LA Police officers filmed laughing after tasering mentally ill man who died in custody [Yahoo - 19/8/16]



Interview with filmmaker Robbie Martin about his new film A Very Heavy Agenda [RT - 12/8/16]



United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [KUNA - 19/8/16]



Russian warships in Mediterranean fire missiles against targets in Syria [TASS - 19/8/16]



Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied Western mass media reports on a supposed airstrike allegedly carried out by Russia’s aviation on a neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo on August 17. ... [TASS - 19/8/16]



Tima Kurdi says haunting photo of Syrian boy risks prolonging Middle Eastern conflict [The London Free Press - 19/8/16]



Two citizens killed, 11 injured in rocket attacks in Aleppo city [SANA - 19/8/16]



As many as 36 people were evacuated from besieged towns of Madaya, Kafarya and Foaa in Syria, the Syrian Red Crescent said on Friday. ... [Sputnik - 19/8/16]



A security source in Salahaddin province announced on Thursday that 10 civilians were killed and 26 others injured during an ISIS shelling, which was targeted on the gatherings of displaced families at the northern side of the province. ... [ - 18/8/16]



Romania increases controls at border with Serbia to block migrants [Europe Online Magazine - 19/8/16]



Serbia detained over 3,000 migrants "illegally" entering into the country in one month, a military spokesman said, suggesting many were still trying to make their way along a Balkan corridor to the European Union despite border closures. ...  [ - 19/8/16]



70 migrants rescued off southwest tip of Peloponnese, while 185 arrive in Lesvos in past 24 hours [Greek Reporter - 19/8/16]



The hearings for the asylum claim of the eight Turkish military personnel who fled to Greece after the failed coup attempt in Turkey began on Friday with the first officer.

Turkey has accused the eight men for participating in the coup to overthrow the Ankara government on July 15.

The men deny the accusations.

They claim that if they are returned to Turkey they will be tortured, or even killed.

Ankara is pressing for their extradition, but Athens follows international law for protection of human rights, since it is not guaranteed that they will receive a fair trial in their homeland. ... [Greek Reporter - 19/8/16]



‏@PROACTIVA_SERV [18/8/16]:  It is the story of a rescue happened yesterday, so tragic and so absurd . ...



AP witnesses rescue of migrants off Libya, 4 bodies found [AP - 18/8/16]:


... Separately Thursday, Greek authorities reported they had returned 14 migrants to neighboring Turkey, bringing to nearly 500 the total of people sent back under this year's deal between the European Union and Turkey.

The public order ministry said four Pakistani and two Algerian nationals who had entered Greece "illegally" were taken back by boat from the eastern island of Lesbos Thursday.

Another eight Syrians were returned Wednesday on a chartered plane, again from Lesbos. ...



Day 153 refugee protests, Nauru



Image:  @elahe_zivardar [19/8/16]



"They [Australia] have humiliated and tortured us ... beat us like a criminal ... We left our countries because of war, injustice and death.  We came to Australia and they put us into the same situation":  ABC Pacific Beat interview with Behrouz Boochani [19/8/16]



Voices from Manus: 'I don't want to go to Australia ... after what they did' [CNN - 19/8/16]



North Korean diplomats seek asylum in the UK [Reuters - 17/8/16]



The restraint of an Ashley Youth Detention Centre inmate by a worker will be escalated to a state service code of conduct investigation once police determine whether charges should be laid on the matter. ... [The Advocate - 19/8/16]



BLAH BLAH BLAH try to sweep torture of children under the carpet with a bogus "review" BLAH BLAH BLAH:  Queensland protected and unaccountable Attorney-General [ABC - 19/8/16]



ABC [19/8/16]:


... Jeff Ingram [former Cleveland Detention Centre staff member] says his complaint about a manager assaulting an inmate in the face with steel can was never followed up.

I've been trying for two years to get somebody to listen, and somebody to do something about it, and even when I went to outside organisations like the Official Visitor and the Guardian.

I got no help, I got nothing, they just didn't want to know about what happened to that boy. 

And these are organisations that are meant to protect those young people.


Shane Duffy [Head, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service]:  The profile of the staff, we notice more and more ex-service people. ...



Queensland police and media explain why police state propaganda is so important during a PR crisis [ABC - 19/8/16]



Police are investigating an attack that left a Queensland prisoner with serious head injuries.

The 27-year-old is in a Brisbane hospital after he was found injured at the Maryborough Correctional Centre.

He's receiving specialist care for very serious head wounds and the police service's Corrective Services Investigation Unit is probing the incident. [Brisbane Times - 19/8/16]


Burnt body found near Tweed Heads identified as missing woman Sabrina Bremer [ABC – 19/8/16]:


Police have identified the charred remains of a body found on the New South Wales far north coast.

The burnt body of Sabrina Bremer, was spotted by a passing driver on Pollards Road at Dulguigan, 30 kilometres south-west of Tweed Heads, yesterday morning.

The 34-year-old was from the Logan area in south-east Queensland.

She was reported missing to Logan Police yesterday by her 15-year-old daughter.

Strike Force Faringdon was established by investigators from the State Crime Command's Homicide Squad and Tweed-Byron Local Area Command to investigate the circumstances surrounding the suspected murder.

Investigators are also working closely with homicide detectives from Queensland Police.

No official cause of death has been determined at this stage; however Ms Bremer had sustained serious burns to most of her body.

Police are continuing to piece together Ms Bremer's movements throughout the week and are appealing for anyone who may have seen or spoken with her during this time to come forward.

Police Superintendent Wayne Starling rejected reports the victim was tied to a tree before being set alight.

"The body was located about 200 metres along Pollards Road," he said.

"[She was found] along the side of the roadway, very badly burnt. A post-mortem will be conducted on Monday, at this stage the cause of death is unknown.

"It's just horrific for any family to lose a loved one.

"She was a mother, she was a daughter of someone. It's just horrific." ...



Police find 11-year-old Woodridge girl after Amber Alert crime control theatre [ABC - 19/8/16]:


Police have found an 11-year-old girl who was feared to have been abducted from Logan, south of Brisbane.

She was found shortly after 8:00am. Inspector Glenn Allen said the girl had slept over at a friend's house in the local area without telling her mother.

He said she went to school this morning, where the school-based officer and the principal found her.

"She has expressed some remorse and we're having our CPIU detectives go there to talk to her at the moment," he said. ...



 An Australian woman and her male companion have reportedly been detained by police, over the alleged murder of a police officer found dead on a Kuta beach.

Sara Connor and her companion are expected to be interviewed as “key witnesses”.

Police have retracted the name of the companion, a man believed to have been incorrectly identified.

Sara Connor and an unknown male were taken into custody in Denpasar at 2pm on Friday, detective Chief at Kuta Police Station Aryo Seno told AAP.

An alert on the woman and her male companion was issued on Thursday to immigration officials on the island in a bid to prevent the pair from leaving the popular tourist destination.

An autopsy revealed the police officer - Wayan Sudarsa - died of head injuries.

A smashed beer bottle and a broken body board, as well as the Australian woman’s handbag, were found near Mr Sudarsa’s body at around 3.30am local time (5.30am AEST) on Wednesday.

Head of Sanglah Forensics and Morgue, Dr Dudut Restiadi, said the victim had several wounds to his head. [Nine MSN - 19/8/16]



Man in police custody after woman found dead inside Forbes home [Nine MSN - 19/8/16]



A man accused of trying to murder a former Big Brother contestant on the Gold Coast has been denied bail.

Anthony Soong, 23, allegedly shot Sam Wallace in the leg in the car park of a Merrimac restaurant in December last year.

Justice Martin Burns denied Soong's bail application in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Friday, insisting he was too great a flight risk and was likely to reoffend. [Brisbane Times - 19/8/16]



Police searching a burnt-out mobile home for a missing man have found a body in the wreckage.

The body was believed to be 47-year-old Lee Parker, who lived in the bus-cum-campervan [at Atkinson Dam Waterfront Caravan Park] with a woman who was unharmed when fire tore through the home on Friday morning. ... [Brisbane Times - 19/8/16]



A French tourist has been charged over the fatal car crash that claimed the life of Queensland model Elyse Miller-Kennedy.

Police will allege the 24-year-old tourist was driving on the wrong side of the road in Dimbulah, about 115km southwest of Cairns, on August 3 when her car hit Elyse's vehicle head-on.

The 17-year-old, who was the only person inside her car, suffered serious head and chest injuries in the crash and was pinned inside her rolled vehicle. ... [Yahoo - 19/8/16]



The family of a woman killed in a hit-run last Sunday have paid tribute to their “happy go lucky” daughter, friend and grandmother.

Tracey-Lee Kemp, 45, was walking home from a 21st birthday party at the Huntly pub on August 14 when police allege she was struck by a car and left on the side of the Midland Highway.

The accused driver, 19-year-old Taylah Hocking, appeared at Bendigo Magistrates’ Court briefly for a filing hearing today, charged with dangerous driving causing death and failing to stop, and failing to render assistance.

The Kennington victim’s family travelled from Queensland and Wodonga to identify her body at the Coroner’s Court. ... [Nine MSN - 19/8/16]



Stopping the Snake: Indigenous protesters shut down construction of Dakota Access Pipeline [Democracy Now - 18/8/16]:


We turn now to a growing protest in North Dakota, where hundreds of indigenous activists have shut down construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline project.

The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is slated to carry half a million barrels of Bakken crude from North Dakota to Illinois.

But members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe say the pipeline threatens to contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water not only for thousands of residents on the reservation, but also for millions of people living downstream.

On April 1, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched an ongoing protest camp called Sacred Stone.

Since late July, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline, at least 28 people have been arrested as they have used their bodies and horses to block construction. ...



Politicians attempt to bask in reflected glory of Wave Hill walk off anniversary [Yahoo - 19/8/16]



Indigenous challenge to Adani Carmichael coal mine dismissed by Federal Court [ABC - 19/8/16]



Peabody gets US court approval for clean-up deals, executive bonuses [Reuters - 17/8/16]



The Chinese crew stranded aboard the Five Stars Fujian are not "political pawns" and need to be brought ashore, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) says.

The coal vessel was detained a week ago off the coast of Gladstone by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for breaches to the Maritime Labour Convention in relation to insufficient food and wages. ... [Brisbane Times - 19/8/16]



PISSWEAK ----> The Queensland Government will set up a parliamentary review into the re-emergence of black lung disease in the state.  ... [ABC - 19/8/16]



Mexican police arbitrarily executed nearly two dozen suspected gang members on a ranch last year, the government's National Human Rights Commission said on Thursday, one of the worst abuses by security forces in a decade of grisly drug violence.

In May last year, federal police ambushed suspected members of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (JNG) holed up at Rancho El Sol near the small town of Tanhuato in the violent western state of Michoacan and killed 42 men.

Only one policeman died in the fight, in which police backed by a Black Hawk helicopter attacked the cartel, a kill rate way higher than international norms, but not uncommon in Mexico's drug war. Only one injury was reported. ... [Reuters - 18/8/16]



Class action lawsuit against Debbie Wasserman Schultz moves forward [Observer - 18/8/16]



Calling for anything less than the immediate closure of Australia's refugee concentration camps, and genuine resettlement for the men women and children currently imprisoned, is damage control and spin.


Australians ought to ask themselves why not one politician, human rights organisation or professional association has:


1. Made a coherent demand for the camps be immediately closed;


2. Called for the genuine resettlement of refugees AND


3. Proposed a Royal Commission into the ENTIRETY of Operation Sovereign Borders (the interdiction and refoulement of refugee boats), and its regional impacts.



Also worth considering, is why the Australian media - and so called "advocates" - are stubbornly perpetuating this cyclical "Demon Dutton" charade, and not directly challenging the bipartisan policy (and seemingly complicit NGOs).






The only way to end a bipartisan policy of cruelty, is with NON partisan opposition.


If expats can organise a non-partisan protest demanding Australia CLOSE THE CAMPS, why can't we? [Close the Camps- Protest at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo]:


On August 10th The Guardian Australia published more than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia's refugee detention centre on Nauru.

These Nauru Files detail cases of assault, sexual abuse, self harm attempts, child abuse and effects arising from the horrible living conditions. More than half the reports involve children.

Protests will be held across Australia on Aug 27th, calling for Australia's offshore detention centers to be shut down immediately and for the detainees to be brought to Australia for humane treatment, processing and settlement.

Please join our peaceful protest at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo. …



If anyone in Brisbane is interested in a "SHAME LABOR SHAME" contingent, please contact @Aussies4Refugees  --->  We have been in living hell on Nauru for more than three years.

We have been protesting every day since 20 May to end this hell that Australia has created.

It is a source if strength for us to know that there are people in Australia fighting for our freedom.

I hope many people will join the rally on 27 August to demand that the Turnbull government ends all offshore and closes Nauru  Join the rally 27th August - shut down offshore



I refuse to participate in the exploitation of refugees for a defacto pro-ALP rally.  So if anyone out there agrees, please let me know - and we'll take our signs and make a point this time.  ---> Refugee Action Collective Queensland chant "Shame Shame Dutton Shame" as they parade around the Brisbane CBD, impliedly endorsing Shorten and Marles. [19/3/16]



"Dutton" doesn't have to do anything until equal pressure is applied to the ALP ---> ... Similarly, it's not good enough to leave these men languishing in limbo while Dutton prowls around the region looking for some other impoverished country he can pay to take these men off his hands.

The government has had three years and found no way forward.

Dutton's stance is becoming more untenable by the day. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 18/8/16]




... In hindsight, we can see that we were wrong to allow our trust in Clinton and his election promise to dictate legal strategy.

Clinton sorely disappointed us, and our belief in him caused our clients to spend more time in the inhuman camp conditions.

But for our belief in Clinton, we could have tried the case four of five months earlier and ended the horror of the camp that much sooner.

If there ever is a next time and I am faced with a similar situation and must choose a legal strategy, I will disregard the promises of politicians.

Clinton's promises and our reliance on them seriously jeopardized our relationships with our clients.

We wrongly believed and persuaded our clients to believe that Clinton would change their circumstances.

Regaining the trust of our clients was not easy.  ... How We Closed the Guantanamo HIV Camp: The Intersection of Politics and Litigation, Michael Ratner



World Humanitarian Day 2016: Predictable exploitation of mythical Syrians to neutralise Australia's regional atrocities against refugees ---> ... The experience of New South Wales preparing to more than double its refugee intake in response to the Syrian crisis will convince people that refugees can benefit Australia, Peter Shergold has said. ... [Guardian - 19/8/16]



World Humanitarian Day 2016:  Oxfam does NOT call on Australia to close its refugee concentration camps, stop pushing away refugee boats, or even resume meeting our international obligations [Media Release - 19/8/16]



Australian government discloses one forcible return of a refugee boat with co-operation of Sri Lankan authorities [Huffington Post - 17/8/16]



18 Australia-bound refugees arrested by Sri Lankan navy after being captured 40 nautical miles off Batticaloa [Sunday Times - 16/8/16]



Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.



Guardian [11/12/15]:


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

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

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




The impact of Australian policies:  What "stopping the boats" means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]:


... While it is widely reported in the media that the number of boats leaving Indonesia for Australia has significantly dropped since the commencement of OSB, NGOs in Indonesia highlight that people seeking asylum have continued to arrive to the country.

While some live in supported shelters or independently in the community, others are locked up in immigration detention centres.

By 2015 there were 33 sites of immigration detention throughout Indonesia.

Australian funding through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expanded the capacity of this detention network since 2011. ...



World Humanitarian Day 2016:  Disturbing regional impacts of Australia's anti refugee policies remain invisible to human rights establishment and media ---- > Indonesia seeks funding from Australia to build more concentration camps, and support "durable solutions" as refugee bottleneck intensifies [Jakarta Post - 10/8/16]



World Humanitarian Day 2016:  Childrens' Commissioner and Law Council of Australia do NOT call to expand the Royal Commission into NT juvenile detention, as Queensland's Attorney-General stays protected and unaccountable [SBS - 19/8/16]



World Humanitarian Day 2016:  Australian Government finally released this advert about the treatment of children in its jails and detention centres, and it's surprisingly honest and informative. [The Juice Media]



Last August, 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 protected and unaccountable  Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.  



Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:


... 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.



US to phase out federal use of private prisons [Reuters - 18/8/16]



Statement from Silky Shah, Co-Director of Detention Watch Network, on news that the United States Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons [18/8/16]:


... This should be a major turning point in the struggle against mass incarceration in the U.S.

This is the first time that a federal agency issued a sweeping - and long overdue - rebuke to the private prison industry.

It is time to take a hard look at the outsized role of incarceration in American society, which has shattered lives and communities across the country.

With this news, we call on the Department of Homeland Security to follow suit and break their ties with private prison companies that operate more than half of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) immigrant detention facilities as a step towards ending detention completely.”



Lengthy detention and reprehensible conditions in border patrol facilities, new evidence shows [American Immigration Council - 18/8/16]:


... Late yesterday, the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Arizona, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Morrison & Foerster LLP publicly filed damning evidence, including expert testimony and video stills, illustrating the unconscionable and unconstitutional conditions detained individuals are subjected to while in Border Patrol custody in the Tucson Sector. ...



The city of Berkeley, California, has adopted a resolution to divest from private prison firms, including G4S, a provider of services to Israeli jails where Palestinians are routinely tortured.

In the resolution, approved by the city council on 19 July, Berkeley will be called on to divest from private prison corporations and request that its business partners, including banking giant Wells Fargo, follow suit.

The resolution targets major players in the US’ private prison industry, including the Geo Group, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and G4S. ... [Electronic Intifada - 17/8/16]



Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) on Wednesday raised alarm bells over the exacerbated health status of four Palestinian hunger-strikers held in the Israeli Ofer jail. ... [PNN - 18/8/16]



Gaza power plant runs out of fuel amid longstanding electricity crisis [Maan - 18/8/16]



Palestinian rights groups are appealing an Israeli justice ministry decision to close an investigation into the shooting and killing of Mustafa Khatib, 17, in Jerusalem’s Old City last year.

Israeli media reported at the time of the 12 October incident that Khatib was shot when he pulled out a knife and stabbed a paramilitary Border Police combatant who had asked him to take his hands out of his pockets.

No police were reported injured during the incident.

The Palestinian rights groups, Adalah and Addameer, say that not only was the justice ministry’s investigation incomplete, “it is not clear from the investigative materials if the officer involved was, in fact, even stabbed.” ... [Electronic Intifada - 18/8/16]



Israelis use stun grenade in unprovoked attack on youths [Electronic Intifada - 16/8/16]



Green Party's Jill Stein: US should stop funding Israel and Saudi Arabia [Democracy Now - 18/8/16]




19 August 2016