Fascist #LNP and #ALP cartel are in lockstep with their anti-refugee policy. I am going to #VOTEINFORMAL
... So in real terms, it is the boat people themselves the Australian government has criminalized, dehumanized and demonized, and it is against them that Australian politicians on both sides of party power have uncompromisingly “stood firm” in refusing to open their hearts with human compassion to the plight of the desperate. ... Come on Ozzy! Do the right thing.
Or at the very least, blush. [Open Democracy - 30/4/16]
50 asylum seeker families trapped and terrorised by DIBP in prolonged, ritual humiliation on 18 April - Melbourne [RISE - 18/4/16]
Arizona House advances bill targeting noncitizens’ criminal sentences [Ktar News – 29/4/16]:
... Francisca Porchas, Puente’s organizing director, said the bill sets up a separate and harsher system of justice for immigrants and noncitizens.
“We believe it is yet another way to give more money to the private prison industry in this country and grow it on the backs of our people,” she said. ...
A member of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement who is involved in UN-brokered peace talks in Kuwait to resolve the Yemeni crisis said the movement reserves the right to show appropriate reaction to any violation of ceasefire by Saudi-led military coalition. ... [Tasnim - 30/4/16]
US drone strike kills six in south Yemen [26/4/16]
An Australian charity boss in her 60s has been kidnapped by armed men claiming to be intelligence agents in Afghanistan, her organization said Friday.
Katherine Jane Wilson is the founder and executive director of Zardozi, a non-governmental organization supporting female artists and entrepreneurs in the country, according to the charity. ... [NBC - 29/4/16]
US drone strike kills six in eastern Afghanistan [Press TV - 29/4/16]
Communications and equipment failures and human error compounded by the stress of combat contributed to the mistaken airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders trauma facility in Kunduz City, Afghanistan, last October, the commander of U.S. Central Command said here today.
Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel told Pentagon reporters that 16 service members were disciplined because of the tragic attack by an AC-130 aircraft that led to the deaths of 42 people.
Votel again apologized for the incident and said the command will do all it can to learn from the incident. ... [US Department of Defense - 29/4/16]
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in Florida has fired and arrested an officer they say hit a woman who was handcuffed.
Undersheriff Pat Ivey said in a news conference Thursday that authorities arrested 26-year-old probationary patrol officer Akinyemi Borisade on a battery charge.
Footage released by the sheriff’s office shows Borisade striking 31-year-old Mayra Martinez, who attempted to kick Borisade as she was being restrained and checked into a jail. ... [WFLA.com - 29/4/16]
A man wearing a white panda suit who allegedly made a bomb threat at Fox Television's Baltimore affiliate on Thursday was shot and wounded by police outside the building, authorities said.
Three Baltimore police officers opened fire on the man as he emerged from WBFF and ignored police orders to take his hands out of his pockets, police spokesman T.J. Smith told a news conference.
The suspect was in serious but stable condition at a hospital. ... [Reuters - 28/4/16]
Baltimore police shoot 13-year-old boy who was carrying fake gun [Reuters - 27/4/16]
A 2-year-old boy fatally shot his mother from the back seat of the car as she drove along a Milwaukee highway, sheriff's officials said Wednesday, less than two months after a Florida mother was shot and wounded in similar circumstances. ... [ABC News - 27/4/16]
United States continues bombing everyone
US Department of Defense [29/4/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Iraq and Syria yesterday, 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 and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six strikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles.
-- Near Mara, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed six ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL mortar positions and an ISIL vehicle.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter and ground attack aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 16 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL bunker and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Fallujah, four strikes struck two separate large ISIL tactical units; destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle and two ISIL-used bridges; suppressed a separate ISIL tactical unit; and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Hit, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Kisik, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroyed an ISIL assembly area and two ISIL tunnel entrances and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL fuel and service station and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Qayyarah, two strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL tunnel entrance and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL rocket position.
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [30/4/16]: Fallujah: The international coalition air force has shelled a home owned by Ahmad Al-Luheibi , a national, in Risalah neighbourhood resulted in his death..........
Sadr supporters storm Baghdad's Green Zone [Al Jazeera - 30/4/16]
A suicide bomber driving a car killed at least 19 people and wounded 48 others on Saturday in an attack claimed by Islamic State on a group of Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims in a southeastern suburb of Baghdad, Iraqi police sources said. ... [Reuters - 30/4/16]
Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Iraq on Thursday, where he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials.
It was Biden’s first visit to Iraq since 2011. ... [Democracy Now - 30/4/16]
Turkey's military says it conducted overnight airstrikes against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq and southeast Turkey [US News - 30/4/16]
Turkish authorities Saturday detained the chief news editor of a pro-Kurdish television channel over tweets posted on his account, the broadcaster said, as concern grows over freedom of expression in the country.
The news editor of IMC TV, Hamza Aktan, was detained early Saturday in a police raid on his home in Istanbul, the channel said in a statement on its website.
It said that Aktan was now being interrogated by police, who were in particular focusing on tweets he had shared in 2015. ... [Daily Star - 30/4/16]
Hariri meets Davutoglu a day after meeting Erdogan [Naharnet - 30/4/16]
The United Stated provided Lebanon with sophisticated reconnaissance airplanes that enabled its army to closely monitor the mobility of militants on the outskirts of Lebanese regions, the Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) said on Saturday. ... [Naharnet - 30/4/16]
UK strikes in Syria, Iraq kill 1,000 "IS fighters": MoD [Daily Star - 30/4/16]
A suicide bomber killed five Kurdish policemen at a checkpoint in Syria's divided northeastern city of Qamishli Saturday, police said.
Four others were wounded in the attack on the city's demarcation line, according to Jowan Ibrahim, the commander of the Kurdish police known as the Asayish. ... [Daily Star - 30/4/16]
22 civilians killed in terrorist shelling of Aleppo city in the past 24 hours [SANA - 30/4/16]
Sixteen civilians were killed and scores others, most of them children and women, were injured due to terrorist rocket attacks on the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo city by the terrorists of Jabhat al-Nusra and other armed groups affiliated to it on Friday. ... [SANA - 29/4/16]
Airstrikes hit four clinics in Aleppo in last two days [Antiwar.com - 29/4/16]
14 killed in hospital strike in Syria's Aleppo while UN's de Mistura urges to protect ceasefire [RT - 28/4/16]
Lavrov, Kerry discuss Syria settlement, ceasefire regime — foreign ministry [TASS - 29/4/16]
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee and Labour Party leader Andrew Little have just visited New Zealand troops based at Camp Taji in Iraq. ... [RNZI - 28/4/16]
The UN Security Council on Friday voted to restore the UN mission in Western Sahara but was divided over the steps demanded from Morocco to bring the peacekeeping force back to full operations.
A US-drafted resolution was backed by 10 countries in the 15-member council.
Venezuela and Uruguay voted against the measure, while Russia, Angola and New Zealand abstained. [Ahram - 29/4/16]
Libya: UN envoy ‘deeply concerned’ by terrorist attacks on oil fields [Media Release - 27/4/16]
Amnesty International has accused the Nigerian military of massacring hundreds of people, burning some alive, and trying to cover up the killings.
More than 350 people are believed to have been unlawfully slaughtered by Nigerian soldiers in December during a confrontation between the military and demonstrators with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. [Democracy Now - 25/4/16]
Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on opening a preliminary examination into the situation in Burundi [All Africa – 25/4/16]
Iraqi father-of-two Khairallah Farhan fled his home in Ramadi when it was overrun by extremists in 2015.
But despite the fact that it was retaken by Iraqi forces at the end of last year, he is in no rush to go home.
Not only was his house severely damaged, but two close relatives who hurried home to rebuild their lives were killed by exploding booby-trap devices left behind by militants.
"I'm very cautious about returning. I will not rush back yet," says the 30-year-old, who is among 1,200 displaced Iraqis living at the sprawling Al Salam camp in the capital, Baghdad.
He is among thousands of people from Ramadi weighing the risks of returning home.
The Iraqi government announced at the start of the year that it had re-taken the city from extremist forces, although it has not yet declared the city, Iraq's third largest, "clear" for return.
UN assessment teams found "staggering" destruction in the city.
Thousands of buildings in Ramadi and its outskirts had been damaged, and the city was also littered with improvised explosive devices. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 29/4/16]
Greek couple offers a welcome haven to Syrian family [UNHCR - 27/4/16]
@sosrefugiados [30/4/16]: La guardia costera griega rescata a 49 refugiados cerca de la isla de Samos
An Italian merchant ship rescued 26 migrants off the coast of Libya in rough seas and others were feared missing, the Coast Guard said on Saturday.
The Coast Guard received a call from a satellite telephone on Friday but no voice was heard.
It tracked the signal to a location about seven miles off the Libyan coast, a spokesman said.
An Italian merchant vessel in the area was diverted and on Friday night rescued the 26 from a rubber boat that had taken on water. ... [Reuters - 30/4/16]
Ticket to Lesbos, Will Vassilopoulos [AFP - 25/4/16]:
... The thing about this story is that it gets you to question yourself. I was and am very pro-European.
But this is not a Europe that I want.
This is not a Europe of solidarity.
That eight-year-old boy whose body I saw on the beach.
He was an eight-year-old boy.
He’s not evil. He’s not going to harm me.
He should not be lying dead on a beach. ...
Voices from the road [19/4/16]:
Umm Akeel spoke to MSF from behind the barbed wire and fence surrounding the Samos island hotspot that has been turned into a detention centre for asylum seekers.
She is a 25-year-old mother who fled her jihadist-held town of Jarablus in the countryside of Syria's Aleppo with her baby, who is now just 20 months old.
She had no choice, she says, with the Syrian regime and US-led coalition waging ai...r strikes in the area on one hand, and the Islamic State group imposing on her town its own brutal version of Islamic law.
Her husband had fled Syria 10 months ago, also on the Balkan migrant trail, hoping he would be able to secure family reunion for Umm Akeel and their child soon enough. But his own asylum request has not yet been processed, so Umm Akeel decided to try for herself.
"I moved from my town several times, running from bombs and missiles.
I felt there was no safe place for us. For 20 days we waited desperately in Azaz near Turkey to cross the border. Once we made it in, Turkish police detained me for 20 days," Umm Akeel said.
As they travelled down towards the coast, they were again detained several times.
"The fourth time I was detained with my baby was in Izmir for two days. It was very hard on us and we were treated very badly. We were eventually released in March 20," the same day an EU-Turkey deal aimed at stemming the flow of migrants into Europe came into force, she said.
"After five hours on the boat of death from Izmir to Greece, we reached #Samos. I felt so happy that we were safe, but that happiness just faded away when they put us in detention as though we were criminals," she said.
"I just want the world to have mercy on my family. We do not want much, we just want to be together in a safe place. Every time I call my husband we cry a lot with total helplessness and despair."
"HUMAN RIGHTS. RED CROSS. UN. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. DON'T STOP THE BOATS BY KILLING US IN OFFSHORE.": Day 42 refugee protests, Nauru
"DAY 2 WITHOUT "OMID".
"OMID" was not the first.... give a hand and let it be the last.
Hossein Azadi [30/4/16]
Perth: #CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere #LetThemStay via @jamila_jafari [30/4/16]
The death of another refugee in an Australian-run detention center on Nauru demonstrates the fatal flaws of a system that must be brought to an end, Amnesty International said today. ... [Amnesty International USA - 29/4/16]
... The Holocaust did not start with the gas chambers and the Rwandan genocide did not start with the slayings.
It started with the dehumanization of a specific group of persons. ...
UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng [Media Release - 9/12/14]
Papua New Guinea’s planned closure of a detention center for those bound for its larger neighbor is putting the focus on how Canberra deals with arrivals by sea. [The Atlantic - 29/4/16]:
... The problem seems only to be when Australia discusses migration by boats, said António Guterres, the former UNHCR Commissioner, “and there, of course, we enter into a very, very, very dramatic thing. I think it is a kind of collective sociological and psychological question. They receive, I think, 180,000 migrants in a year. If you come to Australia in a different way, it’s fine but if they come in a boat it is like something strange happens to their minds.” ...
... Dr Dudley said health professionals working in the detention regime were "lending credibility to abuses", whether deliberately or inadvertently. ... [Brisbane Times - 18/2/16]
“This is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.”
It was great to meet with @RefugeesChief Filippo Grandi in Geneva today
Image: @PeterDutton_MP [29/3/16]
As Omid lay dying, two more men were arrested and jailed for attempting suicide on Nauru.
Friends of Yemeni man say he set himself on fire because he did not receive support promised to him by UNHCR [VOA - 6/10/15]
UNHCR "welcomes" Australia's lies about releasing refugees on Nauru [5/10/15]
Free the Children NAURU [27/11/15]:
25.11.15 Connect told to refugees in Nauru : "we have new accommodation for you" when I went there I didn't have room
I lied on the street and Nauru police arected (arrested) me and 3 strong Nauruian men with force pushed me in the police car and they kept me in the jail, still I don't have room for live.
please help me just I need a room for live.
I asked Australian connect worker (her name is (deleted) and they left me alone and Nauru police arested me and they kept me in ...the jail and they left my belongs in the street, I need your help please. still I dont have any place for live.
I am not alone,we are 4 single ladies.
This morning 27.11.15 a protest started at RPC3 one man (Name deleted) climbed to the top of a crane
He was protesting about having another interview with Australian immigration because he has had many interview and he still doesn't know about his refugee statue .
he has a message to world : ( WORLD ,KIDS IN NAURU NEED YOUR HELP )
UNHCR in Jordan excitedly promotes expensive, militarised border control techonology as it creeps into mainstream ----> @And_Harper [8/11/15]: Rest of world is now waking up 2 what we are doing in #jordan w @IrisGuard @CairoAmmanBank @Refugees #innovation
UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]
#BringThemHere rally in Melbourne. We will not stop protesting until #Manus & #Nauru detention camps are closed.
Image: @Jodi_Magi [30/4/16]
@racvictoria [30/4/16]: The message is clear in #Melbourne @PeterDutton_MP and @RichardMarlesMP - bring them here! ...
ABC says 250 attend Melbourne rally. WHAT A CROCK ---> #bringthemhere rally #melbourne via @foxinsoxs69 [30/4/16]
@MHeruc [29/4/16]: Adelaide protest calls on us not to look the other way but advocate for refugees
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back, abandon, or sink in the past 24 hours? ----> @ItalianNavy [29/4/16]: #SAR N.Aviere #MarinaMilitare operaz. #MareSicuro ha concluso trasbordo 238 #migranti (72 minori) su N. #SiemPilot
Feeding into the disempowering orgy of violent, anti-refugee propaganda, or trying to provoke change? [Guardian - 30/4/16]:
... Orner is understandably more cagey about the incredible footage filmed inside the detention centres.
It was filmed secretly and captures something that the tens of thousands of words written about asylum seeker policies can’t: that Australia’s detention centres are hell on earth.
The tents are mouldy, the fences are high, there is no privacy, the bathrooms are filthy and some of the men are housed in a tin second world war shed – in the tropics.
Graffiti on the tents reads, “Kill us.”
Whether she got footage from multiple sources or had one major source at each camp, she won’t say.
So distressing is the film that there is an argument to be made that it feeds into the government’s strategy of deterrence.
After seeing the footage of Nauru and Manus, it’s difficult to imagine any place that’s worse, or that is home to more suffering.
“There is no point in trying to come to Australia now by boat,” says Orner, in an odd echo of the government’s line.
“I don’t think the film can do any damage [to people seeking asylum]. It’s important to expose what’s going on.”
Orner says that part of the shame inherent in the film lies with the Australian people (“people are scared, frightened, xenophobic and racist, and the government uses that to their advantage”), but most of it with the country’s politicians.
“How can you have policy change when the two major parties compete to see who can be the toughest on asylum seekers?” asks Orner.
“The fact that the Labor party supports off-shore detention is a real crisis point for Australian politics.” ...
Angry and frustrated with Australia's asylum seeker and refugee policies, Eva Orner, Academy Award®-winning filmmaker, returned home after a decade living in the States to make the documentary Chasing Asylum about the issue. ... [HarperCollins]
Dogwhistling [Stop Murdoch - 31/7/10]
Oops! ... I did it again [Stop Murdoch -18/11/09]
Torture is torture, yet "advocates" and anti-refugee propagandists continue impliedly endorsing Shorten and Marles [ABC - 30/4/16]:
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Dozens of people marched through Brisbane's inner city last night in support of an Iranian asylum seeker who died yesterday in the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Nance Haxton reports from Brisbane.
PROTESTERS (chanting): Shut Manus Island, shut Nauru / Malcolm Turnbull, we're talking to you...
NANCE HAXTON: The death of the Iranian asylum seeker known only as Omid brought together dozens of protesters in Brisbane last night.
PROTESTERS (chanting): Shut Manus Island, shut Nauru.
CHANT LEADER: Peter Dutton, we're talking to you! ...
@end_md [29/4/16]: So why have @racqld [Refugee Action Collective, Queensland] invited ACTU prez & director of detention financing fund to speak at their [Brisbane] rally? ... <--- Surely it is time for Australian journalists to start seriously interrogating what is going on?
@end_md [29/4/16]: ACTU president @GedKACTU is also a director at Cbus, a superfund that invests in detention companies. ...
After the cruel 19 July policy, every single day that passes, the number of victims is increased and Australia is still sleeping.
Statement from Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist illegally detained on #Manus. ... via @shanebazzi [30/4/16]:
From Manus to Australian people:
The cruel policy of 19 July is constantly victimizing people. In one of the dark and difficult days of the Australian history, we lost another friend of ours. Omid is not with us anymore, Omid accompanied by Reza Berati, Hamid Kahzaei, Fazel Chegini, and other victims, all are the symptoms of this systematic violence and torture of Australian prisons. Seems there is no end for this violence. Omid was a human; and human and humanity are the concepts that are forgotten as a result of the government propaganda.
These days, Australia is a leading country where the human rights are apparently violated. Morality and humanity - human values and their concepts - are replaced by violence, immorality, humiliation and offence. These days, the world and history are observing Australian and are witnessing that how worthless is the life and rights of people in the country that is being governed by a liberal democratic system.
After the cruel 19 July policy, every single day that passes, the number of victims is increased and Australia is still sleeping. The purpose of this policy is nothing more than examining violence, producing violence, advertising violence and finally as a last message exporting violence to all around the globe. The liberal government produces a black point on the Australian history, and it won't be removed at all.
The Australian government has reconstructed the European violence in 1930s in another form with a modern method during the past three years on the cursed islands of Nauru and Manus; and it is nothing more than a reconstructed fascism. It is apparent that Australia has been the main cause of producing this form of violence on the islands so as to spread its harsh message in to world, to say that Australia is a country with irony punches.
Today is the day that the Australian civil society needs to shout louder and stronger at the dictatorial government of Australia, being unlawfulness is enough, violence is enough, raping women and kids is enough, killing people is enough; today is the day that Australians should raise for the sake of defending human values and defending justice and humanity, showing a strong reaction to death, rape torture, and offence.
I as one of the narrators of violence in the cursed camps of Australia and as a person who has experienced the systematic and psychological torture of these horrendous prisons, I shout at Australia that enough is enough and stop this violence and dictatorship. Omid, Reza, Hamid, Fazel, all are victimized, stop it! We are too tired to tolerate the death of our friends.
I seek the Australian people to stop being indifferent to the violence occuring in the Nauru and Manus refugee camps and put the government under pressure to officially announce the end to the defeated and cruel offshore processing policy.
"People were shot, gassed and burned. I could see how corpses were taken back and forth and moved out. I could smell burning bodies; I knew corpses were being burned."
Deutsche Welle [29/4/16]:
Reinhold Hanning, a former Nazi SS officer, has apologized for serving as a camp guard at Auschwitz despite knowing that people were being killed.
Hanning is charged with being accessory to the death of 170,000 people. "I'm ashamed that I knowingly let injustice happen and did nothing to oppose it," Hanning told the court in Detmold, in western Germany.
In making his remarks, the former Nazi guard was finally breaking the silence he had maintained over the course of 12 hearings, limited to two hours each because of his failing health.
"I want to tell you that I deeply regret having been part of a criminal organization that is responsible for the death of many innocent people, for the destruction of countless families, for misery, torment and suffering on the side of the victims and their relatives," Hanning read out from his statement.
"I have remained silent for a long time. I have remained silent all of my life," he added. ...
US Ambassador Samantha Power praises Sri Lanka as ‘global champion of human rights’ [Tamil Guardian - 29/4/16]
Tamil protestors in Puthukkudiyiruppu managed to deter Sri Lankan military surveyors from acquiring a tranche of privately owned land on Wednesday. ... [Tamil Guardian - 29/4/16]
$1.5 billion IMF bailout agreed for Sri Lanka [Tamil Guardian - 29/4/16]
Sinhala Buddhist monks have been overseeing the construction of a Buddhist vihara in the Tamil North-East, despite an order from the Mullaitivu District Secretariat to halt further proceedings.
The construction, under way in Kokkilai, is reportedly taking place with assistance from the Sri Lankan army, the navy and the police. ... [Tamil Guardian - 28/4/16]
30 April 2016