No-one gives a FUCK what Peter Dutton has to say on 7.30 "keep the death camps open" Report Land.
Why aren't Australia's politicians, media and the Human Rights Commission calling for United Nations intervention?
Australia's death camp on Manus Island: Refugees carry out collapsed hunger strikers [Guardian - 20/1/15]
The signatories to the following message clearly express themselves to all media, organisations and human rights institutes ... via @ShaneBazzi [20/1/15]
The Australian media think they can keep the people in the dark about what is happening in the world forever? ---> Displaced by Conflict in Iraq: “How Can You Live in Such a Place?” [MSF – 19/1/15]
Dear Australian media and politicians: Hunger striking refugees who are calling for UN intervention because they are being tortured and held hostage by our government ARE HUMAN BEINGS.
Sydney Morning Herald [20/1/15]:
Asylum seekers being detained in jail on Manus Island following raids in the detention centre on Monday have said they were mistreated by the Papua New Guinea police, as security staff prepare to raid further compounds on Tuesday. ...
Staff on the island say there are 58 men being held in Lorengau prison on the island, while another 20 men are being detained "elsewhere" on the island after they were found to have "weapons, accelerant and petrol" in the compounds on Monday afternoon. ... <--- Where is the evidence they had weapons? To whom is this quote attributed?
Premier and Minister for Police and Community Safety Media Release [15/5/13]:
Queensland police will have the opportunity to serve in Papua New Guinea under an agreement between the country’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Premier Campbell Newman.
Mr Newman announced that up to 150 Queensland Police Officers will help to improve the policing operations and protocols in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).
“The PNG Government wants to greatly increase its police service’s ability to tackle crime as well as ensuring officers have the skills to manage a modern and evolving service,” Mr Newman said.
“The Queensland Police Service (QPS) is already world renowned for its training and mentoring capabilities and it will be a great opportunity to share this knowledge with our closest international neighbour.
“It’s in our interests to have a strong, stable and secure Papua New Guinea on our doorstep, so we should reach out and help them.
“This will be a completely voluntary program, but it is a great opportunity for career development for our police and there will be additional incentives to make the experience more worthwhile.
“There will also be an opportunity for a senior officer to take up the role as Deputy Commissioner and have a direct hand in improving PNG’s police service.
“As part of the agreement PNG will exchange up to 150 of its officers with the QPS.”
Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the opportunity would not only be good for the people of Papua New Guinea, but Queensland officers who volunteer would also gain life-long experiences.
“This will be a tremendous experience for Queensland officers who put their hands up for the challenge,” Mr Dempsey said.
“Each of these officers will assist our neighbour establish and bed down world-class policing practices, and they’ll come away knowing they have made a real difference to the long-term future of PNG and its people.”
PNG: Relatives allege man was shot [The National - 20/1/15]:
The relatives of a man who died at Tatana village last Saturday during a police raid have disputed a police statement that he had drowned while trying to escape.
Police went to Tatana after a tip-off that the group of men who shot Harold Farapo in Port Moresby on January 10, were from the village.
National Capital District Metropolitan Superintendent Andy Bawa said Sale Naime had drowned while trying to swim out to sea to flee from police. But a relative of Naime yesterday claimed that it was not true.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, she said Naime was shot on the left arm as he was trying to flee from the officers when they arrived at the village.
She said police arrived at Tatana on Saturday between 1pm and 3pm. Naime was with his brothers when police started shooting, she said.
She said he was swimming away for his safety when he was allegedly shot. Police chased him in a dinghy and brought him ashore where he was allegedly assaulted.
... For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair. ...
Real Australians Say Welcome
... “We are not safe … they beat us like dog.” ... [Manus Island: video footage emerges of riot police rushing protest compound – Guardian – 20/1/15]
Witch-hunt continues as Manus hunger strike enters seventh day. UN given more evidence of torture in Chauka compound [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 20/1/15]
... “The raids on Delta and Oscar compounds have only proved to the Manus detainees that PNG is not safe. They are continuing to demand that arrangements are made for them to settle in a safe third country,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. ...
Exclusive: Newly Discovered 1964 MLK Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation and Apartheid South Africa [Democracy Now – 19/1/15]:
In a Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio Archives exclusive, we air a newly discovered recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On December 7, 1964, days before he received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, King gave a major address in London on segregation, the fight for civil rights and his support for Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. The speech was recorded by Saul Bernstein, who was working as the European correspondent for Pacifica Radio. Bernstein’s recording was recently discovered by Brian DeShazor, director of the Pacifica Radio Archives. ...
… You know, there are certain words in every academic discipline that soon become stereotypes and clichés. Every academic discipline has its technical vocabulary.
Modern psychology has a word that is probably used more than any other word in modern psychology. It is the word "maladjusted."
You’ve heard that word. This is the ringing cry of modern child psychology. And certainly we all want to live well-adjusted lives in order to avoid neurotic and schizophrenic personalities.
But I must say to you this evening, my friends, as I come to a close, that there are some things in my own nation, and there are some things in the world, to which I am proud to be maladjusted and to which I call upon all men of goodwill to be maladjusted until the good society is realized.
I must honestly say to you that I never intend to become adjusted to segregation, discrimination, colonialism and these particular forces.
I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to religious bigotry.
I must honestly say to you that I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.
I must say to you tonight that I never intend to become adjusted to the madness of militarism and the self-defeating effects of physical violence, for in a day when Sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war.
It is no longer the choice between violence and nonviolence; it is either nonviolence or non-existence.
And the alternative to disarmament, the alternative to a greater suspension of nuclear tests, the alternative to strengthening the United Nations and thereby disarming the whole world, may well be a civilization plunged into the abyss of annihilation.
And I assure you that I will never adjust to the madness of militarism.
United States continue bombing Iraq and Syria
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Centre: Baghdad: The international coalition aircrafts have shelled Hamideen Masjid in Bazaiz Al-Yusfiya south of Baghdad resulted in destroying of the masjid............ [19/1/15]
On Jan. 18, U.S. and Coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 15 airstrikes.
Separately, U.S. and Coalition military forces conducted 11 airstrikes in Iraq, using attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists. All strikes took place between 8 a.m., Jan. 18, and 8 a.m., Jan. 19, local time.
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
* Near Kobani, 11 airstrikes struck two large ISIL units and eight ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL staging positions, and an ISIL vehicle.
* Near Aleppo, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
* Near Al Hasakah, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL artillery system.
* Near Bayji, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and a large ISIL unit and destroyed three ISIL buildings.
* Near Ar Rutbah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL armored vehicle.
* Near Taji, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
* Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck a large ISIL unit.
* Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and a large ISIL unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
* Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and a large ISIL unit and destroyed two ISL buildings and an ISIL artillery system.
* Near Baghdad, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
IraqiNews.com [19/1/15]: ... “The US-led Coalition bombarded the ISIL shelters in Ba’aj district of western Mosul to kill 13 of them.”
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [19/1/15]:
Baghdad: The international coalition aircrafts have shelled Bazaiz Al-Yusfiya -south of Baghdad- since morning ........
Baghdad: A car bomb has exploded in Sina'i hay nera Jazair hay in Mahmoudiya district south of Baghdad.........
It is worth mentioning that the district is controlled by militia swarms.......
Baghdad: Agencies/security source: 3 persons have been killed and 10 wounded according to ithe nitial outcome of Mahmoudiya blast which happened today noon ,and causalities number maybe increased..............
Baghdad: Government's army and militia swarms in Yusfiya have spread starting to arrest people aimlessly...........
Canadian special forces “clash with IS” in Iraq [Naharnet - 19/1/15]:
Canadian special forces exchanged gunfire with Islamic State fighters in Iraq in recent days, in the first confirmed ground battle between Western troops and IS, a senior officer said Monday.
"My troops had completed a planning session with senior Iraqi leaders several kilometers behind the front lines," Canadian special forces commander Brigadier General Michael Rouleau said.
"When they moved forward to confirm the planning at the front lines in order to visualize what they had discussed over a map, they came under immediate and effective mortar and machine gunfire."
The general said the Canadians used sniper fire to "neutralize both threats" and there were no Canadian injuries.
He said the clash had taken place in the previous seven days and was "the first time we've taken fire and returned fire" in Iraq.
The United States has previously reported having launched an unsuccessful hostage-rescue operation against the IS group in Syria, but Western forces have not officially engaged in ground combat.
Canada has some 600 troops in the region participating in airstrikes against the Islamic State. About 60 of them are special forces training and advising Iraqi troops on the ground but theoretically not in combat.
NZ Iraq troop decision weeks away [RNZI - 20/1/15]:
The Government will make a decision in the next month or so about whether to send training forces to Iraq, Prime Minister John Key says.
Mr Key has met British Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition leader Ed Miliband during a trip to London where they discussed a range of matters including the fight against Islamic State.
The prime minister said New Zealand was not asked to do more, but the government was continuing to assess whether to get involved in Iraq.
"We are going through that process of doing the [reconnaissance] to see whether it's logical for New Zealand to take the next step, whether we should do that with Australia, whether we can find a location that fits the criteria that I set in my national security speech late last year.
"My guess is that by the middle of February or late February we'll be in a better position to assess whether we are actually going to put people into Iraq to train Iraqi forces."
Mr Key is now travelling to Davos in Switzerland for this year's World Economic Forum.
He said it would be an opportunity for political and business leaders to discuss a range of matters.
UN saw drones over Syria before Israel strike in breach of truce
Daily Star [20/1/15]:
U.N. peacekeepers stationed in the Golan Heights along the Syrian-Israeli border observed drones coming from the Israeli side before and after an airstrike that killed Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general, the United Nations said Monday.
The flight of the drones in the airspace over the Golan Heights was a violation of the 1974 cease-fire deal between Syria and Israel, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said.
Hezbollah said Sunday that an Israeli helicopter strike in Syria killed one of its commanders and the son of the group’s late military leader Imad Mughniyeh.
Haq was asked if the U.N. observer mission deployed in the so-called area of separation in the Golan Heights, known as UNDOF, had seen anything. He said UNDOF had “observed two unmanned aerial vehicles flying from the Alpha side and crossing the cease-fire line.”
The Alpha side refers to the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan. Haq said UNDOF saw the drones moving toward U.N. position 30, after which the U.N. observers lost track of them.
An hour later, he said, they saw smoke coming from position 30, though they were unable to identify the source of the smoke.
“Subsequently, UNDOF observed UAVs flying from the general area of position 30 and over Jabbata crossing the cease-fire line,” Haq said.
“This incident is a violation of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces.”
“We criticize all violations,” he added, noting that the U.N. called on all sides to refrain from actions that could exacerbate already existing tensions.
Asked to react, Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari told Reuters: “Thank God. Finally the spokesperson woke up from his self-imposed lethargy.”
Haq offered no details on whether the drones were for surveillance or armed. He also did not say they were Israeli.
Sunday’s strike hit a convoy carrying Jihad Mughniyeh and Commander Mohammad Issa, known as Abu Issa, in Qunaitra province, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, killing six Hezbollah members in all, a Hezbollah statement said.
Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the war, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for Hezbollah.
Iran sees no OPEC shift toward a cut, says oil industry could withstand $25 crude [Reuters – 19/1/15]
Houthi fighters surround Yemen PM's palace
Al Jazeera [19/1/15]:
Shia Houthi fighters have surrounded the main residence of Prime Minister Khalid Bahah in the capital Sanaa after Bahah escaped an attack on his convoy, further fueling accusations of a coup attempt, officials have said.
Bahah's Republican Palace was surrounded on Monday, despite a second ceasefire reached by the two sides that followed unprecedented clashes in Sanaa, government spokesman Rajih Badi has said.
Bahah was inside the house at Tahrir Square, which he has resided in since he was appointed prime minister in October, as the armed group encircled it, Badi told the AFP news agency.
The heavily armed fighters were surrounding all three entrances to the residence in the city centre, Badi added.
The aggression towards the senior official came despite a truce, which was accepted during a meeting on Monday between a representative of the Houthis and Yemen's defence and interior ministers.
The ceasefire was followed by battles on the streets between Yemeni army soldiers and Houthi fighters which began early on Monday near the presidential palace and quickly spread to other strategic areas in Sanaa.
Al Jazeera's Hashem Alhelbarra, who has reported extensively from Yemen, said reports of the second ceasefire should be treated with caution as there was a trust deficit between the Houthis and the government.
Hakim al-Masmari, editor-in-chief of the Yemen Post newspaper, described Monday's fighting in Sanaa as much more intense compared with what occurred when the Houthis took control of the city in September.
"This chaos is the first of its kind," he told Al Jazeera.
Witnesses said heavy machine-gun fire could be heard as mortars fell around the presidential palace.
Civilians in the area fled as columns of black smoke rose over the palace. Medics said at least two people had been killed and 14 others wounded as ambulance sirens wailed throughout Sanaa.
Nadia Sakkaf, Yemen's information minister, said a Houthi convoy had also been attacked - suggesting that a "third party" was involved. She did not specify who attacked the convoys.
Earlier, Sakkaf said no single party was in control of Sanaa. She said many in the army were responding to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi but that there were "some in uniform that don't obey their superior".
Sakkaf denied reports that Hadi had left Sanaa, saying he was still in his residence, but added: "I'm very worried that al-Qaeda or other terror organisations will use the lack of order and target anybod.
"This story is developing so quickly. We may have a new Yemen by the end of the day, maybe a new system altogether."
West Papuans tortured and held without trial
Free West Papua Campaign [20/1/15]:
65 West Papuans from Utikini village which was burned down by the Indonesian police 2 weeks ago, are still under arrest and being held in a cage like animals at an Indonesian police station.
All of this happened because the Indonesian military found banners calling for an independence referendum to beheld in West Papua.
The Indonesian police themselves have stated they have "repatriated" about 1000 Papuans in the area. Many more have been forced to flee into the jungle as refugees and are still being hunted by the Indonesian police and air force.
The 48 women who were also with these men in detention were tortured and then photographed by the Indonesian police. They were released but are still "undergoing investigation."
The women were ordered to pledge that they would “not join any organisation” or “return to a location where panning was taking place.” (The world’s largest goldmine, located near Timika pumps over 238,000 tonnes of toxic waste into the local river every day.
With no money, some Papuans are pushed into panning for gold and whatever they can find in the water.)
The Indonesian military is paid 3 million dollars a year by the US based Freeport McMoran mining company in "protection money".
They do not want West Papuans even panning for gold dust from the polluted rivers, let alone calling for an independent West Papua.
After forcing people from their traditional areas and panning sites, the Indonesian police have built 50 new posts and 1000 military personnel have gone to the area.
The Indonesian authorities are working with the Indonesian government and the world's largest goldmine to prevent West Papuans running their own country. Over 500,000 Papuans have already been killed in this secret genocide.
Please help West Papuans struggle for freedom, please support the Free West Papua Campaign
The monster without a pearl earring ---> ... But Australia's Foreign Minister is not looking for a prince, just the pearl earring she dropped in Sydney's Martin Place. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 19/1/15]
Police terror threat raised to high
The threat of terrorist action against Australian police has been raised to high.
The terrorism threat level for Australian police has been elevated to high.
The Australian Federal Police say the change is a result of intelligence and discussions with its partners, and is in line with the broader threat level for the community.
"Recent events in France, Canada and Australia serve as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with policing," the AFP said.
"While relatively small, there are increasing numbers of Australians who are connected with or inspired by overseas terrorist groups such as the Islamic State with the intent and capability to conduct an attack against police."
Australia's general terrorism threat level was raised in September.
Queensland police officer faces murder charge via private prosecution over Jason Protheroe shooting [ABC - 16/1/15]:
The family of a Brisbane man shot dead by police during a call-out have filed a murder charge against an officer via a private prosecution.
Thomas Andrew McNaught Hess fatally shot Jason Protheroe during the stand-off with police at a Bracken Ridge house on Brisbane's northside in 2012.
Mr Protheroe was holding a replica gun but Senior Consable Hess believed it was real, a coronial inquest found.
The victim's family has privately filed charges against Hess, who is due to appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court early next month.
The Department of Public Prosecution did not lay the murder charge, but under the law a private prosecution can be launched by an individual.
It is 25 years since senior police officers called in Paul Simes to discuss a terrifying assault he witnessed, and to reveal that the gang of stick-wielding thugs were in fact policemen. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 19/1/15]
Think the aid system can cope? It can’t, Antonio Guterres - UN High Commissioner for Refugees [Agenda, World Economic Forum – 18/1/15]
... But across the world we see millions of people caught in semi-permanent crises. As each year goes by, they are less and less likely to break free. As populations continue to increase, and the climate continues to deteriorate, and as people flock in ever increasing numbers to large underdeveloped cities, the threat of multiple protracted mega-emergencies has become reality.
The aid architecture we built after the Second World War is no longer fit for purpose. And to that extent, Syria is the canary in the coalmine. Already the biggest humanitarian crisis of our era, it is a harbinger of potentially far worse to come. Unless we fix this system, things are going to get much, much more difficult.
In the case of refugees, we see a number of deeply worrying trends. As crises multiply around the world, some countries build up new barriers, making asylum more difficult to achieve. The harder it gets to seek refuge through legal channels, the more desperate people have to put their lives into the hands of unscrupulous smugglers to make it to safety. The number of people travelling in unsafe, overcrowded boats across the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean or the Gulf of Aden has grown enormously, and over 4,200 have died this year alone.
At the same time, the neighbouring countries of those in crisis are being asked to shoulder an increasing portion of the burden. Today, almost nine out of ten refugees are living in developing countries – up from 70% a decade ago.
We need a new aid architecture that links support to refugees with far greater support for the communities who host them. This year’s Syria appeal takes a step in the right direction, but it is still only a drop in the ocean.
Public Forum: Asylum seekers and protection at sea [Refugee Council of Australia]:
Held following the Annual General Meeting of the Refugee Council of Australia on Monday 24 November 2014 at the University of Melbourne, hosted by the Graduate School of Education.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of asylum seekers travelling to Australia by boat. In the five years to December 2013, more than 50,000 people arrived in Australia after embarking from Indonesia, India or Sri Lanka on voyages coordinated by people smugglers.
These voyages – typically involving overcrowded, barely-seaworthy vessels with inexperienced crew – are often highly dangerous, with more than 1000 people having drowned in a bid to reach Australia by boat since 2008.
Both of Australia’s major political parties have attempted to address this issue through deterrence based policies which block access to protection in Australia and impose arbitrary penalties on people who arrive by boat.
These policies have compromised the safety, health and wellbeing of refugees and asylum seekers and brought Australia into breach of both the Refugee Convention and core international human rights treaties.
They also fail to address the root causes of maritime flight to Australia and thereby risk trapping refugees in dire situations or compelling them to undertake even riskier journeys in an effort to find protection.
Against this background and in preparation of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) international dialogue in Geneva in December 2014 on “Protection at Sea”, this forum sought to explore the implications of Australian policy for the Asia-Pacific region.
Hosted by Refugee Council of Australia’s President, Phil Glendenning, the forum featured four panellists:
• Mustafa, a former refugee from Afghanistan
• Erika Feller, Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, who from 2005 to 2013, was UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection
• Associate Professor Michelle Foster, Director, International Refugee Law Research Program,
Institute for International Law and the Humanities, Melbourne Law School
• Dr Antje Missbach, Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Monash University
Dr Missbach has travelled between Australia and Indonesia for the last five years to investigate causes of and responses to people smuggling in Indonesia. She began her presentation by sharing the story of a young Hazara boy who she met in early 2012.
He was one of few survivors when a boat carrying around 250 asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq sank about 55 nautical miles from Java.
During the first day of the rescue operation, Indonesian fishermen rescued about 34 people before a heavy storm hampered further search-and-rescue efforts.
The young boy then watched over the next two days as people around him drowned or were carried away by strong currents and several other boats passed by without stopping to help.
He was eventually rescued by Indonesian fisherman.
Only 13 people survived.
Dr Missbach noted that although Indonesia has acceded to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea and the International Convention on Maritime Search-and-Rescue, the country face numerous obstacles in meeting its obligations under these treaties.
These include: geography (with the maritime area under Indonesia’s control being larger than its landmass); cumbersome authorisation processes for search-and-rescue operations; inadequate funding, equipment and personnel; chances that commercial vessels intentionally will ignore SOS calls in reaction to the legal sentences handed down by courts to the captain and boat crews involved in rescue of maritime asylum seekers; and, in some cases, the counter-smuggling initiatives funded by Australia which target communities in Indonesia.
Dr Missbach reported that since 2009, Australia has been funding targeted public information campaigns that have sought to dissuade Indonesian fisherman from becoming involved in maritime people smuggling ventures.
She noted that counter-smuggling messages are decontextualised from the broader issues relating to asylum seekers:
“The people in question are referred to as ‘illegals’ and the reasons of why these people come to Indonesia in the first place or why they wish to reach Australia are untold.”
The key message of these public information campaigns is that people smuggling is a criminal offence but the message is also conveyed in religious terms, that is, “to smuggle people is to commit a sin”.
Dr Missbach argued that, “as an unintended consequence of this public information campaigns, Indonesian fisherman at sea who come across sinking asylum seeker boats face an additional moral and economic dilemma”, in that are afraid of being mistaken for smugglers should they rescue asylum seekers in distress at sea.
She noted that a boat which had rescued people in distress would typically go to the nearest harbour but that fishermen always go back to Indonesia (even if it is further away than Australia) for fear that their boats may be seized and destroyed by Australia or that the boat crew could be perceived as smugglers.
This adds to the costs (in terms of fuel) of rescuing asylum seekers, can increase the risks to asylum seekers in need of immediate medical attention and can exposure fisherman to violence if asylum seekers vehemently disagree with being brought back to Indonesia.
Fisherman who rescue asylum seekers also have had to face very long interrogations from the local police in Indonesia, causing further financial losses which, for people living day-to-day on a very low income, represent a genuine disincentive to rescue.
The net result is that Indonesian fisherman may be reluctant to rescue asylum seekers in distress at sea. Dr Missbach concluded that “future campaigns that Australia is supporting, that seek to prevent Indonesian fishermen from being involved in people smuggling, must take these unwanted side effects into consideration”.
Imaginary Australian journalist to the Prime Minister: Your government is holding refugees on Manus Island hostage and torturing them.
Why are you doing this?
Speak for me. #refugees #Manus image by crowcries
Image: @creativecatjk [20/1/15]
Fears for the welfare of captured Delta asylum seekers but Manus hunger strike continues [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney – 19/1/15]:
Security guards surrounded the Delta compound on Monday afternoon, but broke through the barricaded front gate.
Around 170 asylum seekers from Delta Compound have been taken out the Manus Island Detention Centres in the aftermath of the raid on the barricaded compound.
Up to 17 people were also arrested in Oscar compound as the Immigration Department continues its hunt for “ring-leaders”.
There are also reports of a number of people being injured in the raid and subsequent arrests.
Around 60 of the asylum seekers are being held in Lorengau Prison.
A police truck returned a number of times to Delta Compound carrying away piles of the asylum seekers’ property.
This use of force has confirmed the worst fears of the asylum seekers that they are not safe on Manus Island.
“We are extremely concerned for the safety of the asylum seekers taken from Delta Compound. Given the history of PNG police violence on Manus, there is an urgent need for independent supervision of those in police custody,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The attack on Delta Compound has resolved nothing, except increase the determination of the asylum seekers to continue their protest.”
As of Monday night – over 600 people in the detention centre remain on hunger strike.
See this link for video footage of the attack on Delta as seen from Oscar compound.
The commentary accompanying the video say, “Who is responsible for these people? They only want freedom. Now they are being bashed by Wilson’s and nobody can help them. Whoever is watching this video, please help us.”
Some voices can be heard in the background asking for help.
@end_md: Unions involved in #HESTA's investments in #Manus include @UnitedVoiceOz, ASU, ANMF, HSU, & the ACTU #ShutDownManus [19/1/15]
Baby Ferouz and family released from Darwin detention [ABC – 20/1/15]
Instead of doing PR for the IOM and Australian government's exile and deportation refugee policy, an imaginary Australian journalist investigates what is hampering the efforts of the UNHCR to assist refugees in South East Asia, and asks the Immigration Minister why he doesn't just withdraw from the UN Refugee Convention.
GOP Leaders Set to Enable “ObamaTrade” With Fast Track for President [The New American - 19/1/15]
Cambodia: UN says nine new Montagnards add to urgency in Ratanakirri [Cambodia Daily - 19/1/15]
Phnom Penh Post [19/1/15]:
... Villagers assisting the Montagnards told the Post yesterday that the new arrivals had put increased strain on them.
They said authorities had heightened their presence in the area in an effort to prevent them from reaching the groups with crucial supplies of water, food and medicine.
Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said he had “informed the UN” about the new arrivals.
But Wan-Hea Lee, country representative for the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that efforts to help the asylum seekers had met resistance.
“It has not been possible to have a solution-oriented discussion with the Ratanakkiri Governor, who although obliged to abide by the Refugee Convention continues to demand authorisation to engage with the United Nations. OHCHR continues to address the situation with the Ministry of Interior,” she said by email.
As a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Cambodia is obligated to assess asylum seekers’ claims to refugee status without penalty.
Lee said reports that the latest group includes young children “adds to the urgency” of finding a solution.
Vivian Tan, regional press officer for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said she was “not aware of new arrivals and will have to check if the authorities have any information”.
“UNHCR hopes that the authorities can ensure that anyone wishing to seek refuge in Cambodia will be able to access the national asylum system,” she added.
Nguon Keurn, Ratanakkiri provincial police chief, said he was not aware of the latest group.
Officials tour Nauru, fail to meet refugees [Phnom Penh Post – 17/1/15]
US Embassy in Port Moresby awards two new grants totalling US$1 million to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) [PNG Loop - 15/12/14]
20 January 2015