Israeli mob attacks dying Eritrean refugee after soldier is killed [Electronic Intifada - 19/10/15]
Settlers forcibly evict Palestinian families from Silwan homes [Maan - 19/10/15]
Several Palestinian students were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and suffered tear-gas inhalation on Monday when Israeli forces suppressed a demonstration at the Palestine Technical University in Tulkarem. ... [Maan - 19/10/15]
... Silence is just not an option. Our Israeli oppressors would like nothing more than to see us all silent, accepting them as our masters with their racist legal system, locking us away while looking the other way as soldiers and settlers pillage, attack and kill us with impunity. ... I shall sing and continue what I started [Indy Star - 17/10/15]
British journalist who worked for BBC found dead at airport in Istanbul [Independent - 19/10/15]:
A former BBC journalist has been found dead in suspicious circumstances at an airport in Turkey.
Jacqueline Sutton, known as Jacky, died at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on her way to Irbil, Iraq, according to Turkish media.
A journalist and student, she was due to carry out fieldwork in Irbil for a PhD on international development support to female media professionals in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is not yet known how Ms Sutton, 50, died. Friends questioned Turkish media reports that she killed herself after missing a connecting flight to Erbil and not having the money to buy another ticket.
Rebecca Cooke told the Press Association: “Shocking and sad news about the death of Jacky Sutton in Istanbul. An international, not just local investigation is needed.”
Tributes have also been paid by Ms Sutton’s colleagues. Professor Amin Saikal the director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, where Ms Sutton was studying, said staff were “deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic death of one of its brilliant PhD students.
According to the BBC, he said: “She was not only an outstanding research scholar, but a highly valued friend and colleague who made remarkable contributions to the work and activities of the centre.”
The Foreign Office confirmed it is providing consular assistance to Ms Sutton’s family.
ANU academic Jacky Sutton dies in Turkey; colleagues, family unconvinced cause was suicide [ABC - 19/10/15]
Former UK PM Tony Blair would support the US if military action was needed in Iraq, a top US official claimed in a memo written a year before the war.
The document, written in March 2002 by ex-US Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George W Bush, has been published by the Mail on Sunday.
It said: "Blair will be with us should military operations be necessary."
A spokesman for Mr Blair said the memo's content was consistent with what he had said publicly before.
The briefing note emerged after a court ruling in the US led to the publication of thousands of emails received by Hillary Clinton, who served as Secretary of State under President Obama. ... [BBC - 18/10/15]
Rebels battling the Syrian army and its allies south of Aleppo say they have received new supplies of U.S.-made anti-tank missiles from states that oppose President Bashar al-Assad since a major government offensive began there on Friday. ... [Reuters - 19/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [18/10/15]:
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, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
Remotely piloted and fighter aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Abu Kamal, two strikes destroyed two separate ISIL crude oil collection points.
-- Near Aleppo, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle, and neutralized an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Raqqah, two strikes damaged an ISIL artillery piece.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Beiji, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL bunker, an ISIL heavy machine gun, three ISIL weapons caches, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
-- Near Kisik, two strikes suppressed an ISIL sniper position and an ISIL light machine gun position.
-- Near Mosul, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL heavy machine guns, six ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL roadside bomb and an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, three strikes destroyed an ISIL supply cache and denied ISIL access to two separate terrain locations.
-- Near Sinjar, five strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node, an ISIL cache, an ISIL assembly area, 26 ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL bomb factory, and suppressed an ISIL rocket position.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
Russian Defense Ministry announced on Sunday that a number of training camps, arms and ammunition’s depots and command centers for terrorists were destroyed during air strikes against positions for ISIS terrorist organization in Syria during the past 24 hours. ... [SANA - 18/10/15]
The Balkans faced a growing backlog of migrants on Monday, thousands building up on cold, wet borders after the closure of Hungary’s southern frontier diverted them to Slovenia. In desperate scenes, several thousand people, many of them Syrians fleeing war, spent the night on the muddy ground of no-man’s land between Serbia and European Union-member Croatia.
"Open the gate, open the gate!" they chanted, held back by lines of Croatian police. ... [Yahoo - 19/10/15]
@MSF_Sea [18/10/15]: Today, 632 people were rescued & 8 people died in the Med. Neither boats nor deaths will stop without #safepassage
@Mums4Refugees [19/10/15]: Abyan snap protest Sydney immigration #BringBackAbyan
Asylum seeker's rape claims overshadow Australia's bid for UN rights body [Reuters - 19/10/15]
Human Rights Watch calls on Australia to accept Nauru-based refugees
The deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Asia division says Australia should accept all refugees in Nauru onto its shores.
The Australian-run detention programme on Nauru has come under fire after reports of mistreatment of refugees both in and outside the camp and a continuing media blackout.
Phil Robertson says housing asylum-seekers and refugees on Nauru was never going to work and it needs to end.
Mr Robertson says third-party resettlement deals with countries like Nauru and Cambodia are ridiculous.
"As a ratifying state of the refugee convention it has obligations and this whole idea of somehow paying poorer countries to take on Australia's refugee burden is both shameful and outrageous and I think it needs to end."
Australian media censors New Zealand politician's visit to Christmas Island concentration camp
3 News [19/10/15]:
The mayor of Christmas Island says it is disgusting New Zealanders are being sent there and claims it's an attempt by the Australian government to isolate and bully them into being deported.
Labour MP Kelvin Davis is being stonewalled from visiting the detention centre, so today he took matters into his own hands, walking through the jungle and standing on a hill overlooking the property.
Lester Hohua has been at the detention centre for six weeks, after being sent to prison for fighting.
"We've done our time," he says.
"We don't deserve to be ripped away from our family. Probably about 80 percent of us are good citizens. We just made a mistake."
Hohua worked at Bunnings in Melbourne. His family are all based there too.
He says he loves and misses his whanau back home.
"I can't wait to be reunited."
Christmas Island's equivalent of a mayor, Shire President Gordon Thompson, is disgusted the Serco–run detention centre is home to an increasing number of New Zealanders.
The Serco-run detention centre was set up to stop asylum seekers on boats trying to get into Australia from Indonesia.
But Mr Thompson says the island's remote location is being used to bully the Kiwis, cutting them off from their families and legal support so they'll stop their appeals, give up and sign the papers to be deported.
3 News understands another five New Zealanders arrived on Christmas Island at the weekend, bringing the total now to almost 50.
A number of the detainees say further preparation is being made for a big influx of Kiwis.
Australia continues spending vast amounts of money punishing refugees for trying to be human
Nine MSN [19/10/15]:
An Iranian man being held in immigration detention on Christmas Island has been fined over a violent outburst that was triggered by his computer being turned off.
Seyed Meysam Hosseini, 31, pleaded guilty in the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday to damaging property and being armed in a way that might cause fear, but two other charges, including making threats to kill, were discontinued.
The court heard Hosseini became abusive and aggressive after a guard abruptly turned off a computer he was using as he'd exceeded his 30 minute session, and attempted to move him to his accommodation so other detainees could use the machine.
According to the prosecutor, as Hussein was escorted back to his room, he ripped plastic document holders from the wall and held the broken pieces in a "menacing" manner as he tried to approach a guard.
But his defence lawyer said he was "just gesturing" and made no attempt to harm anyone.
"I really didn't mean to do anything - it was just in my hand. I threw it to the ground," Hosseini said through an interpreter.
Hosseini then went to the dining area and ripped a spout from a water dispenser, then kicked in two windows.
His lawyer said his client was very stressed as a result of the case and his continuing detention, and had even spoken of returning to Iran but didn't want to abandon his wife and child, who were initially held in immigration detention but are now living in the Melbourne community.
He was also angered when the guard pulled out his USB drive and threw it out after turning the computer off.
"I can appreciate there was some frustration on your part but detention centres are stressful for all concerned," Magistrate Robert Young said.
He fined Hosseini $1200 and ordered a compensation payment of $3206 for the damaged Commonwealth property, noting that was an "academic" penalty as Hosseini had no source of income, "but so is any other penalty".
Is he testing fair-minded Australians to see just how far he can go?
Letters to the Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald [19/10/15]:
The rapid and secret transfer from Australia of the 23-year-old Somali woman seeking termination of a pregnancy allegedly resulting from rape on Nauru is deeply shocking and sets a new low in Australia's treatment of asylum seeker women ("Somali refugee deported after claims she rejected the abortion she requested", smh.com.au, October 16).
We write as doctors, many of us with long experience in the area of women's health, others with experience of caring for asylum seekers in detention, to appeal to the decency of the minister that this woman be returned to Australia to receive the same level of care regarded as essential for women resident in Australia finding themselves in a similar situation. That is, simply, expert counselling about her pregnancy options, safe surgical abortion if that is her choice and appropriate counselling and care from an expert sexual assault team. In her five days in Australia, it appears she did not receive this care.
Returning her to Nauru to continue her pregnancy there when it appears she is requesting termination is a major breach of her human rights. She faces enormous risks to her physical and mental health in Nauru, with a high possibility of self-harm. There are also great dangers in leaving her on the island exposed to her alleged rapist. This must not be allowed to happen.
Professor Caroline de Costa, Dr Deborah Bateson, Professor David Isaacs, Dr Sue Jacobs, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran, Professor Alexandra Barratt, Associate Professor Kirsten Black, Dr Jenny King, Dr Anu Lal, Dr Heather McNamee, Dr Ellie Freedman, Dr Melissa Kang, Dr Emma Boulton and Dr Jo Ludlow
A pregnant woman, allegedly a rape victim, brought to Australia for counselling and an abortion is returned to Nauru without treatment. How can this happen? What is the Immigration Minister thinking? Does he see this as a sign of strength in the continuation of deterrence? I think not. It is another demonstration of a total lack of compassion. It is tantamount to torture, to add to all the other torturous actions taken by this government in the pursuit of what? Is he testing fair-minded Australians to see just how far he can go?
This madness can no longer be allowed to continue and there will come a time, very soon I hope, when Australians will rise up against the unmitigated cruelty visited on defenceless people we are supposed to be protecting.
Margarett McPherson The Gap (Qld)
What depths can our government sink to? All women should be utterly shocked at the callous treatment of women refugees held in Nauru. That the government could arrange for this poor woman, allegedly raped, traumatised and pregnant to be returned to Nauru so quickly and secretively, without contact with the people who have tried to help her, is beyond belief.
What a horror we have created in that hell hole of Nauru.
The Liberal and Labor parties are equally cruel and their fine words against violence towards women are just that - fine words, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing.
Cathy Knoles Neutral Bay
1. Where is Abyan's right of reply? 2. Where is the natural journalistic skepticism about anything Dutton - or the equally refugee hating "opposition" - says?
Sydney Morning Herald [19/10/15]:
... Mr Dutton's statement, provided under questioning from the opposition in Parliament, also shows that the 23-year-old woman, known as "Abyan", was provided with an interpreter for nearly two-thirds of her appointments.
This directly contradicts a hand-written statement said to belong to the Somali refugee who has been deported back to Nauru, with Immigration officials saying she changed her mind about wanting a termination.
3. Who is protecting these women?
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [29/9/15]:
There have been increased threats against refugees on Nauru this morning, following the broadcast of the ABC’s 7.30 program on Monday night highlighting recent alleged incidents of rape on the island.
This morning, Tuesday 29 September, one Somali refugee was approached and threatened by two local men who told her, “We will kill you. We know you. Do not make stories.”
Others have reported increased abuse and threatening gestures.
There are also reports that two refugees have been sacked from their jobs this morning because of the ABC program.
... A former New South Wales police detective, Peter Fox, said the release of the information was something he had never seen in more than 30 years of policing.
“I had 37 years in the police force predominantly as an investigator,” he said.
“Never are the names of victims in those situations ever released. That was a policy of the judiciary, and also of the police force throughout this nation.
“To have done that is extraordinary. I think it just again shows the real lack of care and protection of some of these poor people that are being abused in detention.” ... PR firm releases name and graphic details after alleged rape on Nauru [Guardian - 13/10/15]
A Natural Occurrence
[Published in the November 2014 edition of 'Southerly'- Vol 74 No 2]
In the rise and fall of the tide:
glimpses of the other life -
the other homeland; the memories
of other shores, calmer seas.
No birds today; the storm
is long gone. Last year,
a spate of shearwater birds
washed up on the beaches -
A natural occurrence, the paper called it -
said the birds, exhausted by their migration
from the northern hemisphere, ran out
of steam only hours from shore.
After thousands of kilometers,
the hunger and thirst overbearing,
their bodies gave in, though land was so close
they would have been able to taste it.
They were shearwaters: flesh-footed, fluttering, sooty -
what most call mutton birds, generic
names for generic birds, black bodies
ruffled feathers, mouths closed
as their bodies, hundreds of them,
littered the high-water mark.
They were only there for a day: the Council collected
them in plastic bags in the tentative light of
before the runners and the families arrived.
The beach, swept clean, was even brighter
than before: not a black feather remained.
The coal ships waited again on the horizon
to load and bring their hullfuls of coal to Asia.
Children played on the water's edge.
Today, the paper reports they have called off
the search for survivors: another boat
has succumbed on its way to Christmas Island.
The ship carried fathers and sons
leaving behind mothers and daughters.
Desperate men desperately seeking
the other life, the one that glimpses
for an instant, before the wave falls into itself
and becomes a mirror of a mirror
in which all joy is infinite, and all sorrow.
Surfers Paradise, October 2013
Satellite images: Three powerful storms—Phailin, Nari, and Wipha—menace Asia at the same time [QZ - 12/10/13]
What are crimes against humanity?
International Criminal Court:
“Crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
murder; extermination; enslavement; deportation or forcible transfer of population; imprisonment; torture; rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds; enforced disappearance of persons; the crime of apartheid; other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.
Interception-at-sea: Illegal as currently practiced – Hirsi and Others v. Italy [Strasbourg Observers - 1/3/12]
Do we really understand what 'crimes against humanity' are? [Rand Daily Mail - 16/10/15]
The Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:
On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Save Mohammad Albederee [19/10/15]:
Security on Manus Island raided Mohammad's room last night and took his phone.
Seems our government wants him to die quietly and alone - separated from his family and children ...
Iraqi asylum seeker on Manus Island hunger strike: 'I need help' [VIDEO - Guardian - 19/10/15]
Australia's Immigration Department defends chartering a jet to return pregnant Somali woman to Nauru [SBS - 19/10/15]:
... First assistant secretary Neil Skill made the call to charter a plane to send Abyan, 23, back to Nauru last Friday claiming she had declined two medical appointments in Australia to discuss having an abortion.
"There was no reason for that person to stay in Australia," he told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday.
New Zealand Labour MP still awaiting access to Kiwi Alcatraz [RNZI – 19/10/15]:
... Mr Davis said he hadn't been able to get inside the detention centre yet, but he said he had been told the situation inside was not good.
He spoke to the wife of one of the people being detained.
"She says her that husband is covered in boils, he's had a bite from a white-tailed spider, he's not getting antibiotics, morally he's just waning.
"She said she rang up to complain and to ask what's going on, is he getting the treatment and they just said look it's not our problem and hung up on her."
He rejected Prime Minister John Key's assertion that his trip there was a political stunt, saying his intention had been to draw attention to the plight of kiwis in detention, which is what he said he had done.
Meanwhile, Auckland-based Prisoners Aid & Rehabilitation Society said its resources were getting stretched dealing with the jump in numbers of people sent back to New Zealand.
Its executive director Tui Ah Loo said many of them have nowhere to go, no family and were starting from scratch.
"Some of them could arrive with a hundred dollars in their pockets, some with a couple hundred more, some may have a voucher for accommodation, some may have nothing.
"It all depends on what they are individually able to negotiate before they leave."
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said it was Maori who were bearing the brunt of the law changes, so Maori communities around New Zealand would also have to pull together to assist their people who were deported.
"We absolutely recognise that our people are our people no matter where they live, so some people might say 'why are you worried about things going on in Australia?' and I say well these are our people and what happens to them will eventually impact on us here.
"In this case those people will be coming home to New Zealand and we will be picking up the pieces of their lives, not just the individuals but the whanau."
Turnbull talks disappointing - detainees' lawyer [RNZI – 18/10/15]
Operation Fortitude: Nevermind the Gestapoesque application of immigration laws upon the domestic population - sorry for the media release [ABC - 19/10/15]
Afghan Hazara asylum seeker self-immolates after fear of re-detainment
My crime was that I was a refugee. They tortured me for 37 months and during all these times, they treated me in the most cruel and inhumane way, they violated my basic human right and took away my human dignity...
They killed me as well as many of my friends such as: Nasim Najafi, Reza Rezayee and Ahmad Ali Jaffari.
Refugee Rights Action Network WA [18/10/15]:
This morning, Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) members received a video phone call from a 30 year old, Hazara asylum seeker named Khodayar.
Khodayar stated that he wanted to end his life because he feared immigration and the police were pursuing him.
He then doused his body in petrol and set himself alight; activists suspect this took place in Dandenong, Victoria.
Moments before his suicide attempt, Khodayar stated "you are telling all media, Red Cross killing me, Immigration killing me...I want to kill my life...I don't have any option...they don't give me chance...I can't stay in detention centre..."
Khodayar repeatedly said "immigration has killed my best friends," in reference to several Hazara asylum seekers who have taken their lives earlier this year.
He said he feared he would suffer the same fate should he be re-detained.
There have been two confirmed suicides in Perth alone and one suspicious death - a suspected suicide - of Nasim Najafi who died in Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre in July.
All of these deaths were Hazara asylum seekers, either detained or on bridging visas.
RRAN believes this is yet another testament to the impact of indefinite mandatory detention.
We believe Khodayar's experience and length of detention directly contributed to the deterioration of his mental health.
RRAN further believes that Khodayar's state of mind was symptomatic of the conditions surrounding his visa which kept him in a constant state of limbo and fear of re-detainment and deportation.
The night before his suicide attempt, Khodayar stated, in a message to advocates,
"My crime was that I was a refugee. They tortured me for 37 months and during all these times, they treated me in the most cruel and inhumane way, they violated my basic human right and took away my human dignity...They killed me as well as many of my friends such as: Nasim Najafi, Reza Rezayee and Ahmad Ali Jaffari"
Khodayar ends this note with a plea,
"I ask you to stand up for the rights of refugees and stop people being killed just because they have become refugees. Humanity is not a slogan; every human has the right to live."
Activists after extensive thought have decided to release the details surrounding his attempt in order to respect his explicit request to inform the media, Australians and the government of his experience of detention and Australian immigration policies.
Advocates welcome a full investigation and coronial inquiry and are cooperating with police.
If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide or significant distress requiring support please call Lifeline for help- 13 11 44
For non-English speakers requiring the help of an interpreter please follow these steps:
1) Call TIS on 131 450 and ask to talk to Lifeline on 13 11 14 in the language required.
2) TIS will call 13 11 14 on behalf of the caller.
A call to TIS is the cost of a local call from landlines (additional charges apply for mobiles).
Twenty Afghan would-be migrants bound for Europe were killed in Iran on Sunday when the mini-bus in which they were traveling collided with a truck, state television said.
Ten other Afghans suffered injuries in the accident, which occurred between Tehran and the central city of Qom, about 125 kilometers (77 miles) southwest of the capital, the television report said. ... [Naharnet - 18/10/15]
Afghanistan: Nearly "200 insurgents" reportedly killed in Ghazni attack [TOLO News - 18/10/15]
At least 20 militants and 10 policemen were killed on Sunday when militants attacked security posts in Nad Ali district of southern Helmand province, an official said. ... [Pajhwok - 18/10/15]
New figures from the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) released on Saturday reveal that more than 1,900 people – including security force members and civilians – were wounded in the recent Kunduz battle - which is still ongoing in parts of the northern province. ... [TOLO News - 17/10/15]
Suicide bombers kill 11 in NE Nigeria: police [Yahoo - 18/10/15]
Nigerian soldiers shot dead a suspected suicide bomber outside a military base in the northeast on Sunday, detonating explosives concealed in her handbag, a civilian vigilante and a military source told AFP.
The target was thought to be the Maimalari army barracks -- the main military base in Maiduguri, which has been hit repeatedly in recent months by Boko Haram Islamists. ... [Naharnet - 18/10/15]
Saudi fighter jets target north Yemen with cluster bombs [Press TV - 18/10/15]
very loud fighter jets flying at low altitudes #gaza
these very loud F16s are scaring the s**t out of children here. what is going on? #fun?
Lawyer of Palestinian child in hospital calls video released by Israel 'defamation' [Middle East Eye - 18/10/15]
19 October 2015