an ISIL bridge.
-- Near Hasakah, five airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units and destroyed eight ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Aleppo, three airstrikes struck an ISIL staging facility and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL trench lines and an ISIL bunker.
-- Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL motorcycle.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber, fighter, fighter-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with the government of Iraq:
-- Near Baghdadi, one airstrike destroyed five ISIL rocket rails.
-- Near Beiji, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Haditha, two airstrikes destroyed two ISIL mortar systems, an ISIL building and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Kirkuk, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Makhmur, one airstrike struck an ISIL mortar firing position.
-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL mortar firing position and destroyed 19 ISIL bunkers.
-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL buildings, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL recoilless rifle.
-- Near Sinjar, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL light machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Tal Afar, one airstrike struck an ISIL heavy machine gun firing position.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [13/8/15]:
Anbar: Dozens of civilians -most of them are women and children- were either killed or wounded as the government's forces targeted the civilians in Andalus neighbourhood in Fallujah city..................
Anbar: Gynecology and Paediatrics Hospital -in Fallujah- has been shelled resulted in killing and wounding of persons which are most of them children and women .................
Welcome to Aleppo
Australian drone pilots begin killing Syrians remotely from Nevada [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/8/15]
Pratap Chatterjee, Is Drone Warfare Fraying at the Edges? [Tomdispatch.com - 5/3/15]:
… Back in the United States, a combination of lower-class status in the military, overwork, and psychological trauma appears to be taking its mental toll on drone pilots. During the Vietnam War, soldiers would desert, flee to Canada, or even “frag” -- kill -- their officers. But what do you do when you’ve had it with your war, but your battle station is a cubicle in Nevada and your weapon is a keyboard?
Is it possible that, like their victims in Pakistan and Yemen who say that they are going mad from the constant buzz of drones overhead and the fear of sudden death without warning, drone pilots, too, are fleeing into the night as soon as they can? Since the Civil War in the U.S., war of every modern sort has produced mental disturbances that have been given a variety of labels, including what we today call PTSD. In a way, it would be surprising if a completely new form of warfare didn’t produce a new form of disturbance. …
Senate Hansard [13/8/15]:
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia—Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (14:18): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Abetz. Given confirmation by the Prime Minister today that he is in active talks with the United States government about Australian military engagement in Syria, firstly, is it appropriate to announce Australian military intervention into the horror of the Syrian civil war by leaking the proposed deployment to a tabloid newspaper? Secondly, can the minister provide any evidence that such a deployment would be legal under international law?
Senator ABETZ (Tasmania—Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:18): What the honourable senator is seeking to do by the assertion that there was a leak to a tabloid newspaper is something that I will not accept, of course.
Senator Ludlam: They can predict the future can they?
Senator ABETZ: The Leader of the Greens interjects and asks, 'They can predict the future, can they?' We have often seen leaks in the newspapers that make for a great headline but an even better fish and chip wrapper the next day. I would invite the honourable senator to see exactly what develops in this very sensitive space. We know that in relation to Syria there are certain issues that require sensitivity. In all this discussion, what is the aim of the world community? It is to destroy the death cult—something which, unfortunately, Greens senator after Greens senator has opposed by some very bizarre questions in this place. Again, I would like to place on record that the Daesh death cult, ISIS, is a manifestation of a very evil body of men, and I can say men in this case—
Senator Ludlam: Mr President, I raise a point of order on relevance. Through you, Mr President, Senator Abetz, you can avoid the leak question if you like. I asked a fairly black and white question to relevance as to whether the deployment would be legal under international law and what evidence Senator Abetz has to back that case.
The PRESIDENT: Thank you Senator Ludlam. Senator Abetz has 31 seconds left. He has been answering the first part of your question, and I will remind Senator Abetz of the question.
Senator Abetz: In relation to the hypothetical, the only purpose that we would be doing anything would be to help destroy this evil cult.
Government senators interjecting—
Senator ABETZ: Regrettably, I only hear 'here, here!' from the government side. I would have thought the Greens might have been able to agree to that for once. In relation to legal advice, the government rarely makes that available, as is well known.
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia—Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (14:21): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, has said he would seek support of his MPs to begin bombing raids in Syria, and it is interesting to note that when Westminster last voted on the question, in 2013, they voted 'no'. Will the government commit to bringing any deployment proposal into Syria before this Australian parliament before the ADF is committed to involvement in Syria?
Senator ABETZ (Tasmania—Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:21): This is a question that the Greens ask with a degree of regularity, and it is good to see they are at least consistent on one policy position, and that is that they do not seem to support any action against this evil death cult. It is well known that in Australia we do not bring these matters before the parliament before the event that there are occasions when the parliament is opened up for particular discussions and reports by the Minister for Defence, and that statement is then debated in this place and in the other place. I recall this happening on numerous occasions, irrespective of who was in government, and we believe that that is the appropriate way for these things to be managed.
Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia—Co-Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens) (14:22): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Senator Abetz—through you, Mr President—what commitments have been made by the Prime Minister to the United States already with respect to involvement of Australian military forces in the Syrian conflict, and is this not the very definition of open-ended scope creep, as we predicted a year ago?
Senator ABETZ (Tasmania—Leader of the Government in the Senate, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Minister for Employment) (14:23): First, I reject the description and the statement that was asserted by Senator Ludlam in his question. Can I simply say that this is an evil death cult which has ramifications all around the world, including in Australia, and we do need to take decisive action. What that decisive action may or may not mean will be determined by us as to what is in the national interest and in the international interest according to the rule of law. Can I tell you one thing: the death cult have never abided by the rule of law, and we see their behaviours around the world as evil. Senator Ludlam shakes his head. If he thinks beheading on video and children holding the head are something that is not to be fought and not to be condemned then we are on a different page. (Time expired)
Media tell us that tourists in #Kos can't avoid the refugees - refugees tell us that at home they can't avoid the war
"tweeted" by @MSF_Sea [13/8/15]
Why are refugees coming to Europe? [BBC - 12/8/15]:
... Since the beginning of the year, it's thought that more than 153,000 migrants have tried to cross Europe's borders.
That is a 149% increase compared with the same period in 2014, when the total was 61,500.
The civil war in Syria has meant more than four million people have had to leave.
Afghans, Eritreans and other nationalities are also fleeing poverty and war in their countries.
Some migrants also come because they think they will have better living conditions and work in Europe.
More than 3,000 people - including children as young as 12 and 13 are living in a large camp in Calais, France, known locally as "the Jungle".
They are in Calais because they want to make it to the UK
Many of these people do not have any documents or passports and often do not have permission to come to the UK.
As Australia makes it impossible for refugees to reach the South East, it is only logical that we are pushing them back to the North West (not to mention the Malacca Straits)
@MSF_Sea [6/8/15]: Those rescued from #Syria, #Eritrea, #Bangladesh and many other countries were screaming in terror. All are now safe.
@MSF_Sea [27/7/15]: After a huge day for #MSFSea the #DignityI has rescued 312 people from #Morocco #Sudan #Palestine #Syria #Eritrea #Pakistan and #Bangladesh
South East Asia
Australian human beings.
Don't wait for establishment lefties to tell you what to do.
They like mandatory detention, torture, child abuse, exile and refoulement.
Protest these murderous refugee policies any way you can - perhaps 19 August - World Humanitarian Day - would be apt?
Senator Hanson-Young is the ONLY Australian politician to reiterate the call to close Nauru.
The detention camp on Nauru is run like a lawless gulag.
I've been there, I've seen it; it's a hellhole and needs to be shut down.
It's seedy, cruel and unsafe.
The Government's contractors who operate it have shown they can't be trusted to keep people safe. Everyday that children are left locked up inside is another day of harm.
Amnesty, Human Rights Commission, AMA? You want Australians to think you tacitly support this? Why are you silent?
Where's the followup journalism? Who will give voice to the refugees incarcerated in these places?
There is no point of endlessly broadcasting grotesqueries if the perpetrators remain protected, and there is no follow through.
Snippets from Nauru Senate Inquiry:
A Transfield representative said guaranteeing the security of refugees in Australia's concentration camp on Nauru is "not our contractual obligation". They later said the Nauruan government is responsible for the security of refugees.
Transfield took on notice a question from Senator Ludlam about what actions they took to correct Peter Dutton when his lie about Senator Hanson-Young fabricating her allegation she'd been spied on during a trip to Nauru was unquestioningly reported by Australia's anti refugee media.
A Wilson Security representative said spying on Senator Hanson-Young was an "isolated incident" - the actions of a rogue employee who had been "stood down".
They apologised, then went on to reveal that while the employee was "suspended with pay", he was later promoted.
(Journalists Vlad Sokhin and Mark Davis have been followed whilst reporting on Nauru and Manus respectively.)
Secretary of the Department of Immigration, Mike Pezzullo, said he couldn't recall whether he had briefed Peter Dutton about Senator Hanson-Young being placed under surveillance during her visit to Nauru.
Compromised ALP senators pondered mouldy tents and Wilson Security assertions that Australia's refugee concentration camp in Nauru is a "complex and challenging environment".
A former Save the Children employee said staff on Nauru were instructed not to report any crimes they may become aware of to police, but to their supervisors.
Though $1.2 billion of public money has been spent, Save the Children witnesses said refugees' material needs were deliberately not being met.
Inadequate clothing was supplied - an example of this ritual humiliation was an elderly Burmese refugee being issued short, pink hotpants.
A former worker who advised hunger strikers to unstitch their lips and instead write to the Refugee Council of Australia (she gave them the email address) was accused of encouraging self harm.
She suspects action was taken against her because she informed refugees of their rights.
Save the Children staff were also instructed to downgrade a report of children fainting in the education tent (where temperatures regularly reached 40-50 degrees).
An Immigration Department official deflected Senator Hanson-Young's question whether she would consider a child fainting to be a minor incident with weasel words.
Former Chief Justice Eames AM QC said he inspected the camp in November 2013 and was struck by the sight of children huddled beneath any shade they could find. Evidently Scott "fluffy" Morrison had refused to have airconditioning installed - though millions were spent airconditioning adjacent worker accommodation.
Eames said the camp has had a devastating impact on the island and its people. While a minority may have benefitted financially, there has been a massive loss of culture.
He said that far as he is aware, not one allegation of abuse or assault (in the camp) has proceeded through the Nauruan justice system. Department of Immigration officials later contradicted this by claiming 15 allegations of abuse had been refurred to Nauruan police and had progressed through the court.
Eames recounted how a former AFP official was sacked after attempting to peacefully diffuse protests and a breakout from the camp in July 2013. Instead, locals were deputised (via the use of a blanket SMS system designed for natural disasters) to attack refugees, and a subsequent riot ensued.
The Department of Immigration refused to answer Senator Hanson-Young's question why a sexually abused 7 year old girl remains in detention, and whether or not she is safe.
They concluded proceedings with some light banter with ALP senators about the importance of adhering to international conventions and obligations.
Raising money for orphans in the Democratic Republic of Congo is worthy, but what about the REFUGEES and displaced people in OUR region? Who will provide aid/speak for them?
... More than any number of previous attempts to call attention to the U.N.’s unpaid internship program, Hyde’s story launched a worldwide conversation about the implications of only hiring people who can support themselves in high-cost cities like Geneva and New York — and whether that essentially makes access to a key stepping-stone to a career in diplomacy and international policy available only to the children of the wealthy. ... [The Intercept - 14/8/15]
Torture is happening NOW in Australian immigration detention centres.
When will professional associations SPECIFICALLY condemn it, and call for an end to mandatory detention?
Australian Psychological Society statement on the American Psychological Association Hoffman Review [15/7/15]:
Following the publication of the American Psychological Association’s Independent Review Relating to APA Ethics Guidelines, National Security Interrogations and Torture, the Australian Psychological Society reiterates its 2007 Declaration on Torture.
The 2007 APS Declaration was developed in the context of the debate surrounding the APA’s policies on the involvement of psychologists in military and CIA interrogation techniques.
Psychologists shall at all times comply with the Society’s Code of Ethics.
Psychologists shall not countenance, condone or participate in the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading procedures, in any situation, including armed conflict and civil strife.
Psychologists shall not provide any premises, instruments, substances or knowledge to facilitate the practice of torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or to diminish the ability of the victim to resist such treatment.
Psychologists shall not be present during any procedure in which torture or other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is used or threatened.
Psychologists must have complete professional independence in deciding upon the care of a person for whom they are responsible.
Save Mohammad Albederee
Hunger-striking detainee tests Obama’s will to close Guantánamo [The Intercept - 13/8/15]
Exceptionalist Australia again declares its commitment to isolate itself from the region and repel refugees.
Protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister's lies continue to go unchallenged.
Minister for Immigration Media Release [13/8/15]:
Australia has taken another step in the successful fight against people smuggling today with the extradition of an alleged people-smuggler from Indonesia to Australia.
Mr Sayed Abbas, has been extradited to Australia from Indonesia following an Australian extradition request to face prosecution for 27 people smuggling offences.
This extradition demonstrates the strong and effective relationship between Australia and Indonesia in international crime cooperation matters.
“The surrender of Mr Abbas from Indonesia to Australia is one example of a broader bilateral relationship on law and justice cooperation that Australia highly values,” Mr Keenan said.
“This extradition is the result of significant cooperation between agencies responsible for international crime cooperation and law enforcement in Australia and Indonesia.”
These included the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Federal Police, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the Indonesian National Police and the Indonesian Attorney-General’s Office.
Mr Dutton said Australia remains committed to working within our region to resolve the challenge of people smuggling.
“This is a significant outcome for the tough measures Australia has implemented to prevent loss of life at sea and undermine people smuggling syndicates who exploit vulnerable persons,” Mr Dutton said.
“We continue to be vigilant because people smugglers will test our resolve.”
Mr Abbas is the seventh person extradited to Australia to face people smuggling charges since 2008.
Kevin Rudd's vile band of people smugglers [Safe.com - 2009]
Four Rohingya girls killed in deliberate boat capsize
Burma Times [14/8/15]:
Eyewitnesses are saying the boat capsize that killed four Rohingya girls on Monday near Mes para in Kyauktaw was no accident at all.
According to the eyewitnesses interviewed by our correspondents, the manual passenger boat (sampan) was rammed by a motorised boat driven by Rakhines that rammed with full speed with every intention of hitting the Rohingyas.
There were around 30 girls in the boat when it capsized. Most of them managed to swim to safety or were rescued by bystanders but four did not make it.
The incident is creating grief and anger throughout Rohingya neighbourhoods in the area.
Four Rohingyas, including six year child, arrested while travelling to Bangladesh for medical care [Burma Times – 14/8/15]
Authorities have formally declared that movement for Rohingyas in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships are to be stopped till they accept the green card. ... [Burma Times - 14/8/15]
On an island in the delta, flood-affected locals speak of daily struggle [The Irrawaddy – 13/8/15]
The Australian Embassy in Myanmar have "synergies" with the national broadcaster yet they still cannot PROVE where (and to whom) this "aid" is going.
Why is the IOM involved in this operation? What is a "family kit"? What are "emergency reproductive health services"? Oughtn't the focus be clean water, food, emergency shelter and general medical care? TO EVERYONE AFFECTED BY THE FLOODS?
Australian Embassy in Myanmar [13/8/15]:
We are aware of allegations that 1,000 family kits donated by the Australian Government have been re-packaged by the Government of Myanmar for delivery to communities. This is not the case – we have confirmed that all 1,000 family kits are currently being transported by World Vision and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for delivery to families displaced by flooding and landslides following Cyclone Komen.
Bangladesh and IOM plan "census" for 1,000s of Rohingya who have fled genocide in Myanmar [South China Morning Post - 12/8/15]
Australia: Genocide, flood opens "new frontiers", "emerging opportunities" in Myanmar
Senate Hansard [13/8/15]:
Senator GALLACHER (South Australia) (16:20): I too rise to make a contribution on this debate on the Automotive Transformation Scheme, and I will take the challenge from Senator Ruston to make my contribution not so much negative, but more positive.
We also know, those who want to listen to the argument, that we are a small country and that 200,000 cars is probably not the economy of scale that the modern global manufacturing motor vehicle sector needs. I know they make a million cars in Thailand. When I visited Thailand, we had the opportunity to meet business people who put together a trade mission to South Australia to talk specifically to the component manufacturers there about refocussing their attention on the emerging opportunities in both Thailand and Myanmar.
They came to talk to South Australian component manufacturers who should refocus their attention from Holden, as it is today, Ford or Toyota, to the emerging opportunities in Asia.
Despite the best endeavours of Senator Xenophon, Senator Madigan and the Labor Party, we find that these people are not able to turn their activities to the opportunities that may be around, the opportunities that arise from their great skill and expertise in the work they are currently doing.
People are crying out for access to funds to transition their small business into different sectors. As I have said, a group from Thailand visited South Australia looking to get the component manufacturers to redirect into that large manufacturing country where they make one million motor cars a year and even to look at the new frontier that is opening up in Myanmar.
Let us look at the global motor vehicle supply chain. A classic example of that at the moment is the Takata airbags. A Japanese company designs them, they are made somewhere and they are in every Toyota. They are not going too well. Apparently a number of them are defective so there is the biggest recall in the history of the world of automotive manufacturing.
PNG: State pays Somare K2m
The National [13/8/15]:
The government has paid former prime minister Sir Michael Somare more than K2 million in an out-of-court settlement for his “illegal removal from office” four years ago.
No comment could be obtained from the Government yesterday on the payment.
But the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook report released by the Treasury Department last week described the payment as “compensation to Sir Michael T Somare from losses incurred during his illegal removal from office as prime minister and member for East Sepik region”. The K2,049,800 payment was made from the Treasury Secretary’s advance - a K49 million fund that “caters for unforeseen and urgent expenditure”.
Sir Michael had filed a K205 million civil lawsuit against O’Neill and the State in March last year.
According to the writ of summons, Sir Michael was claiming K150 million in general damages for mental anguish caused by public humiliation, K5m in special damages, and K50 million in exemplary damages for his unlawful removal as prime minister.
In August 2011, Parliament voted to remove Sir Michael from office while he was in Singapore for medical treatment, and elected Peter O’Neill as prime minister.
On December 12, 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that Sir Michael had not been legally removed as prime minister and O’Neill was not lawfully appointed as prime minister.
But later on that same day, Parliament appointed O’Neill, for the second time, as prime minister.
On March 4 last year, Sir Michael through his lawyer John Alman, filed the K205m lawsuit claiming damages for his dismissal as prime minister on August 2, 2011. The case was called before Justice Ambeng Kandakasi on November 14 last year.
Yesterday, a spokesperson said the Constitution allowed Sir Michael to seek redress for a series of breaches committed during the 2011 impasse as determined by the Supreme Court, a competent jurisdiction.
“Sir Michael’s claim is relative to special damages calculated by the Attorney-General based on the Salaries and Wages Remuneration Committee awards and other such parameters.
“Sir Michael (and any other person) is entitled as an aggrieved party to pursue exemplary and general damages through the courts.”
Assange hits out at Swedish prosecutor as some allegations dropped
Investigations into some of the sex allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have been dropped as they are now "time barred".
Sweden's director of public prosecution Marianne Nye said she had discontinued her investigation into alleged sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.
An additional alleged incident of sexual molestation will be time barred on August 18, but an inquiry into an allegation of rape will continue.
The alleged events took place in Stockholm five years ago, involving two women.
Mr Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over three years after being granted political asylum, said he was "extremely disappointed" that the Swedish prosecutor has managed to "avoid" hearing his side of the story entirely.
The Swedish statement said an incident of suspected rape will be time barred on August 17 2020 and a preliminary investigation will continue with respect to this alleged crime.
"The status of the evidence is unchanged and the possibilities to continue the investigation by interviews with the suspect are not exhausted."
The prosecutor said: "Julian Assange, on his own accord, has evaded prosecution by seeking refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador.
"As the statute of limitation has run on some of the crimes, I am compelled to discontinue the investigation with respect to these crimes.
"I regret having to say that this means there will be no closure with regard to these events, as we have not been able to interview the suspect."
Assange sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy fearing if he travelled to Sweden to be interviewed, he would be sent to the United States for questioning about the activities of WikiLeaks.
He said he was "extremely disappointed" with today's announcement, adding: "There was no need for any of this. I am an innocent man. I haven't even been charged. From the beginning I offered simple solutions. Come to the embassy to take my statement or promise not to send me to the United States.
"This Swedish official refused both. She even refused a written statement. Now she has managed to avoid hearing my side of the story entirely.
"This is beyond incompetence. I am strong but the cost to my family is unacceptable. Even though I have been improperly treated, I would like to thank the many people in Sweden and the UK who have been very understanding of the wrong which has been done to me and my family."
Labour peer and human rights lawyer Helena Kennedy, a member of the Assange legal team, said: "Why in all those five years did the Swedish prosecution authorities fail to come to London to question Assange, as was repeatedly offered?
"Julian Assange has spent more time incarcerated in the small rooms of the embassy, with no access to fresh air or exercise and contrary to international law, than he could ever spend in a Swedish prison on these allegations.
"The remaining allegation is just as unlikely to lead to conviction. The question remains whether we are dealing with incompetence or bad faith or an agenda set by other considerations. I remain unconvinced that this prosecution has been about securing justice for women."
Michael Ratner, lawyer for Assange in the United States, said: "The decision of the Swedish government not to prosecute Julian Assange for these allegations is tantamount to recognition that this entire matter was not based on good faith investigation into whether or not a crime had been committed.
"There is no basis whatsoever to continue the prosecution for the remaining offence. This investigation should be terminated immediately."
The Metropolitan Police has launched a round the clock guard outside the embassy in an operation believed to have cost £12 million.
14 August 2015