170 days of peaceful protest from East Lorengau refugees transit center.



We tired of being in caged but never give up for our rights to freedom. @sunosi3 [19/1/18]



@Shamindan1 [19/1/18]: ... Day 170 peaceful protest. [West Haus, Manus Island]



Details of IHMS refugee concentration camp contracts have ALWAYS been redacted. 

That is the policy. ---> ... The provision of health care to asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is governed by the ‘Heads of Agreement’ between the Commonwealth of Australia (represented by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)) and International Health and Medical Services (IHMS) (the contract).

The contract was tabled in the Senate on 21 September 2012, with the payment schedule and financial details redacted.

Despite this, some financial details are known, such as that IHMS will be paid $22 million for the provision of health care for six months from 14 December 2012.


The contract governing the provision of health care on Nauru and Manus Island is intended to ensure IHMS provides a level of care that is sufficient to maintain optimal health, broadly comparable to what is available in Australia and the best available in the circumstances.

Yet apart from journalist reports, there is limited publicly available information on which to base an assessment of whether these objectives are being achieved ... Health care for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island [Parliament of Australia Library - 28/6/13]



Retweets are bullshit.


When are you going to demand your Labor Party mates END this policy? 




@Aussies4Refugees [19/1/18]:  A politician who withdraws an extremely detailed #Senate motion without explanation does not care about medical negligence on #Manus . ... Refugees are being used in Greens/Guardian political games to protect the Labor Party and the policy. Don't be a kapo.



1. The policy is secrecy.

2. The policy is a conspiracy.

3. The policy is imprisonment, torture, exile and death.

4. The policy is a war of attrition.

5. The policy - and its corruption - will not end until there is actual opposition to it.





3rd day of our peaceful protest in #Balikpapan_IDC_PrisonCamp in Indonesia for freedom. We cry out for justice and freedom. #HazaraRefugees #Justice4Hazaras @Stranger4Ay [19/1/18]




#Balikpapan_Migrants crying for freedom. We have been here for 3.5 to 4 years with no charges. @Refugees @UNHCRIndo @IOM_Indonesia  @mustafa_hzr [19/1/18]



Why Indonesia shows the IOM isn’t helping migrants [News Deeply - 26/10/17]:


... In 2000, IOM, Australia and Indonesia signed a Regional Cooperation Agreement, under which Indonesian police and immigration officials would intercept refugees and asylum seekers thought to be intent on traveling irregularly to Australia.

Those intercepted are detained in 13 detention centers across the Indonesian archipelago, where IOM provides “migrant care management” to those detained.

While Australia claims that it does not directly fund immigration detention in Indonesia, it earmarks funds using the obscure label of “providing care and maintenance to intercepted irregular migrants in Indonesia.” ...



@Aussie4Refugees [1/12/17]: Aus govt withholds survival stats re IOM facilitated deportations



The IOM has received $1 million from the Australian government to promote anti-refugee "deterrence" propaganda to trapped refugees in Indonesia [QUARTZ - 19/4/17]



What Australia's fanatical "stopping the boats" anti-refugee policy 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. ...



Australia stopped accepting refugees - with UNHCR approval and a silently complicit human rights establishment and crossbench - in July 2014 [SBS -  18/11/14]:


... The UNHCR's Canberra office also refused interview requests. ...



... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi ... [UNSW Kaldor Centre]



@nslwin [18/1/18]:  Repatriation without consent and safety is like sending Auschwitz survivors back to the gas chambers, says @drzarni. #Rohingya #MyanmarGenocide 



@nslwin  [18/1/18]: More #Rohingya flee #Myanmar as #Bangladesh prepares to start repatriation  



Human Rights Watch says S.F.A. ---> “We need to help them through it,”:  Woodside CEO Peter Coleman on supporting the government of Myanmar with the imminent refoulement of Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh [Reuters - 18/1/18]:


... Woodside is still targeting growth in Myanmar, where it discovered gas last year and expects to drill three wells this year, starting around March or April, even amid a humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya refugees.

One of the wells will be off the troubled state of Rakhine, where it co-owns acreage with China’s CNPC International .

Woodside is in “well advanced” talks with the government on fiscal terms for developing its discoveries in its southern hub off Myanmar, including development concepts and pricing of gas needed to underpin the development.

“I would hope that’s resolved in the first half of this year,” Coleman said.

He said he was pleased the Myanmar government had agreed to start allowing Rohingya refugees to return from Bangladesh and added that Myanmar needed more time to adjust after being isolated from the rest of the world for 60 years.

“We need to help them through it,” Coleman said.



Human Rights Watch says S.F.A. ---> A heartwarming yarn about Australian MPs mentoring their sisters from Myanmar [Broad Agenda - 29/8/17]



Human Rights Watch says S.F.A. ---> Report on July 2017 Australian Parliamentary delegation visit to Myanmar, Singapore and Indonesia for purposes of plunder, war and enabling genocide tabled in House of Representatives [Hansard - 6/12/17]



Human Rights Watch: Mr. Trudeau, strong words and money will not save the Rohingya – it’s time for Canada to act [The Globe and Mail - 19/1/18]



Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau celebrates Thai Pongal with Tamil community in Toronto [Tamil Guardian - 18/1/18]



The UK leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn in his Thai Pongal address this week, highlighted the ongoing persecution faced by Tamils and called on the UK government to take a lead in ensuring Sri Lanka works towards justice for Tamils.  ... [Tamil Guardian - 18/1/18]



@Aussie4Refugees [19/1/18]:  [Former Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan] "Griffin also noted the disturbing possibility of Tamil Tiger members being among Tamil asylum seekers destined for Australia."



Dying North Koreans a sign US diplomatic strategy works, Tillerson says [RT - 19/1/18]:


Signs of starvation and death in North Korea indicate that US diplomatic strategy works fine, says the Secretary of State.

The objective now is not to let Pyongyang evoke sympathy around the world for its sanctions-induced woes.

The unexpectedly-revealing description of what Rex Tillerson apparently considers successful diplomacy came from his own mouth on Wednesday as he was speaking at Stanford University with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

“The Japanese… have had over a 100 North Korean fishing boats that have drifted into Japanese waters. Two-thirds of the people on those boats have died,” Tillerson said, citing the Japanese delegation that attended a conference in Vancouver, Canada, earlier this week. ...



US military helicopters fly over Okinawa school despite Japan's Defense Ministry asking them not to [Japan Today - 19/1/18]



US Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force kick off Commando Sling 18 [US Pacific Command Media Release - 18/1/18]



US Coast Guard declares Antarctic peacetime mission Operation Deep Freeze: A military operation [Media Release - 18/1/18]



CSIRO set to launch a new generation of data gathering robots near the coast of Antarctica [Cosmos - 11/1/18]:


... The six-week exploratory mission involves collaborations between research institutes from the USA, France and Japan, and is being led by the CSIRO’s Stephen Rintoul, a physical oceanographer based in Tasmania.

The probes will be deployed off Australia’s only state-of-the-art marine research vessel, the Investigator. ...



News Corp. settles phone hacking cases as UK CMA continues investigating Murdoch’s plan for 21st Century Fox Inc. to buy Sky for 11.7 billion pounds [Bloomberg - 18/1/18]



Sudanese authorities have detained a Reuters stringer and an AFP reporter who were covering protests in the capital Khartoum, the external information council, which deals with foreign media organizations, said. ... [Reuters - 19/1/18]



@wikileaks [19/1/18]: What's happening to U.S. and U.K. journalism and @WikiLeaks? With filmmaker @JohnPilger and NSA whistleblower @Thomas_Drake1 ...



@wikileaks [19/1/18]:  Comment: Both sides of U.S. formal political power agree: working class whistleblowers must be persecuted. Soldiers, secretaries, programmers and janitors don't get to usurp the leaking role of Cabinet secretaries and FBI heads. #eliteimmmunity



Pelosi: ‘We must fight even harder against Trump's authoritarian impulses now that we've voted to enable them’ [The Onion - 18/1/18]



As President Trump throws an immigration deal into limbo, federal agents are ramping up deportation efforts coast to coast.

We are joined by prominent activist Maru Mora Villalpando of Seattle, who is being targeted for deportation; and by independent journalist Renee Feltz, who has been covering the deportation efforts against Ravi Ragbir and Jean Montrevil ... [TRNN - 17/1/18]  



Obama created a deportation machine. Now it's Trump's [Guardian - 21/11/16]



Haitians will no longer be eligible for U.S. visas given to low-skilled workers, the Trump administration said on Wednesday, bringing an end to a small-scale effort to employ Haitians in the United States after a catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the change less than a week after President Donald Trump reportedly questioned in an Oval Office meeting why the United States would want to take in immigrants from Haiti and African nations, referring to them as “shithole” countries.

Trump has denied using that word. Sponsored DHS said in a regulatory filing that it was removing Haiti from lists of more than 80 countries whose citizens can be granted H-2A and H-2B visas, given to seasonal workers in agriculture and other industries.

It cited what it said were “high levels of fraud and abuse” by Haitians with the visas, and a “high rate of overstaying the terms” of their visas.

A DHS report published last year stated that Haitians on a variety of non-immigrant visas, including H-2As and H-2Bs, had a roughly 40 percent visa overstay rate in the 2016 fiscal year.

Belize and Samoa were also removed from the lists, for risks stemming from human trafficking and not taking back nationals ordered removed from the United States, respectively.

Just a few dozen Haitians entered the United States on the visas each year since they were given permission to do so in 2012 by the Obama administration, according to DHS data. Sixty-five Haitians entered the United States on H-2A visas, given for agricultural work, in the 2016 fiscal year, according to DHS data, and 54 Haitians were granted H-2A visas by the State Department between March and November 2017.

The number of Haitians entering in 2016 on H-2B visas, which are for non-agricultural seasonal work, was more than zero but too low to report, according to DHS. ... [Reuters - 18/1/18]



UN mission helped plan Haitian raid that ended in civilian massacre [TRNN - 16/1/18]:


... JAKE JOHNSTON: Yeah. That's the question. Really, you have to go back a number of years from when this UN mission started, which took place in 2004 following a coup d'etat.

Thousands of UN troops were sent to Haiti ostensibly to provide stability and increase capacities for the Haitian police. Now, I think now, sort of looking back, the most obvious question is: stability for whom? Was it for the residents of these poor neighborhoods or for transnational capital and for the elite of Haiti?

What we have seen from Wikileaks cables is that the U.S. viewed this mission, this UN mission, as sort of a means to help manage Haiti, and a way to push back on these populous forces that had been empowered in Haiti and were overthrown in the 2004 coup. So after the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship, there had been a string of left leaders that had been elected in every election.

Now, since MINUSTAH has come across, we've seen a drastic change in the democracy in Haiti, once in which participation of Haitians has actually declined in each election and sort of begging the question here of, again, who has benefited from the billions of dollars, really, that have been spent ostensibly on security and stability?

Now, that mission after the election last year in 2016, the international community determined that Haiti had achieved this stability with that election and decided to withdraw the thousands of troops that had been stationed in Haiti. They were replaced by about 1600 police officers and a new mission took place called MINUJUSTH, which was focused ostensibly on justice while still providing that support to the police.

So you have troops currently, or police officers, from a number of countries across the world, and again this is ostensibly a mission now focused on justice, on holding these actors accountable and getting to some of these root causes of impunity and a lack of accountability that has allowed these sorts of events to take place in the past. ...



US Border Patrol systematically destroyed water supplies left for migrants in desert, report says [Intercept - 18/1/18]:


... “It is not our claim that the U.S. Border Patrol is exclusively responsible for the vandalism of water supplies,” the report states.

“However … given the scope of destruction, we conclude that the only actors with a sufficiently large and consistent presence across a sufficiently wide area of the desert, during periods when hunting is both authorized and prohibited, are agents of the U.S. Border Patrol.” ...



"To destroy water in the desert is one of the most vicious things you could do.":  All death and no returns = "Successful" US border policy [VIDEO - The Empire's Border Part I - teleSUR - 31/1/16]:


Along the southern border of the United States is a graveyard, where hundreds upon hundreds of human remains are waiting to be found in the sand.

They are teenagers, mothers and spouses walking the only path available to them—away from poverty and violence: towards their families, the only place safer and easier to eat.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, Abby Martin reveals a catastrophe at the Empire's gates; not only a shockingly high body count, but a humanitarian crisis manufactured by the U.S. government.

Sinister tactics, a for-profit prison pipeline, and a court system that looks more like a slave auction than a trial await those who survive.  ...



Immigration detention deaths reach the highest total since 2009 [Houston Chronicle - 12/1/18]:


... Around the country, 12 immigrants died in detention in the 2017 fiscal year, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the most since fiscal year 2009.

Ten immigration detainees perished in government custody the year before.

Nationwide, more than 30,000 immigrants are held at any one time in ICE detention facilities. The number of deaths in 2017 has alarmed immigration activists, who have long accused immigration officials and detention center operators of providing delayed or substandard medical care and ignoring complaints of illness.

"Simply put, detention and deportation are a deadly business," said Bob Libal, executive director of Grassroots Leadership. Libal, whose group monitors civil rights conditions, said the "high-profile failings of the detention system in Texas" make him worried about plans to further increase the number of detainees held at privately owned facilities here.

A 1000-bed for-profit detention center is planned to open in 2018 in Conroe, already home to another detention facility.


Last year, the human rights group Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC) and Human Rights Watch filed a formal complaint and published a report documenting failures in medical care in 12 detainee deaths from late 2012 to mid-2015, citing ICE's own death investigations as well as independent medical experts who reviewed those reports. Other immigrants' rights groups previously identified another eight deaths as potentially preventable. ...



Cuban migrant granted asylum in Cayman Islands after year-long detention [Cayman Compass - 17/1/18]:


... The migrant arrived with a group by boat to Cayman Brac on Dec. 6, 2016.

 The group had motor problems in Little Cayman, where their vessel became trapped in the reef.

After 11 days hiding out, the migrant took a plane to Grand Cayman, where he turned himself in to immigration authorities following a short period on the streets.

“During that time, I got to know the culture and the freedom that exist on these islands, until I turned myself into immigration on Dec. 20, 2016,” he said in a hand-written letter to the Compass in March 2017.

The political refugee made headlines in July after escaping the detention center, where he was held for more than a year while his asylum case was processed.

Magistrate Valdis Foldats sentenced him to three months in Northward Prison for the incident.

At the time, the migrant called into question Cayman’s extensive detention periods for asylum seekers, which are currently nearing two years for some applicants.

In the days before his escape and seven months into his detention, he shared his frustration over the slow processing of migrant cases, telling the Compass, “I have already spoken on various occasions with immigration officials at the center that I want to present myself before the court. They haven’t given me a response.

Their excuse is that there are people that have been here for more time than me and that I have to wait.” Legal experts have questioned the legality of Cayman’s routine detention of asylum applicants, who are held in a facility by the Fairbanks women’s prison and managed by Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

While cases trickle through Cayman’s system of boards and courts, applicants are held under lock and key and are not permitted to leave the detention center without staff supervision.

HSM lawyer Alastair David, who took on the migrant’s case, said the practice appeared to clash with international law.

“In reality, none of these asylum seekers would be in detention in the U.K.,” Mr. David said.

In August, Hong Kong-based lawyer Mark Daly also cast doubt on the practice.

Mr. Daly pointed to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ guidelines that clearly establish detention to be an exceptional measure, rather than a default method, he said.

“The thrust of those is that detention is a last resort. We’ve got to get out of this idea that it’s routine to detain people. It’s a last resort. If they are going to abscond and not attend their refugee hearing somehow, if they’re a national security threat, OK. But, generally, you don’t detain,” he said. ... 



“I hate being in Brook House”, he told us, “I am frightened and anxious all the time”.

Mehdi*, an asylum-seeker from Bangladesh, does not understand why he was held in detention in the first place.

“I am being punished but I have done nothing wrong. I am not dangerous and I am always respectful to others.”

Mehdi’s only crime was to seek refuge in the UK after he was beaten and his life was threatened for membership of the opposition party.

He was locked up in Brook House, the detention centre near Gatwick Airport run by the multinational security firm G4S on behalf of the Home Office. ...‘It's like hell in here’: Asylum seekers challenge inhumane conditions in Brook House detention centre [Liberty - 17/1/18]



Informative note on Lesvos - January 2018 [Enough is Enough - 15/1/18]:


The period of time that followed the previous update has been tense in every sense of the word.

The expectedly increased autumn arrivals, combined with the Greek state policy of caging the migrants on the islands, have brought back to life images of living hell in the detention centres of the islands.

Local racist and fascist voices, freed from the “compassionate” gaze of summer visitors, found once more the time and place to impose on public space.

Local authorities decided to reshuffle the deck, claiming the major political benefits that they could extract from the situation.

Two new deaths were added to the already long list of deaths in the detention centres on the island.

At the same time, once more, there were some migrants who, defying threats and repression, stood tall.


Meanwhile, deportations continue at an increasing rate.

Deportations happen in two ways: either as purportedly “readmissions” under the EU-Turkey Agreement, where migrants are being deported to Turkey, or as deportations through the International Organization for Migration (IOM) “voluntary returns” program, where migrants are forced to sign their repatriation papers and then transferred back to their countries of origin. ...



@seawatchcrew [16/1/18]:  Am Montag Abend sind wir losgefahren und diese Nacht gab es bereits die erste Rettung. 165 Personen trieben mit ausgefallenen Motoren auf dem Mittelmeer, glücklicherweise in unsere Richtung. Sie befinden sich jetzt in Sicherheit.  




19 January 2018