Manus refugees arrested, held in solitary confinement for hunger striking and demanding to speak with the United Nations about being held hostage and tortured by the Australian government
... It is believed a number of asylum seekers were injured and one guard was injured in the affray [attack].
Refugee advocates also claim up to 30 men were "arrested" by the security guards. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 19/1/15]
@BabarBloch - UNHCR Geneva based spokesperson for Asia and the Americas: Following this with grave concens: Hundreds of asylum-seekers on Hunger Strike over Australia’s resettlement plan ... [19/1/15]
@clarecurranmp - NZ Labour MP Dunedin South: UN intervention needed RT @GuardianAus: Manus Island guards storm detention centre and seize alleged ringleaders ... [19/1/15]
@shanebazzi: A source says a Wilson guard said to an unconscious asylum seeker "wake up motherfucker" #Manus [19/1/15]
Australian soldiers moonlight at Manus Island refugee death camp [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/4/14]
Former Sri Lankan military officer Dinesh Perera now acting operations manager of Manus Island refugee death camp [ABC - 24/2/14]
PNG: Death penalty: Execution apparatus not ready [PNG Loop – 19/1/15]:
The 14 prisoners on death row are still awaiting a proper execution set up at the Bomana Correctional Institution where their sentence will be carried out.
Correctional Services Minister Jim Simatab says that last year Cabinet amended the legislation for the death penalty to be extended to cover more penalties and for it to be imposed.
Minister Simatab says that all is in place, it is just the matter of setting up the facility.
He says that the matter has been taken up by the Department of the Prime Minister in conjunction with the PNG Correctional Service as the implementing agency.
Meantime he also says that the Governor General will sanction the method after which the NEC will make the final decision on whether or not the executions will take place.
Meanwhile, Simatab says that the CS as the head implementing agency will take the lead role this year in sorting out the facilities which at present looks likely to be set up on the outskirts of Port Moresby at Bomana.
US drone strike kills four in northwest Pakistan: officials
A U.S. drone strike killed at least four suspected militants in northwest Pakistan on Monday, four intelligence officials said, the fourth such strike this year.
Two missiles hit a compound in the Shahi Khel area of Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan, the officials said.
"Through our local sources and intercepts, (we know) a drone fired two missiles at a compound in the Shawal area and killed four militants. The number of dead may go up," an intelligence official told Reuters.
Pakistan's PM orders investigation of petrol shortage [Pak Tribune - 18/1/15]
Afghanistan: 1 killed, 6 injured in Khost explosion
An explosion killed one person and wounded six others in Matoun, the provincial capital of Khost province.
Faiz Mohammad, a police officer from the police headquarters of Khost told Khaama Press that the explosion occurred in a shop close to the municipality department around 11:30AM today.
He said it was a gas cylinder explosion.
The wounded have been transferred to hospital.
2 Afghan soldiers killed in Laghman explosion [Pajhwok - 19/1/15]:
Two Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in eastern Laghman province on Monday, an official said.
Sarhadi Zwak, the governor’s spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the ANA vehicle struck the roadside bomb in the Watan Gato area of Alishang district at around 7.00am.
He said two ANA soldiers were killed and a third wounded in the blast. The injured soldier was evacuated to hospital and his condition was stable, Zwak said. The soldiers launched operation after the incident.
As usual, Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attack.
Demonstrations against French in Jalalabad [Khaama – 19/1/15]
Eat this.... Offended...learn some french values via @AsgharBukhari
Yemen forces and Houthi rebels clash in Sanaa
Al Jazeera [19/1/15]:
Heavy clashes rage between Yemen's presidential guard and Houthi rebels around the presidential palace in the capital, Sanaa, despite state TV reports that a ceasefired had been reached.
Gunfire was also heard across the city early on Monday as rebels closed off all the streets leading to the palace, witnesses told Al Jazeera.
Hakim al-Masmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post, said there was also shooting going on near the presidential residence and in other strategic areas in downtown Sanaa.
He described the fighting as much more dramatic than when the Houthis took control of the capital in September, when clashes were restricted to certain areas.
"This chaos is the first of its kind," al-Masmari told Al Jazeera.
Yemen's information minister, Nadia Sakkaf, said the convoy of the prime minister was attacked by Houthi fighters after he left a meeting with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Earlier on Monday, Sakkaf told state television that a ceasefire deal had been reached with the rebels.
A military source in the presidential guard accused the Houthis of deploying fighters and setting up a checkpoint near the palace. He said the Houthis refused to withdraw and opened fire on the soldiers, after which the army responded.
However, a Houthi official told Al Jazeera that the presidential security forces attacked the Houthi checkpoint, leading to the clashes around the palace area.
Rebels seize Yemen state media, battle soldiers [Press Herald - 19/1/15]
Palestinian killed by Israeli police during Negev funeral
A Palestinian Bedouin man was killed late Sunday during the funeral for another man shot dead last week by Israeli forces in southern Israel.
Sami Ibrahim Zayadna, 45, died after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli police at mourners in the Bedouin city of Rahat. Over 40 other people were injured during the clashes, including Rahat mayor Talal al-Qureinawi and Raed Salah, head of the Islamic Movement.
Twenty-two people were treated at Soroka hospital in Beersheba, with three sustaining serious injuries.
The clashes began after Israeli police entered the cemetery as mourners were burying Sami al-Jaar, 22, who was shot dead last week while standing on the patio of his home during clashes between police and local youths in the neighborhood.
Israeli police entered the funeral ceremony, despite an agreement with Rahat municipality to stay clear of the area, and fired plastic bullets and tear gas at mourners as Raed Salah was delivering a eulogy.
"The funeral has become a battle from one side as we were being chased and dozens were hurt though there were no clashes in the place," Salah told Ma'an.
"When I uttered the first sentence of the funeral oration a tear gas canister was fired in front of us. We thought it was fired accidentally, but showers of tear gas followed. It was clear they wanted to disperse the mourners before they could bid the martyr farewell and I think the officers on the ground were receiving instructions from the helicopter which was hovering above the mourners focusing its lights on us."
An Israeli police vehicle also deliberately rammed vehicles parked near the cemetery, he added.
The Higher Guidance Committee of Arab Residents of the Negev denounced what it labeled "state terrorism."
"We hereby tell the Israeli security organizations that your terror won't scare us and we won't hesitate to live in dignity despite your mean attempts and plans day and night to impose restrictions on us seeking to displace us. Save your bullets and your terror because we have already made our minds we will stay here as long as there is thyme and olive oil," the group said.
A leadership committee announced a general strike on Tuesday in all Palestinians towns and neighborhoods in Israel, in addition to a general strike in Rahat on Monday.
Israeli forces detain Palestinian journalist in Ramallah [Maan - 19/1/15]:
Israeli forces detained a Palestinian journalist in Ramallah overnight Sunday, witnesses said.
Mujahid Bani Miflih was taken to Ofer detention center after Israeli soldiers raided his home in Beitunia.
Miflih works as a news editor and staff writer for Ramallah-based online websites Zaman Press and Huna al-Quds.
Beirut Bar Association chief denounces assault on Lebanon lawyers
Daily Star [19/1/15]:
Head of the Beirut Bar Association George Jreij Monday denounced a delegation of Syrian lawyers who assaulted their Lebanese counterparts one day before at the Arab Lawyers Union conference in Cairo.
“This is an unprecedented phenomenon, especially since the Arab Lawyers Union was established to be a model and not to move Arab states’ differences to this Union,” Jreij told Voice of Lebanon radio station.
He expressed concerns over the “acts of intimidation against one of the lawyers who was voicing his opinion.”
“Response is everyone’s right and difference of opinion is sacred,” Jreij said.
He said head of the Arab Lawyers Union has “decided to take measures to fire and punish those who have assaulted and beaten” the Lebanese lawyers.
The assault Sunday came following a speech by Fadi Saad, a lawyer from former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, in which he criticized some oppressive dictatorships in the Arab world, but he made one remark that infuriated a portion of the crowd.
“Let’s compare the Egyptian army and the Syrian army. The Egyptian army defended its people twice in 2011 and 2013, while the Syrian army is killing its people,” he said, sparking an instant melee.
Cellphone footage captured from inside the Cairo meeting showed a group of lawyers, jumping from their seats and rushing at the speaker, with several altercations breaking out among the attendees.
Military Escalation in East Ukraine Calls for Urgent Global Action
Sputnik News [19/1/15]:
The escalation of military activity, and the increase in the number of deaths and widespread destruction in eastern Ukraine must bring Russia and the world community together to solve the crisis quickly and peacefully, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said Monday.
“The events [in eastern Ukraine] over the last few days reaffirm the most serious danger. Unfortunately, we see an escalation in military activity, the increase in shelling, a growth in the number of victims, and new destruction. All of this makes the job of finding a way to a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis even more needed and urgent,” Karasin said, in an interview with RIA Novosti.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Moscow was investigating information that Kiev was preparing another attempt to solve the political crisis in eastern Ukraine with the use of military force.
“Russia and its international partners are ready and actively plan to participate in this peaceful political process,” Karasin added.
On January 15, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a military mobilization in the country during 2015, intended to bring an additional 104,000 troops to readiness.
Kiev has been fighting against southeastern Ukraine's independence supporters since April 2014. According to UN estimates, fighting in the area has killed over 4,800 people and displaced more than 1.2 million.
Kremlin accuses Poroshenko of rejecting peace proposal [Deutsche Welle - 19/1/15]
Argentina: AMIA Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman found dead in his Puerto Madero home
Buenos Aires Herald [19/1/15]:
The body of AMIA special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found in the bathroom of his apartment in the Buenos Aires City neighbourhood of Puerto Madero late on Sunday.
Nisman, who was expected to take part in a closed-door hearing in Congress on Monday to reveal the details of explosive allegations that involved President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, was found minutes before midnight.
Nisman reportedly committed suicide, according to sources, who say he was found in a pool of blood. That information has yet to be confirmed.
Nisman, who was appointed 10 years ago by the by the president’s late husband Néstor Kirchner, had revealed to some members of the opposition that he was ready to appear at the congressional hearing with more documents to back his allegations.
Nisman had accused Fernández de Kirchner of ordering impunity for the Iranian suspects in the 1994 AMIA attack in order to boost trade with Tehran. According to Nisman, Argentina wanted to import oil and export grains Iran.
Government allies had been pushing for today’s congressional hearing to be open to the public.
South Africa's striking NUM union meeting Northam Platinum over work stoppage
South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) was scheduled to meet with Northam Platinum on Monday, a union official said, in a bid to end a wildcat strike at the company's biggest mine which started last week.
About 5,000 members of NUM stopped work last Tuesday at the company's Zondereinde mine demanding the removal of chief executive Paul Dunne over what they say are unfair hiring and firing practices.
Northam shut operations at the mine, which produces 65 percent of its output, on Friday due to what it called rising levels of intimidation against non-striking workers and assaults related to the stoppage.
The mine produces about 900 to 1,000 ounces per day.
Ecliff Tantsi, the NUM's chief negotiator at Northam, told Reuters the meeting was due to start at 0800 GMT.
An industry source, who declined to be named, said that non-striking members of NUM's arch rival, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), had been removed over the weekend from mine hostels to keep the two sides separated - a move that has helped defuse tensions.
The unfolding drama at Northam seems to be a reversal of recent union roles on the platinum belt, where AMCU has poached tens of thousands of NUM members over the past three years in a brutal turf war that has killed scores of miners.
NUM, which is the majority union at Northam, has long complained about AMCU embarking on wildcat strikes and then intimidating its members into submission.
AMCU treasurer Jimmy Gama told Reuters the union's members were assaulted and had their hostel rooms vandalised last week because NUM wants to ward off AMCU at Northam.
"They are afraid to lose members at the mine and they are now resorting to violence," he said.
The wider platinum industry is still recovering from a sometimes violent five-month strike last year by AMCU that hit Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, the world's top producers of the precious metal.
Japanese government to start interim storage of nuclear waste in March
Japan Today [19/1/15]:
The Environment Ministry will start storing nuclear waste from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and surrounding areas in interim facilities in two Fukushima towns from March—four years after the disaster that devastated the Tohoku region.
Environment Minister Yoshio Mochizuki made the announcement after the plan overcame the final obstacle last week with the agreement by Futaba town to accept the facility.
The plan had been held up for more than a year because the government had not been able to secure the land due to ongoing negotiations with landowners in Futaba and Okuma towns.
Okuma dropped its opposition in December and Futaba finally gave the green light on Jan 14.
Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa said it had been a tough decision but said it was the only way to speed up the recovery effort in Fukushima Prefecture, TV Asahi reported. Most of Futaba’s residents have relocated to other parts of the prefecture and are unlikely to return.
The radiation contaminated areas far and wide, rendering a swathe of Fukushima uninhabitable, perhaps for generations, and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.
Tokyo’s solution has been to try to scrub the radiation from the affected areas, often by lifting topsoil in the hope that contamination levels will go down.
This has left the thorny problem of what to do with all the waste, with no community in Japan prepared to accept its permanent storage.
The government’s answer has been to seek a temporary fix while it works on getting a long-term plan in place.
While observers have long said the area around Fukushima is the only viable option, people already displaced have seen it as unacceptable because it would in effect finalise the abandonment of their communities.
Former Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato agreed to the plan last August after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government offered subsidies worth more than 300 billion yen, including land rent for the facility location.
Under the plan, the government will build storage units on an area of 16 square kilometers near the power plant. Nuclear waste will be stored there for an interim period of 30 years and then be moved to a permanent location, as yet undecided.
Saga culls 73,000 chickens after bird flu found [Japan Today – 19/1/15]
NZ Navy says anti-poaching efforts successful
The navy claims its efforts to gather evidence of illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean were successful despite being unable to board any boats.
Three fishing boats, falsely flagged to Equatorial Guinea, were found illegally fishing for toothfish in protected Antarctic waters last week.
The navy's offshore patrol vessel, HMNZS Wellington, was in the area to monitor whether fishing boats were complying with international laws.
It shadowed the three foreign ships but left the area after its crew was refused permission to board.
The Wellington's commanding officer Graham MacLean said once the illegal fishing ships were discovered, the patrol vessel's role was to gather evidence.
"We were able to exploit that element of surprise and catch them in the act of fishing and all the while capturing that as evidence, which as I said before is going to be used to target these guys - maybe not directly but their source, their enterprise and their networks around the world."
University of Tasmania Antarctic Studies Institute academic Julia Jabour highlighted the importance of countries putting pressure on illegal toothfishing operations by preventing them from selling their catch.
Dr Jabour said the navy's efforts were worthwhile.
But she said it was not easy to maintain a naval presence in such remote waters so notices listed by Interpol alerting countries around the world to the poachers were very helpful.
"You don't send vessels after a catch like toothfish unless you are making a lot of money," she said.
"There's a good chance that they will be caught or more importantly, that ports will refuse entry to those vessels."
Lieutenant Commander MacLean said the evidence had been passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Sea Shepherd Australia [19/1/15]:
"The Sam Simon is loaded with 60,000 meters of confiscated line which if laid end to end would measure 1,000 times the length of my vessel. This line alone weighs in at about 70 tons and as I try to stack it all in, my vessel’s decks groan under the weight of these bundles of evidence."
Capt. Sid Chakravarty of The MV Sam Simon depicts the crossword puzzle of "mayhem and destruction" left behind by the poaching vessel, "Thunder" in his latest Captain's Commentary.
Turkey: Commemorating Hrant Dink on 8th year of murder
Hurriyet Daily News [19/1/15]:
Mourners are set to march in Istanbul to commemorate Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on Jan. 19, on the 8th anniversary of his killing.
The march will start at 1:30 p.m. from Taksim Square, ending with a homage to Dink in front of the Armenian weekly Agos newspaper’s office building in the Pangaltı neighborhood of the Şişli district.
Dink, the highly esteemed former editor-in-chief of weekly Agos, was murdered in broad daylight in front of his newspaper’s building on Jan. 19, 2007 by a 17-year-old Turkish nationalist.
The triggerman, Ogün Samast, was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 22 years and 10 months of prison after a two year-trial.
Istanbul’s 5th High Criminal Court, which is overseeing the case, announced on Oct. 30, 2014 that it will focus on the “criminal organization” allegations against suspects, a move that lawyers representing the victim’s family have demanded since the start of the retrial.
Yusuf Hayal and Erhan Tuncel are accused of convincing Samast in the Black Sea province of Trabzon to shoot Dink.
Civil servants and institutions allegedly implicated in the murder of Dink should be investigated, Turkey’s Constitutional Court stated in its detailed ruling on the case on Nov. 12, 2014.
The court had earlier stated that the case had not been probed efficiently and the victim’s rights were violated, in a ruling issued in July 2014.
The ruling became a milestone in the case that has been lingering since the killing in 2007. It came after the Justice Ministry cleared the path for investigations into nine civil servants, including senior police officers occupying key posts at the time of the murder. The officials have been accused of negligence and threatening Dink before his death.
Before his killing, Dink had been called to a police department and warned about a possible plot against him. It is therefore thought that the murder plot was known about within some state institutions before it happened.
In a recent development, Muhittin Zenit and Özkan Mumcu, two police officers on duty at the police department in Trabzon when Dink was killed in Istanbul, were arrested. Zenit and Mumcu testified at court and were released immediately on Dec. 26, 2014.
Former Istanbul police chief Celalettin Cerrah, former Trabzon police chief Reşat Altay, former Trabzon Police Intelligence Chief Faruk Sarı, former Istanbul Deputy Governor Ergun Güngör and former Istanbul Police Intelligence Chief Ahmet İlhan Güler have also testified as suspects in the case.
Australian and PNG authorities must respect asylum seekers’ right to protest [Amnesty Media Release – 19/1/15]
They wanted the UN.
Politicians, media who buried this fact are responsible for this barbarity.
Worry for your future Australia.
#asylumseeker being taken away by security after Delta compound #Manus was entered to break hunger strike
Image: @rranwa [19/1/15]
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [19/1/15]:
Around 4.30pm, Manus time, Delta Compound, the Manus Island detention centre that has been deprived of water for 24 hours has been attacked by what seems to be a combined group of Australian guards and Transfield riot squad. It is unclear whether any PNG police are involved.
A photo of guards outside Delta just before the attack is attached, and another taken from Oscar when the Delta was attacked.
The compound has been barricaded since Friday when Transfield emergency response team tried to enter the compound to break the hunger strike protest.
There are reports of people being handcuffed and dragged along the ground, and around 30 people being arrested.
The attack seems to have been partly precipitated by medical staff saying that the situation was impossible to manage any longer.
The attack does not seem to have altered the determination of asylum seekers in other compounds to continue their hunger strike protest.
... Both the Australian immigration department and the immigration minister Peter Dutton have not responded to questions on the raid.
A spokesman for Papua New Guinea’s government told ABC that Mataio Rabura, the country’s chief migration officer, entered Delta compound and negotiated an end to the barricade, which allowed dehydrated protesters access to medical treatment.
Manus Island hunger strikes are a call to Australia’s conscience [The Conversation - 19/1/15]:
… We have met with and listened to several former immigration detainees who participated in hunger strikes, including some who sewed their lips. They explained that they had tried repeatedly to talk to the Department of Immigration.
Most commonly, they received no response at all to their requests or, at best, they received a non-specific bureaucratic response of “your claims are being processed” with no substantive acknowledgement of their grievances, much less any engagement.
Former detainees have told us of their growing sense of powerlessness and despair. As they progressively lost all hope in “the system”, they searched for ways to communicate and to be heard beyond the faceless inhumane bureaucracy.
A hunger strike is a dramatic, but civil form of protest. It is civil because it is ultimately a communicative act: it seeks to send a message and open up pathways for discussion and negotiation.
The public has much to fear from politicians who haven’t flinched before the sadism of their refugee policies. We must speak up now. ... Nick Riemer [The Guardian - 19/1/15]
Eerie parallels - although the situation on Manus Island is far worse. [Al Akhbar - 30/6/14]:
Hundreds of jailed African refugees began a hunger strike on Monday after Israeli police violently broke up a sit-in they were staging along the Egyptian border and arrested them.
Around 1,000 Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, had marched Friday to the border and set up a makeshift camp to protest against their "inhumane and unlimited" detention at Holot facility.
Israel opened Holot prison in the southern Negev desert last year as part of a crackdown on African immigrants, with the facility open by day but locked down at night.
The demonstrators have slammed what they said was Israel's failure to process their asylum requests.
They are calling on the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to intervene to allow them to immigrate to a third country.
But on Sunday evening, police and immigration officials violently broke up the border encampment and took the demonstrators to Saharonim, another prison for African immigrants, the demonstrators said in a statement.
"We have been taken to Saharonim prison. Some of us have injuries including to the face and limbs. In protest of this violence, and our ongoing imprisonment we have now started a hunger strike," it said.
"We call on UNHCR to find an urgent solution for this situation and to protect our rights as people who have come to Israel to seek asylum and shelter."
Sabine Hadad, spokeswoman for the Israeli immigration authority confirmed that 779 people had been arrested at the protest.
"Each one will be brought before a committee to explain why they violated the rules," she said, adding that the inmates are required to sign in twice during the day, and to spend the night in the facility.
"They could face up to three months imprisonment for this offence," she said.
Under legislation passed by parliament in December 2013, Israel can detain immigrants who entered occupied territories without papers for up to a year without trial in move slammed by UNHCR which said Israel could be in breach of international law.
The law was the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on the numbers of Africans entering the occupied territories clandestinely, which Israel says poses a threat to its so-called "Jewish character."
Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on what it said were 60,000 African immigrants, rounding up and deporting 3,920 by the end of the year, and building a hi-tech fence along the border with Egypt.
The UN says there are some 53,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in the occupied territories, most of whom entered via the desert border with Egypt.
Of that number, some 36,000 come from Eritrea where the regime has been repeatedly accused of widespread human rights abuses. Another 14,000 are from conflict-torn Sudan.
Court allows Israel to continue jailing asylum seekers at Holot [Haaretz - 30/12/14]
Australian Press Council rules that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic: Adjudication 1634: Complainant/The Sydney Morning Herald [17/1/15]
Access to the United Nations, Human Rights Commissioner and Lawyers.
NOT: let's hold hands and sing Kumba fucking ya
Refugee women at the protest [18/1/15] on Nauru hold up signs "Freedom" and "It's not fair we want justice" [Refugees on Nauru]
Refugees protest today at one of the accommodation sites in Nauru. Banner reads "the people in offshore are humans not wild animals" [18/1/15]
Support asylum seekers on Manus Island - no forced relocation to Lorengau:
Hosted by Refugee Action Collective (Victoria)
Wednesday, January 21 at 5:30pm
State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000
Wednesday, January 21 at 12:30pm - 1:30pm:
Department Of Immigration And Citizenship, Ground Floor 26 Lee Street, Sydney, Australia 2000
Close detention on Manus Island now
Don’t force refugees to Longerau on Jan 22
No violence against hunger strikers
URGENT ACTION Support Asylum Seekers on Manus Island!:
Hosted by Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC
12pm Tuesday 20th Jan
Outside the Department of Immigration and 'Border Protection'
299 Adelaide st, BRISBANE CBD
The refugees on Manus Island are being held hostage and tortured by the Australian government.
They want justice.
They want the United Nations.
Fuck compassion and having a chat with "independent teams of mediators".
Last year's Senate Inquiry recommended the UN, Australian Human Rights Commission and lawyers access Manus - why aren't the Greens and other politicians - insisting on this?
Greens call for independent team of mediators to be sent to Manus Island [Media Release – 19/1/15]
… Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul told SBS that an asylum seeker had also been airlifted to Port Moresby after a self-harm incident on Monday morning.
He said unless action was taken, the situation could only go "downhill".
“I just think the medical centre is struggling to deal with people collapsing,” he said.
Security staff have also reportedly seized the leaders of a hunger strike and put them in a high-security isolation unit, while authorities attempted to force water down the throat of two unconscious asylum seekers in the compound.
Afghanistan: UN condemns killing of a family in Nangarhar province
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned yesterday’s killing of a family, as well as the driver of the taxi they were travelling in when the vehicle hit a pressure-plate improvised explosive device (PPIED) planted on a road in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
A statement released by UNAMA said the family group was composed of a husband and wife, as well as two sons and a daughter aged between 4 and 12 years-old. The incident took place in the Soor Kalai area of Lal Pur district.
“The use of indiscriminate, victim-activated bombs in civilian populated areas is an outrage,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Nicholas Haysom. “The use of indiscriminate weapons must stop immediately.”
According to UNAMA, Improvised explosive devices were the second largest cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan during 2014, with numbers up from 2013.
The statement by the UN mission further added that UNAMA will next month release its 2014 annual report on the Protection of Civilians, including detailed reporting on civilian casualties.
Mr. Haysom emphasizes that international humanitarian law explicitly prohibits the use of weapons whose effects may not be limited and attacks which are not directed at a specific military objective.
The statement by UNAMA also added that it extends its condolences to the families of all of those killed in the explosion.
Afghan refugees given 3-day deadline to leave Pakistan [Khaama - 18/1/15]
Iraqi forces kill 24 “terrorists” in northern Baghdad
The Ministry of Defense announced Sunday, that the security forces killed 24 terrorists, including top leaders within the ISIS group in an operation in northern Baghdad.
The ministry said in a statement today, “Iraqi forces have managed to kill 24 terrorists in Saba’ al-Bour area of northern Baghdad, including 3 top leaders within the ISIS group, known as Mohammed al-Jamili, Ihsan al-Bekr and Qais al-Halbusi.”
“Violent clashes between the two sides resulted in destroying 3 armored vehicles and a number of PM-21 Grad launch vehicles,” the statement added.
Thousands Evacuated from Syrian Rebel Area
Syrian forces have evacuated nearly 4,000 people from a rebel bastion close to Damascus that has been under government siege for nearly two years, state media said Sunday.
The mass evacuation from Eastern Ghouta was also reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.
The group said former rebels granted amnesty by the government had facilitated negotiations to evacuate civilians from the area, which has suffered food and medical shortages because of the army siege.
"Army units evacuated more than 2,100 people from Eastern Ghouta," Syria's state news agency SANA reported, running photos showing cold and underfed women, children and elderly people.
It said residents of Douma, in Eastern Ghouta, had "fled the crimes of terrorist organizations who use residents as human shields."
The evacuees were taken to shelters in the Qudsaya area, northwest of Damascus, SANA added.
The agency said 2,112 people had been evacuated on Sunday, and 1,687 people left the area on Saturday.
A military source insisted those leaving the area "fled to the army because of all kinds of blackmail and persecution they are being subjected to by terrorists."
The Syrian government refers to all those seeking to oust President Bashar Assad as "terrorists."
Eastern Ghouta is a key rebel bastion on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, and has been under a tight government siege for nearly two years.
The army has sought to capture rebel rear bases around the capital, which is frequently the target of opposition rockets fired from the city's outskirts.
Rebel-held towns such as Douma face frequent aerial and tank bombardment and the siege means food is scarce and medical facilities are ill-equipped to handle either illness or injury.
In December, the Syrian army gave 31 families safe passage from several parts of Eastern Ghouta, but activists expressed fear that those leaving could be detained or pressed into military service.
They said a group of people who had left the area earlier in the year were still being detained by government forces.
Region on edge after Israel’s deadly strike
Daily Star [19/1/15]:
The drums of war thundered Sunday as Lebanon and the region awaited Hezbollah’s retaliation to an Israeli helicopter strike on Syria’s Golan Heights that killed the son of slain Hezbollah top commander Imad Mughniyeh, a senior Iranian commander and five other fighters.
Reprisal was seen as inevitable in light of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah’s remarks last week that his party’s military capabilities were growing and it had the right to respond to any Israeli attacks.
Jihad Mughniyeh, 25, field commander Mohammad Issa, 42, who goes by the nom de guerre Abu Issa, and four other Hezbollah fighters were killed in the attack.
A senior Iranian field commander Abu Ali Tabtabai was also killed in the strike, a Lebanese security source told The Daily Star.
The strike entirely destroyed one Hezbollah vehicle and damaged another, the source added.
“Think not of those killed in the way of Allah dead, but alive and well with the Lord,” a Hezbollah statement read. “In all faith and pride the Islamic resistance in Lebanon announces to its loyal people the names of the honorable martyrs.”
In addition to Mughniyeh and Issa, Hezbollah mourned Abbas Ibrahim Hijazi, 35, Mohammad Ali Hasan Abu al-Hasan, 29, Ghazi Ali Dawi, 26 and Ali Hasan Ibrahim, 21.
Hezbollah confirmed the strike in an earlier statement, saying “a number of mujahedeen were martyred,” during “an inspection mission” in the Syrian town of Qunaitra.
Israel Attempts to Cut ICC Funding in Retaliation for Gaza Inquiry [Al Akhbar – 18/1/15]:
... Israel, which like the United States does not belong to the ICC, hopes to dent funding for the court that is drawn from the 122 member-states in accordance with the size of their economies, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday.
"We will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it," he told Israel Radio.
"This body represents no one. It is a political body," he said. "There are a quite a few countries — I've already taken telephone calls about this — that also think there is no justification for this body's existence."
He said he would raise the matter with visiting Canadian counterpart John Baird on Sunday.
Another Israeli official said that a similar request was sent to Germany, traditionally one of the court's strongest supporters, and would also be made to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is separately visiting Jerusalem and whose nation is the largest contributor to the ICC. ...
Deadly suicide blast hits Nigerian town
Al Jazeera [18/1/15]:
A suicide bomber has killed five people and wounded dozens in Potiskum in the third such attack to hit the town in northeastern Nigeria this month.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's attack on a bus station, but suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram.
Boko Haram opposes Western education and wants to impose sharia law in all 36 states of Nigeria, which is roughly equally divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south.
The group operates mainly in the northeastern Nigerian states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, where the government has declared a state of emergency since May 2013.
Last Sunday, Potiskum was the scene of a bombing in a crowded market carried out by two female suicide attackers, one believed to be aged around 15.
Witnesses to Sunday's latest attack said the explosion targeted the bus station at Tashar Kunne, on the outskirts of Potiskum, at around 10:30am local time (09:30 GMT).
A police officer said four bodies and 48 injured people had been taken from the scene.
A nurse at the Potiskum General Hospital gave a similar death and injury toll, and said local residents had rushed to the hospital in search of their loved ones.
She described the suicide bomber as a young man.
Raids, massacres, suicide-bomb attacks and kidnappings by Boko Haram have claimed at least 13,000 lives and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes, mainly in arid northeast Nigeria.
Neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger have launched a regional bid to combat the fighters, as their attacks spread beyond Nigeria and concern mounts over the failure of Nigerian authorities to regain control.
Suspected Boko Haram Islamist fighters from Nigeria kidnapped around 80 people, many of them children, and killed three others on Sunday in a cross-border attack on villages in northern Cameroon, army and government officials said.
The group, which has killed thousands and kidnapped hundreds in its bid to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has also targeted Cameroon and Niger over the past year as it seeks to expand its zone of operations.
Sunday's kidnappings, among the largest abductions on Cameroonian soil, came as neighbouring Chad deployed troops to support Cameroon's forces in the area. ... [Reuters - 19/1/15]
India: Mob Sets 25 Houses on Fire in Bihar Village, 3 Dead
Three persons, all belonging to the minority community, were burnt alive this afternoon in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district after a mob attacked a village, torching as many as 25 huts.
Two people, who sustained serious burns, are at the local government hospital.
Initial investigations at Bahilwara village, around 55 km from state capital Patna, indicate the incident was one of revenge killing, police said.
A few days ago, a youth belonging to the backward castes living in an adjoining village had eloped with a girl from the minority community, an officer said. This morning, his body was recovered from a nearby area, following which a mob attacked the girl's village and set fire to houses.
Bihar Police spokesperson and Additional Director General Gupteshwar Pandey said the situation was tense, but under control. No curfew has been imposed in the area. All senior officials of the district are camping at the village.
The police are looking for the people who had allegedly been identified during the attack on the village. A case will be also be registered, he said.
All efforts will be made to ensure the situation does not deteriorate further, the officials said.
Morsi addresses court for first time, claims he is still Egypt's president
Former president Mohamed Morsi defended himself in court on Sunday for the first time since his ouster, claiming he was innocent of charges of espionage and asserting that he was still Egypt’s president.
"I am still the legitimate president of the country, who came (to power) through fair elections," he stated to the Cairo Criminal Court.
Morsi, who was ousted in July 2013, took the opportunity to reiterate the argument frequently repeated by his allies, describing his deposal as a "coup d'état.”
Morsi was removed after mass protests nationwide against his rule. He was immediately detained, initially in a secret location, and subsequently charged with a variety of crimes including espionage and inciting murder.
Speaking for two hours at his trial for espionage, Morsi recalled the moment when he was arrested by the head of the presidential guard, Mohamed Zaki.
"I told him, 'Are you crazy? You take your orders from me,’ " said the former president.
Morsi and 35 others are on trial on charges of collaborating with foreign organisations – namely Gaza rulers Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Brotherhood – to commit acts of terrorism in Egypt.
Morsi denied the charges, stressing that a fact-finding report that was issued during his presidency in 2012 upon his request showed that a "sovereign entity" affiliated with "the coup leader" was involved in the Battle of the Camel, a name given to deadly clashes that took place during the 18-day uprising.
He said that, according to the testimonies of workers at hotels overlooking Tahrir Square, where the clashes took place, those who were on the roofs had identification cards belonging to that entity.
Egypt's incumbent president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi was head of military intelligence at the time.
Morsi also refused to acknowledge the authority of the court trying him. "You are not my judges and this is not my trial," he said. He did however express respect for the judiciary in his remarks.
Morsi claimed that one reason why he was ousted was that the Islamist-majority parliament and the government led by Kamal El-Ganzouri, a prominent Mubarak-era figure, were at loggerheads.
"El-Ganzouri once told [Parliamentary speaker Saad] El-Katatni… 'an appeal lodged in the drawer of the constitutional court would dissolve it (Parliament)," he said.
The parliament's lower house was dissolved in 2012 due to a court verdict of unconstitutionality in the electoral process which formed it. The upper house was dissolved in 2013 as part of the roadmap which replaced Morsi's rule.
The court adjourned the case to 21 January.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for an official visit that would allow for a presidential participation in a high-level energy conference and to review mutually crucial bilateral relations. ... [Ahram - 18/1/15]
Donetsk shelled as Kiev 'orders massive fire' on militia-held E. Ukraine
Ukrainian troops have launched a massive assault on militia-held areas Sunday morning after an order from Kiev, a presidential aide said. The self-proclaimed Donetsk republic’s leader accused Kiev of trying to restart the war.
The order to launch the offensive was issued early approximately at 6:00 am, according to Yury Biryukov, an aide to President Petro Poroshenko.
“Today we will show HOW good we are at jabbing in the teeth,” he wrote on his Facebook page, a mode of conveying information favored by many Ukrainian officials.
In a later post he said: “They are now striking a dot. Uuu…” in a reference to Tochka-U (‘tochka’ means ‘dot’ in Russian), a tactical ballistic missile, one of the most powerful weapons Ukraine so far deployed against rebel forces.
“That wasn’t a dot but ellipsis. Strong booms,” he added.
Reports from the ground confirmed a sharp escalation of clashes across the front line, with particularly heavy artillery fire reported at Gorlovka.
“Locals in Donetsk said they haven’t heard such intensive shelling since summer,” Valentin Motuzenko, a military official in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, told Interfax news agency.
“The Ukrainian military are using all kinds of weapons, Grad multiple rocket launchers, mortars…” Motuzenko said.
A source at the site told RT that a group of OSCE monitors have demanded that the Ukrainian military stop the shelling. The source added that there is a danger that the group may itself come under artillery fire.
Aleksandr Zakharchenko, who was elected in November the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, has accused Kiev of using the ceasefire to regroup their troops and boost their armaments, and now of trying to restart the all-out war.
“It’s clear that Kiev is making an attempt to take revenge for the serious military defeat it took from the militia last year,” he added. “Kiev always ignored our numerous suggestions to pull back heavy weapons from the disengagement line.”
“At the moment, we are aware of five civilians killed,” the Donetsk administration said, adding that the shelling of the city by Ukrainian forces is still under way.
Several residential buildings, a shop and a bus station have been seriously damaged by artillery fire in the city, RIA Novosti reported.
The Putilovsky Bridge, which is located near the Donetsk airport, has also been destroyed in the shelling, RT’s Roman Kosarev reported from the scene.
There were also reports of attacks on the town of Makeevka and several nearby villages.
The militia added that at least one shell hit a residential area in central Donetsk rather than the outskirts of the city.
Two people have died and 16 other received injureies after a Ukrainian shell exploded at bus station in city of Gorlovka, the press service of the People’s Republic of Donetsk said.
Several buildings in the city also suffered direct hits during the bombardment, including four schools and a kindergarten, the press service added.
Witnesses said that Kiev used aviation in the assault, with Sukhoi Su-24 warplanes jets seen in the air above Gorlovka.
Indonesia: Ambassadors recalled after executions
Brazil and the Netherlands recalled their ambassadors from Indonesia and expressed fury after Jakarta defied their pleas and executed six convicted drugs offenders by firing squad, including two of their citizens.
Convicts from Vietnam, Malawi and Nigeria, and one Indonesian, were also among those put to death just after midnight, the first executions carried out under new President Joko Widodo.
Indonesia has tough anti-drugs laws and Mr Widodo, who took office in October, has disappointed rights activists by voicing support for capital punishment despite his image as a reformist.
A spokesman for Brazilian President Dilma Roussef said she was "distressed and outraged" after Indonesia ignored her last-ditch pleas and put to death Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who was convicted of smuggling cocaine into Indonesia in 2004.
"Using the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, seriously affects relations between our countries," the spokesman said in a statement.
The Brazilian ambassador to Jakarta was being recalled for consultations, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the Netherlands had also recalled its ambassador over the execution of Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei, and described all six deaths as "terribly sad" in a statement.
"My heart goes out to their families, for whom this marks a dramatic end to years of uncertainty," Koenders said. "The Netherlands remains opposed to the death penalty."
Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte had been in contact with the Indonesian president about the matter, he said, and the government had done "all in its power" to attempt to halt the execution.
North Korea gulag survivor admits parts of his story were fabricated
Japan Times [18/1/15]:
A North Korean prison camp survivor whose torture and daring escape was detailed in a best-selling book admitted he lied about details in his story, and said Sunday he may end his campaign against human rights abuses.
Shin Dong-Hyuk, believed to be the only person born in a North Korean prison camp ever to have escaped, apologized on his Facebook page Sunday, saying he had “forever wanted to conceal and hide part of my past.”
Shin was born and spent the first 23 years of his life in a prison camp where, he recounted in the harrowing “Escape from Camp 14,” he was tortured and subjected to forced labor before escaping in 2005.
Ever since Shin, now 32, has campaigned prominently to highlight rights abuses in the isolated North, testifying before a U.N. commission last year.
But Shin recently changed some of the details in his story, Blaine Harden, the book’s author, said on his website.
“On Friday Jan. 16, I learned that Shin had told friends an account of his life that differed substantially from my book,” said Harden.
“I contacted Shin, pressing him to detail the changes and explain why he had misled me,” Harden said.
Shin told Harden that some of the ordeals had been “too painful” to revisit and he had “altered some details” that he thought would not matter, the Washington Post reported Sunday.
Shin said he was “very sorry” in his Facebook posting.
“I forever wanted to conceal and hide part of my past. We tell ourselves that it’s okay to not reveal every little detail, and that it might not matter if certain parts aren’t clarified,” he said.
“To those who have supported me, trusted me and believed in me all this time, I am so very grateful and at the same time so very sorry to each and every single one of you,” he said.
Shin did not elaborate in the post on which part of his past had been fabricated.
In Harden’s book, Shin says he was brutally burned and tortured when aged 13, after a failed attempt to escape the camp.
But, according to the Washington Post, Shin now admits the event took place when he was 20, the article said.
Shin also said in the book he saw his mother and brother executed after he betrayed them, telling authorities in Camp 14 of their plan to escape in hopes of getting food as reward.
But, said the Washington Post, the executions actually took place when he and his family were in a different camp.
On Facebook, Shin said he “may not be able to continue” his years-long campaign against the North regime, but urged his supporters to fight on.
“The world still needs to know of the horrendous and unspeakable horrors that are taking place,” he said.
“These will be my final words and this will likely be my final post,” he added, concluding: “Thank You.”
Shin has been one of the most well-known campaigners against rights abuses committed in the North, where the Kim family rules its impoverished populace with an iron fist and pervasive personality cult.
The North has sought to discredit Shin as a fabulist.
Almost half French oppose publishing Mohammed cartoons, poll
Luxemburger Wort [18/1/15]:
Almost half of French oppose publication of cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Mohammed, according to a poll Sunday, as global debate deepened on the limits of free speech in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo killings.
The Ifop poll found 42 percent believe Mohammed cartoons seen as offensive by many Muslims should not be published. Fifty percent said they backed "limitations on free speech online and on social networks."
However, 57 percent said opposition from Muslims should not prevent the cartoons being published, according to the poll, published in Le Journal du Dimanche.
The poll found overwhelming support -- 81 percent -- for stripping French nationality from dual nationals who have committed an act of terrorism on French soil.
Sixty eight percent favoured banning French citizens from returning to the country if "they are suspected of having gone to fight in countries or regions controled by terrorist groups," such as Syria.
The same percentage backed bans on people suspected of wanting to join jihadist movements from leaving France.
However, 57 percent of respondents to the poll opposed French military intervention in countries including Libya, Syria and Yemen.
The poll was conducted last week in the wake of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo's office in Paris, where Islamist gunmen killed 12 people, saying they were taking revenge for repeated publication by the magazine of Prophet Mohammed caricatures.
On Saturday, five people were killed and churches were set on fire in Niger in the latest protests by Muslims against Charlie Hebdo's decision after the massacre to print another Mohammed cartoon.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius condemned the violence in Niger while President Francois Hollande called freedom of expression "non-negotiable".
HRW urges West to press Bahrain to free opposition figures
Human Rights Watch on Sunday urged Bahrain's Western allies to press the kingdom to release detained activists, including a Shiite opposition chief whose arrest has sparked protests and condemnation.
Sheikh Ali Salman, the head of the influential Al-Wefaq bloc, has remained in custody since authorities arrested him on December 28 on charges including seeking regime change.
Meanwhile, hundreds attended the funeral of a man who died from what Al-Wefaq said may have been tear gas inhalation following Saturday clashes between protesters and police in the Shiite village of Bilad al-Qadim, where Salman lives.
The cause of the death of the man identified as Abdulazziz Salman Alsaeed remain unclear and authorities have not released an official statement. Witnesses said that mourners clashed again with forces after the Sunday funeral.
"When it comes to punishing peaceful critics of the government or ruling family, Bahrain is a serial offender," said HRW's deputy MENA director Joe Stork.
Salman's arrest "seems calculated to send a message to Bahrainis and the world that political reconciliation and respect for fundamental rights is completely off the table," said Stork.
HRW said that authorities have so far "failed" to release evidence against Salman, urging his immediate release and calling for charges against him to be dropped.
Prosecutors allege that Salman confessed to contacting foreign regimes and political groups abroad, some of whom had "expressed readiness" to interfere in Bahrain's affairs.
Iran, which condemned Salman's arrest, has been accused of interfering in Bahrain since its Sunni ruling family crushed month-long protests led by Al-Wefaq in 2011 seeking an elected government in the Shiite-majority kingdom.
"Bahrain's allies in London, Paris, and elsewhere have largely stayed silent as Bahrain has filled its jails with the people who hold the key to the political solution the (United Kingdom) UK and (United States) US claim to support," Stork said.
"Who will Bahrain have to detain and on what nonsensical charges before Bahrain's allies speak out?"
Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet, is among the countries that have joined the international coalition against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.
Prominent Shiite activist Nabeel Rajab will stand trial on Tuesday over tweets deemed insulting to public institutions, in an another case that has been criticised by rights groups.
ABC News [18/1/15]:
The U.S. food company behind Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers says it has begun construction of a $90 million biscuit plant in Bahrain to keep up with growing demand in the Middle East and Africa for Mondelez International's products.
The multinational conglomerate behind some of the world's most popular food snacks inaugurated the beginning of construction at the 250,000 square meters (2.7 million square feet) plot for the new plant on Sunday. Mondelez International says the facility will have capacity to produce 90,000 tons per year.
The company said in a statement that its plant in the Arab Gulf island-nation will produce brands such as Oreo, Ritz and TUC in the initial phase, which will create 300 jobs. Full commercial production is scheduled to start early next year.
The Digital Arms Race: NSA Preps America for Future Battle
The NSA's mass surveillance is just the beginning. Documents from Edward Snowden show that the intelligence agency is arming America for future digital wars -- a struggle for control of the Internet that is already well underway.
Normally, internship applicants need to have polished resumes, with volunteer work on social projects considered a plus. But at Politerain, the job posting calls for candidates with significantly different skill sets. We are, the ad says, "looking for interns who want to break things."
Politerain is not a project associated with a conventional company. It is run by a US government intelligence organization, the National Security Agency (NSA). More precisely, it's operated by the NSA's digital snipers with Tailored Access Operations (TAO), the department responsible for breaking into computers.
Potential interns are also told that research into third party computers might include plans to "remotely degrade or destroy opponent computers, routers, servers and network enabled devices by attacking the hardware."
Using a program called Passionatepolka, for example, they may be asked to "remotely brick network cards." With programs like Berserkr they would implant "persistent backdoors" and "parasitic drivers". Using another piece of software called Barnfire, they would "erase the BIOS on a brand of servers that act as a backbone to many rival governments."
An intern's tasks might also include remotely destroying the functionality of hard drives. Ultimately, the goal of the internship program was "developing an attacker's mindset."
The internship listing is eight years old, but the attacker's mindset has since become a kind of doctrine for the NSA's data spies. And the intelligence service isn't just trying to achieve mass surveillance of Internet communication, either. The digital spies of the Five Eyes alliance -- comprised of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- want more.
Asylum seeker advocates write to UN over indefinite detention at Darwin's Wickham Point centre [ABC – 18/1/15]
Video from Oscar compound. Asylum seekers chanting "freedom" via @ShaneBazzi
Where is the UN? Where is the Red Cross? ... via @ShaneBazzi
Instead of conveying lies and racism, the imaginary national broadcaster reads out the messages from Manus Island to the Australian people and pushes politicians on why they aren't insisting on UN intervention.
Imaginary Australian journalist or politician articulates that the situation on Manus is a threat to the human rights of all Australians.
... The Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul says for two days asylum seekers in the Delta compound have been forced to reach under a compound fence for bottled water.
He says on Sunday afternoon a forklift moved in to remove the pallets holding the bottles.
He says Delta Compound has been without running water since Friday and asylum seekers have been trying to catch rainwater to wash.
Mr Rintoul says the service provider Transfield has also upped intimidation in Foxtrot compound which has been occupied by around 40 members of the Emergency Response Team since early Sunday evening.
The Coalition said security guards, including Papua New Guinea locals, attacked peaceful protests at the Australian-run detention centre on Friday.
The Papua New Guinean government has denied reports of a violent confrontation.
19 January 2015