Cameras were rolling when a Sky News reporter survived a huge ISIS bomb blast on Thursday as Iraqi forces inch closer to fully recapturing the besieged city of Mosul. ... [Nine MSN - 17/3/17]



@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [17/3/17]:·


Nineveh: News agencies: 22 civilians including children and women were killed and 24 wounded as an aerial and artillery bombing targeted many neighborhoods at the western side in Mosul.


Baghdad: News agencies:3 persons were wounded as an IED exploded near shops in Bakriya area west of Baghdad yesterday night.



Iraq received on Thursday a first batch of 24 South Korea-made T50 fighter jets, said the commander of the air forces. ... [ - 16/3/17]



At least 57 Syrians were killed after an American airstrike struck a mosque in the rebel-held village of Al-Jinah on the provincial border between Idlib and Aleppo on Thursday evening.

90 more were injured and the death toll is expected to rise overnight, local activists said. Another report puts the death toll at around 75 already. ... [AMN - 17/3/17]



Israel carries out air strikes inside Syria [Al Jazeera - 17/3/17]



Russia says rebel boycott of Astana talks was initiative of third party [Reuters - 16/3/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 16/3/17]



In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan today, President Donald J. Trump asked for another $30 billion for the Defense Department in this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, to rebuild the armed forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ... [US Department of Defense - 16/3/17]



‏@openarms_fund [16/3/17]:  Misión cumplida.Todas la vidas que nos han acompañado desde alta mar ya están en puerto seguro.El alma de nuestra misión cada vez más grande




 #Chios island, #Greece, almost one year after the #EU's deal with #Turkey to stop #asylum seekers from reaching #Europe. @sol2refugees [16/3/17]



EU-Turkey deal: Open letter from refugee community leaders to European government leaders [People's Assembly in Lesvos - 15/3/17]:


To mark one year since the EU closed its borders, refugee community leaders – supported by the local community in Lesvos – have come together to fight for the rights of refugees and migrants.

We are not pawns in the EU’s political negotiations with Turkey and today we stand united against your racism. ...



Australia's war of attrition against refugees continues unopposed and unscrutinised as the media ventilates bigotry, and Dutton laps up the attention [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/3/17]


As they maintain their stubborn silence, are Australian "advocates", rights organisations and legal "experts" happy to be represented in the international arena by anti-refugee propagandists at the Frank Lowy Institute? [Deutsche Welle - 16/3/17]



Men face deportation after 4 years illegal imprisonment and sham "assessment" on Manus Island - Amnesty, Refugee Council of Australia etc tweet about Trump [RNZI - 16/3/17]



Nepalese asylum seeker in hiding after refoulement from Australia's illegal refugee prison on Manus Island [ABC - 3/3/17]



Your fears are not credible:  Obama's brutal family deportation system [The Intercept - 14/12/16]



Why did Obama deport 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh, India and Nepal? [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]



UNHCR and Australian media work together on twisted "boat refugees learn their lessons and redeem themselves" deterrence propaganda.

Doesn't leave much time to advocate for the rights of refugees in our region, or scrutinise the impacts of Australia's policy - does it?



10-yr-old Nargis Karimi swam at the beach this summer thanks to #refugee swimming lessons in #Australia ... @UNHCRCanberra [12/3/17]



‏@UNHCRCanberra [15/3/17]:  Forced to flee, Sarah & Liyanna spent a month at sea to seek safety in Australia. Now they patrol Melbourne beaches as surf lifesavers



St Kilda lifesaver and the ABC pretend global displacement isn't happening in our backyard [27/12/16]



The UNHCR said nothing about Bangladesh proudly pushing back boats of Rohingya refugees during the latest Myanmar military operation [Dhaka Tribune - 21/12/16]



UNHCR and IOM showcase their role in maintaining the region's genocidal refugee bottleneck [Media Release - 20/12/16]



UNHCR's Vivian Tan posts a "good news story" about Rohingya as Rakhine burns [Media Release - 20/10/16]



Children among 100s detained during Myanmar military's latest operation against Rohingya [Reuters - 16/3/17]:


Children as young as 10 years old are among hundreds of Rohingya Muslims detained on charges of consorting with insurgents, according to a police document seen by Reuters that sheds new light on Myanmar's security campaign in the country's northwest.

Thirteen juveniles are among more than 400 people arrested since Oct. 9, when insurgents attacked three police border posts in northern Rakhine State near the frontier with Bangladesh, the March 7 dated document shows.

Police said some of the children had confessed to working with insurgents and that they were being detained away from adult suspects.

A government spokesman confirmed children were detained in the operation, but said authorities had followed the law.

He said he knew of only five juveniles currently being held. ...

All 13 juveniles below the age of 18 were sent to be detained outside of prison at a Border Guard Police (BGP) facility in the town of Buthidaung, and were not shackled, said the second police captain, who did not want to be identified.

"Some of the children already confessed that they are involved with the attackers group during interrogation," the police captain said.

They were not beaten during questioning, he said.


U.N. human rights envoy Yanghee Lee visited Buthidaung prison, where most detainees are being held, in January.

Most did not have lawyers, were not informed of the charges against them and had not been able to contact their families, she said.

Reuters also spoke to people who had been released from detention and later fled across the border to Bangladesh, a journey made by about 75,000 refugees since the conflict began.

Di Dar, 22, said he spent 10 days in a military camp after his village was burned in mid-November.

The 300 or so people detained with him were constantly handcuffed and beaten during interrogations, and he witnessed two men killed, he said. ...



Australia's Attorney-General George Brandis: "Thanks to this government, it [the right to seek asylum as a genocide unfolds]  isn't Australia's problem anymore".  [Senate - May 2015]



US Envoy on Refugees, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia [Anne Richard] press conference with UNHCR and IOM fobs off concerns about Myanmar human rights atrocities and regional refugee bottleneck - signals turnbacks as an acceptable course of action [3/6/15]



CBS [1/6/15]:


... Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for population, migration and refugees, said resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States would entice others to leave their homeland.

"The answer to the issue is peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, and that is the solution," she said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia. ...





... 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. ...




“When I see the picture, I feel like I would rather die,” toddler’s father Zafor Alam told CNN. “There is no point in me living in this world.”



Corpses of Rohingya women and children float in Naf River – Bangladesh Marine Engineer [The Stateless - 12/12/16]



Carbonated.TV [4/1/17]:


... “In our village, helicopters fired guns at us, and the Myanmar soldiers also opened fire on us. We couldn't stay in our house. We fled and went into hiding in the jungle,” Alam continued.

“My grandfather and grandmother were burnt to death. Our whole village was burnt by the military. Nothing left.”


After Alam made it to the Naf River, which runs between Myanmar and Bangladesh, he  started swimming and was rescued by some fishermen who helped him across the border.

Once there, he began trying to get his wife and sons to safety.

“I called (my family) on Dec. 4. They were very desperate to leave Myanmar,” Alam recalled.

“They were the last words I had with my family. When I was talking to my wife over phone, I could hear my youngest son calling 'Abba-Abba' (father-father).”

Alam had made a deal with a boatman to help his family cross the river, but just as they were making their escape, the security forces found them.

“When the Myanmar police got a sense that people were preparing to cross the river, they opened fire,” the man explained.

“Hurriedly, the boatman took all people on board to escape the firing. The boat became overloaded. Then it sank." ...



“Two helicopters were deployed to our village. The helicopters flew over the village for over 20 minutes, firing randomly at the villagers. The first round of attack was carried out from a higher altitude, but in the second and third rounds, they flew just over the rooftops of the houses. Seven members of my brother’s family in-law were killed in the helicopter attack.” ... Report of OHCHR mission to Bangladesh:  Interviews with Rohingyas fleeing from Myanmar since 9 October 2016 [3/2/17]



Paying refugee boats to turn around is bipartisan [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/6/15]




16 March 2017