Where are the Australian journalists who will reject this stonewalling and start holding the government and opposition to account for these ongoing atrocities? [SBS - 28/2/17]:


SBS Arabic 24 has received reports from Nauru that a 24-year-old Pakistani refugee was attacked on Monday while he was on his way back from the nearby town where he went to buy cigarettes and other personal items.

There are also confirmed cases of Dengue fever among the detainees and unconfirmed reports that up to eight of the detainees have been flown to Australia to obtained medical treatment.

Detainees in the centre confirmed the attack on the Pakistani refugee on Monday afternoon.

They explained that a local man attacked the refugee, took his money and mobile phone and left him bleeding.

The refugee was then taken back to the detention centre by someone riding a motorbike.

A detainee, Abdul*, who is a friend of the victim, says that upon his arrival to the centre: “he was bleeding heavily, he had a deep head injury, he lost lots of blood.

“The ambulance arrived at the camp some time after the incident and took him to a hospital in Nauru while he was still bleeding”.

Abdul adds that the visits to the hospital are not permitted and expressed sadness and sorrow saying the young victim “was crying of the pain.”

The detainee continues “he is a good and gentle man with a kind heart.”

"The whole camp is sad about what happened to him.”

Two other detainees confirm to SBS Arabic24 that they saw the victim in the immediate aftermath of the alleged attack.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) declined to comment on this particular incident. In response to whether the crime was reported and charges laid, a spokesperson from the Department said in a statement: “Questions relating to law enforcement in Nauru are a matter for the Government of Nauru (GoN).”

“While law and order in the Nauruan community is a matter for the GoN, the Department and its service providers offer significant support to assist with providing information and encouraging victims to undertake appropriate action stemming from reported incidents.”

SBS has contacted the Government of Nauru who have thus far not provided a comment in relation to this incident.

International Health & Medical Services (IHMS), who are responsible for medical services at the centre, declined to comment and also referred SBS to the DIBP for comment.



Why isn't the UN calling on the region (particulary countries who are signatories to the UN Refugee Convention) to PROTECT the Rohingya? ---> I thank everyone in #Bangladesh who facilitated my trip to #CoxsBazar. What you r doing there for the Rohingya refugees is much appreciated!@YangheeLeeSKKU [27/2/17]



Regional refugee bottleneck and refusal to condemn Myanmar/protect Rohingya, prompts Reuters to collectively slander them as drug dealers [27/2/17]



It was Obama who gave Aung San Suu Kyi the greenlight for her 4 month military operation against the Rohingya you sleazebag. ---> ... Keith Harper, who served as U.S. President Barack Obama's ambassador to the Geneva-based council from 2014 to January this year, said Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi had "utterly failed" to address the plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar's Rakhine State.

But he said Western diplomats and human rights advocates saw her as a hero and might let Myanmar off the hook, and he feared the new U.S. administration, which has not yet named his replacement in Geneva, might seek to play down the situation. ... [Reuters - 27/2/17]



‏@AslantasHulya [27/2/17]:  ... #rohingya are driven from their land but their land is full gas #arakan



... Despite the National Security Advisor’s statement that military operations had ceased in northern Arakan State, this was not accepted by the military command so easily.

“The situation in northern Rakhine [Arakan] has now stabilized. The clearance operations undertaken by the military have ceased, the curfew has been eased and there remains only a police presence to maintain the peace,” U Thaung Tun said, according in an official statement about the meeting last week.

The Burma Army itself has been noticeably silent on the security operations—the announcement that they had ceased came from the State Counselor’s Office.

In fact, Gen. Aung Ye Win—the spokesperson of the military—painted a very different picture of the situation when he spoke to The Irrawaddy the day after the security advisor meeting.

“We will not stop clearance operations. There will be regular security operations. Ceasing military operations [in northern Arakan State] is information I am not aware of,” he said. ... Have army operations in Northern Arakan (Rakhine) really ended? [The Irrawaddy - 25/2/17]



‏@nslwin [27/2/17]:


Kanbawza Bank #Maungdaw branch blocks #Rohingyas' money. Posted announcement they won't make any transaction without NVCs. ... [National Verification Card]


They didn't make any announcement in advance. Made it today. Many businesses already blocked by doing so.



Displaced Tamils in Mannar held a demonstration on Monday to show their support for the people of Keppapilavu who are protesting for the return of their land.  [Tamil Guardian - 28/2/17]



The Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena told those attending a military event held in Mannar on Monday that his government had won "international honour" for the country's security forces.  ... [Tamil Guardian - 27/2/17]



Seven killed in prison bus shooting [Sri Lanka Guardian - 27/2/17]



VICTORY - ‘racist’ Palm Island appeal just ditched by government, Gracelyn Smallwood [28/2/17]



Lex Wotton says he can finally relax after the Queensland Government dropped its appeal against a Federal Court ruling which found police had been racist in their response to riots on Palm Island in 2004.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath announced the government was withdrawing the appeal on Tuesday, "having received a further considered legal advice about the State's prospects of success". ... [NITV - 28/2/17]



UN expert urges Australia to actually do something about violence against women [NITV - 28/2/17]:


UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Dubravka Simonovic has delivered her preliminary findings in Canberra, after her inaugural 15-day fact-finding mission to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cherbourg and Alice Springs.

Ms Simonovic was particularly concerned about the plight of Indigenous women, who are 34 times more likely to require hospital treatment as a result of domestic violence, and up to 3.7 times likely to experience sexual abuse.

She also criticised the presence of red tape, which stops women from escaping domestic violence, and called on the government to lift its game when providing crisis services and shelters for women experiencing domestic violence, which is a key cause of homelessness.

 Ms Simonovic’s tour included an opportunity to speak directly with women prisoners in a Brisbane jail.

The UN special rapporteur expressed concern for how women are being locked up for unpaid fines, and has called for better mental health care access and alternatives to custodial sentences for those with dependent children.

"I would urge the government to review a policy of incarceration for unpaid fines, which has a disproportionate effect on the rates of incarceration of Aboriginal women because of the economic and social disadvantage that they face," Ms Simonovic said.

She told reporters that adequate funding for community legal services was important, given that Indigenous women are the fastest growing prison population in Australia.

 Ms Simonovic also slammed the rigidity of the basics card - a cashless debit card used to income-manage welfare payments in some remote communities in the Northern Territory, to curb spending on alcohol or gambling, for not providing the flexibility for women to spend their money on expenses related to domestic violence.

She also expressed concern about lax investigations into allegations of rape and sexual abuse of women refugees and asylum seekers in immigration detention on Nauru.



Senior Aboriginal leader Roger Thomas has been appointed South Australia's Treaty Commissioner to lead treaty negotiations between the state government and Aboriginal peoples. ... [NITV - 28/2/17]



Palestinian worker dies while being chased [PNN  28/2/17]:


A Palestinian worker on Tuesday morning died after he fell from height in western Salfit, where the Israeli forces kept chasing him down.

Rabie Nweje’, from Askar refugee camp in Nablus, died after he jumped off the separation fence near al-Zawiya village, in Salfit, where the Israeli soldiers chased him down on his way to work in 1948 areas.

Najeh fell from a height of 50 meters and died right on the spot.

His body was picked up by Israeli heliocopter, taken to an Israeli hospital, then handed over to a Red Crescent ambulance.

Hundreds of Palestinian workers are forced to go to work in Israel without a permit, since Israeli authorities refuse to approve it to them.



Israeli forces shoot elderly Palestinian man in foot, pelvis at Huwwara checkpoint [Maan - 28/2/17]:


Israeli soldiers shot and wounded an elderly Palestinian man at a checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank early on Tuesday.

Medics from the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that Hussein Hassan Qawariq, 72, was shot by Israeli forces at the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus.

They added that Qawariq was hit in the foot and pelvis, and evacuated by the Red Crescent to the Rafidiya hospital in Nablus. ...



Two Palestinians, including a 9-year-old girl, were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets fired by Israeli forces on Monday afternoon during clashes in the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a Fatah spokesman in the camp.

Thaer al-Fasfous told Ma'an that dozens of Israeli police officers stormed the camp and started to ransack stores, prompting local young men and teenagers to clash with them.

Israeli forces, he said, “showered the camp” in tear gas and fired rubber-coated steel bullets "haphazardly." ... [Maan - 27/2/17]



Seven people were injured in a terrorist attack with shells on al-Adawi area in Damascus.

A source at Damascus Police Command told SANA Tuesday that terrorists positioned in al-Qaboun neighborhood and the eastern al-Ghouta targeted with a number of shells al-Adawi residential area, as the shells fell in the surroundings of the nurseries, injuring 7 persons and causing material damage to the citizens’ houses and properties. [SANA - 28/2/17]



Syrian Army cuts off frontline between Turkish Army and ISIS [AMN - 27/2/17]



The Russian Black Sea Fleet’s advanced frigate Admiral Grigorovich has set off for its long-distance voyage in the Mediterranean Sea, the Defense Ministry said on Monday. ... [TASS - 27/2/17]



Approach this with your critical faculties intact ---> The extended family of an electrician who allegedly wanted to help the Islamic State with missile detection technology was already on the police radar for funding an arms racket linked to the terrorist group. 

Haisem Zahab was arrested on Tuesday at his property in Young in NSW's south-west, for allegedly attempting to research and design a laser warning device and missiles for IS over the internet. ...  [Sydney Morning Herald - 28/2/17]



... After an elaborate undercover sting operation, the FBI arrested 25-year-old Robert Lorenzo Hester of Columbia, Missouri even though the only ties he had to terrorism were the two undercover FBI agents, posing as ISIS terrorists, who paid him to buy terrorism supplies from a hardware store that they convinced him were for a bomb.

The agents came in contact with Hester after becoming alarmed over his comments on Facebook posted under a pseudonym.

During the sting operation, one of the undercover agents pulled a knife on Hester, threatening harm to his family if he reneged on participating in the attacks, according to The Intercept. ... [Photography Is Not A Crime - 23/2/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 27/2/17]



Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will present a preliminary version of the Pentagon’s new plan to rapidly defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during a meeting of the White House Principals Committee today, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said here this morning. ... [US Department of Defense- 27/2/17]



US Air Force to retire MQ-1 Predator Drone, transition to MQ-9 Reaper [US Department of Defense - 27/2/17]



@wikileaks [27/2/17]:  Trump has announced he will ask Congress for a $54b increase in the US military budget--almost equal to the entire Russian military budget.  



Iraqi forces seize Mosul bridge as thousands of civilians flee [IraqiNews.com - 27/2/17]:


... About 1,000 civilians arrived in the early hours of Monday at the sector held by the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), the wounded taken to the clinic of this elite unit, while men were screened to make sure they are not Islamic State members.

Among the people treated at the CTS clinic was a little girl with a blood on her face and a woman with shrapnel in her hand, lying immobile, apparently unconscious.

An old man who came with them said about 20 people were sheltering in their house when it was hit by an air strike two days ago in the southwestern Maamoun district.

Those who managed to escape have had to walk through the desert for at least an hour to reach government lines.


A Reuters reporter saw several trucks teeming with people, lifting columns of sand and dust as they drove away from the city.

One had two women and infants riding in the cabin.

The rest stood on the open bed, held on to the truck from outside, or sat on top of the cabin.

“They booby trapped our homes and our cars,” said an old woman.

A Western volunteer medic at the CTS clinic said a boy with a gunshot wound that shattered his knee was among those treated on Monday, and a pregnant woman who had both legs amputated. ...



‏@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [27/2/17]:


Nineveh: News agencies: "38"persons were either killed or wounded as an aerial and artillery shelling targeted the right side of Mosul.


"4"persons were either killed or wounded as an IED exploded in Zeidan area in "Abu Ghreib"district west of Baghdad.


A man and his wife were killed as an IED attached to his car exploded in Diyala Bridge area south of Baghdad.


A person was killed and "4"were wounded as an IED exploded in Mada'in district south of Baghdad.



Not a war criminal any more? George W. Bush becomes the Guardian's new hero [Sputnik News - 27/2/17]



Myth No. 3 -->  Overly generous rescue operations encourage more refugees and migrants.  [Five Myths about Refugees and Migrants - Harvard Kennedy School - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs - 25/9/15]:


... But Mediterranean migration is driven by human desperation, not by Europe's willingness to rescue.

When Mare Nostrum was suspended in October 2014 and superseded by a smaller-budget E.U. operation that kept close to the Italian shores, migration flows continued unabated — and the death toll increased.

From January through the end of April, 1,721 migrants and refugees died crossing the Mediterranean, setting 2015 up for a record death toll.

Then, because Europe began providing more funding, boats and planes to the effort, and started patrolling a broader swath of sea, the death toll dramatically dropped to 99 between April 27 and June 29.

Still, an estimated 2,500 people had died this year crossing the Mediterranean as of the end of August. ...



@MSF_Sea [27/2/17]:  We get it, @FRONTEX wants to stop #people reaching Europe. But are they actually suggesting that we let them die?



Spanish coast guard rescues 257 migrants [Yahoo - 28/2/17]



@AlbaFerrs [27/2/17]:


Han sido transportados al Pireo 41 refugiados (16 niños, 6 mujeres, 19 hombres)


La operación se llevó a cabo en condiciones climáticas muy difíciles, pero ya están todos a salvo


Aquí la notica por @EFSYNTAKTON



Canadian children held in immigration detention centres [CTV - 232/17]:


When it comes to the treatment of immigrants and refugees, Canada likes to project a rosy image.

But a new study “Invisible Citizens: Canadian Children in Immigration Detention” from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law paints a grimmer picture.

Using internal documents from the Canada Border Services Agency, the study shows that an average of at least 48 Canadian children were housed in Toronto’s immigration detention centre each year between 2011 and 2015 because their non-Canadian parents were being detained. ...



Beginning last April, and picking up in the weeks following the November election, dozens of detainees at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility in rural Georgia went on hunger strike in protest of their detention.

The private prison corporation that runs the facility, CoreCivic — formerly Corrections Corporation of America — responded swiftly to the expanding demonstration: as immigrant detainees refused to eat, CoreCivic staff began immediately locking them in solitary confinement for their participation in the non-violent protest.

According to ICE detainment logs obtained by The Verge through a Freedom of Information Act request, more than two dozen detainees were put in solitary confinement for hunger striking — some simply for declaring they would refuse to eat, even if they hadn’t yet skipped a meal.

The logs also show that CoreCivic may have attempted to gather information on hunger strike organizers through cultivating detainee informants, who were later locked in solitary confinement themselves for protection. ... [The Verge - 27/2/17]


 ... Yet, using detention and deportation to deter future immigration both raised legal concerns and is ineffective.  ... Flawed US response to Central American refugees reiterated by Department of Homeland Security officials [American Immigration Council - 24/2/16]



@wikileaks [27/2/17]:  Full text: DHS intelligence document on Trump travel 'ban' stating that citizenship is not a good predictor via @AP












Behrouz Boochani [24/1/17]:


During the past four years we have witnessed a lot of rallies against the policy of offshore processing.

These rallies have been organised by many groups who claim that they are working against this cruel policy.

I, as a refugee who is on the ground in Manus, have tried to be a part of these rallies.

Sometimes I have sent statements to be read out, or sometimes I have worked with some of the organisers.

Through these experiences I have always had some questions, and I think these questions are also shared with the groups who are supporting refugees.

Why, after four years of protesting, has the government shown no concern and maintained this policy?

And why are the numbers of people at the rallies much the same over the years (there has been some increase, but I'm sure the number of people who could support us is much more).

My understanding is that there are a lot of groups supporting refugees, but that they don't have enough communication between them, and lack understanding or coordination about shared aims.

Some groups have lost their reason for being and focussed too much on personal aims or benefits.

And some groups have tried to maintain separation from others, or become competitive with other groups who actually have the same goals.

I think after four years it is time for us to critically assess ourselves and try to find a logical solution.

My idea is that all of the groups and organisations find a way to develop more communication between them, and share their ideas and plans.

There is already evidence that if civil society organisations make a structure to coordinate their activities it can have a positive effect.

I know that a large number of people in Australia care about the refugees in Manus and Nauru, and a lot of great work has been done.

But improving the organising structure can also help to make a change.

The government should know that by keeping people in prison they will lose power.

Translated by Dr N. Jackson



Refugees imprisoned on Nauru and Manus Island are fighting for their lives - they need HONEST advocacy, not partisan stunts like this forum - which as well as playing along with the cruel "US deal" charade - impliedly endorses the ALP ---> [Refugee Action Collective, Victoria]: Nothing about the 'US refugee deal' is certain; President Trump is only going to 'consider the dumb deal'.

There are serious doubts that it will go ahead at all.

No one knows what "extreme vetting" means to the thousands of people on Manus and Nauru already there for over three years.

In any case the deal falls far short of what is needed to ensure security for all of the people Australia sent to Nauru and Manus Island. <--- THE DEAL REMAINS CLASSIFIED, WHY ARE YOU PRETENDING OTHERWISE?

Those on Manus and Nauru should not wait one day longer for freedom, urgent action is needed to bring the refugees to Australia.

This forum will discuss the politics of the US refugee deal, and building the campaign to #bringthemhere. <--- WHO PUT YOU IN CHARGE OF AUSTRALIA'S REFUGEE RIGHTS MOVEMENT?




28 February 2017