Please, please, please... Stop separating families



Day 13 of peaceful protest Nauru ... @elahe_zivardar [17/2/17]



New Zealand Prime Minister says offer to take 150 refugees still stands, but Turnbull and Shorten prefer to continue ALP torture policy [SBS - 17/2/17]:


Mr English told reporters in Queenstown:  "We just want to be clear that the offer remains there, but they've indicated their appreciation and that's about as far as it has gone.

"It's entirely up to them. So far, they haven't taken it up." ...



How many more have to die before the medical profession and health unions condemn Australia's anti-refugee policy? [SBS - 17/2/17]:


A young male asylum seeker at Manus Island detention centre who cardiologists confirmed would die if he didn't receive medical care for a heart condition has arrived in Australia for treatment.

On Friday, the Department of Immigration confirmed to SBS News the young man had been taken to Australia for medical treatment.

"The department can confirm that an individual was transferred from PNG to Australia on 9 February 2017," a departmental spokesperson said in a statement.

However, the spokesperson said it "would not be appropriate" for the department to provide specific detail about the health of individuals.

The asylum seeker was diagnosed with ventricular premature complex after experiencing episodes of palpitations, chest pains and dizziness over eight months. 

In August, a cardiologist advised that the man have a pacemaker inserted to manage his condition.

In October, another cardiologist advised the same.

A third cardiologist in November said the pacemaker could be delayed if his condition was reassessed in December. ...



Why have Michael Gordon and Janet Galbraith abandoned Loghman Sawari?  ---> At this dire stage, campaigning for the release of ONE refugee just because they are talented is REPUGNANT. [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/2/17]



After years of ignoring them, UNHCR suddenly interested in resettling 1,000 Rohingya refugees [Reuters - 16/2/17]



UNHCR tells refugees they will be imprisoned on Nauru for 10 years.



"Australia has only resettled 250 Rohingya since 2008" The impact of Australia's fanatical policies:  What "stopping the boats" means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]



If Australian Border Force can give such detail about fishing vessels, there is no reason why they can't do the same with refugee boats [Media Release - 17/2/17]:


Two Vietnamese fishing vessels and their crew of 29 men suspected of illegally fishing near Saumarez reef in the Coral Sea marine park have been apprehended.

Maritime Border Command (MBC), a multi-agency task force within the Australian Border Force (ABF), working in cooperation with the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) apprehended and escorted the vessels to Gladstone, Queensland.

The vessels were originally sighted by an MBC surveillance aircraft on 15 February 2017. ...



Gabby Wanambi's death from sepsis preventable with appropriate treatment, NT coroner says [ABC - 17/2/17]



Teenagers at maximum security prison pinned down, punched and kicked by guards [ABC - 17/2/17]:


Teenage detainees at Victoria's maximum-security Barwon prison near Geelong have been pinned down, punched and kicked by adult prison guards, human rights lawyers claim.

Police and Victoria's Commissioner for Children and Young People are investigating the allegations of brutality, which follow a riot involving 16 boys at the jail's youth justice wing on Monday night that left a prison officer injured.

The lawyers claim anti-riot guards led handcuffed boys to their cells and ordered them to lie on the floor or kneel against the wall, where they were punched in the face and kicked in the ribs, back and head.

The guards were alleged to have warned the detainees "next time I'll break you" and "we run this joint", after using capsicum spray indiscriminately as a result of the earlier unrest.

Two boys were hospitalised, others have bruising and some were put on suicide watch, according to the Human Rights Law Centre.

Lawyer Alina Leiken said she was disturbed the reports suggested a deliberate and systematic use of violence and threats against teen detainees. ...



Traditional Owners along the proposed route of the Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP) have lodged an emergency objection to the Northern Territory Development Consent Authority.

The Traditional Owner’s lodged the emergency objection in response to clearing on their land, and are calling for the project to be knocked back.

A representative of the Wakaya Aboriginal Land Trust formally lodged an objection to the Northern Territory Government, which states that the Trust has not given consent to the land clearing.

Members of the both the Wakaya and Waramungu Aboriginal Land Trusts in the Northern Territory dispute claims from Jemena that the company has secured their consent for its proposed gas pipeline access route.

The community claim Jemena have misled Traditional Owners by downplaying plans to transport fracked gas through the pipeline. ... [Australian Pipeliner - 17/2/17]



Aboriginal sex abuse victims become first group in Australia to win compensation [NITV - 16/2/17]:


 Former child residents who suffered years of abuse at a Northern Territory Aboriginal children's home have become the first group in Australia to win compensation from the federal government.

The 71 former residents of Darwin's Retta Dixon home, who alleged physical and sexual assaults by staff between 1946 and 1980, launched a civil lawsuit in 2015 against a convicted paedophile, the Commonwealth and the religious group that ran the home.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet told NITV News they acknowledge the trauma that has resulted from the abuse. 

"It is hoped that the settlement of this claim will enable those who suffered to reach a form of closure on this period of their lives."

The home for Stolen Generation children was run by Australian Indigenous Ministries and overseen by the federal government. ...



Law firm BELAW has begun a class action in Queensland on behalf of hundreds of Indigenous Australians impacted by wage control legislation prior to 1973.

BELAW solicitors and support will visit Mount Isa, Cloncurry and Camooweal to talk to potential claimants next week.

“We would like to talk to Indigenous Australians who worked in Queensland prior to 1973 and had their wages controlled, or whose deceased parents worked before 1973, if people know the work details of their parents,” Jerry Tucker, BELAW solicitor said.  ... [North West Star - 15/2/17]



Redneck wonderland: Midnight Oil join the faux left anti-Trump bandwagon [ABC - 29/6/12]



Israeli soldier commits suicide near Gaza border [Maan - 17/2/17]



Palestinian man injured after being struck by Israeli settler car near Hebron [Maan - 16/2/17]



Two Palestinians being held in Israeli prison without charge or trial declared a hunger strike on Thursday.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said in a statement that Palestinian prisoners Jamal Abu al-Leil and Raed Fayez Mteir declared their hunger strike in protest of being held under administrative detention -- an Israeli policy of imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence almost exclusively used against Palestinians. ... [Maan - 16/2/17]



U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Thursday the United States still supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a day after President Donald Trump suggested he is open to new ways to achieve peace.

"First of all, the two-state solution is what we support. Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support the two-state solution - that would be an error," Haley told reporters at the United Nations.

"We absolutely support the two-state solution but we are thinking out of the box as well: which is what does it take to bring these two sides to the table; what do we need to have them agree on." ... [Reuters - 16/2/17]



Julie Bishop: Australia would not have supported a UN resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements [Guardian - 30/12/16]:


... Netanyahu has been invited to visit Australia in the new year and would become the first Israeli prime minister to do so.

Issuing the invitation in September, when she was in Israel, Bishop said the Australian public would “warmly embrace you, welcome you”.

The Labor leader, Bill Shorten, has been in Israel in the past week, where he described Netanyahu as “a good friend of Australia”. ...



Rudd government expels cleaner from Israeli Embassy after forged Australian passports used to undertake an assassination [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/5/10]



For the second time in the last 48 hours, Saudi warplanes have attacked a crowd of mourners from a funeral in the northern part of Yemen, this time killing nine women and a child.

The attack targeted the home of a local tribal leader, after a woman in the family had previously died.

This comes just a day after an attack on a funeral in the capital city of Sanaa, where Saudi warplanes launched both an attack against the funeral itself and a second attack which was said to have injured a number of medical workers trying to rescue victims of the first strike. ... [ - 16/2/17]



US Secretary of State Tillerson backs UN-led Yemen process, wants unfettered aid [Daily Star - 16/2/17]



"Over 100 terrorists" killed in operations across Pakistan [GEO - 17/2/17]:


Security and law enforcement agencies (LEAs), in a swift response to recent terror attacks, have killed over a hundred terrorists, besides apprehending several miscreants from different parts of the country, the Inter Services Public Relations said Friday.

The security agencies responded shortly after the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed for combing and intelligence-based operations in the country, following Thursday bombing at a Sufi shrine in Sindh that left 88 devotees dead.

The operations are ongoing across the country, including Punjab, the ISPR said in a statement.

"Over 100 terrorists have been killed since last night and sizeable apprehensions also made." ...



2 Afghan civilians killed in Pakistani artillery shelling in Kunar [Khaama - 17/2/17]



Three civilians were wounded in a blast in central Kapisa province on Friday, an official said. The blast took place near security forces check-post in the Sayyad bazaar this noon. ... [Pajhwok - 17/2/17]



The Minister of Refugees and Repatriation (MoRR), Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi on Friday said Pakistan agreed not to link the refugees issue to political differences between the two countries.  

Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) met on Wednesday evening and agreed that those Afghan refugees who have a registration cards, could remain in Pakistan till the end of this year.  

“UNHCR told the meeting it did not have enough money to pay the returnees. If many of refugees returned early, they would not receive the same amount given to those refugees who arrived back the last year,” Alemi said.


UNHCR earlier had announced that the process of returning Afghan refugees from Pakistan will start from the 1st of March.  [TOLO News - 17/2/17]



Syrian rebel turned refugee given life sentence in Sweden for massacring captured soldiers in Idlib [AMN - 16/2/17]



24 people killed in new massacre committed by Turkish forces in al-Bab, Aleppo [SANA - 17/2/17]



Three people were killed in a rocket attack by Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists on al-Kashef al-Sharqi in Daraa city, SANA reporter in Daraa province said on Friday. ... [SANA - 17/2/17]



Two wounded in northern Baghdad bomb explosion [ - 17/2/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 16/2/17]



Mattis: US, NATO to escalate fight against ISIS [Antiwar - 16/2/17]



NATO refugee prevention patrols to continue in the Aegean [Ekathimerini - 16/2/17]



Is the Italian Navy training the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard to push back refugee boats, or rescue them? ---> Nave San Giorgio, termina fase addestrativa a favore della Marina e della Guardia costiera libiche  @ItalianNavy [16/2/17]



‏@ItalianNavy [16/2/17]:  La fregata Carabiniere lascia Adelaide in rotta verso Sidney ...



A Turkish military patrol boat fired shots early Friday morning in the area around the eastern Aegean island of Farmakonisi, the Greek defense ministry said. ... [Ekathimerini - 17/2/17]



@salvamentogob [16/2/17]: Imágenes del rescate de la patera esta madrugada a 163 millas de Gran Canaria con 58 personas ...



‏@LighthouseRR [16/2/177]:  Yesterday we assisted 57 arrivals to Lesvos. We saw several gangrene cases & had to act fast to coordinate response as people were very cold



‏@wikileaks [16/2/17]:  RELEASE: Full text of CIA orders targetting French presidential election including Hollande, Sarkozy & Le Pen ...



President Trump full, unfiltered press conference [16/2/17]



... We've had great conversations with the United Kingdom -- and meetings -- Israel, Mexico, Japan, China, and Canada.  

Really, really productive conversations.  

I would say far more productive than you would understand.  

We've even developed a new council with Canada to promote women’s business leaders and entrepreneurs.  

It's very important to me, very important to my daughter Ivanka.


I have nothing to do with Russia.  I told you, I have no deals there.  I have no anything.

Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give -- they’re not giving classified information.  

They’re giving stuff -- what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates -- which, by the way, nobody mentions.  

Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates. 

Can you imagine -- seriously, can you imagine if I received the questions?  It would be the electric chair, okay?  “He should be put in the electric chair.”  You would even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty, okay?  Maybe not you, Jon. ... [The White House - 16/2/17]



Glenn Greenwald: Empowering the "deep state" to undermine Trump is prescription for destroying democracy [Democracy Now - 16/2/17]:


... Now, I happen to think that the Trump presidency is extremely dangerous. You just listed off in your news—in your newscast that led the show, many reasons.

They want to dismantle the environment. They want to eliminate the safety net. They want to empower billionaires. They want to enact bigoted policies against Muslims and immigrants and so many others. And it is important to resist them.

And there are lots of really great ways to resist them, such as getting courts to restrain them, citizen activism and, most important of all, having the Democratic Party engage in self-critique to ask itself how it can be a more effective political force in the United States after it has collapsed on all levels.

That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, the CIA, with its histories of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup, where they take the elected president and prevent him from enacting his policies.

And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that. Even if you’re somebody who believes that both the CIA and the deep state, on the one hand, and the Trump presidency, on the other, are extremely dangerous, as I do, there’s a huge difference between the two, which is that Trump was democratically elected and is subject to democratic controls, as these courts just demonstrated and as the media is showing, as citizens are proving. But on the other hand, the CIA was elected by nobody. They’re barely subject to democratic controls at all.

And so, to urge that the CIA and the intelligence community empower itself to undermine the elected branches of government is insanity. That is a prescription for destroying democracy overnight in the name of saving it. And yet that’s what so many, not just neocons, but the neocons’ allies in the Democratic Party, are now urging and cheering.

And it’s incredibly warped and dangerous to watch them do that. ...



‏@carolrosenberg [16/2/17]: Random: Guantanamo had a legal bin assigned to the Kenyan captive as a prop in a recent Camp 6 visit. ...



Cover-up at Guantanamo: The NCIS investigation into the “Suicides” of Mohammed Al Hanashi and Abdul Rahman Al Amri by Jeffrey S. Kaye:


... Among the explosive details revealed in this book is the fact government agents themselves, most likely from NCIS [Naval Criminal Investigative Service], the very agency charged with investigating the deaths, interfered with the gathering of evidence, ordering the shutdown of Guantanamo’s computer database of prison activities within minutes of one detainee’s death.

Even worse, after the FOIA for this material was filed, the computer logs suddenly went missing!

That is only the beginning of the story, as Kaye’s investigation shows material evidence was thrown out in the trash, prisoners who were intensely mentally ill were provided with material to kill themselves, and medical personnel turned their backs on detainee complaints of torture.

The book also expands on the mysterious use of the antimalarial drug mefloquine for possible reasons of interrogation.


Covering-up is not just a term describing an instance of government malfeasance or crime, but the main operational mode of a military and intelligence apparatus that is out of control. ...



There is no reason why Senator Whish-Wilson couldn't have mentioned Mefloquine use on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Manus Island in his press release [23/8/16]



SBS [5/5/14]:


Asylum seekers on Manus Island are being given a type of anti-malaria medication that detention centre staff have been warned not to take because of serious side effects.
Centre staff were warned not to take Mefloquine, also known as Lariam, because of adverse health effects.
Salvation Army worker Simon Taylor says in a submission to a Senate inquiry that he is aware asylum seekers have been given the drug despite the warnings to staff. ...



... Adriana, Allison, and their mother were picked up by border patrol after entering Texas in August 2015.

Shortly thereafter, they were sent to the South Texas Family Residential Center, a 2,400-bed center in the city of Dilley, a community that’s become an immigrant detention capital.

The girls expected to be released after a short stay to join their father, who had left El Salvador several years prior and was living and working in Dallas.

But while Johnson has said that the average detainee is held for only 20 days, their family is one of a number whose stays have stretched past the one-year mark.


“When we got there, we were all trying to stay very positive, thinking, 'OK, now we’re going to leave this place really soon,'” Adriana recalls.

“Why would it be so difficult for them to just get us a ticket home and let us go back to our family [in Dallas]?”

Administrators offered them no timeline for when they might be able to leave. ...  [Teen Vogue - 16/2/17]



Why don’t they just get in line? There is no line for many unauthorized immigrants [American Immigration Council - 12/8/16]



A makeshift vessel that floated to shore off the Upper Keys this week likely ferried Cuban migrants to South Florida, but when they arrived is not clear.

If they came this week, that would likely be the first landing in South Florida since the Obama administration ordered an end to a policy that granted arriving Cubans refugee status.

The rustic pontoon boat was found Wednesday tied to the mangroves of Harry Harris Park, off the ocean side of U.S. 1 around mile marker 92 in Tavernier.

Boaters saw it floating further offshore Tuesday afternoon. An officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission towed it to shore.

Marine Deputy James Hager of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said the boat was likely stuck on an island and recently broke free, becoming a navigational hazard.

At first, Hager thought the boat was a derelict vessel that arrived more than a month ago, prior to Obama’s order, but now he’s not so sure.

“There could have been migrants on it,” Hager said.

“Either they made it here, and we didn’t know about it, or it could have been an old vessel.” ... [FL Keys News - 15/2/17]



Florida Coast Guard crew cleared in 2016 death of suspected smuggler [Herald-Tribune - 14/2/17]:


... According to the report, Javier Darwin Licoa Nunez, 35, of Ecuador, died from fatal internal injuries caused by bullet fragments after a Coast Guard marksman from a helicopter interdiction tactical squadron in Jacksonville disabled his fleeing smuggling vessel's engines in the remote drug transit zone near the Galapagos. ...



NZ Greens: New Zealand should offer to liberate men, women and children from Australia's offshore refugee concentration camps [RNZI - 17/2/17]:


... Mr English is meeting with his Australian counterpart, Malcolm Turnbull, in Queenstown today for their annual leaders' talks.


Green Party co-leader James Shaw said there were two clear messages Mr English should be giving Mr Turnbull today.

"First of all, New Zealand does not accept the way that Australia has been treating these refugees over the course of the last few years."

"We agree with the United Nations assessments that they are in inhumane conditions, and the second message is that if Australia's arrangment with the United States falls through, that NZ would be willing to take those refugees." ...


It is time for the UNHCR to explain why it doesn't want refugees on Manus and Nauru immediately released and GENUINELY resettled.


Unquestioningly accepting the existence of the Obama-Australia "deal" is deceitful and counterproductive [NZ Greens Media Release - 17/2/17]:


... “It is time that our Prime Ministers showed leadership on this issue and took action to resolve the situation for refugees who have spent years languishing in inhumane detention camps,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw.

“The most important thing is that these men, women and children who have fled war and suffering are finally given the opportunity to live in safety and freedom. ...



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. --->  I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]



They’ve lied to us so often that nothing is believable to me anymore.


Political prisoner at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru:  Seeing my sons in a school uniform is my dream [Guardian - 17/2/17]:


... We live in the heart of a fire where during the day not even the birds fly.

Only from 6pm you can see them flying and hear them singing. I feel like the Australian government utilises all of their tools to make us soulless and numb.

They have normalised our deprivation, fatality and death. They’ve lied to us so often that nothing is believable to me anymore.

I can’t even allow myself to dream that one day I will sit in an aeroplane and leave this stricken island forever.

I never actually believed they would move us to the US, however many of my friends did and they were shocked when they realised it was another game.

A young boy who had come to Nauru alone when he was underage, attempted to commit suicide when he found out.

After four years of living in inhumane conditions, it is painful that we should have to continually fight for our basic right to have a hygienic, peaceful place to live free from violence.

Under any circumstances, I wouldn’t go back to Iran, as those male relatives who abused me sexually and emotionally are still there. ...




17 February 2017