Sydney University: Let Ali Abunimah speak! [Petition]:

 

Only two days after our petition to have a visa issued for Ali Abunimah to speak in Australia, Sydney University has cancelled the venue booking for his speech in Sydney ...

 

 

 

 

2 Palestinians shot dead after alleged stabbing near Ariel settlement [Maan - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Israel sentences 7 Palestinian minors to 1-3 years of imprisonment [PNN - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

The Israeli authorities on Wednesday cancelled a weekly visit allowing elderly Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to travel to occupied East Jerusalem for Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, according to Palestinian liaison officials.

Sources at the Palestinian liaison office said that Israel had called off the agreement, which previously allowed 200 Gazans above the age of 60 to worship at the holy site as part of a ceasefire agreement that ended the 2014 Gaza war. ... [Maan - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

US cancels visa for Palestinian activist after anti-settlement lawsuit [PNN - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Friends of the IDF raises record $33.1 million at New York gala [Israel Hayom - 17/3/16]:

 

... "With everything that is happening in Israel these days, it's more important than ever to give back to the IDF," Dr. Miriam Adelson told Israel Hayom.

"The attendees here understand that the IDF doesn't just defend Israel, but also stands on guard for all Jews around the world. In the same way, the whole world is beginning to understand that the State of Israel is a protector of the Western world and three major religions. Recently, the anti-Semitism that has been raging around the world has caused a feeling of deja vu to the days before the Second World War. But then I remember that now we have Israel and the IDF."

 

 

 

 

5 Egyptian soldiers killed, 10 wounded in attack on Rafah-area military base [Maan - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria:  25 killed as suicide bombing rocks Maiduguri mosque [News 24 - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Deploring airstrikes in Yemen, Ban urges conflict parties to ‘cease all military activities,’ begin dialogue [UN Media Release - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

More than a dozen U.S. military personnel have been disciplined, but face no criminal charges, for errors that led to the aerial attack on a civilian hospital that killed 42 people in northern Afghanistan last year, U.S. defense officials say.

The punishments, which have not been publicly announced, are largely administrative.

In some cases the actions, such as letters of reprimand, are tough enough to effectively end chances for further promotion.

The military has previously said some personnel were suspended from their duties but has given no further details. ... [Yahoo - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

54 Taliban militants killed amid surging violence in Helmand province [Khaama - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

Video emerges of missing Japanese journalist Jumpei Yasuda who went missing after entering Syria last June  [Japan Times - 17/3/16]

 

 


Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria

 

 

US Department of Defense [16/3/16]:

U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack aircraft conducted two strikes in Syria near Hawl that struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted nine strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Hit, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL assembly area, six ISIL rocket rails, two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL anti-air artillery piece and an ISIL mortar position and denying ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed four ISIL assembly areas and suppressed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Sinjar, three strikes destroyed three ISIL heavy machine guns and four ISIL fighting positions and suppressed an ISIL heavy machine gun position.

 

 

 

 

 

Russia to complete pullout of basic contingent from Syria within 2-3 days — commander [TASS - 17/3/16]:

 

... Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said that the fight against terrorist groupings in Syria, to which the ceasefire regime is not applicable, will be continued.

Two Russian facilities - the Hmeimim air base and the Tartus naval facility - will continue operating in Syria.

 

 

 

 

Russia is pulling out of Syria, when will the US? [Counterpunch - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Turkish air strikes in northern Iraq kill 45 Kurdish militants: army [Reuters - 15/3/16]

 

 

 

 

@ItalianNavy [17/3/16]:   #SAR Nave Aliseo e nave Sfinge #MarinaMilitare iniziano soccorso a due gommoni con numerosi migranti a bordo

 

 

 

 

‏@guardiacostiera [16/3/16]:   #CanalediSicilia, Nave Diciotti #GuardiaCostiera salva 750 #migranti e recupera 2 cadaveri, in 6 operazioni #SAR

 

 

 

 

Queen Maxima was present at the ceremony to award the Geuzen medal in the Grote Kerk in Vlaardingen on Monday.

The medal was awarded to the MOAS foundation, which is focused on rescuing asylum seekers at sea, NOS reports. ... [NL Times - 15/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Madrid: 1,000s rally against "illegal, immoral, inhuman" EU-Turkey refugee "agreement" [VIDEO - NV/Ruptly - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Children like yours, stolen childhoods.  NOT in our name. [VIDEO - Fotomovimiento - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Makeshift shelters cleared from Calais refugee camp [Guardian - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Just one day after advocates for the homeless filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, work crews and police were out again Tuesday making arrests and removing homeless encampments along a highly visible stretch of the 101 Freeway downtown.

The sweep, which was conducted by city sanitation workers and the Los Angeles Police Department, focused on an area where Main and Spring streets cross over the 101 Freeway, according to police and witnesses. Crews had given the homeless prior notice to remove their possessions, according to city officials. ... [LA Times - 15/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Detroit: Police fire tear gas on high school students, arrest over 12 [Democracy Now - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

About 200 people in Tacoma marched to the Federal court house rallying for a woman who was shot and killed by police back in January.

Jackie Salyers, 33, was a member of the Puyallup Tribe.

Protesters said they want more answers to what happened the night she was killed.

Police say on Jan. 28, Salyers drove at officers as they tried to approach a man wanted for robbery. That's why police opened fire. ... [King5.com - 16/3/16]

 

 



Numan Haider inquest:  AFP officer says he feared he would be beheaded by knife-wielding teenager [ABC – 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Hillary Clinton Email Archive:

 

 

On March 16, 2016 WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State.

The 50,547 pages of documents span from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton.

The emails were made available in the form of thousands of PDFs by the US State Department as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. The final PDFs were made available on February 29, 2016.

 

 

 

Who's the enemy?

 

 

... He had the saddest eyes, the girl had ever seen

He used to cry some nights, as though he lived a dream ...

 

'Cambodia', Kim Wilde [1981]

 

 

 

U.S. and Cambodian forces officially opened Angkor Sentinel 2016, an annual bilateral military exercise hosted by the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and sponsored by the U.S. Army Pacific during a March 14 ceremony at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces here.

This year marks the seventh iteration of the exercise, which officials said is designed to collectively strengthen the two countries’ humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capabilities and improve military-to-military cooperation. ... [US Department of Defense - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

Researcher, lawyer spar over genocide at Khmer Rouge Tribunal [Cambodia Daily - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

From Pol Pot to ISIS: “Anything that flies on everything that moves”, John Pilger [8/10/14]

 

 

 

No journalism + no opposition = Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton free to utilise the language of totalitarianism to continue lying about refugees with impunity 

 

 

Interview with Ray Hadley [Minister for Immigration – 17/3/16]:


"Journalist": Is there any other reason that they would start again apart from your hard line policies? Is there another reason that they will have a throw at the stump, so to speak?

Peter Dutton: Well they might be looking at Europe and decide that its too hard in Europe now. People smugglers might be saying 'look were going to reduce our prices and you can get onto boats and we can try and test the resolve of the Australian Government to make sure that we can try one more time to see if you can get through.'

People are desperate to get here and you can understand that, but we can't take our foot of the throat of these people smugglers. They are evil organised criminals and they are desperate to restart their trade.

...

 

 

 

 

No proof or evidence as our Immigration Minister boasts about repelling refugees ---->  Australia on Thursday hailed its controversial regime of turning back asylum-seeker boats as a success after 600 days with no vessels arriving, and almost 700 people being repelled since the policy was launched. .... [Channel News Asia - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

UN Human Rights Council adopts outcomes of Universal Periodic Review of Micronesia, Lebanon, Mauritania and Nauru [16/3/16]:

 

 

... Edmund Rice International Limited, in a joint statement with, Franciscans International, expressed concern about the Australian-run offshore detention facilities in Nauru, having received allegations of physical and sexual abuse occurring in certain facilities, which should be closed.

International Service for Human Rights said that over the last three years, the Government of Nauru had denied requests from Special Procedures and censored the Internet, among other moves, which coincided with Australia’s opening of a major immigration detention centre.

...

Amnesty International expressed concern about Nauru’s refusal to grant access to international monitors, including Amnesty International and independent journalists. The safety and well-being of refugees and asylum seekers was of deep concern.

...

 

 

 

 

Civil society and democratic freedoms are essential to development [Internationl Service for Human Rights - 16/3/16]:

 

 

... In a meeting to consider the report of a major UN review of Nauru's human rights record, ISHR expressed grave concern that, in recent years a veil of secrecy and repression has descended on the Pacific island State.

'Respect for the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, support for a free press, the maintenance of an independent judiciary, and adequate space for civil society are all essential elements of a functioning democracy. They are also indispensable to sustainable development,' said ISHR Director Phil Lynch.

Despite this, over the last three years, the government of Nauru has:

 

 

• Imposed significant restrictions and prohibitive visa application fees on journalists wanting to travel to the country, systematically denying requests from journalists and agencies – whether the ABC, Al Jazeera, the BBC or The Guardian – perceived to be independent or critical;

• Denied visit requests from both the Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures and leading international NGOs, such as Amnesty International;

• Censored the internet, including by blocking Facebook, a key communications channel to the outside world for refugees and asylum seekers in the Australian-controlled detention centre;

• Removed the Chief Justice and the Chief Magistrate;

• Suspended opposition parliamentarians and cancelled their passports;

• Criminalised peaceful protests; and

• Just last week, proposed prohibitive new fees in order for citizens to stand as candidates for parliament.

 

 

'All of these moves coincide with Australia’s opening of a major immigration detention centre in Nauru in late-2012.

In a larger State, one that was not nestled in the Pacific and protected by a powerful self-interested neighbor, such regression would attract an international outcry,' Mr Lynch said.

'Nauru’s future does not lie in the warehousing of Australia’s asylum seekers. Instead, as recognised by the international community through Sustainable Development Goal 16, Nauru’s future lies in establishing effective and accountable institutions and access to justice for all.'

...

 


If you only care about human rights abuses when your enemies commit them, then you probably don't really care about human rights abuses.

 

 

 ‏@astroehlein - Andrew Stroehlein - European Director Human Rights Watch [22/8/14]

 

 

 

Australia's treatment of refugees and asylum seekers "unconscionable" says Iran's Foreign Minister Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif [ABC - 16/3/16]:

 

... PHILIP WILLIAMS: When you say you don't like what Australia does, what do you mean? What aspect of our treatment of those people do you dislike?

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF: Well the fact that they live in unconscionable situations.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Would you describe that as a violation of their human rights?

MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF: Well, I usually don't get involved in that. I believe that instead of labelling each other, we need to talk to each other, we need to engage in dialogue and that's what we're doing. We believe that all of us can in fact learn from one another if we engage in dialogue. I want to say that neither one of us, nor anybody else in the world, is sitting in a position of preaching. Everybody should engage, seriously, honestly and sincerely, in a dialogue and in a dialogue as opposed to monologue, all of us have to listen more than to talk. We prepared to listen. I came here to listen. Of course there are opportunities for us to take advantage. I've just had a good meeting with Austrade and we did in fact have a good possibility for interaction in areas that would be mutually beneficial. So, there is a lot to be - I mean, I learned a lot by listening and I think we will all learn a lot through listening and engaging in serious dialogue.

...

 

 

 

If you say there is an elephant in the room, you mean that there is an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about.

 

 

 

 

Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, but hasn't accepted refugees since 2014?

 

 

 

 

The government of Thailand should commit to concrete actions to respect, protect, and promote the rights of asylum seekers, refugees, and survivors of human trafficking during its upcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council, said seven human rights organizations today.

...

Thai authorities have also long implemented a “push-back” policy, through which asylum seekers arriving by boat are not allowed to disembark and are pushed out to sea.

In 2014, Thai authorities regularly intercepted Rohingya asylum seekers arriving by boat from Myanmar and Bangladesh and pushed them out to sea, putting them at risk of death.

Yasin Arafat, 18, a Rohingya male refugee from Sittwe Township, Myanmar told Fortify Rights in 2014, “We were arrested at sea by the Thai Navy. They provided drinking water and cut the anchor and towed the boat to the west for one day and one night. Then they just drove us out to sea and let us go.” ...  [Fortify Rights - 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

It is ludicrous to suggest Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia ought to sign the UN refugee convention while exceptionalist, isolationist Australia is setting a regional example by pushing back, exiling, and torturing refugees, thus creating a flow on human rights catastrophe and facilitating ethnic cleansing --->   An update on the struggles and migration crisis of the Rohingya people from the Rakhine state of Myanmar - with Matthew Smith executive director of Fortify Rights, who is currently attending a Human Rights Council session in Geneva, Switzerland. [AUDIO – RNZI – 16/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Reuters [16/3/16]:

 

... There are an estimated 3.7 million migrants in Thailand, including 130,000 refugees and asylum seekers fleeing violence, conflict and persecution in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

...

More than 100,000 Myanmar refugees live in thatch huts in nine camps along the Thai-Myanmar border, the first influx having arrived in 1984.

In recent years, Syrians fleeing war have joined urban asylum seekers in the capital Bangkok, while Rohingya Muslims escaping apartheid-like conditions in Myanmar have been smuggled by sea and held for ransom in squalid trafficking camps where the graves were found, before being granted passage to Malaysia.

Many rescued Rohingya trafficking victims, including children, are being held in government-run shelters and detention centres.

The rights groups said urban asylum seekers, who wait an average of four years before the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) determines their refugee status, are at risk of arbitrary arrest by Thai authorities.

Thailand last year also handed over to China more than 100 Uighur asylum seekers and Chinese refugees awaiting resettlement in Canada.

...



 

The ALP and LNP voted against a Greens Senate motion for Australia to provide SAR assistance and to help resettle some of the refugees [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:



Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:


That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and

(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,

(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and

(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.


The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.

 

The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)

 

Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20



AYES



Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N



NOES



Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR


Question negatived.

 

 

 

 

BALI PROCESS REINVIGORATED, SEEKS ANSWERS TO ROHINGYA CRISIS [17/4/09]:

 

... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.

Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.

Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."

Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...

 

 

 

Woodside has made second gas discovery offshore Myanmar.

The company on Friday said Thalin-1A exploration well in Block AD-7 in the Rakhine basin has intersected a gross gas column of approximately 64m.

Approximately 62m of net gas pay is interpreted within the primary target interval.

Block AD-7 is located in the Bay of Bengal, approximately 100km offshore of the west coast of Myanmar. Water depth at the Thalin-1A well location is 836m. The well reached a total depth of 3034m. ... [Natural Gas Asia - 11/2/16]

 

 

 

The dirty fossil fuel secret behind Burma's democratic fairytale, Nafeez Ahmed [Guardian - 26/4/13]:

 

... Yet the scramble to open up Burma for business has played a direct role in inflaming community tensions. One of the most prominent culprits is the Shwe Gas Project led by South Korean and Indian companies, to export natural gas via pipeline from Arakan state to China's Yunnan province. The 2,800km overland pipeline is slated to become operational this year.

The project plans to produce 500 million cubic feet (mcfd) of gas per day for 30 years, supplying 400 mcfd to China, and the remaining 100 mcfd to factories owned by the Burmese government, military and associated business elites.

The losers from this venture are the Burmese people and environment. An extensive report by the Shwe Gas Movement (SGM), a Burmese community-based human rights network, documented the destruction of local fishing and farming industries, including confiscation of thousands of acres of land to "clear areas for the pipeline and associated infrastructure", from 2010 to 2011. Tens of thousands have been left jobless, with little or no compensation or employment opportunities.

The pipeline also cuts through the Arakan Yoma forest ecosystems of the Western Mountain Range, part of the Eastern Hindu Kush-Himalayan region, contributing to soil erosion and endangering species.

One third of coral reefs north of Kyauk Phyu town have already been seriously damaged, undermining fish and marine life, and local fishing. Freshwater rivers and waterways have been dredged for sand and gravel for construction purposes, and are set to become dumping grounds for toxic materials.

In December 2011, the pipeline project sparked widespread anger across Arakan's cities and rural areas, as local people demanded provision of 24 hour electricity. Ranked the second most impoverished state of Burma by the UN Development Programme, approximately 3 million people living in Arakan have no access to public electricity, with just a few major cities able to access only five to six hours of electricity per day, provided by private companies at extortionate prices of 400-600 Kyat per unit (compared to 25 Kyat per unit in Rangoon). Overall, Burma is by far the poorest country in Southeast Asia, with a third of the population living in poverty.

The eruption of ethnic violence across Arakan against ethnic Rohingyas six months later in 2012 was therefore most likely triggered by the simmering tensions wrought by escalating economic marginalisation.

On the one hand, Arakan's deepening economic crisis, fuelled by the state-backed pipeline project, laid the groundwork for an increase in xenophobia and racism toward the Rohingya.

On the other, Burmese state agencies appear to have deliberately fostered the ethnic cleansing campaign to divert populist anger away from the devastating impact of the pipeline project, and instead toward the most easy and vulnerable target to hand.

...

 

 

 

Julian Burnside [24/12/15]:

 

The Manus detention centre is supposed to hold only adult men. It is far too harsh for women or children: even the Immigration Department understand that.

A Rohingyan boy has been held there for 18 months and he is still only 17. This will be his second Christmas on Manus.

A colleague sent me a message about him. It includes the following:

 

“… He is currently 17 years of age, by his own account, and has been detained on Manus for over 25 months, since he was 15 years old. He no longer remembers his date of birth, but knows he was born in 1999. He is Rohingya, from Myanmar. He left Myanmar following a riot, in 2012.

The reason Immigration officials have recorded his age as older than this, leading to his detention, is that he has falsified papers, a “Family List”, required to obtain a White Card which allowed him to travel within Myanmar. His parents recorded his age as several years older, to facilitate the family moving.

[xxx] says he told Immigration, “100 times”, that his age was recorded incorrectly, and the reason for it, but they would not listen. He does not look older than 17 currently, and I am sure would have looked much younger over two years ago. …”


Leave aside the misery and degradation in Manus; leave aside the fact that we are holding innocent people there and treating them with conspicuous cruelty, on the logic of hanging a dead fox on the fence. The fact is that he is a child. If we have to lock up children, it should not be on Manus.

But we should not be locking up people who have committed no offence anyway. We need to be conscious of the harm we are inflicting, especially at Christmas time.

...


 

 

... When I was in the Foxtrot camp, groans and cries of miserable, homeless human beings broke the dark silence of the island.

Once I climbed up a big tree to attempt to see why the people were crying.

Looking down I saw a very distressing scene. A thin boy who suffers from psychological problems had fallen into the ooze and slime near the fence.

 I could not tell if he was conscious.

His beaten face was clear under the weak lamp light.

He lay like a foetus in the uterus. His clothes were ragged and scruffy.

Four ERT guards were sitting on chairs just beyond where he lay watching his bloody body.

One of them caressed the prisoner’s body with a thin piece of wood in his hands. ...  Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and an honorary member of PEN International, writes from Manus Island, where he has been interned for 29 months [AIM - 10/12/15]

 

 

 

Jail for boat crew paid by Australian official to turn back [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.

"No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us."

 

 

 

 

New Zealand government refers refugees to Australia [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. [The UNHCR Canberra have said nothing - they refer any concerns about atrocities against refugees in our region to the Bangkok office.]

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.]

 

 

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald [16/10/15]:

 

A group of 120 refugees stuck in Pekanbaru, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, have gone on a hunger strike to protest their frustration over delays to their resettlement in a third country.

Ahmad Zaki, a Hazara refugee from Pakistan, said the refugees wanted the UN refugee agency to come to Pekanbaru to discuss their resettlement cases and open an office in the Sumatran city.

"We are waiting for our resettlement process from more than one year," Mr Zaki said. "I want to go to Australia or any other country."

The men, who are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Myanmar, have been found to be genuine refugees by the UNHCR.

Their accommodation, medical care and a living stipend is paid for by the International Organisation of Migration.

"We tried to contact UNHCR many times. They make excuses every time. They reached other cities every two to three months regularly," Mr Zaki said.

About 13,000 asylum seekers and refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Indonesia.

Many found to be genuine refugees remain stranded in the archipelago while the UNHCR tries to find a third country in which to resettle them.

In an interview with Fairfax Media last week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Indonesia was not a destination country for refugees.

"So we hope that countries like Australia could take more. But of course I understand the domestic situation," she said.

"Shared responsibility, shared burden is very important. I leave it to the UNCHR to have a discussion with destination countries that belong to the Convention [relating to the Status of Refugees]."

...

 

 

 

Omission is the most powerful form of lie.

 

George Orwell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia no longer accepts refugees, but the ABC are still misleading the nation with sustained "good refugee" yarns [ABC - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hazara asylum seeker being deported to danger [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 13/3/16]

 

 

 

 

Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton says 30 Syrians have been accepted into Australia, but how many has he forcibly deported? [ABC - 17/3/16]

 

 

 

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 - 19/8/14]

 

 

 

 

Important  lecture about seeking asylum - and how Australia is trashing the UN Refugee Convention ----> Professor Alison Mountz, of Harvard University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, responds to and challenges the crisis narratives unfolding in the media as she discusses political struggles over the erosion of asylum taking place globally.

This talk explores shifting geographies of migration and border enforcement in major transit sites where migrants and asylum seekers seek entry and protection.

The talk dwells in islands and enforcement archipelagos, offshore sites where struggles over entry and exclusion transpire and where the infrastructure of border enforcement and detention are growing. ... [VIDEO - Centre for International Governance Innovation - 12/11/15]

 

 

 

Guardian [11/12/15]:


Secret federal government documents cast doubt over whether Australia told Indonesia and the United Nations about a retrospective ban on taking refugees from official channels.

In November last year Australia announced it would no longer accept refugees who applied for resettlement through the UN’S refugee agency in Indonesia.

The ban applied to anyone who registered with the UNHCR from 1 July 2014.

...

 

 

 

 

17 March 2016

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