Day 209 refugee protests, Nauru
We will Never give up
Image: @elahe_zivardar [14/10/16]
What's news Behrouz? PLEASE POST YOUR ENTIRE SPEECH - It's being censored by Australian media and rights advocates [Behrouz Boochani - 14/10/16]:
... I would like to share the last part of my speech with you .
"After working closely with Australian human rights advocates involved in protests, I realised that the leading figures were women. I asked myself the question: Why were women the majority in the fight for refugee rights over the last few years and why were women the pioneers in the protection of human values?
I acknowledge the resistance of the women locked away on Nauru and have profound respect for them as role models.
Over the past few years I have had limited opportunities to communicate with the asylum seekers on Nauru, but I have come to realise that the women imprisoned there are also pioneers in a new form of resistance.
I hereby dedicate this award to all the women imprisoned on Nauru"
Lawyer for illegally imprisoned men on Manus Island files contempt charge against PNG Prime Minister and ministers [RNZI - 14/10/16]:
Papua New Guinea's prime minister Peter O'Neill, the foreign and immigration Minister Rimbink Pato and the Chief Immigrations Officer Mataio Rabura have been slapped with a contempt charge.
This is in relation to the government's plan to close one asylum facility on Manus Island and keep another open for processing Canberra's asylum seekers.
The one that is to be kept open is the East Lorengau transit centre and the one to be closed is the Lombrum Naval Base regional processing centre, both funded by the Australian government.
Mr Lomai, who represents the asylum seekers, said the trio were in serious breach of a Supreme Court ruling handed down in April.
The ruling declared the detaining of asylum seekers on Manus unconstitutional because it breached their rights under the Constitution.
Mr Lomai said the ruling in effect deems the detaining of the asylum seekers anywhere in the country illegal.
A date for hearing on the contempt charges is yet to be set.
Did the Rohingya refugee boats arrive in Langkawi, or did the Malaysian Navy sink them, like Australia does? [New Straits Times - 12/10/16]
Bangladesh Coast Guard hand injured Rohingya back to Myanmar [The Stateless - 13/10/16]
@Thestateless1 [14/10/16]: Burmese military are planting mines/bombs in #Rohingya area village Naisa furu north of Maungdaw, Arakan state, Burma
Ardent appeal to save Rohingya in Arakan (Rakhine) [The Stateless - 14/10/16]
Myanmar army escalates pogrom in Maungdaw as international media, rights organisations blame Rohingya [Arakan Times - 13/10/16]
Some Myanmar army propaganda featuring Aung San Suu Kyi [The Malaysia Sun - 14/10/16]
Hillary Clinton ‘went to bat’ for Chevron [The Daily Beast - 6/10/16]:
... In 2014, Chevron announced in a press release that it acquired exploration rights for offshore drilling in Burma’s Rakhine Basin.
On March 24, 2015, it announced it is working with the country’s national oil company, Myanmar Oil & Gas Exploration (MOGE). ...
China to sign some $24 billion in loans to Bangladesh as Xi visits [Reuters – 13/10/16]
The Sri Lankan army is failing to cooperate with the police over the investigation of the disappearance of the Sinhala journalist, Prageeth Ekneligoda, the Attorney General told the Supreme Court on Friday, reported Colombo Page.
The Solicitor General was also reportedly told the Court, the brigadier leading on military intelligence had failed to produce information requested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). ... [Tamil Guardian - 14/10/16]
Jaffna Tamils come out in support of plantation workers calling for fairer wages [Tamil Guardian - 14/10/16]
Japan's air defense force scrambled its fighter jets in response to Chinese military aircraft at a record rate in the six months ended Sept. 30, raising the number of such incidents from a year ago by about three-quarters.
In the six months to the end of September, fighters scrambled to chase Chinese planes 407 times compared with 231 times in the same period last year, according to a press release from the Japanese Air Self Defence Force Encounters with Russian aircraft, which are often bombers that fly around Japan from the north skirting its airspace, rose 67 percent to 180. ... [Reuters - 14/10/16]
Australia to build and host Singapore's expanded "state of the art" military facilities [Channel News Asia - 14/10/16]:
... When the development in Townsville is complete, the SAF will have a total training area in Australia equivalent to 10 times the size of Singapore, up from the current six times. SAF presence in Australia will also grow from 6,600 to 14,000, and its personnel will spend 18 weeks per year in the country, up from six weeks at present.
On Friday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was given a tour of parts of the new training areas in Townsville, from the air. Said Dr Ng of the training area: "You can use it for tanks, you can use it for artillery, you can use it for armoured infantry, you can use it for the guards, special forces, as well as joint exercise - which means that you can use it for helicopter strikes, for strikes from fighter aircraft. So obviously, it’s a very rare piece of training ground where you can do all that, with enough size and distances for our armoured vehicles, for our mechanised and motorised brigades." ...
Relations of strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia have been developing successfully and making a rapid headway, but the possibility of the Russian Navy’s return to Cam Ranh harbor is not on the agenda, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh told a news briefing on Thursday.
The Vietnamese diplomat said that his country was systematically conducting its own open peace policy, based on diversified and multi-vectored international ties.
Vietnam has repeatedly said it is firmly committed to a policy of "three don’ts": "We do not join international military alliances, we never team up with one country in its standoff with another, and we never allow any countries to deploy military bases in our territory," Le said. ... [TASS - 13/10/16]
A protest through Tuvalu's capital calling for the country's chief justice to resign has been blocked by the Prime Minister. ... [RNZI - 14/10/16]
Maldives quits Commonwealth, weeks after democracy warning [Reuters - 13/10/16]:
... Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) said the move by President Abdulla Yameen's government was taken without consulting parliament and will bring "irredeemable damage" to the country's standing in the international community.
"This is an absolute despotic move, which says much about the Yameen regime and its political posturing and disregard for international or public opinion," it said in a statement.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland expressed sadness and disappointment over the decision and said she hoped the move will be a temporary separation.
Amnesty International said the Maldives authorities should address their own human rights situation rather than lashing out at legitimate criticism.
"Human rights have been in a complete freefall in the country over the past few years. The government has locked up opponents through politically motivated trials and led an unprecedented crackdown on independent media," Amnesty's South Asia Director Champa Patel said.
Yameen's administration reintroduced the death penalty in July, rejecting repeated requests by rights groups and the West.
Nasheed, in exile in Britain after being allowed out of jail to travel for medical treatment, formed the Maldives United Opposition in June with the aim of toppling Yameen.
Yameen's administration has arrested most of his opponents.
The opposition says the administration is trying to cover up corruption including money laundering, accusations the government has denied.
Taliban kills over 100 Afghan police in Helmand capital [Antiwar.com - 15/10/16]
The Bring back our girls group yesterday hailed the Nigerian military in an official statement it released on the Negotiated Release of 21 ChibokGirls. ... [Vanguard - 13/10/16]
Eight people killed by car bomb in Nigeria's Maiduguri [Reuters - 12/10/16]
Turkey raids top courts to arrest alleged coup plotters: agency [Reuters - 14/10/16]:
Police raided Turkey's top court of appeals on Friday, armed with arrest warrants for 189 judges and prosecutors, and swept on other courthouses as part of a crackdown on state officials following a failed coup, state media reported.
The chief prosecutor in Ankara sought the latest arrests of members of the judiciary at the justice ministry and other courthouses, including judges working at the Court of Cassation, the top court of appeals, and the Council of State, the highest administrative court, Anadolu news agency said.
More than 32,000 people are in jail and 100,000, including top military figures, have been dismissed from jobs in the security and civil services for their alleged links to a religious network the government says staged the July 15 military coup. ...
Suspected Islamic State gunmen killed 12 members of Egypt's security forces in North Sinai province and injured eight more in an attack on a checkpoint on Friday, medical and security sources said.
The attack took place 40 km (25 miles) away from the town of Bir al-Abd, making it the first major attack in the central Sinai area, which had so far escaped a campaign of Islamist attacks.
It was carried out using assault rifles and some heavier weapons, the sources said.
The wounded were taken to hospital in el-Arish. [Reuters - 14/10/16]
Palestinian child killed by bullet in Gaza, Israel denies responsibility [Maan - 13/10/16]
2 Palestinians held in Israeli prison without charge or trial enter 10th day of hunger strike [Maan - 13/10/16]
Israeli Ocupation Forces (IOF) on Thursday morning have destroyed, for the second time, a road that leads to a Bedouin community site, named Khirbet Hadidiya in the northern Jordan Valley.
An army bulldozer accompanied with four military jeeps broke into the area and destroying the 2-kilometer-long road leading to the community where 120 citizens are living. ... [PNN - 13/10/16]
Leaked emails show donors drive Hillary Clinton’s pro-Israel positions [Electronic Intifada - 13/10/16]:
... In an August 2015 email labeled “NOT FOR CIRCULATION,” Eizenstat passed along advice to Hillary Clinton from Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington.
A US-born right-winger who has been called “Bibi’s brain,” Dermer told Eizenstat that the Israeli government was plotting to smear Palestine solidarity activism on college campuses as terrorism.
“They will shortly expose the funding base for the main BDS group on campus, Students for Justice in Palestine, which tie it with terrorist funding,” Eizenstat wrote.
“The key is to expose BDS as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.” ...
A Saudi Arabian lobbyist in the US has called for “a collaborative alliance” between Riyadh and Jerusalem based on regional and economic interests, citing “a historic opportunity” for a new era of peace and prosperity.
Salman al-Ansari, president of the recently established Saudi American Public Relations Affairs Committee in Washington DC, wrote in The Hill on Tuesday that Israel is uniquely situated to assist its neighbor in its economic development in the coming years. ... [Times of Israel - 12/10/16]
Anything but giving them their money back - thanks to Peter Beattie [ABC - 14/10/16]
This shouldn't be remarkable, but it is ---> Twenty-six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from the Lower Gulf will have sight-saving cataract surgery this week as health providers work together to coordinate this logistically challenging endeavour.
A second round of cataract surgery will be delivered in November for another 28 locals. ... [North West Star - 14/10/16]
Looks like a rectangle, and a whole lotta bullshit ---> Today's #roundtable in #Broome will be the 1st of many discussions as we work together to prevent Indigenous suicide in the Kimberley @KenWyattMP [14/10/16]
NSW, Australia: 2 police officers charged after 8-year-old boy left alone in back of caged police wagon [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/10/16]
NT Royal Commission: Child protection system 'broken', department should be closed [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/10/16]:
Eighty per cent of boys at the controversial Don Dale Youth Detention Centre had been sexually abused prior to their incarceration.
This was one of the bewildering claims made at a public meeting in Darwin where speaker after speaker attacked NT governments for cutting funds to child protection and allowing generations of public servants to take Indigenous children away from families.
Many said the Department of Families and Children was "broken" and should be shut.
Most demanded that care of Indigenous children be the sole preserve of kin and were highly critical of favouritism given to white foster families who they claimed were not subjected to the same checks and balances by a public service culture that existed to perpetuate itself.
"You want to know why our kids end up in Don Dale? This is a new generation of stolen children," a woman who said she had been subjected to undue red tape when applying to take a relative into care.
Stuart Davidson, the first deputy superintendent of Don Dale, said 80 per cent of teenagers under his care at the centre had been sexually abused prior to their incarceration.
"The system just didn't recognise the trauma it is dealing with. And gradually those charged with looking after the boys started to reflect the lack of care of the management and, ultimately, the politicians."
Welfare worker Lindsay Ah Mat said political parties courted the black vote when it suited them: "But soon as they get it they piss all over us."
The meeting on Friday at Darwin's Marrara Sports Complex was called by the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory as part of its community consultation program. It followed three days of public hearings this week.
The elite of the NT legal fraternity on Tuesday gathered in the NT Parliament just hours after the royal commission sat for the first time in the neighbouring Supreme Court building.
One of the few Indigenous people present, James Parfitt, gave a welcome to country and then the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Marilyn Warren, delivered an oration honouring Austin Asche, a doyen of the Darwin legal establishment, on the topic of young people offending in which she tip-toed around the royal commission.
A deaf Indigenous community consultant, Jodie Barney, slammed the use of spit hoods and handcuffs on young offenders shown on Four Corners.
"I have had a few young people who have had a spit hood and they have also been bound. So therefore their form of communication is lost in every sense of the word," she said.
The commission continues with community consultation meetings next week and will conduct further hearings next month.
... A 21-year-old man is in a serious but stable condition in the Gold Coast Hospital following an incident involving several inmates at the facility on Saturday.
The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service is investigating an incident where a prisoner in the care of their medical staff was harmed at the [Maryborough Correctional] centre on the same day.
It is unclear whether the investigation relates to the same violent incident that left the 21-year-old man with critical injuries.
He is one of three prisoners at the facility to be taken to hospital in the past seven days.
Another inmate is still being treated in hospital for non-life-threatening injuries he received on Tuesday. ... [ABC - 14/10/16]
@9NewsAdel [14/10/16]: Emergency services have been called to Port Augusta Prison where a siege is underway. ...
After months of anguish, IOM facilitates the tokenistic resettlement of one refugee family; while helping the Australian government push 1,000s more away [Huffington Post - 14/10/16]
Academic people, writer people, artist people. Those people that can make change and put pressure on the government.
Why they are silent?
Behrouz Boochani receiving the Social Justice Award at "Diaspora symposium: Refugees & asylum seekers’ discourse" [Sydney, 11 October 2016]
New Zealand media cuts through the Australian media and human rights establishment's blackout/partisan damage control regarding Nauru and Manus [RNZI - 14/10/16]:
Suicide attempts and self harm by refugee children on Nauru has prompted a forensic psychiatrist to expose the damage caused by Australia's offshore detention.
Dr Nina Zimmerman was contracted by the United Nations to visit Nauru in April and gauge the level of mental disorder within the thousand refugees marooned there.
She said the UN's reluctance to publicly release her findings and the indifference of the Australian government to her report had forced her to speak out.
"As a professional I'm unable to witness such a degree of mental distress and disorder on such a catastrophic scale and do nothing about it," said Dr Zimmerman.
"It's my duty to advocate and do something to get the information out there. The public have a right to know and maybe through pressure from the public we will actually get some sort of decent policy from our government."
Recruited by the UN refugee agency due to her expertise with populations in detention, Zimmerman's mission to Nauru required her to interview refugees and asylum seekers within the detention camp and those living in the island's settlements.
She found 81 percent of those she surveyed were suffering disorders due to their indefinite detention, the second highest rate ever recorded in a group of refugees.
"There's been a study done on Syrians who are fleeing and find themselves in central Europe," explained Zimmerman while putting her findings into context.
"These rates are two to three times higher than what you find in those refugees...three times higher than what you see in the imprisoned populations in Australia."
Conditions at the Australian funded detention camp on Nauru, rows of tents pitched in what Zimmerman describes as "phosphate rubble," were worse than any prisons the psychiatrist had worked in in Australia.
"It's really hard to even begin to make that comparison because these are people who have not committed any crime, " she said.
"There are certain rights that prisoners have and the people living in Nauru simply don't have any structures that they can go to to complain.
"I have never seen people living in poorly ventilated tents. This is how children are living in camps in Nauru. There's no way that those kids can develop normally"
In February 2016, the Australian High court ruled that offshore detention was legal, which Zimmerman said sent mental health amidst detainees on Nauru spiralling out of control.
"There had been a lot of hope among the refugees and asylum seekers that that was going to go the other way and there was a lot of despair after that finding and an increase in self harm and suicide attempts."
“Seeing their parents in states of depression, engaging in acts of self harm and suicide. The children are following suit.” Nina Zimmerman
Such behaviour from refugee children is among the most chilling data Zimmerman collected on Nauru.
"They're seeing their parents in states of depression, engaging in acts of self harm and suicide. The children are following suit," she said.
After witnessing the self immolation of 23 year old Omid Masoumali in April, the asylum seeker who wanted to remain nameless, said the mental pressure caused by three years of detention had prompted the suicide.
"This is not logical and fair, " said the asylum seeker from a hospital on Nauru where Masoumali and a pregnant woman who attempted to hang herself were being treated.
"Everyone around here, they're just dying every day and waking up tomorrow and tasting the same bitter life by cruelty of the government of Australia."
Masoumali's suicide was quickly followed by that of 21 year old Somali refugee Hodan Yasin who also self immolated during Zimmerman's mission.
Despite accusations from both the governments of Australia and Nauru that the suicides were inspired by the mission's presence, Zimmerman argued that, "for a man to set himself alight indicates a degree of distress and despair that is beyond just making a protest." [NOTE: THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DID NOT BLAME THE UNHCR.]
This week, [Journalist Behrouz Boochani who is imprisoned on Manus] he estimated that more than half the 900 men marooned on Manus take pills for the mental disorders that, according to Zimmerman, afflict 88 percent of the population detained there.
Boochani's fight to reveal the depravity of the policy that has kept him imprisoned for three years won him a social justice award on Tuesday from the Diaspora Symposium held at the New South Wales Parliament.
From Manus Island, the detainee dedicated his award to the women marooned on Nauru as he believed they were at the forefront of the fight for refugee rights and "pioneers in a new form of resistance."
He also issued a challenge to notable Australians to join him in criticising their country's system of offshore detention.
"Academic people, writer people, artist people. Those people that they can make change and put pressure on the government. Why they are silent?"
1. Why doesn't the UNHCR want refugees on Nauru and Manus released and resettled?
2. Why did the UNHCR tell refugees they would be stuck on Nauru for 10 years?
... [Adam] Bandt asked, then added: “Can’t we do better than this Labor-Liberal policy of not drowning, but burning?”
It was Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke who jumped up to declare this was deeply offensive to all MPs.
Bandt had to withdraw his “burning” line. ... Nothing seems able to make Nauru asylum seekers an issue [The Conversation - 4/5/16]
House of Representatives Hansard [22/2/16]:
... I am not going to preside over a situation where we have people self-harming to come to hospitals in this country because they believe that is the route out into the Australian community for Australian citizenship. ... [Dutton]
I have looked very closely at the motion and spoke with the minister, briefly, to get his recollection—and I, obviously, have my own recollection of what was said in here.
The motion suggests the minister said something he did not.
There is a principle in all of this that matters: that we get the facts right as we seek to debate this issue, that we be absolutely and forensically and passionately and zealously accurate about it, because we as a country are not going to resolve this issue so long as we make spin a part of how we go about this.
In circumstances where what the minister has said is a matter that is plainly on the record, we are not going to be voting for something that suggests something different. ... [Marles]
... But it is obvious that regarding to UNHCR, absence of visiting Guantanamo, government of Australia have used the opportunity to cover some of the problems and disasters therefore it is fair for us to doubt on your visitation of Nauru after all these years for another political games. ... Open letter to UNHCR from Nauru refugees questions motive of their April visit, calls for GENUINE resettlement after three years of punishment and torture [OP Voice - 2/5/16]
"LET'S STOP TORTURE! FREEDOM FOREVER!" via @InsurrectNews
Day 62 refugee protests, Nauru [Image: @SuchNigel - 20/5/16]
International Detention Coalition report on "Alternatives to Detention" conference organised by detention profiteer/refugee boat turnback supporting Save The Children [14/10/16]
Was the Australian government's pushing back of refugee boats - and funding of IOM gulags throughout region - on the weaselly worded agenda? 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. ...
Australia and Nauru continue holding former President (and refugees) hostage - waiting for them to die [ABC - 13/10/16]
National days of action for Day of the Dead [Detention Watch Network]:
Stop the Deaths, Alto a las Muertes #EndDetention October 26 - November 4, 2016
Since 2003, 164 people have died in immigrant detention, including 10 deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this year alone.
From October 26 to Novemeber 4, DWN members and allies will mark the Latin American Holiday, Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, with national days of action.
The Day of the Dead Days of Action aims to honor the lives of those who have died in immigrant detention, as recent investigations into deaths in detention have found that inadequate medical care has contributed to numerous deaths.
Our goal is to have at least 10 cities across the country participate in the actions to highlight the 10 untimely deaths that have occurred this year, while amplifying the voices of those who have been directly-impacted by the immigration detention system. ...
A decision last month by a federal judge in Illinois undercutting a major tool the federal government uses to deport criminal immigrants could ripple across the country, changing how local jails hold people thought to be in the country illegally.
On September 30, U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s use of detainers — formal requests from federal immigration authorities for a local jail to hold non-citizen inmates — exceeds its legal authority.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement generally issues the requests when it thinks someone being held on local or state charges might also be deportable for violating the country’s immigration law.
When it receives a detainer on one of its inmates, a local jail typically holds that person beyond the time it ordinarily would, usually 48 hours, giving federal authorities a chance to come get them.
Lee ruled that the detainers were “void” because “immigration detainers issued under ICE’s detention program seek to detain subjects without a warrant — even in the absence of a determination by ICE that the subjects are likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained.” ... [Texas Tribune - 13/10/16]
@wikileaks [13/10/16]: RELEASE: The Podesta Emails Part 6 (almost 2000 new emails) ... #HillaryClinton ...
WikiLeaks: White House asked Bill Clinton to advise Tsipras to sign bailout last year [Ekathimerini – 13/10/16]
Environmental and Indigenous activists condemned the latest attack, in a country that is one of the world's most dangerous for human rights defenders.
The Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, or COPINH, said on Tuesday that its leader has suffered his second assassination attempt, just seven months after the murder of his predecessor Berta Caceres. ... [teleSUR - 11/10/16]
... In September 2014, Ashaninka chief Edwin Chota and three other indigenous leaders were murdered after a series of threats from illegal loggers.
Chota had been waging a public campaign to prevent logging on indigenous land. ... Peru's rotten wood [Al Jazeera - 12/8/15]
Ten people have been arrested following "disturbances" inside and outside of Portland City Hall Wednesday.
For the past several weeks, activists with Don't Shoot PDX and Black Lives Matter have been asking Mayor Charlie Hales to hold off on voting on a new Portland Police union contract until mayor-elect Ted Wheeler gets into office. ... [KATU.com - 13/10/16]
Authorities are investigating after a Baltimore Police officer was shot on Wednesday night in South Baltimore. ... [CBS Baltimore - 13/10/16]
Human Rights Campaign mourns transgender woman, Brandi Bledsoe, found dead in Cleveland [Media Release - 12/10/16]:
HRC was shocked and saddened to learn that Brandi Bledsoe, a 32-year-old transgender woman, was found dead in Cleveland on Saturday. Authorities believe her death was likely the result of foul play.
Bledsoe’s body was found Saturday in the driveway behind a home, Cleveland.com reports. She had suffered head trauma, and her head was covered with a plastic bag.
A Cleveland Division of Police spokesperson said the investigation was in its early stages, but will take Bledsoe’s transgender status into consideration when determining a motive for her death. ...
How Bob Dylan jumped from counterculture icon to car salesman [Variety - 2/2/14]
Democracy Now! promotes its journalism cred while simultaneously soiling its nest with pro-war propaganda ----> ... And clearly, those are very important issues, but the story of what’s happening to the millions of Syrian civilians who daily live under horrendous bombardment from the Assad regime and, more recently, its ally, Russia, that’s a story which has slipped down the headlines.
And the story of the White Helmets brings that very much back into focus. ... Orlando von Einsiedel, director of 'The White Helmets' documentary [Democracy Now - 13/10/16]
Joe Goldman to Democracy Now! [13/10/16]:
Why didn't you ask the "white helmets" director about the syian civil defense that has operated in the country since 1953 with an emergency response phone number?
There are claims that most Syrian civilians have no idea who the white helmets are.
... My conclusion, after my eighteen-month long analysis and research into this organisation is that they are a US and UK Foreign Office construct, funded and equipped by nations that have a proven vested interest in their stated policy of regime change in Syria & a clear geopolitical agenda in the region.
The White Helmets claim to be neutral and ‘non-aligned,’ yet they actively promote and lobby for US/NATO state intervention, including a ‘No Fly Zone’ which violates Syrian sovereignty.
The majority of legal scholars agree that enforcing a No Fly Zone is construed as an act of war.
This is in direct violation of the fundamental principles which underpin authentic humanitarian work and certainly not deserving of the Rights Livelihood Award. ... Vanessa Beeley, US Peace Council member (part of recent US Peace Council delegation to Syria July 2016) [21st Century Wire - 2/10/16]
Dr Marcus Papadopoulos talks to BBC News about Syria [VIDEO - 13/10/16]
@ShoebridgeC [13/10/16]: Marvel comics and @ABC join forces to teach US schoolchildren 'evils of the Assad regime' (with notes for teachers) ...
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry have agreed to organize a new round of Syrian peace talks this weekend in Switzerland, the first high-level diplomacy on Syria since the Obama Administration recently announced it was cutting all ties with Russia over the matter. ... [Antiwar.com - 12/10/16]
Rodskoy: Russian army ready to ensure safe exit for gunmen and civilians willing to leave Aleppo eastern neighborhoods [SANA - 13/10/16]
With the suburbs of Damascus increasingly surrounded by the Syrian military and facing growing pressure, a negotiated evacuation today saw buses arrive at Qudsiya and al-Hama to evacuate some 2,000 people, 400 of them rebel fighters and the rest their families.
The deal was made between the Syrian military and the local leaders in those suburbs, who sought to avoid a full-scale assault on the tiny, poorly defended towns.
The rebels are being taken north, where they will be delivered to rebel-held territories. ... [Antiwar.com - 13/10/16]
The Russian embassy in Damascus was targeted in a mortar attack on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, condemning what it called "a terrorist attack" in the Syrian capital. ... [Reuters - 13/10/16]
At least 5 children dead as rebels shell government-controlled area in Aleppo [RT - 13/10/16]
Car bomb kills at least 20 near rebel-controlled Syria-Turkey border crossing [RT - 13/10/16]
Russian Aerospace Forces bomb targets outside Aleppo city limits — General Staff [TASS - 13/10/16]
14 October 2016