Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [15/4/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack and ground attack aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed an ISIL bulldozer.
-- Near Mara, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and four ISIL vehicles.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and ground attack aircraft conducted 30 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Hit, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 18 ISIL boats, an ISIL command and control node and an ISIL weapons cache and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL tunnel system.
-- Near Mosul, 21 strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, 18 ISIL modular oil refineries and two ISIL crude oil stills and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed 33 ISIL boats.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL mortar cache and an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
US bombing of Iraq and Syria accelerates [US Department of Defense - 14/4/16]
EA-6B Prowler aircraft from Marine Corps Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 have deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to support electronic attack requirements in Operation Inherent Resolve, the effort to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The deployment is planned to last through September, U.S. European Command officials said. ... [US Department of Defense - 14/4/16]
ISIS shoots down warplane in Southern Syria [Antiwar.com - 14/4/16]:
...This is the latest in a series of warplanes shot down in Syria, mostly by ISIS.
It is unclear what sort of weapon was used, but the US has imported significant numbers of anti-aircraft weapons, ideally for “moderate” rebels, but which have been spread around to virtually all factions. ...
@Hibai_ [15/4/16]: Hamza, Alí y Ehtisam contemplan el mar por el que llegaron. Al otro lado Turquía, a donde la UE quiere deportarlos.
EU relocates just 208 refugees from Greece after deal with Turkey [Guardian - 15/4/16]:
... This week, one Greek lawyer said that he was being consistently denied access to clients in the Moria detention centre on the island of Lesbos.
“Someone must inform the police … about the rights of the people that are detained in that camp,” said Emmanouil Chatzichalkias in a written statement. ...
@MSF_Sea [14/4/16]: The Jungle rats are the size of cats in filthy #Calais
Just over 6,000 migrants who crossed the Mediterranean have reached Italy since Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration said, warning that the surge in arrivals was set to continue. ... [RTE - 15/4/16]
Deadly fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the al-Nusra Front has put civilians, mostly Palestinian refugees, in danger yet again in the Yarmouk refugee camp in southern Damascus.
Issam, a 54-year-old resident of Yarmouk, said that civilians have called for a temporary humanitarian ceasefire from the armed groups but have yet to receive a response. ... [Al Jazeera - 15/4/16]
Day 27 of peaceful protests in RPC3 on Nauru.
"SHUT DOWN OFFSHORE".
Refugees have joined asylum seekers.
THEY ARE WAITING FOR AUSTRALIAN PEOPLE TO JOIN THEM.
Day 27 of Nauru protests: Aussies begin to join in [Autonomous Action Radio - 15/4/16]
Australian doctors, psychiatrists decry mistreatment of refugees in LNP/ALP concentration camps [Guardian - 15/4/16]:
... Nemati was arrested, charged, and convicted by the Nauruan justice system within weeks, while several cases of alleged assaults and abuse have gone without consequence for months.
Despite numerous reports of attacks on refugees and asylum seekers no one has ever been convicted.
Michael Dudley, the immediate past chair of Suicide Prevention Australia, described the act as “extraordinarily regressive” and “a step back to the middle ages”.
“It breaches all contemporary standards for care of people who are self-harming and it basically flies in the face of the international movement to decriminalise suicide and self-harm,” Dudley told Guardian Australia.
“There’s a long tradition in immigration detention and among ministers for immigration to brand self-harm as merely attention seeking or attempting to obtain some other outcome, and to overlook the true elements of despair, hopelessness and the true mental illness components that surround this.”
In February immigration minister Peter Dutton suggested the government was the target of blackmail attempts by asylum seekers seeking healthcare.
And in 2014 then prime minister Tony Abbott said his government “would not be held over a barrel” after a number of women in detention were placed on suicide watch.
Other medical experts have been similarly critical of Nauru’s conviction of Nemati.
“We don’t regard an attempted suicide as a criminal act but as a manifestation of serious mental illness,” Dr Stephen Parnis, the vice president of the Australian Medical Association told Guardian Australia.
Parnis said he hoped his reaction was typical of most Australians.
“Health problems need to be treated as health problems by medical and other workers. It shouldn’t be treated as a criminal issue in the courts.”
Dr Peter Young, the former medical director for mental health at the International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) told Guardian Australia Nauru’s action was punishing and blaming victims.
“That anybody would ever contemplate saying or trying to do something like that in Australia as a way of responding to someone who has committed self-harm is totally unthinkable,” said Young.
“It all falls in the category of non-compliance and all non-compliance will be punished.”
Young has been outspoken on the psychological damage among asylum seekers within the Australian detention and processing system.
“It’s the same sort of thing as what happens when women want terminations, as what happens when child abuse is reported, as what happens when sexual assaults are reported there: the same blanket approach which is this is all bad non-compliant behaviour and the appropriate response is punishment.”
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists said it was “highly concerned” by the reports.
“RANZCP does not comment on individual cases, but notes that attempted suicide is a complex and tragic issue that requires appropriate clinical care,” the organisation’s president, Professor Malcolm Hopwood, told Guardian Australia.
“We continue to advocate for the provision of high quality health services for asylum seekers in all environments.”
Dutton LIED about self harm and the "opposition" protected him: 21 mins in ---> Wilkie MP moves censure of Immigration Minister [VIDEO - 22/2/16]
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]
Hunger strikes and suicide attempts by asylum seekers on Nauru will not get them ''anywhere'', Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Monday. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/2/13]
Brisbane Times [18/2/16]:
"Public numbing and indifference" towards state abuses in Nazi Germany resembles that enabling Australia's immigration detention centres, a prominent psychiatrist says, also likening public complicity in the detention regime to the White Australia policy.
On Thursday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, in Washington to discuss border protection at a Five Country ministerial meeting, repeated the Turnbull government's insistence that asylum seekers and refugees in Australia for medical care, and their families, would be returned to Nauru once their treatment has finished.
"The government has been consistent all along in relation to our strong stance to make sure we keep our borders secure," he said.
In a paper published in the Australasian Psychiatry journal this month, Dr Michael Dudley, a psychiatrist at Sydney Children's Hospital and a senior University of NSW lecturer, wrote that prolonged immigration detention shows "reckless indifference and calculated cruelty".
Such policies misuse health and welfare professionals to "underwrite state abuses and promote public numbing and indifference resembling other state abuses," he said, citing the so-called "war on terror" and, with qualification, Nazi Germany.
Dr Dudley said various modern states have purported to protect citizens by identifying security threats, targeting "undesirables" and eliminating public scrutiny.
"Australians may be psychically numbed about boat interceptions and gulags, but cannot claim ignorance," he wrote.
He later told Fairfax Media that the Nazi regime relied on an underlying ideological commitment in which "the end is seen as justifying the means".
"We haven't seen Nazi death camps in Australia … but we have had some pretty extraordinary policies historically in this country, which include policies towards indigenous people.
"I think White Australia has links to our current policies towards boat people in our unwillingness to systematically think about this issue, to contemplate alternatives."
He said like gulags, detention centres were "places out of sight, out of mind where terrible things are happening and we are assuming the state is looking after us".
In the journal, Dr Dudley said health and welfare workers who assisted the Nazi regime were usually ordinary people motivated by "peer and situational pressures, careerism and ideological commitments", and that "euphemism, bureaucratic routines and missionary zeal facilitated psychic numbing and denial".
He called for the healthcare of asylum seekers to be transferred from the immigration bureaucracy to state and federal health departments to strengthen clinical independence and help uphold ethical codes.
Dr Dudley said health professionals working in the detention regime were "lending credibility to abuses", whether deliberately or inadvertently.
His comments came as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists on Thursday released new guidelines for those working in immigration detention.
It includes a statement that advocating against policies that harm mental health is a "non-partisan activity integral to delivering quality healthcare".
A spokesman for Mr Dutton said the government had a "compassionate approach toward vulnerable people, but our hardline against people smugglers remains resolute. We are not going to allow the deaths at sea to recommence." <--- He is able to continue getting away with lying because the "opposition" would be worse, and the Greens and human rights organisations are pissweak, neocon apologists.
Police have launched an internal investigation into why an eight-year-old Aboriginal boy was left unattended in a police paddy wagon allegedly for two hours in northern New South Wales. ... [ABC - 15/4/16]
NSW Premier's "big deals" with Israel [Australian Jewish News - 14/4/16]:
... A special agricultural agreement means that NSW is due to learn from Israel’s experience making the country flourish despite its dry conditions.
Given the similarly arid climates, it “makes sense to share knowledge, expertise and innovative research”, Baird said.
The agreement took the form of a memorandum of understanding between the University of Sydney and the Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel, which is intended to help dairy, poultry and aquaculture in NSW, chiefly by drawing on Israeli expertise through teaching, training and research activities.
Baird visited several companies including Elbit, the defence electronics experts, that are providing technology that NSW will repurpose from defence to medicine.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern is going to be able to train more effectively when a newly ordered Israeli flight simulator is in place at its Dubbo base. ...
Barnaby Joyce launches what could be Australia's first medicinal cannabis farm in NSW [ABC - 15/4/16]:
... The farm is the latest step in a concerted plan by Ms Haslam to allow people compassionate access to the drug, which she had to buy illegally for her own son to relieve his pain while being treated for bowel cancer.
While the Federal Government is working on framework around legislating for the cultivation and supply of medicinal cannabis,
Victoria became the first state to pass legislation allowing medicinal cannabis earlier this week.
Despite these moves, Ms Haslam said Australia was leaps and bounds behind other countries in the world.
She has just returned as part of a delegation to Israel along with the Premier of NSW Mike Baird, and NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O'Kane.
The group toured patient clinics and a privately owned dispensary. ...
Woman on life support after attack [SBS - 15/4/16]:
The boyfriend of a Brisbane woman savagely attacked in her home has refused to be interviewed by police.
The hospitality worker has been on life support since Wednesday afternoon, when paramedics were called to her inner-north home where she was found unconscious and with serious head injuries.
Detective Inspector Tim Trezise said police held grave fears for her health, with doctors confirming she had suffered "potentially fatal" brain swelling.
Family have travelled from interstate and overseas to be by her hospital bed. Police do not know what caused her injuries, but are treating it as suspicious.
Insp Trezise said the woman's 24-year-old partner called triple-zero but had since refused to be interviewed.
"He's exercised his right to silence that he doesn't want to assist us," he told reporters.
The partner told police the woman had not got out of bed on Wednesday and when he woke from a nap about 1.30pm, he discovered she was unconscious.
Police are trying to work out when the pair went to bed and if the attack occurred on Tuesday night.
Insp Trezise said he could not comment whether it was a domestic violence incident.
"We have an open mind to how these injuries were caused," he said.
Police are asking anyone who may have heard or seen anything on Gallway St, Windsor to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
An elderly woman has died after a car that had been chased by police collided with her vehicle at Hervey Bay.
Police said a 72-year-old woman was driving along Elizabeth Street, Urangan, when a vehicle struck her at 11.50am.
The elderly woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Preliminary inquiries indicated the driver of the second vehicle, a 21-year-old Urangan man, had sped off after police had attempted to intercept him.
While the police vehicle had pulled over to the side of the road the second vehicle continued and crashed into the elderly woman's vehicle, police said.
It is understood the crash occurred a "considerable distance" from where police attempted interception.
Police said no more information could be provided as the accieent was subject to investigations by the Forensic Crash Unit and the Ethical Standards Command.
The 21-year-old man was taken to Hervey Bay Hospital with non-llife threatening injuries and remains under police guard. [Brisbane Times - 15/4/16]
Task Force Maxima – cocaine, silver bullion and stolen property located, Albany Creek [QPS Media - 15/4/16]
Gold Coast police launch internal review [Yahoo - 15/4/16]
Protesters march through Perth calling for action to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody [ABC - 15/4/16]:
Protesters marched through the Perth CBD today to mark 25 years on from a royal commission they say has not done enough to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody.
A group of more than 50 people met at the Supreme Court Gardens to begin a march through the city, calling for more action to be taken by the Government.
Today marks the 25th Anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, which investigated 99 Aboriginal deaths between 1980 to 1989.
One-third of the deaths investigated occurred in Western Australia. A total of 399 recommendations were made.
A spokeswoman for the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee Hannah McGlade said they were marching to remember the more than 355 Aboriginal people who have died in custody since the royal commission handed down its report.
"It's about acknowledging that," she said. "We haven't had the progress that we needed to see from the royal commission, people shouldn't still be dying as they are."
Yesterday, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion said it was "important to acknowledge the progress that has occurred to reduce Indigenous deaths in custody", and quickly came under fire from human rights groups.
A coronial inquest is underway into the death of Ms Dhu, 22, who died after being locked up for two days at South Hedland Police Station.
Today, Ms Dhu's grandmother, Carole Roe, marched along with other family members, including her granddaughter,
Yolanda, Ms Dhu's younger sister. Ms Roe said she was marching in the hopes the Government did something to stop deaths like her granddaughter, who was taken into custody for unpaid fines.
"They do the talk, but they need to do the walk and take action and help us and support us," she said.
"Set the people free for petty crimes, instead of locking them up."
Miss Roe also lost a nephew, Warren Cooper, in a similar way.
"Eighteen years ago my nephew died in custody," she said.
"Two years ago it was my granddaughter. When is it going to stop, our heart still bleeds."
The group marched from the Supreme Court Garden along the city streets to the Perth Magistrate's Court where they conducted a 'die-in'. Ms McGlade said the die-in was to represent the lives that have been lost.
"These are real people who had lives ahead of them," she said.
"Ms Dhu was a young woman, she simply needed medical attention and she cried out for that. "She was treated in the most inhumane manner."
Ms McGlade said it was a shame the coroner had decided against allowing security footage of Ms Dhu's time in custody to be released publicly.
It was a sentiment Miss Dhu's grandmother shared.
"I think Australia and the world need to see how my granddaughter was treated," Ms Roe said.
"Dragged around like a [dead] kangaroo.
"They need to look at it, let the world see. Shame, shame on Australia."
A 46-year-old man is in critical condition after being tackled to the ground then stomped on during an argument with two other men in Queensland.
Police said the incident happened in Caboolture on Thursday afternoon, and the two attackers fled the scene after stomping on the man's head and body.
A 31-year-old and a 19-year-old have been charged with grievous bodily harm and are due to appear in court on Friday. [Yahoo - 15/4/16]
Motor racing champion's son Gary Brabham jailed for raping 8yo girl [ABC - 15/4/16]
Perth school traffic warden on child rape, porn charges [WA Today - 14/4/16]
Legal action against embattled underground coal gasification company Linc Energy has been indefinitely delayed after the company announced it had gone into voluntary administration.
PPB Advisory administrator Stephen Longley said the Queensland government would have to apply to the courts to progress the five charges against the company.
It follows the decision by a Queensland court in March to commit Linc Energy to go to trial over allegations a leak at one of its plants caused serious environmental harm. ... [Yahoo - 15/4/16]
A man has been rushed to hospital in a serious condition after a power tool accident on the Gold Coast this afternoon.
Paramedics were called to a private residence on Raffles Circuit at Mudgeeraba around 12.35pm following reports a man had been seriously injured.
The man, believed to be aged in his 70s, was treated at the scene before being taken to Gold Coast University Hospital with neck and chest injuries. [MYGC - 15/4/16]
A pastoral company has defended its safety standards after a man was fatally charged by a buffalo at a property about 60km southeast of Adelaide.
Alan Carter was unloading four buffalo at the Strathalbyn abattoir when one of the animals charged and repeatedly crushed him against the barriers of his truck.
The 72-year-old was flown to Flinders Medical Centre but died shortly after his arrival. Strath Pastoral said the man, a stock delivery handler, was not employed by the company, but engaged by a farmer, whom they have since been in contact with. ... [Nine MSN - 15/4/16]
An animal activist accused of trespassing on a kangaroo cull site has become the second protester to face criminal charges this year.
Carolyn Drew, of Animal Liberation ACT, was supported by a small band of protesting supporters on Friday morning, shortly before her hearing began in the ACT Magistrates Court. ... [Canberra Times - 15/4/16]
Report: FBI sought to break encryption used by animal rights activists 10 years ago [Democracy Now - 14/4/16]
A man has died after his motorcycle collided with a truck in Sydney's west. ... [Nine MSN - 15/4/16]
A Perth grandmother will spend her 90th birthday in hospital after nearly dying from complications following food poisoning on an Australian cruise liner. ... [WA Today - 14/4/16]
The swimming leg of a national triathlon planned for Elizabeth Quay has been cancelled because of concerns over the water quality in the inlet.
According to the ABC, the MRA had conducted tests and found fecal bacteria in the inlet of the $440 million Elizabeth Quay. ... [WA Today - 14/4/16]
Parliament terminated in 40-year first [Nine MSN - 15/4/16]:
... On Friday afternoon the parliament will be prorogued, meaning the current session will be terminated without the houses being dissolved.
It's the first time since 1977 the federal parliament has been prorogued other than for a general election.
The prorogation will occur to allow Governor-General Peter Cosgrove to open a special session of parliament on Monday morning.
It wipes all business from the parliamentary agenda, allowing a clean slate on Monday.
Senate committees aren't impacted by the termination of the session.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull requested the Governor-General recall the parliament to deal with legislation to reinstate the building industry watchdog and a bill to crack down on unions.
If they aren't passed, voters will go to an early election on July 2.
Both houses are also expected to deal with legislation to abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and freeze its minimum pay rate decision for owner-driver truckies.
Sir Peter will attend parliament house in Canberra on Monday morning to officially reopen the second session of the current parliament.
Once the session begins, the parliament can decide how long and when it sits and what business to deal with.
PNG anti-corruption police arrest Supreme Court judge, Attorney-General and PM's lawyer [ABC - 15/4/16]
Text message warns Madang public of armed men roaming in police uniforms [PNG Loop - 15/4/16]
Today marks an important milestone as the Department of Planning and Monitoring launched and signed the construction contract for the Manus solar power saltwater desalination plant project.
Secretary for Planning and Monitoring Hakaua Harry says this was a regional initiative project of which the government of Japan allocated US$66 million (K206m) for the Pacific Island countries during the PALMS 6 meeting in 2009 in Japan.
Out of the US$66 million, US$4 million was allocated to PNG (K12m). The fund is managed by Pacific Environment Community (PEC) Fund through the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat in Fiji.
Hakaua says the purpose of the fund is to mitigate the effects of climate change, which is in fact a global issue.
The Japanese government’s regional assistance to all Pacific Island countries in addressing the issue of climate change has been pivotal. ... [PNG Loop - 15/4/16]
US Defence Secretary to visit carrier in disputed South China Sea [Reuters – 15/4/16]
A Japanese submarine has entered Sydney Harbour for the first time since World War II, just weeks before the Federal Government is tipped to announce which country will build Australia's future subs fleet.
With very little fanfare, JS Hakuryu sailed through the heads about 11:00am, accompanied by two Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force warships and led by HMAS Ballarat.
The Soryu class Hakuryu is the first Japanese submarine to enter Sydney Harbour in three quarters of a century, and will take part in Exercise Nichi Gou Trident with the Royal Australian Air Force and Royal Australian Navy. ... [ABC - 15/4/16]
Aftershocks rattle southwestern Japan after quake kills nine [Reuters - 15/4/16]
About 170 cattlemen gathered here on April 15 to dedicate a monument to beef cattle that died from starvation or had to be euthanized as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
According to a local livestock cooperative, cattle farming was thriving in the coastal area of Fukushima Prefecture before the disaster unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011.
Nobuo Nemoto, head of the cooperative, which is based in Futaba, a town that co-hosts the stricken nuclear plant, said he and other cattle farmers will work hard to revive the industry. ... [The Asahi Shimbun -15/4/16]
End the barbarity.
Demand a Royal Commission.
Why is no Australian politician doing this?
Australian politicians and media know about MOAS. Why is their regional mission not newsworthy?
Australian government must be held accountable [Amnesty - 11/11/15]:
Our elected officials should not be able to brush off evidence of abuse.
We call on the Prime Minister to do the right thing, and end the secrecy.
The time has come for a Royal Commission into Operation Sovereign Borders.
Only a Royal Commission, with the power to assess all the evidence, will uncover all the facts.
This public statement has been signed by the following media personalities, advocates and sector organisations:
Rosie Batty, Founder and Director - Luke Batty Foundation, Australian of the Year 2015 ...
We are child and we can work out the lie why no one else work out the lie?
"Hiding from Reality" by refugee child M on Nauru
Free the Children NAURU [23/11/15]:
Lot of people are telling us be happy Sarah Hanson Young is telling Mr Turnbull to let us be free from detention before Christmas.
THIS DOES NOT help us! We need free from Nauru!!! They already tell you we are free because we have paper to say you are refugee not asylum seeker but it change nothing we still live in camp.
We free to walk out of camp but we can not walk to freedom because there is no freedom anywhere on Nauru. We have so sorrow. We see they building new accommodation in the same place as the camp. It is small better than a tent but still in gaol and still no good.
Please don't leave us in Nauru for 5 to 10 years because the 6 km x 4 km is all a goal. No education, no natural water, no food because a cabbage cost $30, no safety. The country ground is poison with phosphate and everyone sick. They say hospital is good but it is broken and dogs inside and no good.
The government tell you this is safe country then why they say they ban facebook because too many sex predators? We are child and we can work out the lie why no one else work out the lie? Country cannot be safe if has to ban facebook for that reason. The Government been telling you that the facility is good here. We show you only one picture of how they flood our tent. That is not good facility.
Please don't leave us here! We know the Government is trick you again and say all children out of detention. No we not! We busy to start petition to say all childs out of detention and all childs get off Nauru.
Please Australia or New Zealand or some good country please take us. Please wait one day for our petition to write. Please be happy for childs in detention in Australia detention. We happy for our friends locked in Australia but we not happy for ourselfs.
New report on Bangladesh's human rights abuse supports asylum seekers' fears of deportation [AUDIO – ABC – 15/4/16]
Obama deports 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]
The US State Department’s recent declaration of the Islamic State (IS) being responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims, captured headlines across the globe. The news came out of a congressionally mandated report.
However, the biggest story out of that report was not about IS, but rather the failure to find anything more than “discrimination” and “persecution” against the Rohingya in western Myanmar.
Such a shockingly understated conclusion and downplaying of atrocities against Rohingya sends a dangerously mixed message at a time of important transition. ... [Fair Observer - 2/4/16]
How Aung San Suu Kyi and her US allies deny anti-Muslim atrocities [AlterNet – 31/3/16]:
... As the crisis rages on, Suu Kyi’s indifference and apparent lack of concern has been notable. Maung Zarni, a former visiting fellow at Oxford and Harvard and founder-director of the Free Burma Coalition (1995-2004), spoke to AlterNet on the subject.
Zarni who is the co-author of a paper titled The Slow Burning Genocide of Myanmar's Rohingyas, characterized Suu Kyi’s false equivalency between Buddhists and Muslims as “deeply ignorant."
“It is utterly pathetic for anyone to create this moral parity in terms of the scale of the sufferings experienced by the Buddhist Rakhine, who outnumber the Rohingya by three to one, and the sufferings experienced by the Rohingya,” Zarni told AlterNet.
“It would be like assigning the same moral responsibility to the Palestinians and the Israelis,” he added.
Zarni was wary of the term "ethnic cleansing," being used to describe the situation of the Rohingya. Genocide and crimes against humanity are the better suited terms, he said. He said his own work and that of Yale and Queen Mary university, all multiyear studies published within the last two years, have arrived at the same conclusion—that a slow but sure genocide of the Rohignya people is taking place.
Suu Kyi’s muteness on Rohingya and Muslim persecution is a product of both “election calculus” and “personal racism,” Zarni told AlterNet.
Zarni asserted that he had discussed Suu Kyi’s racism, which he says “incidentally pervades Burmese society at all levels," much earlier than the recent revelations in Popham’s book, which he says is simply “a publicity ploy” rather a genuine concern for the Rohingya people.
For Zarni, what is far more revealing is how Suu Kyi has conducted her party affairs, such as the NLD refusing to field any Muslim candidates in the most recent elections.
“According to some of her closest advisers in the NLD, ASSK was 100% responsible for cleansing the entire party of all Muslim MP candidates,” Zarni told AlterNet.
“Even her deputy chair and co-founder ex-general Tin Oo was amenable to the proposal by the junior colleagues to field at least two very qualified NLD members of Islamic background in the 2015 elections last November.”
Furthermore, he added, “Today, NLD becomes the first political organization with no single Muslim representation in Burma's recorded political history. The past pre-colonial feudal rulers and all the anti-colonial nationalist political resistance movements had allowed participation and representation by Muslims in the country.”
“Even the most repressive Burmese military's political front would allow token Muslim participation. Aung San Suu Kyi would not even adopt token representation. That's the depth of her anti-Muslim racism,” Zarni asserted.
Zarni believes that with her actions Suu Kyi is “setting an extremely dangerous precedent and emerging as a toxic role model,” especially since “the masses in Burma kiss the ground she walks on.” ...
Americian Immigration Lawyers Association [14/4/16]:
On Monday, April 18, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the controversial case, United States v. Texas, to determine the fate of more than 3 million undocumented individuals.
Though a year may not seem a long time to some, to the individuals waiting for the relief promised by these initiatives, a year is an eternity. Affected families are living in fear, suffering sleepless nights waiting for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to come knocking on their door and wondering, every time they drive to work or school whether they will be picked up by ICE or make it home for another day. For those families, a year has been far too long.
During those 365 days, while Texas and the joining states played chess with the lives of millions of undocumented immigrants, advocates continued to carry the momentum for the administration’s vision of lifting the threat of deportation off the shoulders of thousands of fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. The community kept the hope alive.
But the wait came at a cost that goes far beyond the fear weighing down individuals and families. The delay blocked economic growth. The government spent resources deporting and separating families unnecessarily. Communities now lack integral members, and the resulting void is felt every day. For so many, the impact the Supreme Court decision will have is unmeasurable. While we do not know for sure what the justices will decide, at least a decision will come. ...
Exiled refugee convicted for attempting suicide at Australian concentration camp on Nauru
Congratulations to Nauru!
"tweeted" by @AmbCefkin - US Ambassador, Judith B. Cefkin [13/4/16]
I’m very pleased to welcome Nauru as the 189th member of the IMF, look forward to working with the people of Nauru
Image: @Lagarde [12/4/16]
Driving people to suicide is the foundation of Australia's anti-refugee policy. It's bipartisan - and tacitly supported by a mute human rights and medical establishment [ABC - 15/4/16]:
A refugee in Nauru has been convicted of attempted suicide after an incident at one of the country's refugee resettlement areas.
Sam Nemati pleaded guilty to the charge, which is recognised as a crime in Nauru and, despite being the sole parent of an eight-year-old girl, spent two weeks locked up in February before receiving bail.
Nemati had been held in an Australian-funded detention centre in Nauru for nearly two years before being resettled in the community.
In late January this year, Nauru police went to the Nibok resettlement area to remove Nemati and his daughter Aysa because they had moved there from another facility without the permission of service provider Connect Settlement Services.
Nemati said Aysa did not like their old centre and wanted to move to Nibok where there were other children she could play with.
"Daughter … in the Nibok camp, happy because she has friends, five, six friends live in Nibok," Nemati said.
Police tried to negotiate with Nemati, asking him to leave the property, but his English was poor, and the officers did not bring a translator.
When Connect officials arrived to remove Nemati's belongings, he became distressed and attempted to take his own life.
After subduing Nemati, police took him to the island's hospital for treatment — later that day he was charged with attempted suicide.
Prosecutors had wanted him jailed for two months for the offence, in order to deter others in the tiny island nation from, in their words, attempting suicide "to get what they want" in disputes.
Due to multiple adjournments, Nemati was held in custody for two weeks before his bail hearing.
During this time, he said he received no mental health counselling.
"No, no doctor come and see me," Nemati said.
"Only one after suicide going to hospital, no, no doctor see me."
Nauru police and Nemati have given conflicting accounts of how Aysa was cared for in those two weeks.
The Nauru Police Force told the ABC Aysa was cared for by relatives, with help from Nauru's Child Protection Unit.
But Nemati said he did not have any relatives in Nauru.
"Me I've family? No me don't have family. Only friends. Me and Aysa together. Don't have another family," Nemati said.
He said Aysa was left by herself before being taken in by his friends, and rejected statements that the Nauru Government or Connect were involved in her care.
"Only just my child, searching searching, saved after two days, saved [by] my friend," Nemati said.
"No help [from] the Government, no help [from] police, no help [from] Connect."
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [9/2/16]:
Two examples from Nauru reveal the lack of law and order and child services and protection on Nauru.
One 44-year-old Iranian refugee father has been in jail since 27 January. He is a sole parent on Nauru. His eight-year-old daughter has been cared for by another refugee family since was he was abruptly taken into custody.
Neither the Nauruan authorities nor the Australian service provider, Connect, have lifted a finger to even enquire about the welfare of his daughter.
The Nauruan police were actually called by Connect after the man had moved himself and his daughter into spare accommodation in Nibok on the west of the island. Connect objected to the move.
For almost two weeks, the Iranian man has been held in jail. His daughter is being cared for by another family at the Nibok settlement.
There has still been no enquiry concerning the care of his daughter. He appeared in court yesterday (Monday, 8 February), although the exact charge was unclear. But he was returned to jail.
He is expected to make another appearance in court today, Tuesday, 9 February.
The second incident involves a 26-year-old single female Iranian asylum seeker who was arrested after an argument with guards at the mess in the single women’s section of the family camp, RPC 3.
Around 7.00pm last night (8 February), the Iranian woman tried to take some food out of the mess to her room. The mess closes at 8.00pm – and doesn’t open until the morning – so asylum seekers are left without food for a long time.
Wilson security guards confronted her at the mess; there was an altercation and the food was taken from her.
Around 10pm, Wilson security guards arrived at the single women’s compound with Nauruan police to arrest the woman.
The Refugee Action Coalition was told, “Around five or six police grabbed her, pushed her and smashed her to the ground. She was handcuffed with her hands behind her back and she was dragged to the police car. She was put in the back of the [police] car.”
She was released a few hours later but has been told she will be re-arrested over the incident. She has been left with abrasions and bruises as a result of the incident.
15 April 2016