... And in the horizon
A sail is seen
Challenging the wind
And the depths.
It is Ulysses
From the sea of loss.
It is the return of the sun,
Of my exiled ones.
And for her sake, and his swear
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.
And still only the Financial Times calls on Australia to close its illegal camps and respect the UN Refugee Convention.
"STOP USING CHILDREN FOR POLICY"
Image: @Mums4Refugees [21/5/16]
@Mums4Refugees ... 63rd day consecutive peaceful protest on Nauru ...
“Omid was doing well, enduring hardships for better future. What happened to Omid’s hope? Who has taken his hope? Who has taken our hope, our Omid? Who has made the life so bitter for him?”
(And why isn't anyone interested in pursuing the truth? Doesn't Omid's wife and family deserve that?)
[Guardian - 21/5/16]
Dirty Business: UNHCR must explain why it doesn't want refugees on Manus and Nauru freed and resettled. <--- If this is offlimits to Australian journalists, what does it say about ANY of our rights?
Imaginary Australian journalist asks Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton: How is Hodan, and what is her prognosis? Are you keeping her alive in vegetative state to bolster your election prospects? Have you consulted with Richard "offshore is the single most important policy any Australian government has made" Marles, and does he concur with this arrangement?
Boat push backs, exile, torture and refugee concentration camp advocates line up to "welcome" ALP hollow promise
Today the Australia - United Nations Parliamentary Group, co-chaired by Melissa and Senator Chris Back, along with the United Nations Association of Australia hosted a morning tea to celebrate Refugee Day (20 June). Mr. Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR regional representative spoke about the plight of refugees around the world and reminded the audience that it was important to also “celebrate” refugees on Refugee Day as these are courageous people who have come through so much, are resilient and contribute enormously. [Melissa Parke - 25/6/14]
ALP will give UNHCR $450 million to help Australia keep refugees away [Tanya Plibersek Media Release - 21/5/16]
Plibersek: People coming to Australia by boat should not expect to be accepted into our refugee & humanitarian intake ... "tweeted" by @ABCNews24 [30/9/15]
... On the day I lost the status of acting president — I’m still the incumbent president of Brazil, and the legitimate one. I think it affects me in this sense: because it’s unjust. Maybe the hardest thing for someone to withstand, besides pain, illness, and torture, is injustice. Why? Because you feel like you’re trapped. ...
First interview with Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff since the Senate’s impeachment vote [The Intercept - 20/5/16]
If not, she must be challenged.
"tweeted" by @lizzie_chase [21/5/16]
Australia, exceptional in its brutality, Behrouz Boochani [25/4/16]:
... The law of 19 July 2013 relies on such violence and is executed every day, despite the fact that it is contrary to the democratic and liberal concepts and principles Australia professes.
It is against all of the principles and standards of human rights and human achievements in the course of history and its violent domination is growing day by day.
The nature and essence of this violence in the system is displayed prominently and obviously in front of the Australian political stage. ...
'Off shore processing is a crime. We are political hostages' #Manus #BringThemHere Day 1034 locked up.
Image: @racvictoria [21/5/16]
I have remembered when our boat sinking I wish it was the end better than I am suffering
"tweeted" by @SuchNigel [20/5/16]
@SuchNigel [19/5/16]: We are in a jungle even a jungle better than us ...
... We want to tell you that we are here like animals. In a zoo there is different animals from different countries and people go to look at them. Nauru is a zoo.
We are just different animals from different countries. People come to visit here and then asks some questions then they note it down. But we know from experience that they are doing just paper work and nothing will happen.
They just come to look at us.
Recently one man called Paris Aristotle came to our accommodation and he said he was from a NGO in Victoria. He said he is here to help us and to listen to us.
On that first day we asked him to take our problems to the media and he said that he cannot because he has good relationship with the minister!
We are confused. Is this man here for us or immigration?
The second day when he came, he came with Mark who is the deputy chief secretary of immigration and, as he told us, he is in charge of all detention centres of Australia.
When we were talking Paris was supporting Mark, not us. When we tell them some things they laughed at us. We are confused, is this man, Paris, here for us or for the DIAC? ...
Rather than targeting Peter Dutton’s racist and xenophobic comment, the media and refugee sector in Australia and overseas responded by “profiling” refugees with degrees & social stability.
One of those profiled was not a refugee, instead his grandparents were refugees – REALLY ?
What about those refugees who are from working class backgrounds who never had the opportunity to study in war torn countries?
Are they less than any other refugees?
What about those refugees caught in the conflict areas without educational opportunities, no opportunity to learn another language, some even cannot read or write their language.
Are they less than any other refugees?
Profiling refugees who have degrees and social stability is an act of classism and one way of saying “these are good refugees” and patronising others.
Also, it does not deal with the issue of Dutton’s comments.
Refugees are refugees, despite if they do or don’t possess skills, degrees or social stability.
Journalists and the refugees sector must target Peter Dutton’s inherently racist comments on refugees rather than being abiding by the politician's agendas and feeding the ignorance of the masses.
@wikileaks [20/5/16]: Assange statement on Australian police raids on #ALP #AFPraids ...
The empire of chaos wants to exclude any possibility of safety and protection for the victims of their terror.
Even a lighthouse.
... So we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I
While seas drown sailors, we'll be locked up safe and dry ...
'The Lighthouse Song', Josh Pyke 
Stay where you are and accept your fate: Obama visits Malaysian centre to handpick a miniscule number of token Rohingyas and check on how US subversion of UN Refugee Convention is progressing in South East Asia [LA Times - 21/11/15]
... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.
You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.
And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.
But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...
... Goledzinowski [Australia’s ambassador for people smuggling issues, Andrew Goledzinowski] said resettlement was raised during the Bangkok meeting on 29 May.
“All who spoke on resettlement said that this was not a durable solution for the Rohingya problem and that it would constitute a pull factor,” he told a Senate estimates committee on Wednesday.
“The UNHCR was the most articulate on this point.”
He engaged in bilateral meetings with representatives from some of the other 16 countries in attendance, and is adamant that at least one will seek further briefings on adopting Australia’s key asylum seeker measures.
“We also were able to talk a little bit about our own experiences during operation sovereign borders where we’ve been very successful in disrupting people trafficking and smuggling networks,” Goledzinowski said.
... Anne Richard, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for population, migration and refugees, said resettling all Rohingya refugees in the United States would entice others to leave their homeland.
"The answer to the issue is peace and stability and citizenship for the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, and that is the solution," she said at the end of a three-day visit to Malaysia. ...
The U.S. Coast Guard says about 20 Cuban migrants who were clinging to an iron lighthouse off the Florida Keys will have to return to their homeland.
Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss said multiple federal agencies had been trying to determine whether the lighthouse is dry land under the so-called "wet-foot, dry-foot policy."
Cubans reaching U.S. land usually can stay and pursue citizenship.
But U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Peter Zauner told CBS Radio News correspondent Peter King that the lighthouse is not considered dry land and they'll have to go back.
At about 8:45 a.m., he said, a call game in from a "good Samaritan" reporting a group of people on a motorized raft about four miles from the lighthouse, a 109-foot structure in about 10 feet of water about 20 miles from Key West. USCG notified Florida Wildlife Commission and the Customs and Border Patrol.
All three agencies responded immediately. They found the "rustic raft" with 22 people on-board. Two people came off safely and the other 20 made their way to the lighthouse.
The 20 people remained on the lighthouse until recently. An interpreter was able to get them to come off the lighthouse to safety and they have been transferred to a Coast Guard Cutter, or commissioned vessel.
Ten years ago, U.S. authorities sent home 15 Cubans who landed on an abandoned Keys bridge because they said it did not constitute land.
A federal judge later ruled that decision was illegal.
Some of the group eventually made it to land in the Keys on another attempt.
Two senior conservators from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) are to travel to Cuba to assist the country preserve historic documents dating from the period 1550-1661. ... [PS News - 19/5/16]
Latest Flores filing highlights stories of children and mothers unlawfully detained by Obama Administration [American Immigration Council - 20/5/16]:
… Mental health expert, Dr. Luis H. Zayas, the Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas, wrote in his declaration:
“[T]he literature shows that children in detention suffer deprivation and constant threat, they feel constant sadness and fear (Mares & Zwi, 2015) and live without a sense of what their futures hold. Complicating the children’s development are the disrupted family roles and dynamics in which children see their mothers treated very poorly by staff and witnessing their mothers’ vulnerability and helplessness. Children need the security and protection of their parents and the conditions of detention militate against mothers’ capacity to provide that kind of comfort for their children.”
To this point, a 13-year-old boy being held at the Berks family detention facility shared his own personal story in a declaration:
“Recently I suddenly got very tired and my heart started pounding and really hurting like someone was hitting me. I felt like I blacked out. I had a hard time breathing. They took me to see a doctor here at the Berks detention center. My mother said my lips were purple. The doctor said I was close to having a heart attack. The doctor told my mother that the stress made me like that. I think being detained here for so long caused this incident. I am exhausted and totally stressed. They never took me to the hospital. I am afraid it will happen again. I am too worried to eat properly.” ...
Pleading for an end to their imprisonment, 69 mothers who have been detained with their children at the South Texas Family Residential Center, an immigration detention facility in Dilley, Texas, wrote a public letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In the letter and accompanying testimonials, the mothers describe the impact that their prolonged detention has had on them and their children, including deep depression, “suicidal thoughts, prolonged insomnia and loss of appetite, and a sense of desperation.”
In describing the effect of incarceration on her son, one mother stated: “He asks every day when we will go because other people leave but not us. He asks if we are trapped here because we are bad people. But I have no answers to these endless questions.” ... [Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc. - 20/5/16]
Canada apologises for racist incident 100 years after rejecting Komagata Maru ship of 370 immigrants [Democracy Now - 20/5/16]:
... AMY GOODMAN: Why was it called "continuous journey"?
ALI KAZIMI [Documentarian and author of Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru]: You had to come by continuous journey from your country of nationality or origin. And this was specifically designed for South Asians, because, remember, at that time Canada was part of the British Empire, and what the imperial authorities were worried about is that if Canada denied British—fellow British subjects, Indians, the right to enter, India would go up in flames. This was a very real fear. So a policy had to be designed that was veiled. So, Mackenzie King, who later became Canada’s one of the longest-standing prime ministers, designed a policy which said you just had to come by continuous journey. It made no mention of race or nationality, and that—therein lies its brilliance. And therefore, it’s been ignored by historians as being an instrument of racial exclusion.
AMY GOODMAN: Right now Canada is dealing with major refugee stories. In the headlines today, Prime Minister Trudeau continuing to—in the headlines today, you had the Canadian government pledging to examine its own practice of detaining asylum seekers, after a string of deaths inside detention centers. Can you relate the two?
ALI KAZIMI: Absolutely, Amy. One of the things that happened with the Komagata Maru was that the passengers were detained outside the rule of law, for two months. They suffered what is happening to the detainees right now who are being held in indefinite detention outside—you know, without due process. Women and children are being held in detention in Canada. The same thing happened on the Komagata Maru. There were women and children on board the ship who were driven to the edge of thirst and starvation, deliberately, by the immigration authorities.
There are many patterns that continue to this day. Canada, for example, has signed an agreement with the United States called the Safe Third Country Agreement, which says that refugees must come by direct journey from the country of persecution to Canada, and if they don’t, they will have to seek asylum in the safe third country that they pass through. The vast majority of refugees to Canada come through the U.S. border.
And now, by blocking the border since 2003, Amnesty International has condemned Canada for the Safe Third Country Agreement, which has led to a massive drop, a huge drop, in refugee applications to Canada. So, these—the continuous journey regulation, on the one hand, has been apologized for, but there are echoes of it in ongoing Canadian immigration and refugee policies. ...
Despite the return on Friday of 51 refugees and migrants of different nationalities to Turkey under the European Union’s deal with Ankara to contain the influx of migrants to Greece, a court on Lesvos had earlier deemed Turkey an “unsafe third country,” threatening the agreement’s further implementation.
The committee of judges on Lesvos refused to reject an asylum application by a Syrian refugee and send him back to Turkey, because it ruled it unsafe and said that the case should be examined further – meaning the implementation of the deal will face even further delays as it will take more time to process thousands of applications of stranded migrants.
The decision could form a precedent and deal a devastating blow to the agreement signed in late March, as it could put on hold the return of Syrian refugees to Turkey and, essentially, render the agreement toothless.
The asylum court on Lesvos has so far examined 174 applications by Syrians, of whom 100 have been granted asylum.
The remaining applicants, who were rejected, have lodged appeals requesting the re-examination of their cases. ... [Ekathimerini - 20/5/16]
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has opened a new show in one of Athens' top archaeological museums, with Macedonian police tear gas canisters as one of the main exhibits.
The "Ai Weiwei at Cycladic" exhibition, which opened at the Museum of Cycladic Art on Friday, features a number of works inspired by Europe's migrant crisis. ... [Yahoo - 21/5/16]
US Secret Service shoots gun-wielding man near White House [Reuters - 20/5/16]
NATO plans more anti-Russia moves after finalising latest build-up [Antiwar.com - 19/5/16]
US says no to joint airstrikes with Russia [Reuters - 20/5/16]
Security forces opened fire on protesters storming Baghdad’s Green Zone on Friday, killing three and wounding 20.
Thousands of demonstrators had gathered on Friday in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square.
A number of them tried to enter the fortified Green Zone, which houses government institutions and foreign consulates. ... [RUDAW - 20/5/16]
A security guard of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was killed and a staff member of the UN mission was wounded in a shooting incident in Kabul. ... [Khaama - 20/5/16]
US to maintain 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of 2016: Kerry [Khaama - 20/5/16]:
... Meanwhile, the NATO Secretary General said the Ministers will also decide to sustain NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan beyond 2016, a clear demonstration of the Alliance’s commitment to Afghanistan. ...
Security officials in Afghanistan say at least eight police officers have lost their lives when a man clad in an Afghan police uniform opened fire on them in the country’s southern province of Zabul.
Also on Thursday evening, 11 civilians, including five children and two women, were killed and three others wounded when the van they were traveling in hit a roadside bomb in the northern province of Baghlan. ... [Press TV - 19/5/16]
Obama's odious war in Yemen [The Week - 19/5/16]
Documentary film produced by Mwatana Organization for Human Rights sheds lights on details of two aerial attacks by Saudi-led coalition on two weddings in two rural areas in Yemeni provinces of Taiz and Dhamar [11/5/16]
Israeli Defense Minister resigns, citing extremism and racism in Israel [Democracy Now - 20/5/16]
Two Palestinians were injured on Friday when Israeli forces dispersed the weekly protest in the occupied West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya.
Popular resistance coordinator in Kafr Qaddum Murad Shtewei said Israeli forces fired tear gas at youths, injuring two who were hit directly by tear gas canisters.
One Palestinian was hit in the neck and taken to Rafidia Hospital in moderate condition, while the other was hit by a tear gas canister in the foot and was treated on the scene.
Shtewei added that dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation, including women and children, due to the high volume of tear gas fired by Israeli forces. ... [Maan - 20/5/16]
... All of the 700 Palestinians currently being held in administrative detention in Israeli prisons are not granted any rights to defend themselves in a fair trial, nor have they heard a single piece of evidence against them which could justify their detentions.
According to prisoners' rights group Addameer, Israel’s policy of administrative detention is almost exclusively used against Palestinians. ...
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr has been ousted following weeks of protest and hunger strikes demanding his resignation over police killings in the city.
Mayor Edwin Lee announced he was asking for Suhr’s resignation Thursday, hours after a police officer shot and killed an unarmed African-American woman in a car in the Bayview district—the same neighborhood where officers shot and killed Mario Woods in December. ... [Democracy Now - 20/5/16]
21 May 2016