Australia's Immigration Minister Peter Dutton lies again.
An asylum seeker advocate says new photographs he believes were taken from inside an immigration detention centre suggest the Government is either misrepresenting events or making statements without the full facts.
Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network's (DASSAN) Ben Pynt said photographs, which were sent to the ABC, appeared to contradict statements made by a spokeswoman for Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday about unrest at the Wickham Point detention centre. ...
Child abuse inquiry: Retired bishop Brian Heenan kept paedophile priest in parish, Royal Commission hears [ABC - 17/4/15]
Lord Janner criticised justice system for excusing alleged Nazi war criminal who had dementia
Lord Janner, the Labour peer who escaped charges over alleged child sex abuse because he suffers from dementia had in the past criticised the justice system for excusing a suspected Nazi war criminal for the same reason.
Greville Janner has criticised the Old Bailey jury system for allowing an 86-year-old man to escape being questioned in 1997 over Nazi atrocities that had taken place in 1941 and 1942.
Szymon Serafinowicz, a retired carpenter from Surrey, was arrested in 1995 as the first British person under the War Crimes Act in connection with murders of three Jewish people during the Second World War.
He had denied the allegations but could not answer questions and put forth his case during a trial due to having dementia.
Lord Janner, a former Leicester MP and chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust had said: “I am sorry that he was not tried while he was fit enough to stand. War criminals have managed to evade prosecution under our system of justice for decades.
“There were absolutely no reasons why he should have escaped charges for ever.”
“I don’t care what bloody age they are,” he said in 2012, according to The Jewish Chronicle. “These criminals should have been dealt with years ago.”
Lord Janner, who is also 86-years-old, was excused by the Crown Prosecution Service from being questioned over “some of the most serious sexual crimes imaginable” due to the “severity” of his dementia. He has also been suspended by the Labour Party.
He would have been charged with 14 indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988; two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988; four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987; and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.
Greville Janner opens a skateboard park in Leicester in 1978 when he was a serving MP Lord Janner opens a skateboard park in Leicester in 1978 when he was MP Lord Janner’s family said he “is entirely innocent of any wrongdoing” and the police condemned the CPS decision as “wrong”.
More than a dozen people came forward to claim that they were abused by the politician, who is alleged to have used his position to prey on vulnerable young boys from children’s homes.
The CPS announced last year that it was considering evidence against Lord Janner as part of an inquiry into allegations of historical child abuse.
The investigation was linked to Frank Beck, who ran children’s homes in Leicester and mentioned his name.
Frank Beck was sentenced to five life terms for a string of child abuse and rape charges Beck was sentenced to five life terms for child abuse and rape Beck was found guilty of sexually and physically abusing more than 100 children in the 1970s and 1980s. He was handed five life sentences and died in prison.
Lord Janner was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 and has been on a formal leave of absence from the House of Lords since October 2014.
He made his last speech, which was on the subject of Palestine and Israel, in February 2013.
Hysteria versus Impunity [Craig Murray – 14/7/14]:
... Janner of course was for decades the leading spokesman for Zionism in this country. His response to the last major massacre of Palestinians in Gaza was to visit an Israeli settlement and blame Hamas rocket attacks. ...
20 Palestinian journalists being held in Israeli jails [Maan -17/4/15]
EU urged to label West Bank settlement products: Report, sources [Ahram – 16/4/15]
Police drop investigation into anti-Muslim 'J Church' hate letters
Sydney Morning Herald [17/4/15]:
A police investigation into an anti-Muslim campaigner has been quietly dropped, leaving dozens across the country with no explanation as to how their private home addresses were obtained, and whether their safety has been compromised.
More than two dozen people have contacted Fairfax Media about receiving unwanted, racist propaganda from "J Church" – in the form of letters that attack Muslims and Aboriginals, and warn of a coming "demographic genocide" due to immigration.
A top economist's wife, former election candidates, community activists and even those with no public profile are continuing to be bombarded with hate mail. In each case, an unlisted home address has been tracked down and used, prompting safety fears among recipients.
Many who have received the letters said the mail arrived within days of updating personal information on the electoral roll, though the Australian Electoral Commission insists there is no evidence its database has been compromised.
The letters are personally addressed by "J Church" to each recipient in hand writing, sent through the mail with a stamp, and list a return address - which does not exist - in Brisbane.
The Queensland Police Service had been investigating J Church after the first batch of hate letters were sent out earlier this year, but has since dropped the case in recent days.
A two-line police statement concluded: "The matter has been investigated and no offence has been identified. There are no further investigations being undertaken."
The decision, however, came as a shock to Anne Margaret O'Connor, a Rockhampton resident who received one of the angry letters in March. She repeatedly tried to report it to police, but was told there was nothing to investigate.
Ms O'Connor said the police response was unacceptable because hate letters need to be monitored and taken far more seriously as community tensions rise in the wake of the Sydney Lindt cafe siege and the Reclaim Australia protests. Hostage taker Man Haron Monis, for instance, had written hate mail for years before his cafe rampage.
"This information is being distributed through our community and nobody seems to be monitoring it or doing anything about it," said Ms O'Connor, who ran as an independent candidate in the Queensland state election.
"It's offensive, it's upsetting and inciting. We don't know if it's somebody like the guy in the Lindt cafe who's now got a list of all our names and addresses. We don't know what this person's intentions are."
Bank of America Merrill Lynch chief economist Saul Eslake also received one of the letters at his home in Tasmania - only weeks after his family moved in. The letter was addressed to his wife.
While he doesn't share safety concerns with other letter recipients – "I have pretty thick skin," he says – he still suspects the sender pulled his new address from the electoral roll.
"What makes me suspicious is that it arrived only after we had enrolled," he said.
Since February, the racist letters have been mailed across Queensland, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. The letters appeared to have been initially sent to Greens candidates and the party's supporters, but have since targeted a wide variety of people.
"I don't know how on earth he found my personal details," said Martin, a new father in Melbourne, who received a letter at his family home just before Easter.
Martin, who didn't want his last name published due to safety concerns, said he has no public profile, no political or religious affiliations and uses an unlisted home address. "It's very concerning. Putting aside how he got my details, if you the look at the actual content of the letters, it's pretty hateful."
Queensland police declined to elaborate on its now-concluded investigation. A spokesman said it was "inappropriate to comment on investigative strategies." An interview request with the lead detective on the closed investigation was denied.
Australian Electoral Commission spokesman Phil Diak said there was nothing more to say beyond a previous statement, which characterised those believing the electoral roll was misused as airing "unsubstantiated claims with no actual evidence".
Under current laws, anyone can visit an electoral office to look up someone's address on the electoral database, but only to confirm its accuracy. Political parties also have access for mail-outs.
Anyone with safety concerns, however, can apply to have their address removed from the roll and become a silent elector.
Those who want to report receiving "J Church" hate letters can call the non-emergency police line on 131 444.
US drone kills 2 "al-Qaida militants" in Yemen [Naharnet - 17/4/15]
UN launches near-$275 million humanitarian appeal for Yemen [Daily Star – 17/4/15]
Assad Says Turkey Torpedoed UN Aleppo Truce Plan [Naharnet – 17/4/15]
NATO activity near Russian borders increased by 80% in past year – General Staff [RT - 16/4/15]
300 US paratroopers arrive in Ukraine "to train Kiev's National Guard" [Reuters – 17/4/15]
The entire structure of high-stakes testing in New York crumbled Tuesday, as tens of thousands of fed-up public school parents rebelled against Albany’s fixation with standardized tests and refused to allow their children to take the annual English Language Arts state exam.
This “opt-out” revolt has been quietly building for years, but it reached historic levels this time. More than half the pupils at several Long Island and upstate school districts joined in — at some schools in New York City boycott percentages neared 40%. ... [New York Daily News - 14/4/15]
Benefits of hosting one of Australia's refugee concentration camps mean Nauru's Health Minister can travel to Taiwan for an eye operation [Focus Taiwan - 16/4/15]:
... The hospital signed a letter of memorandum on medical exchanges and cooperation with Nauru in 2011. In the following year, the hospital launched a Taiwan Medical Program (TMP) in the country under which the hospital has stationed medical doctors in the country to help enhance its medical and health standards, according to Chang.
Imaginary Australian journalist to LNP and ALP fascist politicians: Why doesn't Australia just withdraw from the UN Refugee Convention?
Imaginary journalist to UNHCR representatives in Australia: Why are you silent when every day there is another example of Australia repudiating the Refugee Convention?
Losing Control: UNHCR and Australia’s Contestation of the International Refugee Regime [Australian Institute of International Affairs]:
... In economic terms, asylum seekers and refugees are often painted as semi-permanent welfare recipients who contribute little to the economy and take immigration places from skilled migrants. Little data is collected that disaggregates the long-term contribution of refugees from that of migrants, and the research base is subsequently thin. As a result, public debate is ill-informed and the stereotype of asylum seekers as ‘economic migrants’ and ‘queue-jumpers’ is easily perpetuated. UNHCR has failed to communicate with the Australian public to counteract these stereotypes. In response to these perceived threats to national security and economic wellbeing, Australia has sought to prevent and deter IMAs. Discussing the Pacific Solution, Mathew identifies the following potential violations of Australia’s treaty obligations: the possibility of refoulement, discrimination between asylum seekers, detention of asylum seekers, and the prevention of family reunion.The first three will be discussed here.
Refoulement of refugees to a country in which they may be exposed to torture or persecution is expressly prohibited under Article 33 of the Refugee Convention and is a principle of customary international law. This includes chain refoulement (return of a refugee to another country from which refoulement occurs) and, according to various conclusions of UNHCR’s Executive Committee (ExComm) and Article 3(1) of the General Assembly’s Declaration on Territorial Asylum, also extends to rejection of asylum seekers at the border. The Adan case found the UK could not send a person back to a country without the “same degree of protection from risk of torture as in the United Kingdom” and Suresh vs Canada highlighted that “diplomatic assurances are not to be trusted”. ...
Graduation day for former Christmas Island refugee Hadi Hosseini [Sydney Morning Herald - 15/4/15]:
"My experience is known by many Australians as refugees who came by boat ... And by looking at the news ... all these terrible things happening to refugees, I wish that Australians would consider that those people can be an asset for the community, he said.
"I wish Australia's [politicians] give them the chance ...I'm sure they can contribute a lot."
Forced return of refugees to Vietnam by Australian navy
West Australian [17/4/15]:
Australia is moving to return a large group of asylum seekers to Vietnam using a navy ship – at great cost and under an extraordinary cloak of secrecy.
The West Australian understands the Navy supply ship HMAS Choules is currently standing off the Vietnamese coast as part of the operation to hand back a group of almost 50 asylum seekers.
The Vietnamese are believed to have been intercepted by customs and navy vessels at sea earlier this month, north of Australia.
It is unclear whether HMAS Choules has already handed over the asylum seekers to Vietnamese authorities or whether they are still in the process of being transferred.
Members of the Vietnamese community in Australia claim people returned to the country face persecution by the regime.
Under the Abbott Government’s border protection policy no details are made public about asylum boat turn backs and tow backs, even though the operations cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
HMAS Choules, a navy landing ship, has a daily running cost of $201,621, according 2012 Defence estimates.
This means that a week-long voyage to return asylum seekers to Vietnam would cost at least $1.4 million – double if you include the return voyage.
The ship was despatched to Manus Island in 2012 to assist the Immigration Department. It was used to provide offshore accommodation and support to Defence Force members and other Australian Government staff as well as for ship-to-shore services.
In January, the then newly-appointed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton revealed 15 asylum boats containing 429 asylum boats had been turned back since the Government introduced its Operation Sovereign Borders policy.
Though no details have been given since of turn back or tow back operations, it is believed the Navy and Customs have undertaken several missions to push back boats in recent months.
Last month Indonesian media reported that an orange life boat of the type known to be used by the Navy and Customs to push back asylum seekers had been found abandoned on a beach in Java.
When The West Australian revealed details of tow back operations last year the head of Customs asked the Australian Federal Police to conduct an official investigation into the leaks.
When the Government recently pushed hugely controversial phone data tracking legislation through Parliament this year it promised it would not use the laws to pursue reporters or their sources.
The Truth Behind Operation Sovereign Borders, and the Alternative to It
Refugee Action Committee, Canberra [VIDEO]:
On Monday 13 April, RAC hosted a public forum titled ‘The Truth Behind Operation Sovereign Borders, and the Alternative to It’, with approximately 200 people in attendance.
Many thanks to speakers Professor Maley and Geraldine Fela for highlighting the disturbing truth behind Operation Sovereign borders, and discussing how a humane alternative is both necessary and attainable. Below are the videos of each of the speakers. Geraldine Fela, organiser for Rainbow RAC and ANU RAC.
Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/04]:
... Outside observers could be forgiven for assuming that Australia’s harsh policies were the product of an assault on the nation’s borders by huge numbers of unauthorised migrants. In fact the opposite is the case: Australia’s ‘problem’ with asylum seekers is modest, particularly when compared with poor nations in Africa or West Asia that have been confronted with huge numbers of refugees pouring across their frontiers in a single day. Even when boat arrivals to Australia peaked the largest number to arrive in a single year was 4175 (in financial year 1999-2000).
The policy of mandatory detention was not implemented in response to an emergency on Australia’s borders and its origins pre-date the government of John Howard with which it is now so closely associated. The power to detain non-citizens who do not have a valid visa to enter Australia was included in the 1958 Migration Act and was indicative of the highly regulated and restrictive history of Australian immigration policy. This ‘culture of control’ in immigration found infamous expression in the White Australia policy, which prevented the entry of non-Europeans to the country from 1901 until the early 1970s. Small immigration detention centres had long been established in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth while in other cities immigration detainees were usually held in prisons.
But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989. It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores. (The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981. It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. They were not detained on arrival.)
There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Hawke’s high-profile foreign minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border.
The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public. Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees. He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program.
The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since.
While detention was initially ad hoc, it was soon developed into a formal system, and in 1991 the government opened a detention centre in disused working-men’s quarters in Port Hedland on the far north coast of Western Australia. According to Frank Brennan, the primary motivation for detaining Cambodian asylum seekers in Port Hedland was to make them inaccessible to ‘lawyers and the other community groups labelled by government as “do-gooders” so that their public description as economic migrants would stick without causing any haemorrhaging of the Evans peace plan’ .
Other justifications for detention soon emerged, the most notable being that it would deter further arrivals. In 1992 lawyers challenged the detention of 15 Cambodian asylum seekers who had been incarcerated for more than two years. Less than 4 hours before a Federal Court judge was to hear the application the government rushed through new legislation to entrench the policy of mandatory detention more firmly in law. Immigration Minister Gerry Hand told parliament that the government was ‘determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community.’ ...
Former foreign minister Gareth Evans says it's sensible for Australia to begin an international dialogue about revamping the United Nations Refugee Convention. ... [Nine MSN - 18/7/13]
Anthony Albanese says the government must modify its asylum seeker policies as the people smuggler's adopt new strategies for bringing people to Australia. ... [SBS - 18/7/13]
... Parliamentary secretary Ed Husic said it was right to look at ways of updating the convention to meet current conditions.
"What it doesn't deal with is someone hopping on a plane from Tehran, going to Indonesia and then hopping on a vessel to come across and do the two-day trip (to Australia) and classing themselves as a refugee," he told Sky News. ... [Yahoo 7 - 18/7/13]
Calls for Australia to withdraw from UN Refugee Convention [AUDIO - 17/6/13]:
There's growing concern Australia's support for the United Nations Refugee Convention is attracting asylum seekers to Australia.
Former Labor Immigration minister Gerry Hand has suggested withdrawing from the convention, arguing it may lead to a drop in asylum seeker numbers.
MIGRATION AMENDMENT BILL 1992 - Second Reading - House of Representatives [5/5/92]:
Mr HAND (Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs)
... I now wish to foreshadow major Government amendments to the Bill which I will move during the committee stage. The Government is conscious of the extraordinary nature of the measures which will be implemented by the amendment aimed at boat people. I believe it is crucial that all persons who come to Australia without prior authorisation not be released into the community. Their release would undermine the Government's strategy for determining their refugee status or entry claims. Indeed, I believe it is vital to Australia that this be prevented as far as possible. The Government is determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community. ...
"The Australian government's attempts to eject 37 Cambodian boat people applying for refugee status is racist, heartless and uncaring", says Rosanna Barbero, a member of the Action Committee for Refugees in Australia. ... [Green Left Weekly - 3/6/92]
Immigration minister Gerry Hand bluntly dismissed the hunger strike by 56 Chinese refugees detained at Port Hedland in an interview on Channel 10 on March 23. "If I was to intervene now", said Hand, "I may as well get the rules, tear them up and throw them away and say, 'Well, if you just come here, that's sufficient for you to stay in Australia'". ... [Green Left Weekly 8/4/92]
What is Mandatory Detention? [The Asylum and Refugee Law Project - 8/7/13]
Australia's founding father of indefinite mandatory detention [ABC - 11/11/11]
Private Prisons for Immigrant Families Grow Despite Court Ruling Against "Detention as Deterrence" [Democracy Now - 25/3/15]:
The Obama administration continues to expand its controversial practice of detaining mothers and their children despite a judge’s order that using it to deter mass migration is illegal. Starting last summer, thousands of Central American women with kids as young as a few months old crossed into the United States seeking asylum. Even though many were later found to have a "credible fear" of violent persecution, they found themselves rounded up and put into detention, with little chance for freedom until they were deported. But last month, a federal judge ordered immigration authorities to begin releasing the women and children. He found the Obama administration’s policy of detaining them in order to deter others from coming was illegal. Since then, more families have been granted bond and released, while others who are unable to afford the bonds remain locked up. They are held at one of two new family detention centers run by private prison companies in southern Texas. We air an on-the-ground report from Texas by Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz, who speaks to a recently released mother and her son. We are also joined by Barbara Hines, former director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas Law School. Hines’ affidavit in a lawsuit challenging detention of women and children as a method of deterrence to mass migration was cited by the federal judge in his order to halt the practice. ...
Federal Court blocks government from detaining asylum seekers as tactic to deter others from coming to US [ACLU Media Release - 20/2/15]
Imaginary Australian journalist to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton: Did your department deliberately organise the latest attack on Nauru to force refugees to accept deportation and exile to Cambodia?
Nauruan refugee shot with air gun pellet and then beaten by locals [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 15/4/15]
Australia is struggling to convince refugees held in offshore detention to voluntarily "resettle" in Cambodia under a bi-lateral deal, a refugee advocate group said on Friday, despite the government insisting that the first transfers are imminent. ... [Reuters - 16/4/15]
"Stop the boats" is a lie.
"Resettlement" is a lie.
Australia indefinitely incarcerates, tortures and exiles refugees.
It is bipartisan.
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.
Rather than amplify the voices of a bigoted minority, an imaginary Australian journalist asks politicians if they condemn the Toowoomba mosque attack. [Yahoo 7 - 17/4/15]:
Commenters on Reclaim Australia's Brisbane Facebook page have expressed their delight at a second suspected arson attack on a Toowoomba mosque. ...
Violent acts of bigotry - greenlighted by the political and media establishment - continue in Australia
Toowoomba mosque spokesman Professor Shahjahan Khan has spoken of the shock call he received this morning informing him of the structure fire.
It is the second suspicious fire at the mosque this year. Police are still to charge anyone over the arson attack in January.
"Of course it was a shock," Prof Khan said.
"What happened in January and now this.
"You cannot see from the outside but much of the inside is where it happened.
"It's burned to the ground."
Prof Khan said early discussions with investigating police officers indicated access was gained through a glass door that was smashed.
He said the Toowoomba International Food Festival planned for Sunday would go ahead.
"Because you cannot break our resolve and commitment to the community, and Toowoomba has shown again and again that they stand together," he said.
A former Supreme Court judge of the Australian state of Victoria has warned that guards at immigration detention centres will in effect be allowed to “beat asylum seekers to death” under a proposed amendment to an migration bill.
During a Senate hearing on changes to Australia’s Migration Act, Stephen Charles QC said that an extension to the power of guards in detention centres would allow officers to use “reasonable force against any person” in order to protect the life, health or safety of people in detention or to maintain the good order, peace, or security of a detention centre.
However, Mr Charles told the hearing that the proposed measures would “inevitably encourage violence” against asylum seekers, the Guardian reported.
Eight guards from Nauru detention centre have been suspended over a possible breach of their employer’s social media guidelines.
The members of the “emergency response team” at Nauru, who were hired on the basis of their cultural “sensitivity”, have been stood down pending an investigation into their social media use.
Some promoted the Reclaim Australia movement and some posted anti-Islam slurs online.
A day before the rally, James, tagged a post likening Muslims to Germans who enabled the rise of Nazis through inaction, with the comment: “See yas tomoz boys!!! Bring your pitch forks.”
Another guard, Simon Scott, posts on the same day: “Let me know when we are meeting in the city. I need someone to help me with a bag of ammonium nitrate.”
South Africa's Durban city rallies against xenophobia [BBC – 16/4/15]
Daily Star [16/4/15]:
France saw a sixfold rise in anti-Muslim acts in the first quarter of the year, fueled by the Paris jihadi attacks, the National Observatory against Islamophobia said Thursday.
Using interior ministry figures, the body counted 222 Islamophobic acts compared to 37 in the first quarter of 2014.
Most of these acts, 178, were recorded in January after three Islamic extremists went on a three-day killing spree in and around Paris that left 17 people dead.
Abdallah Zekri, president of the observatory, said the recent rise in Islamophobia was unprecedented since the body was set up in 2011.
The acts include violence against men and women, some of whom were pregnant, vandalism and destruction of Muslim places of worship or businesses and "Nazi" graffiti on mosques.
"It is the first time we have recorded grenades being thrown or guns fired," Zekri said.
He said the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine, a Jewish supermarket and the shooting of a policewoman between January 7-9 "in no way justify this peak in hatred or vengeance against French Muslims who are not responsible for or guilty of terrorist acts."
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
The United States and its allies staged 20 air strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq in a period from Wednesday to Thursday morning, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.
Nineteen of the strikes occurred near eight Iraqi cities and hit tactical units, fighting positions, vehicles, weapons and buildings, the statement said.
Another attack near al Hasakah, Syria, destroyed to fighting positions and hit a tactical unit.
Anbar Provincial Council member Athal Fahdawi stated on Thursday, that the ISIS organization now dominates the eastern part of Ramadi, and is besieging the city from all sides. ...
@iraqbodycount [16/4/15]: 32 civilians killed in #Iraq 15 April. April 1-15: 769 civilians killed.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [16/4/15]:
Anbar : The medical staff in the maternity hospital in Ramadi has stricken after attacking of policemen against two of the staff ......
Anbar: 17 displaced persons from Fallujah have been killed and wounded -most of them are women and children -as the government's forces and Hashid militias have shelled Salman Al-Farisi school in Sisi area in Habaniya...................
Anbar: The severely wounded civilians -which they have been injured in the shelling of the government's forces and their militias-cannot be moved to Baghdad hospitals and cannot be recieved by Ramadi and Amiriyat Al-Fallujah hospitals ..............
Syrian Arab News Agency SANA [16/4/15]:
A fresh terrorist rocket attack in Aleppo city left 12 civilians injured on Thursday.
The rockets, which were fired by terrorists positioned in Bani Zaid neighborhood, fell in Masaken al-Sabil neighborhood, a Police source told SANA.
The source said one of the injured is in a critical condition, adding that the attack also caused material damage to a number of houses and cars.
Several neighborhoods in the city were targeted by a barrage of rockets last Saturday, which killed 19 civilians and injured 90 others.
Hollywood recruited to propagandise US pro war, anti muslim bigotry effort [The Age - 16/4/15]
Today, 16 April 2015, WikiLeaks publishes an analysis and search system for The Sony Archives: 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and 173,132 emails, to and from more than 2,200 SPE email addresses.
SPE is a US subsidiary of the Japanese multinational technology and media corporation Sony, handling their film and TV production and distribution operations.
It is a multi-billion dollar US business running many popular networks, TV shows and film franchises such as Spider-Man, Men in Black and Resident Evil. ... [WikiLeaks]
Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People [DOCUMENTARY - 2006]
Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.
The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history. ... [CounterPunch - September 2014]
Assange to allow Swedish prosecutors to question him in London – lawyer [RT – 16/4/15]
Assange: Scotland Yes Campaign "not paranoid" to think they were spied on during referendum [Herald Scotland – 15/4/15]
Europe Challenges Google, Seeing Violations of Its Antitrust Law [New York Times – 16/4/15]
Syria: UN agency continues to seek unhindered access to besieged Yarmouk camp [Media Release – 16/4/15]
Israel hands out deportation notices to asylum seekers [Al Jazeera – 16/4/15]:
Some African asylum seekers being held in detention in Israel have said they are being threatened with deportation to unsafe countries.
Written notices given to some Eritreans held in deportation camps said they will be deported to unnamed African countries, thought to be Uganda and Rwanda.
Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh reports from the Negev region in southern Israel, where deportation notices are being handed to inmates in the Holot detention centre.
As Yemen crisis deepens, UN food relief agency calls on warring factions to allow supply restock [Media Release – 16/4/15]
UN chief calls for immediate cease-fire in Yemen [Yahoo - 16/4/15]:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Thursday for an immediate cease-fire in Yemen to spur peace talks and get lifesaving aid into the impoverished Middle East nation.
The U.N. chief addressed "the many fateful challenges" the world confronts, from 50 million refugees and displaced people — the largest number since World War II — to the urgent problem of climate change in a speech at the National Press Club.
"Millions of people face hatred and persecution, billions suffer from hunger and exploitation," he said. "The United Nations has appealed for $16 billion to cover humanitarian relief for this year — almost five times what we needed a decade ago."
Ban announced he will visit the Vatican later this month to meet with Pope Francis and discuss "common concerns," including the encyclical on the environment that the pontiff plans to issue in the months ahead. He said he has invited the pope, President Barack Obama and all other world leaders to the United Nations in September to adopt new U.N. goals for 2030 to protect the environment, combat poverty and promote human rights and economic development that doesn't contribute to climate change.
Surveying the crisis-ridden state of the world and the "many fateful challenges on our plate," Ban pointed to the ever-worsening "nightmare" in Syria, now in its fifth year, and said his envoy Staffan de Mistura will be holding a series of talks in Geneva to see if anyone is "truly serious" about engaging in meaningful negotiations to end the conflict. He made a special plea for Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp caught between the Syrian government's "military machine and the brutality of extremist groups."
Ban said Yemen is "in flames," and U.N.-brokered talks offered "the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability." He made no mention of Wednesday's announcement that his special envoy for Yemen, Jamal Benomar, was stepping down.
Ban said the U.N. is working on a plan of action, which will be launched in autumn, to fight violent extremism by the Islamic State group, Boko Haram and al-Qaida-linked groups such as al-Shabab in Somalia.
On Nigeria, he expressed hope that the country's new government, led by President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, can promote "a return to normalcy" and rescue schoolchildren kidnapped and mistreated by Boko Haram. In South Sudan, where a civil war continues despite cease-fires, Ban said U.N. bases are sheltering 115,000 people, "a landmark in our efforts to protect civilians."
The U.N. chief welcomed the framework agreement between six major powers and Iran to rein in its nuclear program and said the U.N. would do its best to help implement a comprehensive agreement once it is finalized.
"This breakthrough can also create space for efforts to address the many other serious security challenges in the region," he said.
Earlier Thursday, Ban met with U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
17 April 2015