Holocaust film reveals long-hushed child sex abuse [Times of Israel – 15/4/15]
... A former employee for Transfield subcontractor Wilson Security told Guardian Australia the guards’ online posts provided a glimpse of the mindset of ex-defence force personnel who “frequently referred to asylum seekers in their care as ‘the enemy’ ”. ... [Nauru guards suspended over social media posts - Guardian - 14/4/15]
Stand-off in Wickham Point detention centre to prevent Nauru transfer [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 15/4/15]:
Around 70 asylum seekers are blockading Sun compound in the Wickham Point detention centre to try to prevent mostly asylum seeker families from being returned to Nauru.
The 70 asylum seekers are also families from Nauru who fear being returned.
“We are just trying to help each other,” one asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition, from inside Wickham Point.
The stand-off began around 2.00 pm Darwin time, when Serco officers attempted to forcibly remove people to Sun compound as a preliminary measure to their transfer to Nauru.
Serco officers have withdrawn from the compound although there are now fears that Serco could use its emergency response team – read, riot squad – to break the blockade.
Serco had attempted to move a number of mostly Iranian families including children into Sun compound where there is a high security Red section to hold asylum seekers prior to removal.
There are also reports that asylum seekers intervened to prevent the removal following married couples and families being separated by Serco guards, and that there is one pregnant woman among those scheduled for removal.
The Naruru transfers have become a feared almost weekly routine in Wickham Point and have led to a number of people self-harming to prevent their removal to Nauru. At least two people attempted suicide last night to try and prevent their removal to Nauru.
“Nauru is not safe for asylum seekers or refugees. There is limited medical facilities, which is why so many people are being sent to the mainland for medical treatment,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The Minister should immediately halt the removals to Nauru, and begin the process of bringing all asylum seekers and refugees to the mainland.”
@shanebazzi [15/4/15]: Protest against ["fluffy" liar and human rights abuser] @ScottMorrisonMP outside Sydney Boys High School ...
THIS IS NOT A RIOT. THESE PEOPLE ARE BEING BRUTALISED AND DRIVEN TO INSANITY BY THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT - WHICH IS PROPOSING LAWS FORMALISING GUIDELINES FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST REFUGEES.
Police have been called to an unfolding incident at a Darwin immigration detention centre on Wednesday afternoon. ... [Guardian - 15/4/15]
Police and paramedics have been called to a Darwin immigration detention centre after what an asylum seeker says has been a major disturbance and numerous incidents of self-harm.
The asylum seeker who spoke anonymously said there has been mayhem at Wickham Point Detention Centre, with about 20 detainees committing self harm in fear of being transferred to Nauru tonight.
The ABC has obtained video from inside the detention centre showing some of Wednesday's events.
The footage taken on a mobile phone features the sound of a woman screaming and saying "no, no, no".
It shows what appears to be a group of asylum seekers gathered on a stairwell while the woman lies wailing on the ground.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) said one woman who witnessed the self harm earlier was being treated at Royal Darwin Hospital.
A police spokesman said officers responded to calls of a disturbance at the detention centre just before 4:00pm (ACST) after reports of detainees damaging property and causing unrest.
Craig Garraway from St John Ambulance said paramedics were called to the detention centre at 6pm (ACST) on Tuesday and again on Wednesday afternoon.
Ben Pynt from DASSAN said that over the past couple of weeks there had been a steady and rapid decline in mental health throughout the detention population at Wickham Point.
"Over the past week particularly we have seen a spike in self harm and attempted suicides and it is really troubling the lengths that people are going to either to prevent themselves being sent offshore to Manus and Nauru or simply in protest at their detention conditions," Mr Pynt said.
"People are absolutely desperate. They feel that they are going to be in detention forever."
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been contacted for comment.
New Book: Antimalaria Drugs Part of Secret Program to Torture Detainees at Guantanamo [Fire Dog Lake - 5/4/15]:
... A Navy doctor-researcher, Remington Nevin, later confirmed in a 2012 published report in the medical journal Tropical Medicine and International Health that DoD’s “presumptive treatment” of possible mefloquine in the detainees was both unprecedented and “inappropriate.” He added that his “analysis suggests the troubling possibility that the use of mefloquine at Guantanamo may have been motivated in part by knowledge of the drug’s adverse effects….”
Hickman would conclude that the mefloquine was used at the highest known dosage precisely because of its propensity to cause side effects, including dizziness, nightmares, nausea, and suicidal feelings. ...
Asylum seekers on Manus Island are being given a type of anti-malaria medication that detention centre staff have been warned not to take because of serious side effects.
Centre staff were warned not to take Mefloquine, also known as Lariam, because of adverse health effects.
Salvation Army worker Simon Taylor says in a submission to a Senate inquiry that he is aware asylum seekers have been given the drug despite the warnings to staff.
Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration warns that patients with a history of depression, anxiety disorders or other major psychiatric illness should not be prescribed the drug.
It's common for asylum seekers in detention to suffer depression, post traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.
The US military developed the drug in the 1970s and has curbed its use among troops after it was linked to permanent brain damage, suicide, murder and domestic violence.
Imaginary Australian journalist to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton: Did your order for today's exile of Wickham Point refugees to Nauru have anything to do with Michael Franti's visit?
Australia's Immigration Minister has quite a history with peace activists.
Bashed Peace Activist Abandoned By The CMC [March 2007]
Are Queensland’s police out of control? [Crikey - 6/9/05]:
... A seasoned political protester, Jim Dowling, was also there, standing at the back of the room with a placard resting at his feet that read “Peter Dutton Supports Terrorism.” According to a lawyer who was among the 50 or so people who attended the debate, just as questions were being taken from the floor several police “jumped the quiet protester and pulled him into the next room and gave him some rough treatment.”
@michaelfranti [14/4/15]: Just arrived in Darwin. Going to visit asylum seekers at Wickham Detention Center tomorrow. #EveryoneDeservesMusic and a home.
How far are we going to let this go Australia?
20 refugees self harm in fear of being exiled to Nauru [ABC - 15/4/15]:
Asylum seeker advocates say there has been a major disturbance at a Darwin detention centre and police have been called.
An asylum seeker has said there has been mayhem at Wickham Point Detention Centre, with about 20 detainees committing self harm in fear of being transferred to Nauru tonight.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network said one woman who witnessed the self harm earlier is being treated at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Police confirmed they had received a call and were en route to the detention centre.
The Australian government has chartered a plane to move the first group of refugees from Nauru to Cambodia within days as part of a $40m resettlement deal, sources on the island have said.
Guardian Australia has seen several letters that were reportedly distributed by Australian immigration staff to refugees on Nauru.
The letters offer them an opportunity to settle in Cambodia, where they will be eligible for citizenship in seven years.
“The opportunity to settle in Cambodia is now available to you. The first flight from Nauru to Cambodia for refugees will be as soon as 20 April 2015.
Moving to Cambodia provides an opportunity for you and your family to start a new life in a safe country, free from persecution and violence, and build your future,” the letter says. ...
THIS is refugee resettlement as defined by the UNHCR - anything else is EXILE.
Australia already resettles refugees. IN AUSTRALIA. Close the concentration camps and bring the refugees HERE.
Some refugees cannot go home or are unwilling to do so because they will face continued persecution. Many are also living in perilous situations or have specific needs that cannot be addressed in the country where they have sought protection. In such circumstances, UNHCR helps resettle refugees in a third country as the only safe and viable durable solution. Of the 10.5 million refugees of concern to UNHCR around the world, only about 1 per cent are submitted by the agency for resettlement.
Only a small number of states take part in UNHCR resettlement programmes. The United States is the world's top resettlement country, while Australia, Canada and the Nordic countries also provide a sizeable number of places annually. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of countries involved in resettlement in Europe and Latin America.
The resettlement country provides the refugee with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. It should allow for refugees to become naturalized citizens.
In 2011, UNHCR submitted the files of some 92,000 refugees for consideration by resettlement countries. By nationality, the main beneficiaries of UNHCR-facilitated resettlement programmes were refugees from Myanmar (21,300), Iraq (20,000), Somalia (15,700) and Bhutan (13,000). Ten per cent of all submissions were for women and girls at risk, the highest percentage of the last six years.
In the same year, almost 62,000 individuals departed to 22 resettlement countries with UNHCR's assistance. The largest number of resettled refugees left from Nepal (18,150), followed by Thailand (9,570) and Malaysia (8,370). Resettlement is a life-changing experience. It is both challenging and rewarding. Refugees are often resettled to a country where the society, language and culture are completely different and new to them.
Providing for their effective reception and integration is beneficial for both the resettled refugee and the receiving country. Governments and non-governmental organization partners provide services to facilitate integration, such as cultural orientation, language and vocational training as well as programmes to promote access to education and employment.
Imaginary Australian journalist to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton: Did your department deliberately organise the latest attack on Nauru to force refugees to accept exile to Cambodia?
Nauruan refugee shot with air gun pellet and then beaten by locals [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 15/4/15]
Obama drops opposition to bill giving Congress a voice on a nuclear deal with Iran
Israel is pleased at a compromise deal achieved between the United States Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Wednesday.
"We are certainly happy this morning, this is an achievement for Israeli policy ... (Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's) speech in Congress ... was decisive in achieving this law, which is a very important element in preventing a bad deal, or at least, in improving the agreement and making it more reasonable," Steinitz told Israel Radio.
Obama dropped his opposition on Tuesday to a bill giving Congress a voice on a nuclear deal with Iran, after members of his Democratic Party negotiated changes to the bill that had won strong support from both parties.
The bill that passed cut to 30 days from 60 the time in which Congress can review any final nuclear agreement and eliminated the requirement that Obama certify that Iran is not supporting acts of terrorism against the United States.
Instead, it requires the administration to send Congress regular, detailed reports on a range of issues including Iran's support for terrorism, ballistic missiles and nuclear program.
Obama has invested enormous political capital throughout his presidency in securing an international agreement to ensure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon, relying on tight sanctions that crippled Iran's economy and forced it to negotiate.
"This is more pressure and another barrier in the face of a bad agreement and therefore the administration and the negotiating team will make more of an effort to seal gaps and to achieve an agreement that looks better, or at least more reasonable, so that it will pass in Congress," Steinitz said.
President Barack Obama met with U.S. Jewish leaders at the White House on Monday to discuss the emerging Iran nuclear deal and their subsequent concerns regarding Israel's security.
Obama spent an hour with leaders of various major Jewish organizations during the day's first meeting, described by the Washington Post as "positive" and "very moving."
Among the attendes were representatives from civil defense groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, umbrella groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations of North America, pro-Israel groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and J Street, and the major religious streams.
One of the meeting's attendees told the Post that the president was "heartfelt about his connection to Israel." … [Haaretz – 14/4/15]
Iran expects to harvest more than 11 million tonnes of wheat in the new crop year, helping bring down imports by 20%, Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati says. ... [Press TV - 15/4/15]
Black Lives Matter protesters shut down San Francisco City Hall, Oakland freeway
Over 200 police in riot gear are responding to San Francisco City Hall where a peaceful Black Lives Matter rally turned into a massive protest causing several nearby streets to be shut down.
At around 2 p.m. Tuesday, several protesters stormed the city hall located at 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Place and blocked the entrance.
In Oakland, between 80 to 100 protesters have taken over the northbound lanes of Interstate 880 near the Jackson Street off-ramp. California Highway Patrol are requesting mutual aid from Contra Costa and Solano county law enforcement.
Today’s Bay Area protests — which include San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose — and are part of a nationwide rally against the recent shooting death of an unarmed black man by a white law enforcement officer in South Carolina.
The officer, who shot 50-year-old Scott, Michael Slager, initially said he fired at Scott after a tussle over his department-issued Taser.
However, video recorded by a witness showed the officer shooting Scott eight times as he ran away.
Dashcam video shows Arizona police car ramming armed suspect [CNN – 14/4/15]
Prison time for some Atlanta school educators in cheating scandal [CNN – 14/4/15]
... 'So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the band played 'Waltzing Matilda',
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.' ...
'And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda', Eric Bogle (The Bushwackers) 
Off to lose their minds and get their dicks blown off for empire: Troops leave Brisbane to participate in latest US invasion of Iraq [Yahoo – 15/4/15]:
... A contingent of up to 70 is leaving on Wednesday and most of the troops will be from the army's 7th Brigade, based at the Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera in Brisbane. ...
Labour MP and former Defence Minister Phil Goff says it is his understanding about 20 New Zealand troops are leaving for Iraq today, but the Government has refused to confirm this.
The Australian Cabinet has final approval for 330 extra soldiers to leave on a two-year mission, with a contingent of 70 due to leave from Brisbane tomorrow.
The New Zealand Government is sending 143 defence personnel, as part of a joint training force with Australia.
Mr Goff said it would make sense for a small, advance group to be deployed at this stage. ... [RNZI - 15/4/15]
PM Abbott has no idea what success in Iraq would look like – Milne [Greens Media Release – 14/4/15]:
Greens Leader Christine Milne says mission creep in Iraq has accelerated and Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed troops to an unwinnable war.
"Tony Abbott continues to blindly follow the US further and further into the Iraq quagmire. He has absolutely zero idea of what success would look like," Senator Milne said.
"The Prime Minister says he will review the deployment after 12 months but against what criteria? What will constitute success or failure, what will determine whether we stay or come home?
"The entire conflict is an intractable mess driven by sectarian hatred that is potentially being made even worse with US involvement. Australian involvement is not making us safer - it's the opposite.
"The Prime Minister said initially that there would be no boots on the ground. We've seen mission creep from day one.
"We have a situation where we have Shiite militias fighting alongside Iraqi troops, we have Iraqi special units under investigation for war crimes.
"There is no end to it. There will never be a clear idea of what victory would look like.
"The Greens totally support Australian troops. We always have and we always will. We do not support the government's decision to deploy them to Iraq."
United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria
U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with three air strikes and conducted another 15 strikes against the group in Iraq from Monday to Tuesday morning, the U.S. military said.
All three of the strikes in Syria were conducted using fighter aircraft and hit targets near Kobani, it said in a statement released on Tuesday.
In Iraq, the air strikes were conducted with fighter and attack planes as well as drones and occurred near Bayji, Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadim and Sinjar, it said.
The Mayor of Baiji, Mohammed Mahmoud al-Jubouri announced on Tuesday, that ISIS militants have gained control over the Oil Institute and the buildings of Salahuddin distribution branch and the chemical detergent company inside Biji oil refinery, while stated that violent clashes are still going for the third day between the militants and the security forces. ... [IraqiNews.com -14/4/15]
A source in the police announced on Tuesday, that a booby-trapped car exploded in front of Yarmouk Hospital in western Baghdad, and pointed to news about deaths and injuries.
The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com, “The booby-trapped car was in the parking lot in front of Yarmouk Hospital in Yarmouk district west of Baghdad; it exploded this morning and led to deaths and injuries.”
The source, who requested to remain anonymous, added, “The security force cordoned off the area and prevented people from approaching it.”
The UN Security Council has imposed an arms embargo against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and blacklisted the son of Yemen's former president and a Houthi leader.
Fourteen members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, Russia being the only abstention.
The Russian representative explained the move by saying that not all of Moscow’s proposals had been included in the final text drafted by Jordan and Gulf Arab states.
"The co-sponsors refused to include the requirements insisted upon by Russia addressed to all sides to the conflict to swiftly halt fire and to begin peace talks," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the council after the vote. ... [RT - 14/4/15]
Rebels call mass rallies to protest UN Yemen resolution [Al Jazeera – 15/4/15]
“Senior al-Qaeda leader” in Yemen killed in US drone strike [Al Jazeera – 14/4/15]
The U.N. rights chief called Tuesday for investigations into the high level of civilian casualties that account for almost half of the 736 deaths recorded in the Yemen conflict. ... [Naharnet - 14/4/15]
Somalia: Nine kiilled in attack on Education Ministry
... Police and witnesses said the car bomb caused a huge explosion which allowed the gunmen to force their way into the fortified building.
"One policeman and eight civilians were killed in the attack, and a dozen others were wounded including a senior education ministry official," police officer Mohamed Dahir said.
Police regained control of the building after around an hour-long attack, which began when "a car loaded with explosives rammed the gate," Dahir added.
Witness Idil Malim said bodies of those killed and wounded lay around the complex.
"There were several people lying dead at the scene," he said.
Shebab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab claimed responsibility, boasting that their gunmen had been in "fully in control" of the ministry, as well as entering a neighboring building housing the oil ministry.
As government forces retook the compound and fighting ended the fate of the gunmen was not immediately clear; whether they had been killed in the assault or had managed to escape.
The building is in the K5 district of the capital, which has been hit by a string of similar attacks in recent months.
The Shebab rebels stage regular attacks in the capital as part of their fight against the country's internationally-backed government and African Union forces supporting it.
400 refugees feared drowned in Mediterranean after boat bound for Sicily capsizes
Nearly 400 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Libya are feared to have drowned after their vessel capsized.
Details of their plight are still emerging as hundreds of rescued migrants arrived in the Sicilian capital, some of the 8,480 saved from the water since an armada of rickety boats began to sail from Africa earlier this week.
Those rescued said that one vessel carrying between 500 and 550 people was barely 24 hours into its journey when it capsized.
Harrowing testimony detailed how, as the situation became more frantic, one victim's body was tossed overboard and torn apart by sharks. Another is said to have died from asphyxiation from diesel fumes.
One of the suspected traffickers, a Guinean man named as Aboubakarma Banghoura, was arrested after he was brought ashore by Italian Coast Guard with 110 rescued passengers. He faces charges of manslaughter.
Italian coastguard rescues thousands of migrants and refugees in Mediterrean [UNHCR Media Release – 14/4/15]:
... Aali, a 21-year-old Libyan from Sirte, said he fled after his brother was killed and his food shop torched by militants. The war changed everything," he said, adding: "Was there really an alternative to this dangerous sea journey?" ...
Italy's interior ministry has ordered regional prefects to find emergency housing for an influx of boat migrants, sparking criticism over the government's handling of a crisis set to intensify over the coming months.
The ministry on Monday called on Piedmont, Lombardy, the Veneto, Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Campania regions to find 700 places each for the latest arrivals.
Puglia in southern Italy was told to find 300
places, while the Lazio and Marche regions were asked for another 250 each, with
the remaining 1,500 beds to be divided between other regions
Members of the opposition have accused Renzi's center-left government of pandering to those fleeing war zones or poverty, with many saying the policy of rescuing immigrants at sea was encouraging others to attempt the journey.
"It is an absolute disgrace that the government, instead of repelling the invasion of clandestine immigrants, thinks to appropriate thousands and thousands of beds, giving in to the invasion," said senator Maurizio Gasparri from the center-right Forza Italia party.
And with summer approaching and over 500,000 people waiting to set out from Libya for Europe according to EU border agency Frontex, charity organizations are warning the government is not prepared to deal with the next wave.
Giancarlo Perego, director of the Migrantes Foundation, slammed the government's preparations as "absolutely insufficient."
"It's not tolerable for a municipality to be able to decide whether or not to take in an asylum seeker. It would be like deciding whether or not to support an old person who is not self-sufficient or an unaccompanied minor," he said.
Council of Europe anti-torture Committee publishes a report on Spain
Council of Europe, CPT Media Release [9/4/15]:
The Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) publishes today the report on its visit to Spain which took place in July 2014 as well as the response of the Spanish authorities.
The purpose of the 2014 visit to Spain was to examine certain aspects of the treatment of irregular migrants intercepted in the enclave of Melilla along the border with Morocco, as well as to assess the implementation of the previous CPT’s recommendations in relation to the detention centres for foreigners (CIEs) in Barcelona (Zona Franca) and Madrid (Aluche).
In Melilla, the CPT received several allegations of excessive use of force by members of the Guardia Civil when apprehending irregular migrants attempting to enter Spanish territory at the multi-fence land border with Morocco.
Reference is made in the report to an incident on 15 October 2014, documented by video footage, during which an irregular migrant was subjected to at least eight truncheon blows by Guardia Civil officers while he was climbing down from the fence and was subsequently handcuffed and returned to Morocco by Guardia Civil officers despite being apparently motionless.
The CPT requested that a prompt and effective inquiry be carried out into this incident and that measures be taken to improve the training of members of the Guardia Civil.
Foreign nationals met by the CPT’s delegation also alleged that they were subjected to physical ill-treatment such as kicks, blows with wooden sticks and branches by members of the Moroccan Auxiliary Forces (MAF) after they had been apprehended by the MAF at the fence border within Spanish territory, or once they had been returned to Morocco by Guardia Civil officers.
The CPT recommends that MAF officials are not permitted to enter Spanish territory to apprehend and forcibly return irregular migrants to Morocco outside of any legal framework, and that no foreign national be handed over to these forces in light of the risk of ill-treatment.
The Committee also expresses its preoccupation in relation to recently adopted legislation, pending in front of the Spanish parliament at the time of the adoption of the report, which legalises the practice of forcibly deporting irregular migrants without any prior identification or assessment of their needs.
In their response, the Spanish authorities provide details in relation to the incident of 15 October 2014 asserting that the irregular migrant in question simulated being unconscious. Further, they also indicate that the MAF are, under special circumstances, allowed to enter the Spanish territory in order to protect themselves from the flux of irregular migrants.
As regards the CIE of Zona Franca, the report indicates that allegations of physical ill-treatment and verbal abuse of detained persons were received in particular in relation to a specific shift of custodial police officers. Further, episodes of inter-detainee violence and intimidation between foreign nationals of different ethnic origin were frequent at that CIE. The CPT reminds the Spanish authorities of their responsibility to ensure the physical integrity of every detained person by eradicating ill-treatment by staff and implementing an anti-violence strategy.
In their response the Spanish authorities provide an account of the various training activities in place for law enforcement officers operating at the same establishments.
The report also highlights that the two visited CIEs continue to display a prison-like environment (insufficient living space, absence of furniture in room and metal shutters on windows), which is inappropriate for persons detained under aliens legislation.
Recommendations are put forward by the Committee in order to address this situation, in particular to ensure that detainees held in multi-occupancy rooms at the CIE of Aluche are provided with at least 4m2 of living space per person.
On a more positive note, the report notes that persons detained at both visited CIEs had access to outdoor exercise for four hours per day and that Spanish language courses were offered on a weekly basis to foreign nationals.
The CPT's report and the Spanish authorities' response are available on the Committee’s website (http://www.cpt.coe.int).
Kenya rights groups on Tuesday condemned the suspension of two key Muslim civil society organisations for suspected links to Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab, saying it will damage efforts to counter extremism. ... [Nation - 14/4/15]
The United Nations warned Kenyan authorities Tuesday that closing the world's biggest refugee camp complex would have "extreme humanitarian and practical consequences" and would violate international law. ... [Naharnet - 14/4/15]
This secretive exile of refugees is made possible by establishment media silence.
Despite accepting all recommendations of Moss Review and no improvements made, DIBP removing families from Darwin to Nauru tonight ...
DIBP removing people to Nauru right now from Wickham Point IDC ...
"tweeted" by @HRP_org - Humanitarian Research Partners [15/4/15]
Nauruan refugee shot with air gun pellet and then beaten by locals
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [15/4/15]:
A 16 year-old Lebanese refugee has been treated in hospital after being attacked yesterday (Tuesday 14 April), first by a local Nauruan armed with an air rifle, and then by two lifeguards.
The boy was attacked at a swimming spot near Anibare Lodge yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
The local sprayed a few pellets in the direction of refugees near the swimming hole, when one of the pellets struck the Lebanese boy in the arm.
The shooter took off, but his identity was obvious to all in the vicinity.
The refugee appealed for the lifeguards who were on duty to help him and to call the police to identify the shooter. The lifeguards admitted they knew the shooter but bluntly refused to help or call the police or agree to identify the shooter to the police.
After further appeals form the boy for help, what followed was a sustained bashing of the boy by the two lifeguards, leaving him covered in cuts, scratches and a badly injured knee that required hospital treatment.
“This is just one more instance of the daily discrimination and physical attacks now facing refugees on Nauru. A few days ago, a young female refugee was sexually assaulted in a car.
“While three Nauruans were arrested by the police in regard to the sexual assault, in many other instances, even when identities are known, the police refuse to act. The unwillingness of the Nauruan government or police to act has allowed a minority to attack refugees with impunity,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The latest incidents also add to the concerns expressed by former Save the Children workers and administrators and others who worked on Nauru that ‘Nauru is such a small island it is impossible for people to avoid local perpetrators.’
“The climate of impunity also makes Nauru unsafe. There have been a number of instances where alleged perpetrators have threatened victims and witnesses following attacks.
“The reasons to close Nauru become more compelling day by day,” said Rintoul.
“Close Nauru” is a major demand of Sydney’s “Welcome Refugee” rally, which thousands of refugee supporters are expected to attend, this Sunday, 19 April, 1pm, Belmore Park.
Ged Kearney, President ACTU
Dr Sue Wareham, Medical Association for the Prevention of War
Kyol Blakeney, President Sydney Uni SRC
Lydia Shelly, Islamophobia Register
Shokufa Tahiri, Hazara refugee
Has the ACTU called for divestment, or are they just using the refugee liberation movement for ALP "Abbott is worse" PR purposes?
NTEU statement on UniSuper investments in detention | #highered [24/3/15]
#HESTA, divest from Transfield & the detention industry | #Manus #Nauru [23/1/15]
In contemporary Australia hypocrisy is political currency.
Great to chat to @BarackObama about importance of minimum wage &Abbott's refusal to engage with L20
Image: @GedKACTU - President, Australian Council of Trade Unions [15/11/14]
Texas: Immigrant mothers in detention launch second hunger strike despite retaliation [Democracy Now - 14/4/15]:
... On May 2 a nationwide protest is planned outside the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, the other facility where hundreds of women and children have been detained since seeking asylum from violence in Central America.
The event will kick-off a week of actions that end on Mother’s Day.
An organizer with the We Belong Together campaign frames family detention as an issue central to women’s struggle for equality.
“These women are blocked from achieving their full potential because of deeply flawed immigration policy,” said Andrea Cristina Mercado.
Advocates say the comparison of that facility to present day family detention centers in Texas could haunt President Obama.
"He could go down in history not just as the deporter in chief," said Cristina Parker, with the group Grassroots Leadership, "but as the president who presided over the return of modern day internment camps on U.S. soil."
Wednesday: protest against Scott Morrison: Minister for abuse and cover-up to address school fundraiser [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney – 15/4/15]:
Following an outpouring of opposition to former Immigration Minister being invited to speak at a Sydney Boys High School fundraising event, the Refugee Action Coalition has called a protest outside the school fundraising event tonight, Wednesday, 15 April, 5.15pm, Sydney Boys High School, 556 Cleveland St, Moore Park 2021.
Speakers include: Osman Faruqi (ex-student and Greens candidate for Heffron) Paul Robson (President, Eastern Suburbs Teachers Association)
Hundreds of ex-students from Sydney Boys and Girls High Schools have signed an open letter condemning the invitation to Morrison to speak:
Sydney Boys former student, Osman Faruqi said, “The response from former Sydney High students has been overwhelming – alumni are appalled that someone with Scott Morrison’s record would be invited as the key speaker to this event.”
“I studied at Sydney Boys alongside many students from refugee backgrounds and they are shocked to see the school’s name being used celebrate a politician who has disregarded basic human rights,” added Faruqi.
“There are many reason to protest against Scott Morrison and the policies he put in place and values he espoused as Minister for Immigration,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“But along with cruel policies of offshore processing, we now know that for at least 17 months, the Minister covered-up the abuse of women and children in detention on Nauru. The Minister will not be spilling the beans about that shameful record tonight.”
Journalism 101: Imaginary Australian journalist asks lawyers currently interviewing refugees incarcerated in Australia's concentration camp on Manus the following questions:
1. You had to obtain a court order to get into the concentration camp on Manus, how obstructive was the Australian government?
2. Can you describe the Manus concentration camp based on your visits so far?
3. How are the refugees being treated, based on your first hand observations?
4. You are representing 25 refugees, can you describe the court actions (if any) you are taking on their behalf?
5. Have you encountered any obstacles during your visits?
PNG court allows lawyers access to Manus Island detainees to pursue case against their detention [ABC – 24/3/15]:
Lawyers representing 25 detainees at the Manus Island detention centre have been allowed access to their clients to pursue a case against their detention.
Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court last week issued a directive from the country's chief migration officer Rabura Mataio to allow private law firm Lomai and Lomai Lawyers access to the centre.
The court today heard that Mr Mataio had consented to facilitate smooth and reasonable access.
Lawyer Ben Lomai is representing the detainees to challenge PNG's constitution, arguing that the asylum seekers' ongoing detention breaches the right to liberty.
He has also argued for the right of detainees to access legal representation guaranteed in PNG's constitution.
The asylum seekers involved in the case are from Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria and Lebanon.
They made contact with the law firm while they were being detained without charge at the Manus Island provincial prison, accused of stoking protests at the detention centre in January.
Earlier this month lawyers filed a notice of motion requesting access to the detainees at the detention centre and refugees at the East Lorengau transit facility, so they could obtain official statements.
Mr Lomai said his lawyers would have access to the detention centre from April 6 - 17. The matter returns to court on April 22.
... If you had Tony Abbott’s job for one day, what would you do?
Restoring Australia’s place as a global citizen would be my priority; albeit difficult to achieve in one day. This would involve balancing our adherence to the principles of international law and associated humanitarian causes, with maintaining our national sovereignty. In the context of globalisation, it is of utmost importance to capitalise on international relations and human movement – from engaging in sustainable international business practices, to benefiting from trade relationships and, most importantly in my line of work, facilitating economic migration and offering protection to those fleeing persecution. ... 5 minutes with… Marina Brizar - lawyer who worked with refugees on Manus [Australasian Lawyer – 13/4/15]
PNG: 4000 beds being installed at Games Village
PNG Loop [14/4/15]:
With 81 days to go before the July Pacific Games, construction at the Games Village is progressing well with 4000 bed frames now being installed.
All installation, done by Brian Bell Home Centres, is expected to be completed over the next two months.
The Games Village will house over 4000 athletes and officials and comes complete with its own dining hall.
Pacific Foam Industry has over one thousand mattresses ready to go in.
A shipment of over sixteen thousand fitted sheets and bed sheets are expected to arrive on May 18.
Games Organising Committee’s chief executive officer Peter Stewart said this is an important milestone.
“This is a venue that is crucial to the success of these Games and we want to provide the best possible accommodation for visiting athletes.”
“Its readiness at this stage gives us more than enough time to cater to all their accommodation needs,” Stewart said.
The Facility is designed to be a home away from home for athletes of the Pacific with recreational facilities and various forms of entertainment available for residents.
It is expected to be ready by June 15 with a soft opening on July 25 before it starts housing its first visiting athletes by June 30.
The venue will be handed over to the University of Papua New Guinea
as student accommodation after the Games.
Imaginary Australian journalist to Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg: Isn't it hypocritical to commemorate the holocaust while operating your own concentration camps?
Hard to fathom the scale of the pain and suffering that happened at Auschwitz until its liberation 70 years ago today
Image: @JoshFrydenberg - Assistant Treasurer [27/1/15]
Sydney Jews to remember Holocaust [West Asutralian - 15/4/15]:
Sydney's Jewish community will mark 70 years since the holocaust on Wednesday evening.
Assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be the keynote speaker at a commemoration event at the City Recital Hall in memory of the liberation of the concentration camps in World War II.
The Righteous Among the Nations award, honouring those who saved Jews from the Nazis, will be presented by a representative of the Israeli Embassy to family members of an individual who protected Jews during the Holocaust.
"The imperative to emphasise and impart the lessons of where racial hatred can lead is today greater than ever," says NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff.
In January Mr Frydenberg was Australia's official representative to the Auschwitz liberation commemoration, where he made a sojourn to the death camp where a number of his family members died.
The public has much to fear from politicians who haven’t flinched before the sadism of their refugee policies. We must speak up now. ... Nick Riemer [The Guardian - 19/1/15]
A crowd gathers outside #manly council to protest the recent shocking treatment of Refugees in #manus [February 2014]
Image: @justice22 [22/2/14]
15 April 2015