Australia's "deterrence" policy is a lie. We are waging war against refugees. ---> I had begged them never to try to reach Australia by boat from Vietnam again.
Through an interpreter, I had warned them about our country’s tough border protection policies and we had made it clear that any money raised was to be used to feed, clothe and educate their children in Vietnam.
They had agreed, sending messages of gratitude, or photos of their children with their new school supplies, each time we transferred a few hundred dollars from the online crowd funds launched last year.
So when they embarked on their second attempt to seek asylum in Australia, they did not tell us. ... [Shira Sebban - 16/3/17]
Australian media care so much about "drowning babies" they won't tell us what has become of the 65 asylum seekers [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/3/17]:
Notorious people smuggler "Captain Bram", who organised the asylum seekers' boat at the centre of the notorious 'cash for boat-turn-back' scandal in 2015, has been sentenced to six years' jail in an Indonesian prison.
Abraham Louhenapessy was also ordered to pay 500 million rupiah (about $50,000) or serve another six months behind bars after a panel of judges in the Rote Ndao Court found him guilty of immigration offences.
Prosecutors had requested nine years' jail in addition to the fine, arguing he was a repeat offender. Judge Hiras Sitanggang said Louhenapessy – Captain Bram – had caused people smuggling to flourish and had been convicted of the same crime before.
The judges on Rote Island heard Louhenapessy purchased a fishing boat and organised for 65 asylum seekers from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka to travel to New Zealand in mid-2015.
Fairfax Media revealed that an Indonesian police investigation had discovered that Australian authorities had intercepted the boat and paid its crew $US32,000 to return the asylum seekers to Indonesia. ...
Sydney Morning Herald does PR for Australia's multi-million dollar funding of the IOM's shady "anti-trafficking" activities in Indonesia. Slaves still slaves. Asylum seekers still trapped [24/1/17]
"No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us." [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/1/16]:
The captain of an asylum seeker boat who said he was paid thousands of dollars by an Australian official to return to Indonesia has been sentenced to five years and eight months' jail on people smuggling charges.
The panel of judges also ordered Yohanis Humiang, 35, to pay 700 million rupiah ($70,000) or serve an additional five months in prison.
The remaining five crew members were sentenced to five years and six months' jail and a fine of 500 million rupiah or an extra three months' prison time.
The asylum seekers remain in limbo in Indonesia.
Kandiha Kayuran and his wife, who gave birth in December, are still in immigration detention in Kupang.
He told Fairfax Media they had no idea what the future held. ...
We cannot pick and choose: New Zealand government refers refugees to UNHCR Australia - who ignored them [RNZI - 13/6/15]:
The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.
The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.
In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the group made a plea to the Government for asylum, saying it is unsafe for them to return home.
A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.
It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office. [UNHCR Canberra said nothing.]
A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees. [As far as we know, these refugees are still detained in Kupang.]
@AJEnglish [14/3/17]: 7 Rohingya fishermen went out to sea. Only 6 returned.
With a stroke of pen, Myanmar's Rohingya refugees lose right to return home [InterAksyon.com - 16/3/17]:
Since security forces swept into their villages in northwestern Myanmar late last year, around 75,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled across the nearby border to Bangladesh.
Many now fear that the authorities in Myanmar could make their displacement permanent.
At least once a year, local administrators go house-to-house in the Rohingya villages of northern Rakhine State, lining up families to check their names against official lists.
The names of those Muslims found missing are crossed through with a red pen, residents say. The government says it is not using the household count to try to force the Rohingya out of the country and is holding off from finalizing the latest list.
But officials confirmed that people eventually struck from the list face legal action under immigration laws if they try to return.
Muhammad Ismail, 30, escaped the recent violence and is now living in a makeshift settlement in Bangladesh.
His father told him by phone that officials had visited his home village of Dar Gyi Zarin January, checking who was still there.
"I'm scared that if I go back, I'll be jailed," he told Reuters.
"This is the law. This is how we understand the rules."
The household survey, which is not conducted elsewhere in Myanmar, is one of a series of measures that rights activists say amount to a system of apartheid against the 1.1 million Rohingya living in northern Rakhine. ...
Myanmar: 4 wells to be drilled in 2017 [Our 2017 Priorities - Woodside]
Woodside Energy has appointed former Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Ian Macfarlane as a non-executive director. ... [Pipeliner - 14/11/16]
Another mass grave of Rohingyas found in Northern Maungdaw [Rohingya Vision - 14/3/17]
@JamilaHanan [16/3/17]: For nearly 2 weeks now, author of #WeAreAllRohingyaNow tag @ShahidKBolsen been locked up at airport, in the same clothes! @USEmbassyTurkey
@JonahFisherBBC [14/3/17]: The man behind "fake rape" and the rubbishing of Rohingya testimony gets promoted by Aung San Suu Kyi.
Protest at UN office in Jaffna happening now to demand international participation in justice and accountability mechanisms. #lka #hrc34
Image: @TamilGuardian [16/3/17]
@TamilGuardian [16/3/17]: A #Tamil civil society group has prepared an appeal letter to #hrc34 and UN reps outlining the North-East's concerns and demands #lka
A continuous protest by the families of the disappeared held outside the Mullaitivu District Secretariat has now reached its 8th day. ... [Tamil Guardian - 15/3/17]
Families of missing continue protest in Kilinochchi – Day 24 [Tamil Guardian - 15/3/17]
A former LTTE cadre who had undergone the Sri Lankan government’s “rehabilitation” program was arrested on Monday, with no clear charges laid out against her.
The woman, reportedly a Mullaitivu resident, was arrested in Wellawaya, as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena attended a ceremony in the region.
Three other people who were with her have also been detained by the police. ... [Tamil Guardian - 14/3/17]
Tears were shed at the final reading and passing of a bill in Parliament today that legally recognises the Whanganui River as a living and indivisible entity with its own rights and innate values.
The Te Awa Tupua Bill will give effect to the Deed of Settlement signed in 2014 to establish a new legal framework for the river, Te Pā Auroa nā Te Awa Tupua along with a set of new protocols. ... [Maori Television - 15/3/17]
DFAT withdraws funding from PNG National AIDS Council Secretariat [The National - 16/3/17]
Torture at Australian youth detention centre defended at NT Royal Commission [SBS - 16/3/17]
Kirra Voller speaks out at the Royal Commission calling for Derek Tasker and Barry Clee to be sacked. [Shut Youth Prisons - 16/3/17]
New privatised Grafton jail will be biggest in Australia [Daily Examiner - 16/3/17]
Bobby Veen, one of Australia's longest serving prisoners, dies aged 62 [ABC - 13/3/17]:
He spent more than 40 years in prison but just 18 months after finally being released, Bobby Veen has died at the age of 62.
Veen was one of Australia's longest serving prisoners, sent to jail for the killings of two men in separate incidents in the 1970s and 1980s.
He died of a heart attack on Saturday on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Veen had been living with his adoptive sister, Bernice, since his release in 2015 and speaking to Lateline after his death, she described him as "the kindest, gentlest person".
"In the end he only got 18 months of freedom after spending 40 years in jail," she said.
Veen spoke to Lateline last year about growing up as a member of the Stolen Generations and the abuse that he said led him to crime.
Born in Bourke, he was taken from his Aboriginal family as a baby and later adopted by the Veen family of Albury.
"They were a beautiful family and I was raised up good. My father was stern, strict. My mother used to take us to church every Sunday," he said.
But when he was 11-years-old, Veen said he was abducted and molested by three men.
This sent him on a downward spiral that saw him end up in a boys home, and eventually working as a prostitute on the streets of Kings Cross.
He was found guilty of manslaughter over the stabbing death of a man in 1975, and after being released from prison for that crime, he murdered another man in 1983.
He claimed both men were paedophiles.
Despite being due for parole in 2003, Veen was not released from prison until June 2015, when doctors diagnosed him with cancer.
"It's the strangest feeling I've ever had, very daunting, emotional too," he said.
By that time he had served in many of the New South Wales' prisons, including Goulburn, Long Bay and Parramatta jail.
"He should have got out in 2003 when he was first eligible for parole. He was not a danger to anybody," Bernice said.
"He believed the two people he killed were paedophiles."
An Anglican bishop and advocate for child abuse survivors is resigning after being subjected to harassment, including being warned about his personal safety.
Greg Thompson will step down as Newcastle bishop to focus on his health after being ostracised by some of his own parishioners since revealing he was abused as a young man by senior church clerics.
Bishop Thompson said he had witnessed firsthand the culture and conduct from some sections of the church, both as an abuse victim and in his work to address the Newcastle diocese's abuse legacy.
Bishop Thompson has told the inquiry people of power and influence provided a protection racket during decades of abuse by clergy and lay people in the diocese.
He said the criticism, threats and harassment had taken a toll and he had security installed in his home because he did not feel safe. ... [Nine MSN - 16/3/17]
Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline gets environmental approval from Australian government [North West Star - 15/3/17]:
... Traditional owner Gadrian Hoosan from the Gulf region of the Northern Territory said they would not allow their country to be a sacrifice zone for fracking.
"Families from Borroloola and across the Gulf are ready to do anything we can to support our fellow Countrymen faced with a gas pipeline across the Barkley,” he said.
“Fracking gasfields threaten not just our land and water, but also our livelihoods and our culture,” he said. ...
Chappells among 90 prominent Australians ask Adani to abandon Carmichael coal project [Hindu Business Line - 16/3/17]:
The ongoing protest against the Adani Group’s Australian coalmine project, on Thursday, spilled over from Queensland to Ahmedabad when, amid some drama at the gate of Adani House here, an Australian group of green activists delivered an “open letter” to the office of Gautam Adani to tell him: “We want solar, but not your coal mine”, referring to the A$16.5-billion Carmichael coal project to be developed there by the Indian billionaire.
They urged Adani, who is attempting to develop the Carmichael coal project in the untapped Galilee Basin in Central Queensland, Australia, to abandon the project which involves a 60 million tonne per annum coal mine, a 388-km-long rail line and the construction of a new coal export terminal at the Abbot Point coal port.
Although the Australian authorities have given the go-ahead — the Queensland Premier and six regional mayors are currently visiting India to promote it — the project has been dogged by controversy from the outset amid concerns by traditional Aboriginal landowners and environmentalists over the groundwater impact of the project, and the climate change impact of burning coal from the mine.
In addition, the impact of the project on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area has made it a “highly controversial” project, with over two million people actively expressing opposition to it and 13 global banks ruling out providing funding, the activists claimed. ...
Private dinners, lavish parties and shoulder rubbing. How coal giant Adani charmed Australia's political elite [Guardian – 21/8/15]
Arundhati Roy in Chicago on Modi and the Hindu Nationalists [VIDEO - March 18, 2013]
From 'The Chequebook & The Cruise-Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy by David Barsamian' [Harper Perennial, 2004]:
In March 2002, a pogrom was carried out against the Muslim population of Gujarat. You've written an essay on this entitled "Democracy: who Is She When She Is at Home." What happened in Gujarat?
In February 2002, the BJP was gearing up for elections in Uttar Pradesh. They had trundled out their favourite campaign issue, the building of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Communal tension was at a fever pitch. People were traveling to Ayodhya by train to participate in the building of the temple.
At the time, Gujarat was the only major state in India to have a BJP government. It had for some time been the laboratory in which Hindu fascism had been conducting an elaborate experiment.
In late February, a train carrying belligerent VHP and Bajrang Dal activists was stopped by a mob outside the Godhra station. A whole compartment of the train was set on fire and fifty-eight people were burnt alive.
Nobody really knew who was responsible for the carnage. Within hours, a meticulously planned pogrom was unleashed against the Muslim community. About two thousand Muslims were killed.
One hundred and fifty thousand were driven from their homes. Women were publicly gang-raped. Parents were bludgeoned to death in front of their children.
The leaders of the mob had computer-generated lists marking out Muslim-owned shops, homes, and businesses, which were burned to the ground.
Muslim places of worship were desecrated.
The mob was equipped with trucks loaded with thousands of gas cylinders that had been hoarded weeks in advance.
The police did not merely protect the mob, but provided covering fire.
Within months, Gujarat's Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, announced proudly that he wanted to have early elections.
He believed that the pogrom would win him Hindu hearts.
2002 riots an ‘internal Gujarati matter’: Modi told American diplomat [The Hindu - 22/3/11]
Exhorting the world to heed Mahatma Gandhi's advice to tackle terrorism and global warming, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Mahatma's teachings of non-violence and love are as relevant in our times as it was during his lifetime. ... PM Modi unveils Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Brisbane [Times of India - 16/11/14]
India fast-tracks hydro projects worth $15 billion in Kashmir [Hindustan Times - 16/3/17]
While making pronouncements very few decision makers or authorities notice its impact in long term.
History reveals that occasionally wrong decisions prove to be very drastic though at that time, they seem quite enthralling.
One such wrong choice which has an astounding impact was the day in history when “Treaty of Amritsar” was signed.
This treaty signed on March 16, 1846 has ten articles which suggest how the Kashmir was cleverly vended.
March 16, therefore is noticeable as a day on which beautiful valley of Kashmir was sold for just seventy five lac rupees. ... [Pakistan Observer - 16/3/17]
Kashmir Today [16/3/17]:
Several photojournalists stage protest in press colony in Srinagar after a Photo Journalist Tauseef Mustafa who works for AFP was assaulted by J&K Policemen while performing his professional duty outside the residence of Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Tauseef was repeatedly kicked and threatened by an officer of J&K Police.
@AbbsWinston [16/3/17]: #RachelCorrie was a 23y/o American from Olympia, WA, who was deliberately crushed to death by an Israeli Occupiers bulldozer on Mar 16, 2003
Israeli airstrikes hit two areas in Gaza, damaging electricity infrastructure [Maan - 16/3/17]
A teenaged Palestinian girl was shot and injured by Israeli forces at an intersection in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Wednesday afternoon after allegedly attempting to carry out a vehicular attack.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a Palestinian attempted to run into Israeli soldiers at a junction near the illegal Israeli settlement bloc of Gush Etzion.
"Responding to the imminent threat, security forces shot and wounded the attacker," the spokesperson said, adding that the Palestinian teen had been evacuated to an Israeli hospital for treatment.
The army added that no Israelis had been injured in the incident.
Relatives told Ma'an that the girl was Fatima Jibrin Taqatqa, a 16-year-old from the village of Beit Fajjar.
Security camera footage of the events showed a car seemingly losing control at the junction, going over a median strip, and hitting posts near a bus station. ... [Maan - 15/3/17]
Violent Israeli raid in Duheisha refugee camp leaves 5 Palestinians injured [Maan - 15/3/17]
Israeli authorities destroy Bedouin crops in Negev [Maan - 15/3/17]
Israeli army denies soldiers intended to plant knife on Palestinian boy in Hebron [Maan - 15/3/17]
Banksy hotel opens in Bethlehem, eliciting heated reactions by Palestinians [Maan - 11/3/17]:
... While she wanted to give Banksy “the benefit of the doubt,” she said that the hotel risked feeding into the same process that Palestinians have been attempting to challenge.
“Palestinians want foreigners to actually do something for their struggle, not just come and take pictures.” ...
... Filled with provocative art, the Walled Off Hotel is the latest curve ball from world-famous graffiti artist Banksy.
There’s just one problem: there’s already the Banksy Guest House in Bethlehem.
It opened a decade ago. ... [The Independent - 8/3/17]
UN report: Israel has established an apartheid regime [Al Jazeera - 15/3/17]
Crowdfunding page raises thousands for Edmonton man fatally shot by police [CBC - 13/3/17]
... Irina Mierzewski, vice-president of the Russian Canadian Association in Alberta, remembers Savin as a very outgoing person, having seen him at various Russian community events over the last eight years.
She says she was driving home when she heard about the shooting on the radio. It wasn't long after that she found out it was Savin.
"We met at the different community gatherings, Russian community gatherings, always friendly always saying, 'Hey, how are you doing? Come over have tea with us.'" said Mierzewski.
She said she had just seen Savin at a recent event where the community celebrated the arrival of spring.
While talking about him, Mierzewski became emotional and said that Savin's death has been a shock for the tight-knit community. ...
The unarmed man who was shot and killed by a police officer in Santa Clara last Thursday has been identified by the Santa Clara County medical examiner’s office as 24-year-old Jesus Geney Montes. ... [KRON 4 - 15/3/17]
When Army 1st Lt. Jenna Pitcher, an AH-64D Apache helicopter pilot, isn’t conducting aerial missions for the South Carolina Army National Guard, she’s patrolling the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, as a police officer.
Pitcher is the commander of Delta Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 151st Aviation Regiment.
“There’s a lot of overlap between being a police officer and an Apache pilot in the Army,” she said.
“In both roles, your life and the lives of others depend on your situational awareness, proficiency and knowledge. Being an officer in the Army and a police officer reminds me daily to strive to be truly selfless.” ... [US Department of Defense - 13/3/17]
US judge denies tribe's request to stop oil flow in Dakota Access pipeline [Reuters - 14/3/17]:
A U.S. federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by a Native American tribe for an emergency injunction to prevent oil from flowing through part of the Dakota Access Pipeline, saying such a move would be against the public interest.
The ruling, issued in court documents ahead of plans to start pumping oil through the pipeline next week, follows months of demonstrations in a remote part of North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux tribe demonstrated in an attempt to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline crossing upstream from their reservation.
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued his decision denying the request by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, saying the court "acknowledges that the tribe is likely to suffer irreparable harm to its members’ religious exercise if oil is introduced into the pipeline, but Dakota Access would also be substantially harmed by an injunction, given the financial and logistical injuries that would ensue."
The pipeline is nearing completion after President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month smoothing the path for construction.
He also cleared the way for the Keystone XL project that would pipe Canadian crude into the United States.
The Standing Rock Sioux and the Cheyenne River Sioux last week lost a legal bid to halt construction of the last link of the pipeline under Lake Oahe in North Dakota, which they say threatens tribal lands. The pipeline will be ready to carry oil by April 1. ...
The Australian government is free to escalate its atrocities against refugees because:
1. There is no opposition;
2. There is no journalistic scrutiny of the policy - and endemic censorship of significant events; and
3. We have a corrupt, partisan - and silently complicit - human rights establishment, legal fraternity, creative elites, and professional associations.
"WHERE IS SANCTITY OF LAW? STOP PLAYING GAMES ... EVERY DEATH IN PNG AND NAURU IS BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS": Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island - 23 May 2016
A lawyer trying to find a legal solution for a group of more than 700 refugees, non-refugees and asylum seekers being held on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea says the case has become highly politicised.
The men are seeking damages for the violation of their constitutional rights after the country's Supreme Court last year ordered the closure of the Australia offshore detention camps on Manus in which they were being held.
They are also seeking a return to Australia or relocation to a third country other than PNG that is willing to take them.
Their lawyer Ben Lomai however said he had come to believe the courts would not be able to help them as the issue was highly politicised.
"I am calling on the Australian government to now talk to Papua New Guinea and work out a political solution to this. We can't leave all these people there for an indefinite period."
"As I understand the US Homeland Security were here doing some assessments for themselves but in the meantime Australia and PNG must also look at ways in which they can be able to resolve this. And they must resolve it quickly," he said.
Outsourced US Homeland Security summer vacation clerks inspect and interrogate illegally held prisoners on Manus Island as part of ongoing fictional Obama-Australia "deal" sideshow [ABC - 14/2/17]
... “When refugees asked RSC (Resettlement Support Centre) company officers, they don’t give them any useful information.
“There is no assurance that they will reunite with their families and it’s very worrying .” [The National - 2/3/17]
"They killed Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Faysal Ishak and they are trying to kill us": Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island say "US deal" fake news [RNZI - 24/1/17]
The court case regarding compensation and relocation matters is set down for a directions hearing on the 21 March, that is Tuesday next week, and Mr Lomai is anticipating a trial to commence after Easter the next sitting dates for PNG's Supreme Court being from the 24 to 28 of April.
Men face deportation after 4 years illegal imprisonment and sham "assessment" - Amnesty, UNHCR, Refugee Council of Australia etc. still silent [RNZI - 16/3/17]:
A lawyer representing Iranian non-refugees from the closed Australian run detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea says the governments of Australia and PNG cannot forcibly deport them because Tehran will not accept them.
Ben Lomai's statement comes after the Supreme Court denied an application for a stay on deportations for 166 non-refugees on Manus, the majority of whom are Iranian, effectively giving the PNG government the go ahead to deport them.
Mr Lomai said despite the ruling government would not be able to forcibly deport non-refugees who are originally from Iran because Tehran only accepts people returning voluntarily.
He said this means these men could be stuck indefinitely on Manus Island which could be the basis for a further application on their behalf.
"There is the possibility of filing another effort to say that the effect of this decision will now mean that most of these non-refugees will be residing on Manus Island for an indefinite period.
And the fact that their residing on Manus Island is indefinite amounts to a breach of the constitution," Ben Lomai said.
Mr Lomai is also representing about 730 refugees, non-refugees and asylum seekers on Manus in a larger case seeking damages for the violation of their constitutional rights and their return either to Australia or a third country other than PNG.
@BehrouzBoochani [16/3/17]: Immigration will deport a Lebanese asylum seeker from #Manus. They tricked him yesterday to get him in solitary confinement. Such cruelty
Josephite Justice launches Tuesday Mourning campaign [CathNews - 7/3/17]:
The Josephite Justice Network has launched Tuesday Mourning, a weekly event from now until Pentecost Sunday in mourning for the innocent people locked up on Manus Island and Nauru.
"Hundreds upon hundreds of innocent people, are locked up," the Sydney-based network says.
"They have committed no crime. They have been charged with no crime. They have been locked up for years.
"Innocent people. Locked up. For us.
"Join in with Tuesday Mourning," the organisers say.
"Wear black. Wear a black ribbon. Wear a black armband. On Tuesdays.
"Every Tuesday until Pentecost Sunday. Mourn for the innocent victims locked up. Locked up for us. For Australian fear. ...
"While their fight to survive has ended, their fight to live continues." Beth Kruvant's new documentary ‘Levinsky Park’ [Huffington Post - 6/2/17]:
... Kruvant interviews various refugees, activists and Israelis who share their perspectives about this crisis.
There is a mixed opinion amid residents about these refugees; Some believe they are a burden and want them deported while others empathize with them.
“The refugees in Levinsky Park are experiencing hardships every day that keep them fearful of being rounded up,” Kruvant explains.
“Confusion abounds because the law is unclear.”
Most of Levinsky Park is told from the perspective of Mutasim Ali, an activist and Sudanese asylum seeker who has organized a rebellion against the treatment of the refugees.
Many who crossed the border are given paperwork stating that they are allowed to live, but not to work, in Israel. This conundrum forces them into under-the-table work or no work at all.
Others are detained in the Holot Detention Center in the Negev Desert with no prospects of release.
Some have even been paid by the Israeli government to relocate, once again, to a third country ...
In an isolated stretch of Negev desert in southern Israel, thousands of African asylum seekers are confined in Holot detention centre.
In this video, Middle East Eye gives a rare insight into the conditions inside the detention centre, through the stories of the African asylum seekers trying to hold onto hope against the odds in Holot. ... [Middle East Eye - 10/5/16]
His brother contacted us immediately to make one simple request:
He asked us to write a letter to you, so that you would know that the claims Moises made when he stood before you in court were true. Moises had a credible fear for his life.
Brother of killed asylum seeker: ‘Tell the judge he told the truth’ [Religion News Service - 9/3/17]:
In the final weeks of 2016, while we frantically prepared to celebrate the holidays, our friend Moises was found murdered on a neighborhood street in San Salvador.
Twenty-two bullet holes perforated his young body.
When his older brother called from El Salvador to share the devastating news, he made one request.
“Tell the judge he wasn’t lying. Tell the judge he told the truth.”
And so, on behalf of El Refugio, the small Georgia ministry of hospitality and visitation that I chair, I composed the most difficult letter I have ever written.
This is a redacted version (with personal details removed, to protect his brother) ...
European Court of Human Rights says Hungary detained migrants unlawfully [Reuters - 14/3/17]:
Hungary unlawfully kept two migrants in a transit zone on its frontier with Serbia, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday, in a finding which could affect its plans to detain thousands of asylum seekers in border camps.
Two Bangladeshi citizens, Ilias Ilias and Ali Ahmed, filed a suit against Hungary in September 2015, shortly after the government put up a fence on its southern borders and created two transit zones for asylum seekers in a bid to curb the number of migrants arriving via the Balkans.
The two men sought to be released from the transit zone and asked for their expulsion to Serbia be halted.
The court ruled that their detention in the transit zone was unlawful under the European Convention of Human Rights, but there was "no violation of the convention in respect of the conditions of detention at the transit zone."
The Strasbourg court ruling is subject to appeal. The government was not immediately available for comment.
Hungary will have to pay 10,000 euros each to the two men, and will also have to pay a further 8,705 euros to cover their expenses and costs under the ruling.
The decision came just as Hungary passed legislation last week that aims to keep all migrants in detention camps on the border until their asylum requests are processed. ...
Anything to do with migrants involving the IOM is NOT an improvement ---> Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas on Tuesday inaugurated a new reception center for migrants in Thiva, north of Athens, which is expected to become home to hundreds of people currently living at the capital’s old airport in the southern suburb of Elliniko.
On a visit to the center with Laura Thompson of the International Organization (IOM), Mouzalas hailed the center as offering “dignified” conditions to migrants. ... [Ekathimerini - 14/3/17]
One year after the EU-Turkey deal: migrants and asylum seekers are paying the price with their health [International Médecins Sans Frontières - 14/3/17]:
... “European leaders continue to believe that by building fences and punishing those who still try to cross them, they will deter others from fleeing for their lives,” says Aurelie Ponthieu, MSF humanitarian adviser on displacement.
“Every day we treat the wounds, both physical and psychological, inflicted by these deterrence policies. Such measures have proven to be not only inhumane and unacceptable, but also completely ineffective,” concludes Ponthieu. ...
@campsoscar [13/3/17]: Buenos días otras 220 personas rescatadas esta mañana en el Mediterráneo en dos operaciones de rescate conjuntas con @jugendrettet. Seguimos
@EU_EESC [13/3/17]: Dr @bartolopietro1 awarded by @EESC_President special recognition for his outstanding dedication to migrants safety in Lampedusa #EESC #EU60
@EU_EESC [13/3/17]: The most emotional moment of the conference: Dr @bartolopietro1 telling the stories of migrants rescued at sea in Lampedusa #EESC #EU60
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants [The Local - 10/8/16]
Sadists are free to continue their war of attrition against refugees because there is no opposition to - or serious journalistic analysis of - the policy.
... The net effect of this language system was not to keep these people ignorant of what they were doing, but to prevent them from equating it with their old, "normal" knowledge of murder and lies. ...
Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil [The New Yorker - 16/2/1963]
Nauru, August 2016
Papua New Guinea just randomly “closed” Manus concentration camp, despite 861 men still being imprisoned there [Buzzfeed - 15/3/17]
Men face deportation after 4 years imprisonment and sham "assessment" at Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island - Amnesty, UNHCR and Refugee Council etc. maintain their silence [RNZI - 15/3/17]
Nepalese asylum seeker in hiding after refoulement from Australia's illegal refugee prison on Manus Island [ABC - 3/3/17]
Why did Obama deport 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh, India and Nepal? [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]
The lengths to which the Australian immigration department has gone to facilitate the repatriation of traumatised Syrian asylum seekers detained in offshore detention centres has been extensively revealed in departmental emails obtained under freedom of information laws. ... [Guardian - 14/8/14]
Bogus Obama-Australia refugee "deal" is compounding psychological trauma of Australia's political prisoners on Nauru and Manus Island says Amnesty [Nine MSN - 15/3/17]
... Amnesty's senior research director Anna Neistat, who wrote a report claiming the offshore detention system amounted to torture, was shocked when she visited Nauru last year.
She told senators on Wednesday conditions were akin to conflict areas she had previously visited - including Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Chechnya - and the level of suffering and despair was among the worst she had ever seen.
Dr Neistat told of three children who attempted suicide recently, including a 13-year-old girl who did so while still recovering from a previous attempt.
The inquiry also heard the case of a woman who has a broken tailbone and requires surgery but has not been flown to Australia for the operation.
Another woman who claims to have a growing lump in her breast is still awaiting diagnosis, despite having another lump removed in 2016. ...
Your fears are not credible: Obama's brutal family deportation system [The Intercept - 14/12/16]
During the UNHCR's April 2016 visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".
Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"
After more than 24 hours without adequate medical attention he was airlifted by private contractor to Brisbane, where he died on 29 April 2016 from his burns.
Amnesty representative calls on Australia to reassess its fanatical anti-refugee policy (while she's in New Zealand) [RNZI - 1/12/16]:
An Amnesty International researcher, says Australians need to re-assess the way their country treats asylum seekers and refugees.
Anna Neistat recently visited Nauru and conducted research into the plight of the people being held in the Australian-run camps on the island.
Amnesty concluded that Australia was effectively torturing the asylum seekers and refugees as a deterrent to others considering trying to reach Australia by boat.
Canberra had claimed it was necessary to stop the boats and save lives, but Ms Neistat said it was high time Australians questioned this.
"Because it is not true. People continue to die. They continue to die at sea, just not at Australia's shores, but they continue to die in boats near Indonesia, near Malaysia - wherever the boats are diverted to.
"They continue to die in countries of transit when they cannot be processed to get to Australia or another place of safety, and they continue to die in their home countries that they cannot flee because countries like Australia are closing their borders."
Amnesty bizarrely praises the sham Bali Process forum - which has condemned 1,000s of refugees across South East Asia [15/3/17]
Where is Amnesty's actual statement? Why is there nothing about today's Senate Inquiry on their website? [Tweed Shire Echo - 15/3/17]:
... ‘From our research and the evidence we collected we will make crystal clear to the Senate committee that the Australian government has set up a deliberately cruel and inhumane system on Nauru that is intended to make desperate and vulnerable people suffer,’ Amnesty’s Graham Thom said.
‘The government can no longer ignore that offshore detention has hit the end of a very bloody and abusive road.’ People being held on Nauru and Manus Island had suffered enough and must be immediately taken off the islands, Dr Thom said.
‘The fairest and quickest way to do that remains bringing them to Australia immediately to process their asylum claims and welcome refugees into our community.’ ...
Citing necessity for "confidentiality", the "People Smuggling Ambassador" also refused to disclose the full details of the Obama-Australia refugee "deal" at today's Senate Inquiry [ABC - 15/3/17]:
... Andrew Goledzinowski, DFAT's Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, told a Senate committee hearing the agreement did not require the US to take in any particular number of refugees.
When asked by Greens senator Nick McKim whether the US could resettle no-one and still claim it had complied with the agreement, Mr Goledzinowski responded "technically, I think that's the case". ...
@Aussie4Refugees [15/3/17]: In response to [Senator] Hinch, People Smuggling Ambassador says "It's as likely as they could take 2,000 as they could take zero." #NauruInquiry
WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING ... ---> US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman renews call for declassification of phoney Obama-Australia refugee "deal" [Senator Chuck Grassley Media Release - 2/2/17]
A secret "deal" is no deal. The policy is indefinite detention, exile, death and LIES. ---> ... "It's not designed as a processing facility, it's designed as an experiment in the active creation of horror to deter people from trying in the first place." ... I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]
Regional resettlement arrangement between Australia and PNG, signed in Brisbane 19 July 2013 [DFAT]
Political prisoner and journalist Behrouz Boochani details sadistic mind games played by staff at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Island after Hamid Kehazaei's death [Guardian - 28/11/16]
... It is important to consider that health care staff are not functioning in a humanitarian role at present, they are well remunerated – a recent position for a doctor working on Nauru was offering $13,000 a week. ... The “patients first” argument [The Guardian - 5/3/16]
... 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. ... [Brisbane Times - 18/2/16]
UN Special Rapporteur finds Australia's treatment of asylum seekers violates convention against torture [March 2015]
Another award for Silvina Landsmann's 2015 documentary 'Hotline' [orientXXI - 4/3/17]
HOTLINE (Israel 2015, 100 min) Best Documentary Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival. Premiered at the Berlinale Int Film Festival. ...
... The subject of the film is the Hotline organization, but the issue is the plight of Eritrean and South Sudanese asylum seekers who face deportation to dangerous third-world countries or detainment in Israeli prisons.
Sigal Rozen, public policy coordinator for Hotline, emerged as the main character of the film.
Her advocacy efforts show the uphill battle Hotline faces in trying to ensure that existing Israeli laws are respected.
The film shows Rozen, and other volunteers and employees, at public information meetings, the Knesset and the Supreme Court. Landsmann also offered a glimpse into the circumstances of those asylum seekers.
She showed Eritreans and South Sudanese visiting the Hotline office in South Tel Aviv, seeking help with various problems: they accidentally got their ID cards wet; they were missing paperwork; they needed access to medical care.
Landsmann doesn’t develop them as characters; she just shows them, one after another, explaining their complicated misfortune and chronically displaced lives.
“It was very important for the structure of the film,” she said.
“It was a way to show the Israeli bureaucracy and complexity, and through the many personal situations of asylum seekers in Israel, the larger systemic situation.” ... [Times of Israel - 27/7/15]
Croatia notified of class action lawsuit filed by victims of WWII Ustasha-run concentration camps [EBL News - 13/3/17]
15 March 2017