Justice For Raza

 

 

Salsaal Integration Association Inc. Perth WA:

 

 

Raza, a young Hazara guy who arrived in Australia by boat in 2012.

When the situation for Hazara people in Quetta, Pakistan had deteriorated, and he had no option but to flee the country to save his and possibly, his family's life.

ALAS! He didn't know that the Australian government had sworn to punish the already vulnerable people.

The government had changed its immigration policies then, people were no more able to seek permanent protection.

The torture continued, and he was granted a Bridging Visa E (BVE) with no work rights and minimal social security payments.

It was Wednesday the 17th June 2015, when hope seemed entirely clouded, and it was just a plain awful day for him.

Painful, miserable and nothing at all but anguish – amidst his gloomiest hours – he ended his struggle for a better and peaceful life.

May he rest in peace!

In order to protest against the cruel and inhuman immigration policies, we are joining Refugee Rights Action Network and Unted Hazara Association, this coming Saturday the 20th June 2015.

 Please, join us and help us end these policies which are not only violating basic human rights of asylum seekers but also killing them on all levels.

Refugee Rights Action Network will be holding a people's trial of mandatory detention outside the Perth Immigration Detention Centre (PIDC) to commemorate World Refugee Day.

The people's court will hear testimony written by people currently being held in detention on Nauru and Manus Islands.

The PIDC address is: Corner Baker st & McComb st Redcliffe (near Perth Domestic Airport) #JusticeforRaza #Nocrimetoseekasylum

“Please call Lifeline on 13 11 44 if you need help. It is a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7.

 

 

 

World Refugee Day protest: A people’s trial of mandatory detention, Perth

 

 

 

 

Australian government refuses to answer Indonesia's allegations that officials repelled a refugee boat by bribing its crew

 

 

 

Nine MSN [19/6/15]:

 

 

There is no explanation of whether Australia paid cash to an asylum boat crew in correspondence from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir says.

Ms Bishop's letter was handed to her counterpart Retno Marsudi from Ambassador Paul Grigson on Friday.

"When we did not receive any new information or any clarification, again, like I said, we cannot be blamed for taking the view that there was an illicit payment made to the smugglers," Mr Nasir told reporters.

A boat captain and five crew members are being questioned by police on the Indonesian island of Rote for aiding 65 people who wanted asylum in New Zealand, and say an Australian official paid them cash to turn back to Indonesia.

Ms Retno asked Mr Grigson to seek an explanation of the claims on Saturday, before she left for meetings in Norway.

He visited her office for about 20 minutes on Friday, their first formal get-together since returning from his recall over Indonesia's execution of Bali Nine drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

"Australia remains very committed to cooperation with Indonesia to combat people smuggling in all its forms," Mr Grigson told reporters after the meeting.

"As my prime minister has said repeatedly, ... Australian officials have always acted within the law in this case."

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABC reports that Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia says the actions of officials in repelling the refugee boat were "lawful".   Provides no direct quote. [19/6/15]:


Australia's ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, has told Indonesia's foreign minister the actions of Australian officials during an alleged interception of an Indonesian people smugglers' [refugee] boat were lawful.

Retno Marsudi agreed to meet Mr Grigson today, after she criticised Australia for refusing to say if it paid thousands of dollars to the crew of a people smuggling [refugee] boat.

Indonesia's foreign ministry spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, said Mr Grigson gave no new information regarding the claims, so it assumes an "illicit payment" was made.

Late last month, a boat carrying 65 asylum seekers and six crew ran aground off Indonesia.

ABC News obtained pictures of an Australian Customs ship escorting the boat back towards Indonesia.

Initial investigations by Indonesian police, and accounts of passengers, suggest Australian officials paid more than $30,000 to the crew, in order for them to return the asylum seekers to Indonesia.

 


 

 

Constituents are living in fear, where is the Australian government?: Nauru opposition MP

 

Nine MSN [19/6/15]:


A suspended Nauru politician says he wants Australia to take notice of what is happening in his country, amid reports more arrest warrants are being drawn up for opposition MPs who attended a recent protest.

Squire Jeremiah - who was arrested on Friday - says people are living in fear and he believes Nauru's police are acting outside the law and on the orders of the government.

"We are living in great fear right now," he told AAP.

"This is new to Nauru. We fear what's going to happen, I just don't know.

"Police are acting not within the law of this country but they are acting on the instructions of the government."

Shortly after Mr Jeremiah spoke with AAP he was arrested.

"He has been charged with several things," his wife Christine said when AAP attempted to speak to him again.

The charges included rioting and disturbing the neighbourhood, she said.

Mr Jeremiah awoke on Friday to a tip off warrants were being drawn up for him and former president and opposition colleague Sprent Dabwido following their participation in protests at parliament on Tuesday.

Authorities have called it a riot because windows were smashed. They also say police were pelted with rocks.

The pair are among a group of five MPs suspended from parliament last year.

President Baron Waqa's government has taken an increasingly hard line in response to dissent in recent months, and on Tuesday former foreign minister Mathew Batsiua was arrested while he attended the protest.

He has since been released under reportedly strict bail conditions.

Canberra has taken a vital, leading role on good governance, leadership and the rule of law in the Pacific region Mr Jeremiah said.

"But today we are very disappointed that they are very quiet, they are very quiet right now," he said.

"We are hoping that Australia will listen to what is happening in the country."

The protesters were demanding President Waqa provide an explanation over recent corruption allegations against him and members of his government.

Another suspended MP, Roland Kun, had his passport cancelled without explanation after he was taken off a Nauru flight bound for New Zealand via Australia on Wednesday.

Mr Kun said he was not involved in the protest. His family moved to NZ last year after his wife, Katy Le Roy, was deported from Nauru after criticising the government.


 

No transparency, lawyers, journalists, UNHCR or Facebook as Australian political  and media establishment slips into its usual "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" mode


 

  This is a jail cell some of the female refugees were imprisoned for 30 hours and given only one bottle of water to share. ... [Refugees on Nauru - 5/3/15]

 

 

Phone interview and photos from a young Kurdish-Iranian asylum seeker on Nauru. Compiled by Rez Nez. [VIDEO - 5/3/15]:

 

At 4 am the police entered the camp and rooms and arrested some refugees based on their photo identification.

Among the detained people there were 2 children, one 7 year old girl and a 15 year old boy.

At 10 am we went to go to the police office to complain about this arrest.

Two buses, that camp and local police officers use, were there.

They stopped us and arrested some of us but we (some of us) could escape.

Until then, 135 individuals had been arrested.

At 5pm, we gathered again, and again police came and arrested some of us.  Only 20 people remained.

They couldn't arrest us all because the buses had no more space for anyone else.

In total nearly 200 refugees were arrested.

We went towards the police office and asked them to arrest us as well, because we accompanied these detained refugees.

But they didn't (arrest us) and said "we have not been asked to do that".

We were outside of the police office with immigration officers and the service camps personnel.

Then some case managers arrived and talked with local police officers regarding the 2 arrested kids.

After 2 hours, they (the case managers) convinced local police to release the children (from the jail).

 

Tell me why have they (the police) arrested them? Why has the 7 year old kid been arrested?

 

They didn't provide any reason for arresting these refugees at 4am.

In the case of the arrest of the 7 year old girl in the camp - even local police were surprised!

But ultimately they did this as they had (supposedly) been asked to.

 

As for what happened after that?

 

We were in the police office until 10pm.

Then 3 arrested women, one of them who was pregnant, were released.

I talked with them.  They said local police had beaten them. One of them said her body was kicked by the police and now is swollen and bruised. So she wants to make a complaint against them.

They charged 8 of the arrested refugees, and now they don't have the right to leave the camp - under any condition.

The intention of these actions, in my opinion, is to silence protests.

 

As a young female refugee, how do you feel about Australia?

 

The worst feeling is I thought after escaping from my country, there would be some individuals that would help me; they will see my pain and will let me live freely.

But it didn't happen. Even I lost all of my ...

In these 2 years that I was in the camp, I have seen things that I have never seen before in my life.

Today, when I saw ... with my compatriots and people who I have spent my time with them in last 2 years ... [indecipherable] when we were talking with hope and desire about a day that we will be released.

Then we realised that none of us are important for them.  They didn't even care about a 7 year old girl.

Today I overheard a woman in the detention centre saying the local police didn't even give us drinking water.

Up until this moment (that I am talking with you) I have felt I want to help them and ... (connection lost)

 

 

 

 

Spare a thought for the Rohingya Rachel Griffiths?  [TEMPO.CO - 19/6/15]:


 

... "Every Hollywood actor likes a happy ending so I decided to help raise awareness about these issues," Griffiths told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at a conference on slavery.

"I realised through my work at Hagar that I, as an individual, can make a difference by raising money and telling people about the effectiveness of what we're (doing) with the survivors of human trafficking."

Hagar, which Griffiths joined as patron of Hagar Australia in 2012, was launched in 1994 in Cambodia and now also works in Afghanistan and Vietnam to help survivors of trafficking recover from trauma and reintegrate into society.

The charity deals mostly with women and children but has recently started to work with Cambodian fishermen forced to toil as slaves on boats off the coast of Indonesia.

...

 

 

 

At the heart of the Rohingya crisis, a people in limbo [Coconuts Yangon - 18/6/15]:

 

... A few doors down, Kalar Banu was sitting in the doorway to her hut, cradling her knees with her hands. Her rounded face looked drawn and tired and she drew circles on the floor nervously as she talked. The day her son, 14-year-old Amir, was taken, they weren't on good terms, she said. They had argued. Amir had taken her cell phone and broken it.

“I think he thought I would beat him,” she sighed. They had gone to the market together – Amir helped his mother run her small business selling wood for cooking fires. She only turned around to negotiate with the vendors for a moment. But when she turned back, he was gone.

Police in the village told her later that the traffickers had a scam going. They offered young boys 20,000 kyats ($20) to go with them, sometimes going so far as to beat, drug or force them onto the boats, with the hopes of extracting a large ransom from their families. She heard Amir took the money, but later decided he didn't want to go and was beaten unconscious.

“I heard when he woke up he wouldn't go on the big boat, but the trafficker beat him and forced him,” she said.

When she realized what had happened, Kalar Banu went to the local agent and offered him $200 in return for her son. But the trafficker refused and sent Amir to the border. He called her again, from there, saying, “If you want your son back, you send 6,000 ringitts ($1,600).”

The negotiations went on for almost a month. She talked to Amir a few times on the phone and he begged her to help him. Kalar Banu said she was trying everything. She managed to collect 5,000 ringitts but it was too late. She was told Amir had died. She doesn't know the details, just that he was “sick.”  ...

 

 

 

 

The European Union was supposed to be about breaking down borders and barriers. But critics say that message appears to have been lost on Hungary, which drew international condemnation this week for its government’s plans to erect a fence along the Serbian border to keep out migrants.

“We don’t want to live in an Auschwitz,” Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s prime minister, said on state television on Thursday, a day after Hungary unveiled a proposal to build the 13-foot-high fence along its 109-mile southern border with Serbia.

Mr. Vucic said building walls and fences was a misguided way to deter the tens of thousands of asylum seekers, buffeted by war and conflict in Syria, Africa and elsewhere, who are determined to find refuge in the Union and have increasingly sought entry through the western Balkans. ... [New York Times - 18/6/15]

 

 


 

One killed as US patrol vessel hits Mexican migrant boat [Naharnet - 19/6/15]:


A woman was killed Thursday when a boat carrying 20 Mexican migrants collided with a U.S. border patrol vessel off the California coast, authorities said.

The Mexican government called for an investigation into the incident, in which four people were also injured.

According to a statement from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, a patrol boat had spotted a suspected human smuggling [migrant] vessel off Encinitas in southern California.

U.S. agents ordered the boat to stop, but it failed to do so.

"After failing to yield, warning shots were fired," the CBP said in a statement.

"After the suspected smuggling vessel failed to comply, the two vessels collided. The smuggler's vessel capsized, resulting in 20 people going into the water."

U.S. agents pulled everyone out of the water but one woman was unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.

Of the 19 survivors, four were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

All 20 people were suspected of attempting to enter the United States illegally.

Smugglers [migrants] frequently try to circumvent the heavily patrolled land border between the United States and Mexico by using small boats to travel up the California coast.

 

 

 

Five migrants in trunks rescued by US Border Patrol during heat wave [ABC 15 - 18/6/15]:



Five migrants were rescued by Border Patrol agents during a massive heat wave in Arizona on Wednesday.

Officials said the first of three events happened at an immigration checkpoint at 2:20 p.m. on Interstate 19 near Tubac, Arizona.

A Border Patrol canine was alerted to a brown Cadillac.

Agents searched the vehicle and found two Mexican nationals trapped in the trunk. The driver and passenger were arrested.

At 5:00 p.m., agents at the State Route 85 immigration checkpoint near Ajo, Arizona were notified of a vehicle that fled the inspection station.Agents located the vehicle and found two Mexican nationals in the trunk. Officials are still searching for the driver of the vehicle.

After 7:00 p.m., agents discovered a Mexican national locked in the trunk of a car near Tombstone, Arizona after a canine was alerted to the vehicle. The driver and passengers were arrested.

All of the Migrants rescued were evaluated and some were taken to the hospital for treatment.

 



160 Migrants Feared Dead in Mexico after Being Attacked [teleSUR – 18/6/15]

 

 

 

United States, “allies” continue bombing Iraq and Syria



US Department of Defense [18/6/15]:



U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Bomber, attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted six airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike destroyed two ISIL tunnel systems.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tal Abyad, four airstrikes struck one large and two small ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL excavator.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Huwayjah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Beiji, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL pontoon bridge.

-- Near Fallujah, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL rocket rails and an ISIL bunker.

-- Near Ramadi, four airstrikes struck multiple defensive obstacles and fighting positions.

-- Near Sinjar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL buildings and an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Tal Afar, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bunker. Two ISIL buildings, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL vehicle bomb were destroyed, and land features were struck to deny ISIL a tactical advantage.

...

 

 

The U.S. is struggling to implement its training program for moderate Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group, according to figures released Thursday by the Pentagon.

Only "100 to 200" fighters have actively begun training at U.S. sites in Jordan and Turkey, according to Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren, of the 5,000 forces the military says it wants to train over the year.

The Obama administration embarked on the program earlier this year under strong pressure from Congress, which allocated $500 million to finance it. ... [Naharnet - 19/6/15]

 

 

A U.S. Marine convicted of the 2006 murder of a former Iraqi police officer was sentenced Thursday to time he had already served in confinement, in a decision by a military jury at Camp Pendleton in California.

The jury also gave Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins III a bad-conduct discharge from the Marine Corps.

He had served about seven years in confinement and had faced a possible sentence of four more years.

After the killing in Iraq came to light, then-U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus called it a "cold-blooded murder."  ... [Daily Star - 19/6/15]

 

 

Bomb attack on Yemen hospital claims nine lives [Press TV – 19/6/15]:



A bomb attack on a hospital in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan has claimed the lives of at least nine people.

The deadly attack took place in Mikras region of the province on Friday, the Arabic-language the Lebanese Al Mayadeen news network reported.

Most of the victims are said to be members of Ansarullah movement, who are fighting al-Qaeda and ISIL terrorists inside Yemen

The terrorists have carried out bombings and attacked several civilian targets in recent months.

The attacks come as Saudi Arabia is also pushing ahead with a military onslaught against its impoverished southern neighbor with the declared objective of targeting Ansarullah movement. The military campaign, however, has left a heavy civilian death toll.

A senior Ansarullah official recently told a Press TV correspondent that Saudi Arabia is committing genocide in Yemen and using banned weapons in its ongoing military aggression against Yemen.

“We have images of complete genocide being committed against the Yemeni people, we have practice of genocide against our people,” Hamza al-Houthi, the head of the Ansarullah delegation in the Geneva consultations, told Press TV's correspondent in Geneva on Thursday.

In a report published on May 31, Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that evidence shows Riyadh regime has been pounding Yemen with internationally banned cluster bombs, warning that such attacks are “harming civilians.”

...

 

 

The United Nations Security Council today condemned in the strongest terms the “horrific” series of terrorist attacks on mosques which left dozens dead and wounded in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

The attacks – perpetrated on 17 June – targeted three mosques in Yemen’s capital city in the latest bout of violence to convulse the war-torn country. ... [Media Release - 18/6/15]

 

 

Yemen facing serious food insecurity as conflict deteriorates, new UN study finds [Media Release - 18/6/15]

 

 

Chad says it bombs Boko Haram bases in Nigeria; Nigeria denies it  [Ahram - 18/6/15]

 

 

Boko Haram militants attacked two villages in southern Niger's Diffa region overnight, killing at least 30 civilians, two security sources said on Thursday.  ... [Ahram - 18/6/15]

 

 

The number of people fleeing their homes in Ukraine continues to rise, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“More than 1.3 million people are now internally displaced, making it the ninth largest internally displaced population in the world, and some 890,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries,” said a UN spokesperson today.

According to OCHA’s latest update, no crossing points are available for humanitarian cargo to non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. ... [Media Release - 18/6/15]

 

 

 

At least three boats carrying pro-Palestine activists are preparing to set sail to Gaza in the latest attempt to break Israel’s blockade against the territory.

Members of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition in Palermo, Sicily, have told Al Jazeera that final preparations are underway, with the boats aiming to reach Gaza before the end of June.

Activist Kalle Ohlsson said the flotilla’s main objective was not to bring aid, but to open Gaza’s port to allow freedom of movement and trade. ... [Al Jazeera - 19/6/15]

 

 

Suspected arson attack at revered Christian site in Israel  [Ahram - 18/6/15]:

 

A suspected arson attack damaged a revered Christian shrine in northern Israel overnight, police said Thursday, as a church adviser pointed the finger at Jewish extremists.

The Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the shores on the Sea of Galilee is where many Christians believe Jesus fed the 5,000 in the miracle of the five loaves and two fish.

"During the night a fire broke out at the Tabgha church," a police statement said, indicating that police and fire service investigators were examining the scene.

"Graffiti in Hebrew was found on the wall of the church."

A member of the Roman Catholic Benedictine order, which manages the site, said one of the buildings within the compound was completely destroyed in the blaze but the church itself was not damaged.

The Hebrew graffiti, which was found on another building within the complex, was part of a common Jewish prayer which says "idols will be cast out" - or destroyed, an AFP correspondent reported.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said two people who were in the compound at the time were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

"There's a strong possibility that it wasn't an accident," Rosenfeld told AFP.

...

 

Times of Israel [17/6/15]:

 

Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni was forced to use a legal loophole in order to avoid possible arrest over alleged Israeli war crimes when she attended the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summit this week in London.

Anti-Israeli activists applied to have an arrest warrant issued for Livni, who was foreign minister during the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip.

In 2009, ahead of a planned visit by Livni, a British court issued a warrant for Livni over alleged war crimes committed by the IDF during the three-week conflict.

In the end Livni did not go through with the trip, and the threat of an arrest kept her out of the UK until authorities in 2011 granted automatic immunity to all Israelis on official visits to Britain.

...


 

Sundus Saleh, an Iraqi single mother, is suing members of the George W. Bush administration for their role in the war in Iraq.

Saleh has assembled an international team of lawyers, who are requesting the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hear her claim that the US-led Iraq war was illegal under laws formed from the Nuremberg trials in the wake of World War II.

"The invasion resulted in the total destruction of a beautiful, peaceful country," Saleh told Truthout.

"The invasion didn't destroy only the country's infrastructure, buildings and heritage; it destroyed millions of families and their dreams."

Through her pro bono counsel, Comar Law in San Francisco, Saleh filed papers on May 27 urging the Ninth Circuit to review facts and statements made by high-ranking Bush administration officials - including former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard Cheney and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld - during the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Shortly thereafter, on June 2, an international group of lawyers, which includes former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, filed an amicus brief in support of Saleh's claims.

Amicus briefs allow parties who have a strong interest in a case's subject matter to advise the court of further pertinent information or additional arguments. ... [Truthout - 16/6/15]

 

 

Charleston terrorist attack: Roommate claims Dylann Roof wanted a 'civil war' and planned massacre for six months [Independent - 19/6/15]

 

 

Murdered State Senator Clementa Pinckney Made This Speech About Walter Scott [VIDEO - Mother Jones - 18/6/15]:

 

... Back in May, the senator delivered this stirring (and now haunting) call to action following the death of Walter Scott—the unarmed black man who was shot and killed by a white police officer in North Charleston, just six miles north of where Pinckney and others were murdered.  ...

 

 

Senior Gold Coast police whistleblower charged over allegedly leaking video of colleagues assaulting 21-year-old [ABC - 19/6/15]:

 

 

A Gold Coast police officer has been charged and faces losing his job over allegedly releasing footage of a police assault three years ago.

It is alleged Sergeant Rick Flori leaked surveillance footage featuring four officers.

The footage shows one officer holding and another punching a 21-year-old man at the Surfers Paradise police station repeatedly while the man is handcuffed.

The officers filmed carrying out the assault were subject to an internal police investigation, with two officers facing disciplinary action.

Today, Mr Flori was charged with one count of criminal misconduct in public office.

He has also been stood down on full pay but faces losing his job.

Speaking outside Queensland Police Service headquarters, Mr Flori thanked his supporters.

"I thank my family ... I've had multiple phone calls and text messages. I'm very grateful and I thank you all," he said.

Sergeant Flori, who has been with the police for nearly 25 years, will fight the charges.

A court date has been set for July 15 on the Gold Coast.

Earlier today, civil libertarian and criminal lawyer Terry O'Gorman said the Queensland Police Service was shooting the messenger.

"How is it that the police who were shown on the video as belting the crap out of this particular person have not been charged and yet the person who has leaked it is now being charged with an offence which could put him in jail?" he said.

"The Police Minister should seriously look at appointing an independent QC to look at whether this proposed charge should go ahead."

The leaked video footage was published by media outlets in January 2012.

It showed Noa Begic being slammed face first into a concrete floor before being hit by officers using their knees, elbows and fists.

It also showed the man being punched a number of times after he was put in the back of a police van, and a senior officer throwing a bucket of water on the concrete to wash away his blood.

At the time, Mr Begic said he was arrested after a night out in Surfers Paradise and was assaulted repeatedly on the drive to the local police station and then later in the basement.

"They were making racist comments about me and then when we ended up in that basement I knew there was more on the way," he said.

Public nuisance charges against Mr Begic were ultimately dropped after then-police commissioner Bob Atkinson intervened.

 

 

 

Media Conference - Commissioner Bob Atkinson Discusses Joint CMC/Ethical Standards Command Investigation [VIDEO 14/2/12]:
 
... Giving the footage to the 'Courier-Mail' is not a whistleblower act.
The gentleman had made the complaint and the ethical standards command had the footage.
So we need, I think, to be really clear about that. That is not a whistleblowing act.
There's nothing that's exposing or uncovering anything. The complaint had been made, it was being investigated, the ethical standards command had the footage.
What someone has done is give the footage selectively to one media outlet, and that's not appropriate. ...

 

 

Use of force complaint, Surfers Paradise [QPS 15/2/12]:

 

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) Ethical Standards Command (ESC) has been investigating a complaint of excessive force at the Surfers Paradise Police Station on the morning of January 29, 2012.

The complaint in relation to this matter was made to police on February 6. From today it will be a joint investigation by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) and ESC.

The investigating officers are progressing the investigation as quickly as possible. The officer who is the primary subject of the investigation is to be relocated to non-operational duties from today.

As the investigation is ongoing, no further information can be released at this time. Commissioner Bob Atkinson said the police officer who raised concerns in the media about the alleged incident was encouraged to come forward and provide any information to the ESC or CMC.

“The QPS continues to maintain a strong focus on professional and ethical conduct which is supported by extensive education and training programs, and strong partnerships with the CMC and Professional Practice Managers in each region and command,” Commissioner Atkinson said.

The latest Report on Government Services showed the Queensland rate of complaints per 100,000 people (49) and rate per 100 operational sworn staff (22) in 2010/11 had decreased compared to 2009/10 (54 and 25 respectively).

“The decline is a positive result, particularly when viewed in the context of the more than five million interactions with the public the QPS records each year,” Commissioner Atkinson said.

Approximately 600 to 700 complaints of excessive force against police were made each year over the past five years. The majority of these complaints were not substantiated, and all were referred to the CMC.

That National Survey of Community Satisfaction with Policing shows that in 2010/11, 85 percent of Queenslanders who had contact with police in the past 12 months were mostly satisfied. This was above the national average of 82.2 percent.

 

 



"Uncle Tom? Hello?": Shouting Woman Interrupts Don Lemon in Charleston [VIDEO - Gawker - 18/6/15]:

 

As CNN’s John Berman and Don Lemon reported live earlier today in Charleston on last night’s shooting, a woman interrupted the broadcast to set a few things straight.

“We’re mad! We’re angry! Tell the truth!” she said as Berman launched into a report about the heartbreak in Charleston, standing feet way from the Emanuel AME Church.

“White people are terrorists! This is not a hate crime!” she continued off-camera.

After Berman introduced Lemon, she yelled, “Don, are you angry?” Coming into frame, she repeatedly shouted questions at Lemon regarding his own anger and then said, “Uncle Tom? Hello?”

“We’re angry. Speak about the anger. Talk about the anger,” she continued as the anchors tried in vain to control the broadcast with their banter.

“The president is a puppet! Stop the lies. Stop the lies. He’s an Uncle Tom, too. President Obama’s an Uncle Tom, too,” she said as Berman announced they were going to break.

“Black folks, get off your knees,” the woman concluded. “And stop praying.”

She wanted to cut the shit and share the anger. And so she did.

 

Hacking Would Have 'Shocked' News of the World Executive



Byline [18/6/15]:

A senior News of the World editor had no idea that his fellow executives were conspiring to hack phones, he told the Old Bailey today.

Neil Wallis, deputy editor for four years, said that the news editors and editor had never mentioned that they were all part of a criminal conspiracy.

In his cross-examination of Mr Wallis, Julian Christopher QC, for the Crown, asked: "Was there any time when anyone told you they had tried to access a voicemail message?

Mr Wallis replied: "No."

What would have been his response if anyone had suggested doing so? the lawyer asked.

Mr Wallis told the court: "I would have been shocked."

News editors Greg Miskiw, Ian Edmondson and James Weatherup and editor Andy Coulson had all been party to an agreement that that voicemails should be intercepted, Mr Christopher said.

"Did none of them mention to you that that was going on?"

"No," the defendant replied.

Mr Christopher asked: "Did you ever suspect that that was going on?"

"Absolutely not," Mr Wallis replied. "Why would I?"

Giving evidence for the third day of his trial for conspiring to hack phones, the 64-year-old explained he could not "micro-manage" the News of the World's news operation.

He did not know which tips flooded into the newsroom in Wapping every day and the desk heads were "very experienced," he said.

Mr Wallis now knew that hacks had taken place, but was not sure in which stories they had been used.

Mr Christopher raised the hacking of Liberal Democrat MP Mark Oaten, while he was challenging for the party's leadership.

"That's an example of a situation where the interception of voicemails played an important part in the initial interest in the story..." the QC ventured.

"I'm afraid you've chosen a very bad example," Mr Wallis countered.

"Mark Oaten was a minor politician in the smallest established political party. I had never heard of him, despite my deep knowledge of politics..."

The News of the World had got the story because it had been approached by a rent boy, the executive told the court.

He said: "What may have happened ... is that after we got the rent boy, they decided to use this method [hacking]; I don't know."

Mr Wallis agreed that part of his role was keeping the editor up to date with running stories.

However he had not been involved in the detail of the news operation.

...

 

 

Instead of channelling their efforts into co-opting the refugee liberation movement for ALP PR purposes, imagine if unions divested from super funds with detention centre links, and explicitly warned their members of exposure to future liability.

 

 

The federal government will now also require Australian Border Force staff – which could include medical personnel – to sign an oath affirming their loyalty to the organisation.

 

 



Australia's refugee concentration camp doctors 'should seek legal advice' over new disclosure laws  [
Guardian - 19/6/15]:



Doctors working in Australian detention centres are being urged by legal bodies to seek legal advice, with new laws potentially exposing them to personal injury claims or professional misconduct proceedings.

The federal government, with the support of Labor, introduced a new offence relating to the operations of the Australian Border Force that could render disclosures from routine activities of many doctors and contractors potentially illegal.

The new offence gives the immigration department secretary a broader discretion to determine what kind of “protected information” would be subject to the offence, and also greater powers in determining to whom it could be applied.

It could also potentially criminalise the making of “a record” of information that is protected. There are limited exceptions that could apply to medical staff.

... 

 

 

Refugee Week 2015:  National Broadcaster and local politician pretend refugee concentration camp is irreplaceable backbone of Derby economy [ABC - 19/6/15]:

 

 

... The detention centre's biggest supporter has always been Elsia Archer, Derby's shire president for over a decade and resident for over 50 years.

She said she was in no doubt the benefits have outweighed the costs.

"The economic benefit to us was fantastic," she said.

Ms Archer had sympathy for the detainees, but welcomed the economic boost the detention centre brought to Derby.

"We went out there several times and had meals with the detainees, and it's sad to hear their stories," she said.

"And you think, 'I wish I could open the gate as I left and let them all out'. Not possible.

"A sad situation, but for us it was fantastic. I know it's people's lives, but really in the scheme of things, it had to go somewhere, so why not here?"

 ...

 

 

Derby, Western Australia:

 

 

... Economy

 There is employment in the pastoral and mining industries, as well as administration and tourism. There is oil at Blina, diamonds in the Phillips Range, stone is quarried from the King Leopold Ranges and lead and zinc from Cadjebut. In 1997 the Derby wharf, which was closed in the 1980s, was re-opened for barging operations for the export of lead and zinc.  ...

 

 

Rote Ndao Police defend displaying $100 bills Australian officials paid to refugee boat crew.

Why?

 

Jakarta Post [19/6/15]: 


The Rote Ndao Police in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have defended their decision to publicly display money that they confiscated from the captain and five crew members of an Indonesian boat who claim they were paid by Australian authorities to transport dozens of asylum seekers back to Indonesian shores.

“After building the case, we decided to display the money to the media so the public knows that we are not making up stories,” Rote Ndao Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Hidayat told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

The skipper and his crew claimed they were paid thousands of dollars by Australian authorities to transport 65 people from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar back to Indonesia following their failed attempt to take the asylum seekers to New Zealand.

On Tuesday, the Rote Ndao Police displayed for the first time the $100 bills they confiscated from the skipper, Johanes Humiang, and his five crew members, who have been arrested on human-trafficking charges, to the public.

Johanes, Hidayat said, was paid US$6,000 while his crew members received $5,000 each. Hidayat explained that the money was paid in US dollars, not Australian as reported earlier.

The police, however, only confiscated $26,100 from Johanes and his crew.

“They spent some of the money,” Hidayat said.

 


Refugee Week 2015:  No political opposition and a cowed media = diminishing freedom - for ALL of us

 

Australia's political and media establishment continue agitating for the forced return of jailed, tortured refugees to Iran [West Australian - 19/6/15]:

 

 

Australia has moved closer to sending thousands of Iranian asylum seekers back to Tehran, with the Abbott Government on the verge of an historic agreement to deport detainees.

The West Australian understands a high-level Iranian delegation visited Australia this week to draw up a memorandum of understanding that would allow the return of Iranians held in immigration detention camps, some for several years.

In return for taking back failed asylum seekers, Australia would offer scholarships to Iranian university students.

The Government may even agree to turn down its strong travel warning advising Australians not to go to Iran.

Australia would also offer Iranian citizens work and holiday visas and Iran might be allowed to build consulates in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Iranian delegation, led by director-general for consular affairs Ali Chegeni, met Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton over two days.

Any deal with Iran — once dubbed part of the axis of evil — would be a major shift in Australian foreign policy.

It is believed any deal would demand there would be no retribution from the Iranian regime towards returned asylum seekers.

Almost 300 Iranian asylum seekers are on Manus Island and 166 on Nauru. Another 440 Iranians are in detention centres on the Australian mainland and 8000 have bridging visas.

Under the former Labor government, Iranians comprised a big proportion of the asylum seekers making their way to Australia on boats.

But though many were found not to be refugees, the government was unable to return them to Tehran because Iran refused to accept them.

Immigration officials often pointed to some Iranian asylum seekers as being the most troublesome to manage in the detention centre network.

Ms Bishop made an historic trip to Iran in April, where Australia agreed to share some intelligence with the country around the conflict in Iraq.

...

 

 

... Regarding the forced return of asylum seekers, the Iranian ambassador said, “The issue of forced return of asylum seeker to Iran has not been portrayed correctly and it has only served a domestic purpose,” adding that the issue will not be high on the agenda of discussions over the expansion of relations in various areas such as economy, politics or culture.  ... [Press TV - 16/4/15]

 

... The Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, visiting Jakarta on Thursday, said Australian policy would be the topic of future talks.

“The lives of our nationals are important to us and we did in fact issue a statement against the way Iranian nationals were treated by Australia,” he told reporters. “

This is an issue we will be discussing,” he said.  ... [Guardian - 6/3/14]

 

 

The most essential component of refugee status and of asylum is protection against return to a country where a person has reason to fear persecution. This protection has found expression in the principle of non-refoulement which, as will be seen below, is widely accepted by States. … [UNHCR]

 

 

 

Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister uses the UNHCR's resettlement of "good" refugees from Bhutan to cover up his ongoing human rights atrocities [Media Release - 18/6/15]:

 

 

Australia’s important role in the successful international resettlement effort for refugees from Bhutan is being highlighted this week as Australia unites to celebrate Refugee Week.

 The 100,000th refugee from Bhutan will be resettled globally from camps in Nepal at the end of 2015 – this is the largest United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-led international resettlement effort of its kind.  

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton and Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash hosted an event at Parliament House to recognise Australia’s highly successful resettlement of almost 5,500 refugees from the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. 

...

 

 

 

I keep hearing this crap about stopping the boats ...

 

Why doesn't someone ask them about stopping the wars and what causes refugees?

 

 

Ian Chappell

 

  

 

Can you see Nigeria anywhere on this map of  South East Asia?

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald [18/6/15]:

 

Ian Chappell vividly recalls his first visit to the Baxter detention centre, near Port Augusta in South Australia.

A refugee from Bangladesh - a cricket fan, of course - struck up a conversation with the former Test captain.

"He asked me what I thought of the place," recalls Chappell. "I said, 'It looks like a jail'. We'd driven past the Port Augusta jail to get here, and that looked more inviting than Baxter.

"This man said, 'It's worse than jail. In jail, there are rules. If you do the right thing, and behave yourself, you get rewards. They can shorten your sentence. Here, that doesn't happen. If one person steps out of line here, we all get punished for it. And there's no reduction of sentences for good behaviour or anything like that.'

"That struck home for me. It was the first time in my life when I wasn't proud of my own country. It's not a very good feeling."

Chappell will be the guest speaker at a breakfast in Sydney on Friday morning in his role as special representative to Australia for UNHCR - the UN's refugee agency - ahead of World Refugee Day on Saturday.

He's held the role since 2001.

It's taken him to East Timor, where he visited sports facilities built with Australia for UNHCR's support and to meet those displaced by the violence that followed the elections.

He's helped with fundraising campaigns, giving strong support to our appeals for Afghan refugees, as well as UNHCR's emergency operations in Pakistan.

Chappell was first mobilised into doing something about the plight of refugees while watching a TV news report about the Tampa crisis in late 2001. His anger boiled, and then his wife Barbara-Ann said this: "Bad things happen when good people do nothing".

Speak to the legendary sporting figure about refugees and he does so with the same blunt and pragmatic way he talks about cricket.

"I keep hearing this crap about stopping the boats," he says. "Why doesn't someone ask them about stopping the wars and what causes refugees? Cut off the supply to the people smugglers.

"The worst thing that could possibly happen to me is that I would have to flee the country I was born in. If I was forced to flee Australia, how would I like to be treated? People don't leave their own country for the sake of it.

"We're great on guts and determination. We admire that when it comes to sport. Why not for those who have had to do it with their lives and families because they didn't have any other choice?"

Friday's breakfast will raise funds for the Australia for UNHCR's Nigeria appeal.

There are an estimated 1.5 million internally displaced people in Nigeria - more than double since October 2014 - as a result of recent insurgency and armed conflict against civilians.

 

 

 

In 1994 genocide in Rwanda began, an ID card with the designation "Tutsi" spelled a death sentence at any roadblock. Along with the prior training of militas, stockpiling of weapons, direction of the mssacres by hate radio, the prior existence of ethnic ID cards was one of the most important factors facilitating the speed and magnitude of the 100 days of mass killing in Rwanda.  ...

 

[Prevent Genocide International]

 

 

Anadolu Agency [18/6/15]:

 

Many Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar's western Rakhine State are refusing the government’s offer of “green cards” -- frustrated with a system that refuses to recognize their ethnicity and renders them stateless.

A management committee member at an Internally displaced persons camp for Rohingya in the north of Sittwe has told The Myanmar Times that all ten members of his family had turned in their previous white cards but would not be bothering with the green ones.

“From past experience we know this card cannot contribute to us getting citizenship status,” U Thein Maung said, according to the Times on Thursday.

“We had been living for many years with national registration cards, but the government took them and then issued us white cards. Now white cards are useless and they create green cards. We don’t believe in any temporary cards. We want to be recognized as citizens.”

White cards -- temporary identity cards -- were first issued in the early 1990s as a result of the 1982 Citizenship Law, which had established three categories that mostly excluded Rohingya.

But in February this year, the estimated 800,000 “white cards” held by stateless Rohingya and other ethnic groups were revoked along with the rights of all holders.

Prior to the April 1 deadline to surrender their documents, some 390,000 people -- 300,000 of whom them Rohingya -- have turned the white cards in, and were in return given receipts which they are supposed to trade for green cards.

The green cards -- formally called “identity card for national verification”--- are valid for just two years.

To change the receipt for a card, however, the applicants must provide evidence of three generations of residence in Myanmar and renounce the term Rohingya.

Myanmar does not recognize the term Rohingya, preferring to use "Bengali" which suggests the Muslim ethnic group is from Bangladesh across its western border.

Providing such evidence of residence is also near to impossible for Rohingya who lost everything when their homes were torched in the communal violence of 2012, reported the Times.

The Times added Thursday that the 2014 nationwide census -- "which mostly enumerated only Rakhine Buddhists in the state because of the danger of violence" -- had found that 37.7 percent of those surveyed had no form of identification.

Rakhine state’s Immigration and Population Department began issuing the new cards in 14 townships June 5, but since then only 37 cards have been issued, according to department director U Khin Soe.

U Khin added that of the 892 applications for citizenship received since January this year, just 70 had been processed and forwarded to a government committee pending final approval.

Rohingya Muslims have suffered systematic discrimination in Myanmar for decades, but their plight has ironically become worse since the reformist government of President Thein Sein came to power in 2011.

His political reforms have been accompanied by outbreaks of anti-Muslim rioting that first flared in Rakhine, leaving hundreds dead and more than 140,000 Rohingya confined to internal displacement camps.

In recent years, around 130,000 Rohingya have fled the country by sea, according to the United Nations.

 



Rumours in Nauru more opposition MPs to be arrested.

 

Australian government maintains its silence.



RNZI [19/6/15]:



There is speculation in Nauru that another two MPs are about to be arrested.

This follows charges of disrupting Parliament brought against former justice minister Mathew Batsiua and the confiscation of Roland Kun's passport.

Now Squire Jeremiah and former president Sprent Dabwido are expecting to be arrested in the wake of protests earlier this week outside Parliament.

All four MPs, along with another former minister, Dr Kieren Keke, have been suspended from Parliament since May last year.

Both Mr Dabwido and Mr Jeremiah are the MPs for Menen district and the lack of representation motivated that district's people to protest

Mr Jeremiah says the prospect of arrest is not a big concern and he says he has not done anything wrong.

"Because we are trying to demonstrate ourselves to the Government and the Government is trying to knock us off. They are trying to prevent us from expressing our constitutional rights."

Nauru police and the government continue to refuse to give any explanation for their actions.

 

 

 

 

... "Now is the time for mourning and for healing, but let's be clear - at some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Obama said.

"It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it." ...

"I've had to make statements like this too many times," he said, in brief remarks from the White House podium, flanked by an equally ashen-faced Vice President Joe Biden.

"Once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun," he complained. ...

 

[Channel News Asia - 19/6/15]

 

 


Senate passes $612 billion defense policy bill [US News – 18/6/15]:

 

Over White House objections, the Senate on Thursday passed a $612 billion defense policy bill that calls for arming Ukraine forces, prevents another round of base closures and makes it harder for President Barack Obama to close the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Senate voted 71-25 to approve the bill, which Obama has threatened to veto.

The bill provides a 2.3 percent pay increase for U.S. servicemen and women and sets up a system so troops would not have to serve for 20 years before getting some retirement money. It also reaffirms a ban against torturing detainees, works to curb cost overruns at the Pentagon, suggests cuts to headquarters' staffs, provides $3.8 billion for the Afghan security forces and accelerates shipbuilding.

"The Senate's overwhelming, bipartisan vote reflects the vital importance of this legislation to our men and women in uniform, especially at a time of growing threats to our national security. I hope today's result will encourage the president to abandon his misguided veto threat," said Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

...

 

 

 

No day of mourning in the "land of the free".

 

They're too busy expanding corporate tyranny.

 


 

TPP closer to reality after US House passes “fast track” [Macro Business – 19/6/15]:


Just a few days ago, it looked as if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal linking 12 Pacific Rim nations, including Australia, looked dead in the water after the US Democrats voted against a bill to provide assistance to US workers adversely affected by trade agreements, which was linked to granting so-called “fast track authority” to the President, and upcoming US Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton, came out against the deal.

All that has changed now, with the US House overnight passing the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill granting President Obama fast track authority to conclude TPP negotiations. From RT.com:

[TPA] was passed around noon today with a vote of 218-208.

The sister legislation to the TPA, the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), would provide assistance to workers who lose jobs as a consequence of the trade deals and foreign competition. It was easily defeated in the House last week. Initially lawmakers were set to vote once again on the TAA this week, but on Thursday they agreed to vote again on standalone TPA…

The vote was split along partisan lines, with Republicans overwhelmingly voting in favor at 190-50, and Democrats being strongly against with a 28-158.

The passing of fast track authority is unambiguously bad news for Australians as it now means negotiations for the TPP will likely come to a close.

As I have been warning for nearly two years, the leaked drafts of the TPP have revealed that patents and copyright terms would be extended under the agreement, in addition to other provisions delaying the introduction of generic drugs onto the market. This means Australians would pay higher prices for both pharmaceutical and digital content.

The draft TPP documents also include a provision called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which would allow foreign companies to potentially sue Australian taxpayers if the Government implemented laws that affected their profits. Tobacco giant, Philip Morris, is currently suing the Australian Government for its implementation of plain packaging cigarettes under an obscure agreement signed with Hong Kong in the early 1990s, and we could expect more of these frivolous law suits under the TPP.

Finally, it was revealed last week that US President, Barack Obama, is refusing to slash agricultural tariffs and import quotas as part of the TPP, thus excluding Australian sugar and beef farmers from realising benefits.

Therefore, if the Coalition signs the TPP, it would likely grant the US further intellectual property and copyright protections for its pharmaceutical, technology and television/film entertainment sectors, without reciprocal arrangements for Australian farmers.

This is why the TPP is shaping up as an unambiguously bad deal for Australia, and the Government should refuse to sign the agreement unless the above concerns are addressed in full.


 

 

Secret negotiations of free trade agreements threaten and infringe on human rights, a United Nations Independent expert  says [VIDEO -  OHCHR - 17/6/15]:

 

... Alfred de Zayas UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order: "I am concerned about the regime that has been established over the last two decades whereby, corporations can actually interfere in the regulatory space of States."  ...

 

 

 

No Senate motion expressing concern for Julian Assange, just a pithy media release

 

 

Fri 2-6pm I will be staging vigil in BrisbaneCitySquare in solidarity with Julian Assange marks 3 years in the embassy. If nearby swing by!

 

 

"tweeted" by ‏@CiaronOReilly

 

 

 

Greens Media Release [19/6/15]:

 

 

On the third anniversary of Mr Assange's entry into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Senator Scott Ludlam joins with many millions of WikiLeaks supporters around the world to acknowledge the continuing value of the organisation, even as we condemn the hostility with which its staff and volunteers have been treated by Western governments including our own. ...

 

 


After three years, the injustice handed out to Julian Assange must end [John Pilger - 18/6/15]:

 

 

 

... The Assange case amplifies many truths, and one is the accelerating, global totalitarianism of Washington, regardless of who is elected president.

I am often asked if I think Assange has been "forgotten".

It is my experience that countless ordinary people all over the world, especially in Australia, his homeland, understand perfectly well the injustice being meted out to Julian Assange.

They credit him and WikiLeaks with having performed an epic public service by informing millions about what the powerful plan for them behind their backs, the lies governments and their vested interests tell, the violence they initiate.

Power that is corrupt loathes this, because it is true democracy in action.

 

 

 

Justice 4 Assange:

 

19 June 2015 marks three years since Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, entered the embassy of Ecuador in London. He was granted political asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention due the ongoing espionage case against him in the United States. Mr. Assange risks extradition to the US from both the UK and Sweden.

...

 

 

Senate Hansard [18/6/15]:

 

 

Senator MILNE (Tasmania) (12:21): I, and on behalf of Senators Back and Xenophon and the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate (Senator Wong), move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes with deep concern:

(i) That the Australian journalist, Mr Peter Greste, remains subject to an ongoing re trial in Egypt,

(ii) that having been deported from Egypt under Presidential Decree, Mr Greste continues to be subject to ongoing proceedings,

(iii) the nature of the charges and allegations made against Mr Greste, and

(iv) the nature and the lack of evidence presented before the Court by the prosecution in respect of those charges;

(b) acknowledges:

(i) the important role journalists perform internationally in their work, and

(ii) the extensive efforts of parliamentarians across the political spectrum and the ongoing efforts made by the Australian Government, including the Prime Minister (Mr Abbott), the Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ms Bishop) and others, to make representations to the Egyptian Government to ensure that Mr Greste's case is dealt with justly, and in accordance with due process; and

(c) supports Mr Greste's bid to clear himself of the charges, and the Government's continuing efforts to make representations on his behalf.

Question agreed to.

 

 

 

Campaign to secure release of Al Jazeera journalists wins major PR awards  [The Peninsular -22/5/15]:

 

The campaign to secure the release of Al Jazeera journalists Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed, Mohamed Fahmy and Abdullah Elshamy has won a major PR award.

The SABRE Awards EMEA, organised by leading PR publication The Holmes Report, gave the #FreeAJStaff campaign a Gold Award for issues management at their annual ceremony in London.

There were 2,000 entries in this year’s competition, which recognises achievements in branding, reputation and engagement. The campaigns were evaluated by a jury of more than 40 industry leaders.

The win comes shortly after the PRWeek Global Awards gave Al Jazeera the ‘Highly Commended’ recognition in their Crisis & Issues category for the same campaign.

Both judging panels looked at how the situation went from being a story about journalists arrested in Egypt, to being the biggest press freedom campaign in the history of the news media.

The campaign was also nominated by the Middle East PR Association earlier this year.

Mostefa Souag, acting director general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said, “This recognition from the PR industry is extremely humbling. We were faced with a grave situation and this campaign rose to the challenge. This campaign has had everything: the cultivation of a hashtag that went viral; scores of events in all the continents of the world; extremely nimble and effective crisis communications; the gathering together of the entire news industry; and support from world leaders. All of this was in the noble cause of supporting press freedom.”

...

 

 

 

Charlston Massacre: White supremacist terrorist slaughters 9, assassinates state senator who advocated for civil rights

 

 

 

The victims of Wednesday's mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, were bonded in life by their faith and their close links to the historic African-American church where they worshipped, studied the Bible, and were killed.  ... [Yahoo - 18/6/15]

 

 

 

 

South Carolina legislator cites Fox News in explaining Charleston massacre [Washington Post - 18/6/15]:

 

 

... It’s really hate speech and coded language and leads people to believe they can walk into a church, because it’s no longer a house of god, it’s a killing ground.

It’s a place that they can feel free to desecrate and leave blood everywhere, and that’s what this man did.

And he did so on some ill-gotten belief, on some wrong belief that it’s okay to do that.

He hears that, because he watches the news and he watches things like Fox News, where they talk about things that they call news, but they’re really not. ...[South Carolina House Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford]

 

 

 

 

 

South Carolina State Senator Clementa C. Pinckney assassinated [WAGT26 - 18/6/15]:

 

 

Senator Clementa C. Pinckney was killed Wednesday, June 17th, along with eight other people during a shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

He was 41 years old. Pinckney was born July 30, 1973 in Beaufort, South Carolina to John and the late Theopia Pinckney.

He received his B.A. from Allen University in 1995 and a Master of Public Administration from the University of South Carolina in 1999.

In addition to being a State Senator, Pinckney also served on the Board of Directors for Southern Mutual Insurance Company and as Pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston. Pinckney served in the House of Representatives from 1997 to 2000 before being elected to the State Senate in 2001, where he served until his death.

He leaves behind a wife, Jennifer, and two children, Eliana and Malana.

...

 

 

 

The Fight for Equality in Charleston, From Denmark Vesey to Clementa Pinckney [Atlantic - 18/6/15]:

 

 

... For whites who don’t want to share political power, the churches become the targets. You can stop political movements through terror and through violence. One black congressman at the time, Robert Smalls, estimates 53,000 black political activists have been assassinated. That’s more than the people who died at Gettysburg.

A Methodist minister from Charleston, Benjamin Franklin Randolph, is assassinated in 1868 as he gets on a train. He was a state senator. It is not a coincidence that Clementa Pinckney, the minister who was killed yesterday, was also in the state senate. It’s the old mixture in South Carolina of religion and politics.

...

 

 

 

 

19 June 2015

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