If we CLOSE THE CAMPS
LET THEM STAY
BRING THEM HERE
Our friend Thomas Wales, a traditional landowner from Weipa. ...
Image: @RefugeeArtProj [18/2/16]
@pamelacurr [18/2/16]: Saw 2 men today- they arrived Mar 2010-met them in Schergercamp-screwed by corrupt IMR [Independent Merits Review] process now 6 yrs later still wait 4 decision- cruel
@minillinim [18/2/16]: Hanging out with awesome people doing awesome things #LetThemStay #LadyCilento
Queensland Greens should put one of these up in Brisbane ---> @sarahinthesen8 [18/2/16]: Abusing children is no solution. This billboard just went up in #adelaide
Socialist councillor says #LetThemStay and close the camps [Green Left Weekly - 16/2/16]:
... It is concerning that some are seeking to limit, or contain, the current groundswell in the refugee rights movement.
For example, Moreland council on February 10 voted in support of a motion to “end the cruel and inhumane system of offshore detention by closing down the detention centres and bringing all asylum seekers and refugees who have been released from these detention centres to Australia”.
We also resolved to let the Victorian Premier know that Moreland council would welcome these children and families and help in their settlement.
However, the original motion, moved by Greens Mayor Sam Ratnam, only called on the government to allow the 267 asylum seekers to remain in Australia.
I felt that this was totally inadequate and moved an amendment to end all offshore processing.
However Ratnam and ALP councillor Lambros Tapinos opposed my amendment on the basis that it made the motion “aggressive”.
After Greens councillor Lenka Thompson decided to second my amendment, the whole motion passed unanimously (including the Liberal Party councillor).
I'm pleased it did but, at the same time, remain dismayed at the Mayor's initial reluctance to support the logical addition of calling for the detention centres to be dismantled.
When ordinary folk are taking the campaign to a new level, those holding office cannot be gutless.
It is only because there is bipartisan support for Australia's cruel refugee policies that they still exist and are being promoted to the world.
We have a long way to go if we are to win this fight. We do need to ensure the children and babies are not sent back to the camps — as the NSW ALP conference motion stated. But we also need to do a lot more than this.
Apart from the 267 people who face deportation to torture centres, we need to demand that all the asylum seekers in these camps and the refugees who have been let out of the Nauru and Manus detention centres be bought to Australia and resettled.
The whole system of offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island is a slow and torturous death for asylum seekers and refugees. The effect of this cruel detention system on its victims is permanent.
We also need to stop the Turnbull government from fast tracking the deportation of around 30,000 asylum seekers on bridging visas out of Australia with no right of appeal.
We need to replace the whole punitive detention system with a humane, community-based refugee processing system.
Before 1992, all asylum seekers in Australia lived in the community while their claims were being processed.
We need to grow the refugee rights movement, support others' initiatives and involve new activists in the campaign committees with a view to strengthening them.
The opportunity to build the movement is now, and we cannot waste a moment.
Spreading the word about all the upcoming rallies (including the Walk for Justice for Refugees rally on Palm Sunday and the World Refugee Day rallies around the country and making sure these are huge is essential.
That show of people power is critical if we're going to break the bipartisan inhumane refugee laws.
Sue Bolton is a Socialist Alliance councillor for the City of Moreland.
Bombs continue raining down upon Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [18/2/16]:
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, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, four strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL building.
-- Near Hawl, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL mortar position, three ISIL buildings, and an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.
Strikes in Iraq
Fighter, ground-attack, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Albu Hayat, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed nine ISIL rocket rails.
-- Near Fallujah, one strike destroyed an inoperable piece of partner nation equipment, at the request of the Iraqi government, in order to prevent its capture by ISIL forces.
-- Near Makhmur, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Mosul, one strike produced inconclusive results.
-- Near Qayyarah, one strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL recoilless rifle.
-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL light machine gun.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, two strikes destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
... We say loud and clear: the doctor of your enemy is not your enemy. ... Syria: Statement by Dr Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières [18/2/16]
@MSF_Sea [18/2/16]: ... The @Greenpeace @MSF team is currently assisting those crammed on this tiny boat on the shores of #Lesvos.
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon in the last 24 hours?@ItalianNavy [17/2/16]: #UltimOra #SAR Nave Fulgosi #MarinaMilitare in porto a Pozzallo durante lo sbarco dei 363 migranti soccorsi ieri.
... The police push us to train (saying) 'you have to, you must go to train'. ... 200 migrants and refugees are turned away from Croatia as Eastern European nations start to impose tougher controls along their borders [VIDEO - Channel 4 News - 17/2/16]
Pope Francis has decried the "tragedy" of people who are forced to migrate, as he celebrated Mass in Mexico's Ciudad Juarez city on the border with the US.
He climbed a ramp overlooking the Rio Grande that separates the city and El Paso, Texas, and laid flowers on a cross erected in memory of migrants who died trying to cross to the other side.
Earlier, he met inmates in the jail of Ciudad Juarez that was once one of the most violent cities in Mexico. The events concluded his five-day trip.
The pontiff's visit came just days after 49 prisoners died in a fight between rival gang members at the Topo Chico jail in the north-eastern city of Monterrey. ... [BBC - 18/2/16]
International publishers demand Hong Kong release missing booksellers [Channel News Asia - 18/2/16]
Four times as many US troops as originally planned are to take part in a joint military exercise with South Korea next month following nuclear and missile tests by the North, Seoul said on Thursday.
The US will send 15,000 troops to the annual computer-simulated "Key Resolve" exercise, the Yonhap news agency quoted Defence Minister Han Min-goo as saying, up from 3,700 last year.
South Korea would also increase the number of troops it sends, he said.
Key Resolve, which ran for 10 days last year, usually kicks off simultaneously with a field exercise known as Foal Eagle, another joint military drill that lasts around 50 days.
Foal Eagle is also expected to be the largest ever this year, attracting key US strategic assets such as an air force combat brigade, marines, a naval fleet led by an aircraft carrier and nuclear-powered submarines, Yonhap said ... [Channel News Asia - 18/2/16]
Michigan: What did GM and the Governor know? GM stopped using Flint water over a year before emergency declared [Democracy Now - 17/2/16]
As Flint residents are forced to drink, cook with and even bathe in bottled water, while still paying some of the highest water bills in the country for their poisoned water, we turn to a little-known story about the bottled water industry in Michigan.
In 2001 and '02, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued permits to Nestlé, now the largest water bottling company in the world, to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan.
This sparked a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and the residents in Mecosta County, where Nestlé's water wells are located.
One of the most surprising things about this story is that, in Mecosta County, Nestlé is not really required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of a lease to a private landowner.
In fact, the company received $13 million in tax breaks from the state of Michigan to locate the plant there. ... [Democracy Now - 17/2/16]
The State Government and mining industries are violating Queenslanders’ human and environmental rights, the Senate Inquiry into Unconventional Gas Mining heard today at Dalby in the Darling Downs. ... [Lock The Gate - 17/2/16]
Queensland government must protect our water rights, not just surrender to miners’ demands: water expert [Lock The Gate - 16/2/16]
‘Nothing to see here’ attitude on Condamine River bubbling is a worrying farce [Lock the Gate - 14/2/16]
A bureaucratic error has rendered eight years' worth of approvals for oil and gas operations in sensitive marine areas invalid, Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg has revealed, forcing the government and Labor to rush through laws to make the projects legal. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 11/2/16]
Federal Labor Leader Bill Shorten has raised the stakes on moves to establish an international nuclear waste dump in Australia, in praising the work of the South Australian Royal Commission into the Nuclear Fuel Cycle. ... [Greens Media Release - 16/2/16]
Local councils still using weed killer glyphosate despite WHO warning it probably causes cancer [ABC - 16/2/16]
Latin American doctors suggest Monsanto-linked larvicide cause of Microcephaly, not Zika Virus [EcoWatch - 12/2/16]
Gold Coasters have been spared one of the worst mosquito seasons on record thanks to an “operational blitz’’ by Council officers over the past 18 months.
The targeted campaign has earned praise from Mayor Tom Tate as he welcomed an international mosquito expert visiting the city.
USA’s Panama City Beach Mosquito Control District entomologist Mike Riles is spending the week on the Gold Coast to assess the City of Gold Coast’s mosquito control program. ... [Gold Coast City Council Media Release - 5/2/16]
Herberton Hospital virus outbreak report released [Brisbane Times – 12/2/16]
IVF an 'evolutionary experiment', warns scientist [Yahoo/Press Association – 16/2/16]
Apple fights order to unlock San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone [New York Times – 17/2/16]
Two men accused of conspiring to prepare a terrorist act, Omar Al-Kutobi and Mohammad Kiad, have been committed to stand trial in Sydney.
Al-Kutobi, 25, and Kiad, 26, were committed for trial after they waived their rights to a committal hearing in Sydney's Central Local Court.
They were arrested in Fairfield a year ago after a search during which police seized a hunting knife, a machete, a homemade Islamic State flag and a video depicting a man talking about carrying out an attack.
The pair will remain in custody until their Supreme Court trial for conspiring to do an act in preparation for a terrorist act. ... [ABC - 17/2/16]
Aboriginal minister Bess Price denied request to speak Indigenous language in NT Parliament [ABC - 18/2/16]
Australia violated the rights of David Hicks by keeping him in jail, as evidence shows that he was forced to accept a plea bargain with United States authorities as a condition for his return, United Nations human rights experts have said. ... [Media Release - 17/2/16]
... Mr Kenny [lawyer] says it is a vindication but he believes the finding does not go far enough.
"I was disappointed to see that there was no order that compensation be paid to David. I think that is the most disappointing aspect. I think that David would still be very keen to look at the compensation aspect, and that's a matter that I'll no doubt consider."
Mr Kenny says he's ready to take new legal action against the Australian government.
But he admits he is not sure how he would go about turning a UN committee decision into a law suit in Australia.
"Good question. I'm not an expert on UN law and the application to Australia. I think I'll need some advice on that one." ...
Queensland lockout laws: Brisbane music community fears Kings Cross-style wipe-out [ABC – 17/2/16]
UN human rights experts urge Western Australia’s Parliament not to pass proposed anti-protest law [Media Release - 15/2/16]
@zoevirginia [18/2/16]: The #GoodWill4 who were arrested today for hanging the #LetThemStay banner near the #LadyCilento
The ABC and Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones are spruiking this today because Australia's refugee policies (along with the Murdoch Press' denigration of asylum seekers AND public education) are scaring the world away:
Study in Queensland, Australia. With its world-class education and training providers at scenic locations from cities to country towns to the beach, you’ll feel at home in Queensland’s safe and relaxed environment.
A Queensland education experience will help you build skills that give you a competitive edge – academically, personally and professionally. Read about other students’ experiences in Queensland here.
How do companies avoid serious reputational and financial damage? Strong human rights policies, says Professor Robert McCorquodale from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.
Speaking today at the Commission’s first Rights Talk for 2016, Professor McCorquodale – who began working in business and human rights law in the 1990’s – shared his extensive knowledge with a full house. ... [Human Rights Commission - 17/2/16]
Stop the lies and false choices: Australia no longer accepts refugees and is stopping people from seeking asylum by pushing boats back and torture [SBS - 10/7/15]
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.
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]
INDEFINITE, MANDATORY DETENTION IS TORTURE.
CLOSE THE CAMPS.
No opposition - and no definitive statement of support from professional associations such as the AMA - allows for government escalation ---> Serco guards bar refugee advocate from visiting family at Lady Cilento Hospital [Guardian - 18/2/16]:
Serco guards employed by the Department of Immigration have barred an asylum seeker advocate from visiting Baby Asha and her mother at a Brisbane hospital.
Doctors at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento children’s hospital are refusing to discharge the one-year-old baby, known as Asha, who was being treated for burns sustained at the Nauru offshore processing centre, because they do not believe the centre provides a safe environment for a child.
Natasha Blucher, a former Save the Children worker who is now advocacy coordinator for the Darwin Asylum Seeker Advocacy and Support Network (DASSAN), has been supporting the family, but said her permission to visit with them has been revoked without explanation.
Blucher told Guardian Australia she had applied to visit Asha and her mother earlier this week. She had been granted permission by the Department of Immigration to visit the mother and baby on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, citing their relationship of two years.
Blucher met with the pair on Tuesday morning, but upon returning in the afternoon she was approached by a “quite rude” Serco guard who told her approval had been revoked and she had to leave.
Subsequent repeated phone calls to the Department of Immigration have been ignored or fobbed off, according to Blucher.
Serco referred questions from Guardian Australia to the immigration department, which said visitation rights were decided on a case by case basis with a number of considerations, “primarily in relation to the ongoing security and welfare of the people they are seeking to visit”.
The spokesman said the department was in contact with a number of people and authorities, including the family.
“Decisions are being made in the best interests of the child and family and where visitation refusals are made they are for good reasons, which may not be able to be shared publicly,” he said.
“Authorised legal representatives and caseworkers for detainees are not impeded in their visitation applications. This individual is not an authorised caseworker for this family and does not deliver services on behalf of the department or its service providers.”
In response Blucher said it didn’t make sense for the department “to state that these decisions are made in the best interests of the family, when it’s the family themselves who are so upset that I’m not allowed to see them”.
Blucher said Asha’s mother had not been allowed to receive calls from her. She questioned the government’s recent promise of compassion towards asylum seekers currently in the custody of Australian authorities.
“The government has made statements that they are going to treat people with compassion and on a case by case basis,” said Blucher.
“When Malcolm Turnbull was asked about Asha specifically he said he wouldn’t comment on individual cases but that we’ll be treating all people with compassion. Not allowing a mother with a sick child in hospital to be visited by someone she’s known for two years when she has no other friends around is not compassion.”
Brisbane Times [18/2/16]:
"Public numbing and indifference" towards state abuses in Nazi Germany resembles that enabling Australia's immigration detention centres, a prominent psychiatrist says, also likening public complicity in the detention regime to the White Australia policy.
On Thursday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, in Washington to discuss border protection at a Five Country ministerial meeting, repeated the Turnbull government's insistence that asylum seekers and refugees in Australia for medical care, and their families, would be returned to Nauru once their treatment has finished.
"The government has been consistent all along in relation to our strong stance to make sure we keep our borders secure," he said.
In a paper published in the Australasian Psychiatry journal this month, Dr Michael Dudley, a psychiatrist at Sydney Children's Hospital and a senior University of NSW lecturer, wrote that prolonged immigration detention shows "reckless indifference and calculated cruelty".
Such policies misuse health and welfare professionals to "underwrite state abuses and promote public numbing and indifference resembling other state abuses," he said, citing the so-called "war on terror" and, with qualification, Nazi Germany.
Dr Dudley said various modern states have purported to protect citizens by identifying security threats, targeting "undesirables" and eliminating public scrutiny.
"Australians may be psychically numbed about boat interceptions and gulags, but cannot claim ignorance," he wrote.
He later told Fairfax Media that the Nazi regime relied on an underlying ideological commitment in which "the end is seen as justifying the means".
"We haven't seen Nazi death camps in Australia … but we have had some pretty extraordinary policies historically in this country, which include policies towards indigenous people.
"I think White Australia has links to our current policies towards boat people in our unwillingness to systematically think about this issue, to contemplate alternatives."
He said like gulags, detention centres were "places out of sight, out of mind where terrible things are happening and we are assuming the state is looking after us".
In the journal, Dr Dudley said health and welfare workers who assisted the Nazi regime were usually ordinary people motivated by "peer and situational pressures, careerism and ideological commitments", and that "euphemism, bureaucratic routines and missionary zeal facilitated psychic numbing and denial".
He called for the healthcare of asylum seekers to be transferred from the immigration bureaucracy to state and federal health departments to strengthen clinical independence and help uphold ethical codes.
Dr Dudley said health professionals working in the detention regime were "lending credibility to abuses", whether deliberately or inadvertently.
His comments came as the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists on Thursday released new guidelines for those working in immigration detention.
It includes a statement that advocating against policies that harm mental health is a "non-partisan activity integral to delivering quality healthcare".
A spokesman for Mr Dutton said the government had a "compassionate approach toward vulnerable people, but our hardline against people smugglers remains resolute. We are not going to allow the deaths at sea to recommence." <--- He is able to continue getting away with lying because there is no opposition.
Musicians Against Offshore Process #LetThemStay @boudist @violentsoho @airlingx @KirinJCallinan
Image: @bigscarymusic [18/2/16]
@cmrnsmth [18/2/16]: We MQ NTEU/Faculty of Arts folk say #LetThemStay #closethecamps #EducationNotDetention ...
@leerhiannon [18/2/16]: We made an A-frame #LetThemStay
@shorts_forever [18/2/16]: These guys are at #LadyCilento this afternoon from the human rights group at Brisbane State High ...
@ASRC1 [18/2/16]: ... #Brisbane residents unfurl #letthemstay banner from the Goodwill Bridge!
@zoevirginia [18/2/16]: Down safe, cops have arrested four people ...
Protected and unaccountable Prime Minister
Turnbull is relaxed and comfortable because there is no opposition to torture
----> @SarinaRusso [17/2/16]:
Turnbull today shared his goodwill in Brisbane over the Goodwill Bridge!…
Thousands attend anti-government protest in Kosovo, demand snap election [EURO News – 17/2/16]
Bosnian police arrested three former policemen, including previously-convicted Darko Mrdja, on new charges of war crimes against non-Serb detainees during the Bosnian War.
The three suspects have been accused of killing at least 10 non-Serbs as part of a massacre of over 150 detainees scheduled for transfer to nearby detention camps in 1992.
Mrdja was already convicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in 2004, and he was released from his 17-year sentence in 2013.
Mrdja still remains a suspect for the additional murder of three Bosnian Muslims in Sredice. ... [JURIST - 17/2/16]
Unidentified aircraft attacked a hospital compound in the city of Derna, eastern Libya, on February 7, 2016, in apparent violation of the laws of war.
Two bombs struck the Al-Wahda Hospital compound in the Bab Tobruk area, killing at least two civilians, including a child, and causing extensive damage.
No warring party in Libya and no third country has claimed responsibility for airstrikes on several locations in Derna that day.
Saqr el-Jerroushi, air force chief of staff for the Libyan government based in Tobruk and al-Bayda, which does not control Derna, said in an interview that the strikes were carried out by a “neighboring country” but did not give details.
His government, one of two in Libya, also issued a statement denying any responsibility, while warning against the “violation of Libyan sovereignty and penetration of its airspace.” ... [Human Rights Watch - 17/2/16]
Yemen: UN envoy calls on Security Council to support efforts towards cessation of hostilities [Media Release - 17/2/16]
At least two dozen civilians have lost their lives and more than a dozen others sustained injuries in a string of new airstrikes by Saudi Arabia against areas across Yemen.
On Wednesday morning, Saudi warplanes carried out aerial assaults against residential buildings in al-Mahjar Village, which lies on the outskirts of the capital, Sana’a, leaving 13 civilians, mostly women, dead, Yemen’s al-Masirah reported.
Three people were also killed when Saudi jets targeted their vehicle as it was traveling along Bani Hajil highway in the Nihm district of Sana’a Province.
Additionally, a civilian and his wife were also killed when Saudi jets pounded the Kharab al-Marashi district of the northern Yemeni province of Jawf. Saudi jets also bombarded the Hayfan district in the same Yemeni province on Wednesday, wounding four civilians and seriously damaging a telecommunications tower and a mosque in the area.
Elsewhere, in the Monabbih district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada, two civilians were killed and five others wounded in a Saudi airstrike. ... [Press TV - 17/2/16]
New report of US-made cluster bomb use by Saudis in Yemen [New York Times – 14/2/16]
Saudi Arabia took part in weekend air strikes against Islamic State: Pentagon [Reuters - 16/2/16]
The University of Texas president approved plans on Wednesday that would allow for licensed concealed handgun holders to bring pistols into classrooms, saying he has been forced to do so under a new law approved by the state's leaders. ... [Reuters - 17/2/16]
Donald Trump speaks a truth and articulates what the majority of Australian politicians believe: Torture is torture and it works as intended i.e. to terrorise and brutalise [NBC - 17/2/16]:
Donald Trump, the Republican candidate currently leading the pack in South Carolina, told a crowd Wednesday morning that "waterboarding is fine" but "not nearly tough enough."
This was not the first time Trump has advocated in favor of the controversial enhanced interrogation tactic.
But at a town hall event in Bluffton, South Carolina, Trump insisted that "torture works."
A Senate Torture report from 2014 said enhanced interrogation tactics did not help to retrieve information from prisoners.
Still, Trump holds strong in his beliefs. "Don't tell me it doesn't work," he said. "Torture works. Okay, folks?"
In an opinion piece earlier this week, Trump further pressed for the use of torture, writing "I cannot imagine knowing that something could have been done to save American lives and then not taking those actions."
UN finds Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers violates the Convention Against Torture [Human Rights Law Centre - 9/3/15]
Nine MSN [14/8/15]:
Asylum seekers at Nauru have been water-boarded and secured to metal frame beds that are thrown into the air so they crash onto the floor, says an Australian guard at the detention centre.
The unnamed whistleblower, who works for Wilson Security, made the explosive torture allegations in a submission to a parliamentary inquiry examining abuse at the centre.
He gave a detailed explanation of a technique called "zipping".
"This process occurs by using cable ties to secure an asylum seeker to a metal bed with metal bars at the base ... the bed is thrown into the air and injury caused to the asylum seeker as the bed strikes the floor," he said.
Nauru Senate Inquiry - August 2015 - Supplementary Submission [Mr Jon Nicholls No. 95.1]:
... Despite what one may find on the internet, at no time has Mr Nichols suggested waterboarding etc was part of some organised intelligence gathering for whomever - he says it occurred in a modern day 'Lord of of the Flies' - 'Stanford Experiment' type situation - the guilty parties did it for mere enjoyment and human nature is what it is.
There is no protection on Nauru from this behaviour because there is no Rule of Law, just arbitrary, crude and evil behaviour. ...
Manus Island asylum seekers given anti-malarial drug known to cause mental health problems; Immigration Department moving to offer alternatives [ABC - 9/2/16]
Antimalaria drugs used in "an experimental program in interrogation and torture" of detainees at Guantanamo [Kevin Gosztola - 5/4/15]
Mass administration of the antimalarial drug mefloquine to Guantanamo detainees: a critical analysis, Remington L. Nevin - Department of Preventive Medicine, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, Ft. Polk, LA, USA :
... One possibility is that the use of mefloquine was simply erroneously directed by senior US military medical officials overly confident of the drug’s safety and unfamiliar with its appropriate use, in an apparent foreshadowing of its later, broader misprescribing among US military personnel (Nevin 2010).
Another possibility, which is deeply troubling to consider, is that the decision to administer the drug was informed and motivated at least in part by knowledge of the drug’s adverse neuropsychiatric effects and the presumed plausible deniability of claims of misuse in the context of its seemingly legitimate clinical or public health indication. ...
600 refugees in Australian detention centre write open letter demanding assisted suicide [Independent - 2/12/15]
Guardian [VIDEO - 23/1/15]:
... Video footage obtained by Guardian Australia shows dozens of asylum seekers and refugees held in a single, windowless prison cell.
There is no furniture in the cell. Almost all the men lie close together and motionless in tight lines on the floor.
A man speaking on the video – whose voice has been altered to avoid identification – alleged the men were beaten by security guards employed by Wilson and by police while in custody.
“They have beaten everyone in this camp. We are totalling 58 people, they beat the shit out of all of us,” he said.
The video shows marks on some of the men’s bodies.
It ends abruptly when a noise is heard, apparently outside the cell.
In August 2015, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.
The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?
Senator Moore: Yes.
The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.
Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.
Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.
No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]
Administrative Complaint – extreme temperatures in CBP short term detention facilities [Hold CBP Accountable - 17/2/16]:
On February 2, 2016, NIP/NLG, in collaboration with Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional and the ACLU of New Mexico, filed an administrative complaint on behalf of persons held by CBP in short-term detention facilities where they are exposed to extreme temperatures.
The administrative complaint also challenges the agency standards addressing temperature controls in short-term facilities, but asserts that the agency fails to abide even by these standards.
An undocumented immigrant was reportedly lured out of a church with fake text messages before being apprehended by federal agents last month, an unsettling incident that is raising questions about the often manipulative tactics used by immigration officials. ... [Think Progress - 17/2/16]
Texas child protection agency moves forward in licensing family detention centers [American Immigration Council - 17/2/16]
@Mel_Newby [18/2/16]: This banner in Perth sums it up really. Detention does damage. #LetThemStay #bringthemhere #closethecamps
@ellen_roberts [18/2/16]: Sean did the night shift at #LadyCilento before heading back to his job ...
@ellen_roberts [18/2/16]: Akina bought water down to the vigil 'we can't send a baby back to that situation' ...
@WalkingG20 [18/2/16]: Another dawn at #LadyCilento ...
@FionaPattenMLC [18/2/16]: #LetThemStay It's the correct and compassionate thing to do
"What's happening is actually an act of transformation. We're not only rehumanising the asylum seekers and refugees, we're in the process of rehumanising ourselves, our nation.” The Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt - [VIDEO - #LetThemStay Faith Communities Vigil - 17/2/16]
18 February 2016