Torture is torture here, there and everywhere – UN rights expert reminds Governments
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Media Release [21/10/15]:
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture, Juan E. Méndez, urged Governments across the world not to allow a vacuum of human rights protection even when they act beyond their borders.
“Torture is torture here, there and everywhere,” he said.
“Actions by States are increasingly transnational in nature,” Mr. Méndez stated on Tuesday in presenting his latest report* to the UN General Assembly, “which has significant impact on the fundamental rights of individuals outside their borders.”
“States must not undermine the absolute legal prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment by evading or limiting responsibility for extraterritorial acts or effects caused by their agents,” he stressed.
Extraterritorial practices include cross-border military operations or use of force the occupation of foreign territories; anti-migration operations; peacekeeping; the detention of persons abroad; extraditions, rendition to justice, and extraordinary rendition; and the exercise of de facto control or influence over non-State actors operating in foreign territories.
“The absolute and non-derogable prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment cannot be territorially limited and States must respect the rights of all persons, anywhere in the world, to be free from torture and other ill-treatment at all times,” the expert emphasized.
“States must implement safeguards to protect persons from torture and other ill-treatment when they are detained extraterritorially within their jurisdiction.”
The human rights expert noted that the exclusionary rule, which mandates that evidence obtained under torture cannot be invoked in any proceedings, is applicable no matter where the mistreatment took place.
“I also wish to recall that the absolute prohibition of non-refoulement applies at all times, even when States are holding individuals or operating extraterritorially, such as during border control operations on the high seas,” he said.
According to the Special Rapporteur, violations can arise from States’ direct perpetration, omissions or acts of complicity with extraterritorial components.
“States are obliged, to the extent possible, to fight wrongfulness and to ensure cooperation in efforts and proceedings designed to end, uncover, remedy or prosecute and punish torture and other ill-treatment” the UN expert said, citing the international customary law obligation to investigate, prosecute and punish all acts of torture and other ill-treatment and to criminalize such acts wherever they occur.
“I am calling upon States to exercise jurisdiction over acts of torture and ill-treatment, regardless of the locus where wrongfulness took place, and to provide civil remedies and rehabilitation for victims of acts of torture or other ill- treatment, regardless of who bears responsibility for mistreatment or where it took place,” Mr. Méndez concluded.
This family's torture has been public knowledge for months.
The Murdoch Press and their ABC collaborators (Lateline) are in damage control.
Sydney Morning Herald [25/5/15]:
...The 23-year-old asylum seeker has told Fairfax Media that she was leaving the detention centre on a day release last Saturday when she claims that someone jumped out from behind her, put his hand on her mouth and forcefully pulled down her top.
She said she was then forced to give violent oral sex for over an hour as her assailant bit her breasts and shoulders.
After her attacker fled, the naked, distressed and disorientated woman managed to find a local police unit who put her in the back of their truck.
"They didn't take me back to the police station, they decided to take me with them to watch the fireworks for Nauru's constitution day," she said in a statement.
"It was not until hours later that the police asked for an interpreter".
She claims that she was asked to repeat the story of her assault three times without receiving medical attention.
Last week Nauruan police said that there was no suggestion that anyone had assaulted her.
In a statement they said the woman was found walking in a nearby street naked after failing to return to the the detention centre on Saturday night.
"There is no injury to her or any sign of other physical force or trauma," the Nauru Police Force said.
In an about face last week, the police force have since launched an investigation and promised to "find the person who did this".
Nauru: mother of alleged gang-rape victim attempts suicide [Guardian – 7/10/15]:
... Workers on the island have told Guardian Australia camp managers resisted moving Nazanin to Australia even as she went into organ failure, but came under sustained pressure from doctors who warned she would die if she was not moved. ...
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites Media Release [18/9/15]:
… This episode is the latest in the shocking brutalisation of one family on Nauru.
The young man is the brother of Nazanin, a 23 year old woman allegedly raped on Nauru in May. Following the alleged rape the woman tried to kill herself twice. Although critically ill for weeks, it was not until she was on the verge of organ failure that she was finally medivaced, alone, to Australia.
On the day of Nazanin’s second suicide attempt, her brother heard her scream and ran toward her. After being pinned down by two Australian officials, the young asylum seeker was then taken by Nauruan police and imprisoned in a cell for more than 30 hours where, he reported, ‘passers by, including guards, urinated through the bars’.
The young asylum seeker and his ill mother remain in Nauru separated from the sister.
This instance is not isolated but is part of the systematic degradation and violence, especially sexual violence, meted out to detainees in Nauru and Manus Island.
Doe v. Constant Haiti: Death Squads and Gender-Based Violence [The Center for Justice & Accountability]
Women recount gang rape, abuse at hearing against Haitian death squad leader Emmanuel Constant [Democracy Now - 31/8/06]:
... MOIRA FEENEY: Well, thank you for having me. I’m here because on Tuesday we had a hearing in New York in the Southern District of New York in front of Federal Judge Stein, who listened to testimony. We brought testimony from five different witnesses, two of our clients, who actually took the stand. They had to actually sit behind a screen so that their identities could be protected, but they were able to speak in open court and give their stories of survival. And both of these women were victims of a gang rape that occurred in 1994 at the hands of members of FRAPH. And FRAPH, the important thing to know about the word FRAPH [frappe], in Creole means "a strong blow." And FRAPH was led by Toto Constant.
Now, in addition to these women, we had three experts. One expert on the history of Haiti gave the political context of the rise of FRAPH and Constant’s role as the commander of this paramilitary organization. And after that, we heard from a medical expert about the specific trauma that our clients suffered; and finally, a psychologist, who spoke specifically about the trauma, psychological trauma, that our clients have endured as a result of politically motivated gang rape, that 12 years later they are still very much living with the reality that they suffered at the time in Haiti. They live with that every single day.
Haiti: Different coup, same US backed paramilitary leaders [Democracy Now - 26/2/04]
Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian teen in 'attack attempt' [Maan - 21/10/15]
Settlers attack Palestinian boy picking olives near Jenin [Maan - 21/10/15]
Two Palestinian cameramen were injured in Gaza City by stray bullets fired during the funeral of Ahmad al-Sarhi, 27, who was shot dead on Tuesday during clashes with Israeli forces east of the Bureij refugee camp. ... [Maan - 21/10/15]
Eritrean envoy to Israel calls for arrest of lynch mob [Al Jazeera - 20/10/15]
The Battle for Al-Aqsa [Intifada-Palestine - 19/10/15]:
... On the 21st of August 1969 a crypto Australian Zionist Jew, Dennis Michael Rohan, started a fire in Al-Aqsa Mosque that caused considerable damage.
When Palestinians rushed in to extinguish the fire they discovered that the Israeli municipality had shut off the water supply, and that the Israeli fire-engine which supposedly came to help, was spraying gasoline rather water on the fire.
Instead of being sentenced Rohan was declared insane; a well-known maneuver by Israeli courts to protect their criminals, and allegedly was admitted to a mental hospital. ...
Roadside bomb leaves 10 Egyptian policemen injured in restive Sinai [Press TV - 21/10/15]
126 killed as Afghan forces retake Helmand areas [Pajhwok - 21/10/15]
One of the defining features of the corporate media is that Western crimes are ignored or downplayed.
The US bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on the night of October 3, is an archetypal example. ... [Medialens - 20/10/15]
Canadian software tied to Yemen civil war, report alleges [The Globe And Mail - 21/10/15]
The U.S. government said on Tuesday it has approved the sale of up to four Lockheed Martin Corp multi-mission warships, plus associated equipment, training and logistics to Saudi Arabia, a deal valued at $11.25 billion overall. ... [Reuters - 20/10/15]
Two people are injured and another nine are missing following an explosion in a chemical plant in east China's Shandong Province on Wednesday, local authorities said. ... [Ecns.cn - 21/10/15]
Two Chinese diplomats shot dead in Philippines: Police [Channel News Asia - 21/10/15]
Demonstrators and security forces clashed for a second day in Congo's capital Wednesday in unrest triggered by the president's bid to extend his three-decade term in office, an AFP correspondent said.
After a day in which four people were killed and 10 hurt in clashes, dozens of youths took to the streets in western Brazzaville in an apparent bid to throw up barricades as security forces fired rounds of tear gas grenades to disperse them. ... [Naharnet - 21/10/15]
One person killed as US F-18 jet crashes near Suffolk RAF base [The Guardian - 21/10/15]
United States, "allies" continue bombing Iraq and Syria
US Department of Defense [20/10/15]:
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
Attack and fighter aircraft conducted two airstrikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL headquarters building.
-- Near Tal Jibbin, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
Airstrikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, attack, ground-attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 airstrikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
-- Near Kisik, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL staging area, and two ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Makhmur, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL trench.
-- Near Mosul, a strike suppressed an ISIL rocket position.
-- Near Ramadi, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL buildings, an ISIL sniper position, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, eight strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 26 ISIL fighting positions, five ISIL vehicles, 10 ISIL assembly areas, and three ISIL command and control nodes.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Syria's Assad visits Kremlin to discuss joint military operation [Sputnik News - 21/10/15]
United Kingdom has refused to cooperate with Russia in regard to Islamic State targets that are intended to be bombed, Russian Ambassador to United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko said Wednesday. ... [Sputnik News - 21/10/15]
Canada's new leader-in-waiting says he intends to follow through on his campaign promise to pull the country out of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.
Justin Trudeau, who led the Liberal Party to a stunning victory in elections Monday, said he has already told U.S. President Barack Obama of his plans. ... [CNN - 21/10/15]
Up to four boatloads of migrants have come ashore at a British military base on Cyprus - the first time since the crisis began that migrants have landed directly on what is considered British sovereign soil.
Vessels carrying the migrants, including children, were spotted in the early morning hours of Wednesday off RAF Akrotiri and intercepted before the passengers were brought ashore. ... [Telegraph - 21/10/15]
@MSF_Sea [20/10/15]: The 106 rescued by the #Argos today, including this tiny baby, were transferred to the #DignityI
Sea arrivals so far this year to Greece have now passed the half-million mark with the arrival yesterday on the Aegean Islands of nearly 8,000 people, the UN refugee agency said today. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 20/10/15]
The UN refugee agency has opened a new camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ameriyat al-Fallujah, in Iraq's Anbar province.
The new Markazi camp is located some three kilometres from the Bzeibiz bridge over the Euphrates river, the main access point from Anbar to Baghdad province, and can provide shelter for some 3,000 displaced Iraqis. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 20/10/15]
Australia can prevent Rohingya refugee abuses
Amnesty International [21/10/15]:
The refugee and trafficking crisis in Southeast Asia is based on interviews with more than 100 Rohingya refugees – mainly victims of human trafficking, and many of them children – who reached Indonesia after fleeing Myanmar or Bangladesh across the Andaman Sea.
With the monsoon over and a new "sailing season" already underway, thousands more could be taking to boats.
Amnesty International is urging Australia and regional governments to urgently step up their response to the crisis.
Australia, as co-chair of the Bali Process and a key country in the region for addressing the issue of people-smuggling, should not turn its back on one of the main populations facing abuse and mistreatment, particularly unaccompanied minors.
Amnesty International is calling on Australia to reverse its policy of not resettling anyone who arrived in Indonesia after July 2014, and to ensure Rohingya are not excluded from Australia’s resettlement program.
Australia should also provide greater assistance with search and rescue operations and increase funding to UNHCR for processing asylum seekers in regional countries.
"The daily physical abuse faced by Rohingya who were trapped on boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea is almost too horrific to put into words. They had escaped Myanmar, but had only traded one nightmare for another. Even children were not spared these abuses," said Anna Shea, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International.
"The shocking truth is that those we spoke to are the ‘lucky’ ones who made it to shore – countless others perished at sea or were trafficked into forced labour situations. Governments must do more to prevent this human tragedy from recurring."
The harrowing events that enfolded in May 2015 – triggered by Thailand’s crackdown on human trafficking, and the traffickers’ subsequent abandonment of people at sea – left thousands of refugees and migrants stranded for weeks in desperate need of food, water and medical care.
While the UN estimates that at least 370 people lost their lives between January and June 2015, Amnesty International believes the true figure to be much higher.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to Amnesty International saw dozens of large boats full of refugees and migrants in similar circumstances, but only five boats landed in Indonesia and Malaysia according to UN sources.
Hundreds – if not thousands – of people remain unaccounted for, and may have died during their journeys or been sold for forced labour.
Many Rohingya said that they had seen crew members kill people when their families failed to pay ransoms. Some people were shot by the traffickers on the boats while others were thrown overboard and left to drown. Others died because of lack of food and water or disease.
Refugees described how they were kept for months on very large boats and severely beaten while traffickers contacted their family members, demanding a ransom. One 15-year-old Rohingya girl said the crew called her father in Bangladesh, made him listen to her cries while they beat her, and told him to pay them about USD 1,700.
Beatings were often carried out in a chillingly routine and systematic way. One 15-year old Rohingya boy said: "In the morning you were hit three times. In the afternoon you were hit three times. At night you were hit nine times."
The Rohingyas’ desperation stems from decades of persecution and discrimination in Myanmar, where they are effectively denied citizenship under national law. Waves of violence against the Rohingya, most recently erupting in 2012, have forced tens of thousands into overcrowded camps where they live in desperate conditions.
"The Rohingya are so desperate that they will continue to risk their lives at sea until the root causes of this crisis are addressed – the Myanmar government must immediately end its persecution of the Rohingya," said Anna Shea.
In May 2015, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand initially pushed overcrowded vessels back from their shores and prevented thousands of desperate passengers from disembarking. Following international criticism, Indonesia and Malaysia eventually agreed to admit a number of asylum-seekers, on the condition that another country accept them by May 2016.
Indonesia should be recognized for devoting resources to housing hundreds of vulnerable people in its Aceh province, and working to fulfill their basic needs in cooperation with local civil society and international agencies.
But there are serious unanswered questions about a long-term solution, as the government has not clarified whether the refugees can stay beyond May 2016.
"Without cooperation between governments to combat human trafficking, grave human rights abuses will again be perpetrated against some of Southeast Asia’s most vulnerable and desperate people," said Anna Shea.
"Governments must ensure that initiatives against traffickers do not put people’s lives or human rights at risk, which is what happened in May 2015. They must also act quickly to implement maritime search and rescue operations."
Amnesty International is urging Australia and Southeast Asian states to act now, and not wait for another human rights disaster at sea.
A Thai ship is destroyed in the Langsa waters off Aceh on Tuesday. The ship was among dozens of foreign ships arrested for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters. [Jakarta Post - 21/10/15]
World Rohingya Joint-Statement [20/10/15]
Deadlines for Montagnards pushed back, Ministry says [Cambodia Daily - 21/10/15]:
Thirteen Montagnards who have been granted refugee status in Phnom Penh have had their deadline for finding a third country to settle in extended by three months, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Tuesday.
The group of 13, who arrived in Ratanakkiri province after crossing the border claiming to be fleeing persecution in Vietnam a year ago, were granted refugee status in March and have been living in Phnom Penh while the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) attempts to find them a permanent home.
The latest deadline for the UNHCR to resettle them expired on October 10, but due to “good cooperation” between the government and the U.N., the 13 have until January 10 to find a new country, the statement said. It remains unclear what fate they will face if a third country cannot be found.
In its statement, the ministry also extended its deadline for more than 200 Montagnards who have been stuck in Phnom Penh with the government refusing to even process their refugee claims, telling them to return to Vietnam by February 6. In mid-September, the government said the 200 Montagnards had three months to return to Vietnam or be forcibly sent back.
The ministry also accused the UNHCR of helping the asylum seekers illegally enter the country.
“As for the more than 200 Montagnards that UNHCR smuggled to Phnom Penh, they are considered to have violated Cambodian territory,” the statement said.
Vivian Tan, the UNHCR’s regional spokeswoman, said by email that the organization was continuing to seek a third country for the 13 refugees and denied claims that the organization had violated any laws.
“For confidentiality reasons we don’t usually identify the countries we approach [for resettlement], but will keep pursuing this option,” Ms. Tan said.
“We do not help people to leave their own country to seek asylum elsewhere. When asylum-seekers arrive in Cambodia, we refer them to the government for registration and processing,” she said.
Bikini relocation fund changes seen as 'Plan B' for locals [RNZI - 21/10/15]:
A representative from Bikini Atoll says a proposal to allow people to use resettlement and relocation funds outside of the Marshall Islands is not wanted.
Currently, resettlement funds are restricted for use within the Marshalls but the Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Esther Kia'aina says it is appropriate to open up the fund because of plight of the Bikinian people.
The Bikinians were displaced by United States nuclear testing 70 years ago but are now looking at relocating again because of increased flooding and deteriorating conditions on Kili and Ejit Islands.
Bikini liaison officer Jack Niedenthal says the US should take full responsibility for any resettlement including providing extra financing.
"We still got a ways to go, we still have to do some more lobbying and some more talking to people in Washington to make them understand that what's being proposed by the assistant secretary is what we view as 'Plan B'. It's not ultimately what we want in terms of helping our people."
Mr Niedenthal says current resettlement funding is already the Marshall Islands' right.
Solomons political instability worsens [RNZI - 21/10/15]
Vanuatu Judge says MPs' pardons invalid [RNZI – 21/10/15]
The National Court has allowed bail for former police commissioner Geoffrey Vaki after he spent Tuesday night at the Boroko Police Station holding cell.
Vaki appeared in court with his lawyer Sam Bonner before Justice Ellenas Batari after lunch today with a bail application.
The State did not oppose the bail application as Vaki’s arrest yesterday morning was the result of a bench warrant that was issued in September by Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika. ... [PNG Loop - 21/10/15]
Villagers protest against cemetery being dug up for road development [PNG Loop - 21/10/15]
Empty spaces at Australian funded Lorengau Market on Manus Island raise eyebrows [PNG Loop – 21/10/15]
Singapore, Indonesia armies conduct annual bilateral exercise [Channel News – 21/10/15]
NZ students protest over Papua violence [RNZI - 21/10/15]:
Dozens of students marched on the Indonesian Embassy in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, today to protest over continuing violence from the security forces in West Papua.
The students, many of them from Melanesian countries, had walked from Victoria University and were joined by several MPs, including the Green Party's Catherine Delahunty.
She says it is important the Indonesian diplomats understand the levels of concern in this country at the ongoing violence directed at the indigenous Melanesian people in West Papua.
"Despite alleged improvements around representation on the MSG [Melanesian Spearhead Group] and the Pacific Forum talking about a fact-finding mission, there are still deaths, there are still military killings happening. So just a month ago, people may have heard two young students were killed. And I think these students here, believe they are the ones who can speak out - they are speaking for all of those who don't have a voice."
Indonesia: Student magazine withdrawn [Jakarta Post - 20/10/15]:
Hundreds of copies of a student magazine published by student publishing institution (LPM) Lentera at the Satya Wacana Christian University’s (UKSW) School of Social and Communication Sciences have been withdrawn from circulation for publishing about the 1965 massacre, drawing sharp criticisms from human rights activists.
Circulated last week, the Lentera Magazine Edition 3/2015, entitled “Salatiga Kota Merah” (Salatiga, the Red City), tells stories about the massacre of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) supporters and suspected members in Salatiga in 1965.
The magazine’s cover shows a mass procession of PKI sympathizers, carrying the party’s flag emblazoned with the symbols of a hammer and sickle.
On Friday, the university urged LPM Lentera to withdraw its magazines, saying it wanted to keep the situation in Salatiga calm.
Lentera editor-in-chief Bima Satria Putra told thejakartapost.com on Tuesday that it published the magazines on Oct. 9.
“This was Lentera’s third edition. We circulated the magazines to our readers in Salatiga by selling them at cafes and several other places, where we put advertisements of the magazine,” he said.
“We printed 500 copies of the edition and sold them at Rp 15,000 [US$1.09] per copy. Lentera also distributed the magazines to government institutions in Salatiga and mass organizations in Semarang, Jakarta and Yogyakarta,” he went on.
Bima said stories published in the magazine’s third edition were the result of an investigation conducted by the Lentera editorial team on G30S/PKI events in Salatiga.
In its investigation into the massacres of PKI sympathizers and suspected members in Salatiga, the team found four main locations of the massacres, namely the Skeep Tengaran Field, the rubber plantations in Beringin and Tuntang and Mt Buthak in Susukan.
Bima said that after the magazines were distributed, LPM Lentera received various responses. Several parties showed their support, saying that the magazine could offer support to the 1965 victims. Meanwhile, some other parties said publishing about such a sensitive issue given the current social and culture conditions was not proper because it could trigger instability in Salatiga and the UKSW campus in particular.
On Friday, UKSW Rector Rev. John A. Titaley and other university leaders held a meeting, which was attended by Lentera editorial members, and decided that it must withdraw all magazines. The university said the withdrawal was aimed at creating a conducive situation for people in the city.
Bima asserted that the Lentera editorial board had never had any intention to attack certain social groups. He said it had implemented proper journalistic principles by carrying out thorough documentary research, field observations and interviews to produce an accurate and objective investigative report.
“Lentera aimed at supporting existing evidence that PKI sympathizers in Salatiga were not involved in the G30S incident,” said Bima.
“This edition was also designed to become a historical document on a bloody massacre in 1965. This is because in Salatiga and its surrounding areas, we could get only very little information about the 1965 massacres,” he added.
Bima said several organizations, such as the Press Legal Aid Institute (LBH Pers), the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), the Indonesian Press Council and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), as well as rights activists, such as Soe Tjen and Joshua Oppenheimer, had given their support.
Australia: Hazara community mourns asylum seeker who self immolated [SBS – 20/10/15]
Here are some words from someone who knew Khodayar a bit better than we did.... via [Refugee Rights Action Network WA – 21/10/15]
A Perth bikie fighting attempts to deport him to New Zealand has won the right to stay in Australia while his lawyers prepare for a possible High Court challenge.
Joel Royston Makaea, 34, was arrested and put into immigration detention early last month after the Immigration Minister revoked his visa on character grounds, citing his senior role within the Rebels bikie gang as a reason behind the decision.
It is understood the deportation was likely to occur within days.
But Mr Makaea’s lawyers argued successfully in the Federal Court yesterday for an injunction preventing that move while they prepare their legal challenge. ... [West Australian - 21/10/15]
In a dramatic speech Tuesday evening, the leader of Canada's Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, criticized the Canadian government for its rhetoric over the threat of Islamist-related terrorism – and compared the country's treatment of its Muslim minorities with restrictive policies against Jews prior to and during World War II. ... [Washington Post - 10/3/15]
... There's Nazis in the bathroom, just below the stairs ...
'Nobody Told Me', John Lennon 
Tweeted by @SandiHLogan - National Communications Manager, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra [19/7/13]
Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his crew face scrutiny after an activist was allegedly manhandled during an appearance at WA Parliament. ... [WA Today - 21/10/15]
Anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders inspired by Australia's bipartisan fascism [5/10/15]
... Advertisements are running in newspapers across the country today and the ABC understands the ads will also be placed in papers in in neighbouring countries.
Two radio advertisements have also been produced, telling asylum seekers that "the people smugglers' guarantee is worthless" and warning them that they are "buying a ticket to another country". ... [ABC - 20/7/13]
... Just as the first wave of refugees began arriving in Denmark from Austria and Germany over the weekend, the Danish government has kicked off an advertising campaign meant to keep them away.
Shortly after the government announced in July that it would significantly cut benefits to asylum seekers, Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said that she would make sure that asylum seekers and human smugglers were directly informed of the policy change through advertising and social media campaigns.
On Monday, the first adverts from the Danish government were published in four Lebanese newspapers ... [The Local - 7/9/15]
Minister Morrison's message to refugees on Nauru/Manus - English [VIDEO - ABF - 20/10/14]
Left Behind [VIDEO - Australian Department of Immigration - June 2010]
Geert Wilders’ Dutch anti-Muslim party forced to reveal US donor [Electronic Intifada – 29/9/15]
While humanitarian groups and religious charities across the country are urging the U.S. to open its arms to refugees fleeing the bloody conflicts in Syria and Iraq, a number of bloggers and political pundits are beating the drums of intolerance, using conspiracy theories and anti-Muslim rhetoric to mobilize the American public against accepting migrants escaping war.
Several of the leading voices in this effort are sponsored by Robert Shillman, a wealthy donor to conservative causes who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, a suburb of San Diego. ... [The Intercept - 17/10/15]
Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Speech at the 37th Zionist Congress [20/10/15]:
... And this attack and other attacks on the Jewish community in 1920, 1921, 1929, were instigated by a call of the Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was later sought for war crimes in the Nuremberg trials because he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. He flew to Berlin. Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, "If you expel them, they'll all come here." "So what should I do with them?" he asked. He said, "Burn them." And he was sought in, during the Nuremberg trials for prosecution. He escaped it and later died of cancer, after the war, died of cancer in Cairo. ...
Breaking disgrace Chris Kenny forcing way into Abyan room w Nauru police outside Abyan crying no no no picture by force go away I am sick
"tweeted" by @pamelacurr [20/10/15]
Abyan needs help not harassment [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 21/10/15]:
The aggressive attempts by the Nauruan police to interview Abyan reveal their complete lack of concern for the privacy and welfare of a sexual assault victim.
The actions of the Australian government and the Nauruan police have left Abyan exposed to retribution and vulnerable to further harassment and abuse.
The police and media visit to Abyan’s accommodation on Nauru left her in such a distressed situation that she asked if she could be taken into the detention compounds to gain some protection and security.
Such police harassment of a victim of sexual assault would not be tolerated in Australia.
“Abyan’s safety on Nauru has been further compromised by the actions of the Nauruan police,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
Nor should the foot-in-the-door ‘journalism’ that has was inflicted on Abyan and her friend on Nauru, be tolerated.
“It is impossible to describe the distress, and even terror, inflicted on Abyan and her friend when they were photographed on Nauru.
“This new round of distress has only been possible because, against all expert professional advice, the Australian government returned Abyan to the place of her sexual assault; something that can only add to the anguish that surrounds her situation,” said Rintoul.
“It is clear from everything that Abyan has said, and now from media reports from Nauru, that she has never declined having a termination. She continues to be a victim of the Australian government’s political agenda.
“It is imperative that the Australian government acts urgently to provide the medical care that she needs. Her mental and physical well-being remains at risk as long as she remains on Nauru.
“She should be brought to Australia, this time, with the sympathy, care and consideration that she was previously denied.”
The Refugee Action Coalition has called a further protest Friday, 23 October, 5pm, Sydney Town Hall.
Failure to provide abortion to rape victim a new low in detainee care [Australian Lawyers Alliance - 19/10/15]:
The Commonwealth appears to have failed in its duty of care to a 23-year-old detainee rape victim, by neglecting to provide appropriate medical counselling and advice before denying her an abortion, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.
Somali detainee Abyan begged authorities to fly her to Australia for medical treatment and an abortion after she was raped while detained on Nauru. However she was flown back to Nauru without receiving the abortion, with the Commonwealth alleging she refused the procedure.
ALA spokesperson and barrister Greg Barns said even by its own account the Commonwealth had failed its basic non-delegable legal responsibility to provide reasonable medical care to Abyan.
“This case has seen the mistreatment of detainees while in the custody of the Commonwealth sinking to a new low,” Mr Barns said.
“The courts have clearly stated, and the Australian government has accepted, that the Commonwealth owes a duty of care to a person held in detention to provide them with a level of medical care which is necessarily designed to meet their health care needs, including psychological care.”
“A very basic component of providing medical care for abortion after suffering a traumatic rape would constitute, at the very minimum, counselling and an interpreter. This was not provided,” Mr Barns said.
“Patients also must be provided with an appropriate amount of information before making decisions regarding medical treatment, in order that it is an informed choice.”
Mr Barns said that several court decisions, including AS vs Minister for Immigrations and Border Protection and Anor  VSC 593 and MZYYR v Secretary, Department of Immigration and Citizenship  FCA 694 clearly stated that the Commonwealth owes a duty of care to a person held in detention to provide them with a reasonable level of medical care.
Further duties of care exist at statute, given that all Australian immigration detention centres, including those on Nauru and Manus Island, constitute Commonwealth workplaces.
“Under the Work Health and Safety Act, the Commonwealth has the duty to ensure the health and safety of workers, contractors and people detained in Australian facilities,” Mr Barns said.
“It would be appropriate for Comcare to consider whether this duty has been appropriately discharged in this case, and whether this duty is being discharged appropriately generally in the regional processing centres in Nauru and Manus.”
“Over the past two years, we have had the Moss review, the Senate inquiry into the conditions and circumstances on Nauru. There has been the rape of a Manus Island worker, allegedly by Australian staff, and there have been two preventable deaths in detention,” Mr Barns said.
“If this was any other type of Australian institution, it would have been closed long ago.”
“This is an appalling track record. When is enough, enough?” Mr Barns said.
“If the Commonwealth is unable to discharge its legal responsibilities, that is substantial cause enough to consider the feasibility of such centres.”
Mr Barns said the Commonwealth needed to come clean on its role in the treatment of detainee victims of abuse, and to step up to its mandated duty of care responsibilities, or face the legal consequences.
“The Commonwealth is on borrowed time when it comes to its responsibility for the abuse of people being held in detention,” Mr Barns said.
“The human rights abuses occurring on Nauru and Manus Island will eventually come before the courts – in fact some cases are now in the process of being heard.”
“It is only a matter of time before the Commonwealth must acknowledge its role in these affairs and is held accountable for what it has, or what it ought to have, done.”
Refugee Action group protest @ MP Peter Dutton's office; 4Abyan &closure of detention centres ...
Image: @StefanFLowe [21/10/15]
Brisbane protest in support of Abyan [Nine MSN - 21/10/15]
Women's refuges appeal for more funds in open letter to Queensland Government
New business ventures could attract State Government funding of up to $2.5 million under an incentive fund outlined by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in her first State of the State address. ... [ABC - 20/10/15]
... Representatives from every women's refuge in south-east Queensland have signed an open letter to the State Government pleading for more funding.
Bernadette, the director of the Windana refuge for women escaping domestic violence, said with domestic violence dominating the media in the past two years demand has been unprecedented.
"Sometimes we have a woman going and a woman waiting downstairs to be placed in that unit," she said.
The threat of violence is also ever present.
With three murders in a week on the Gold Coast last month, 2015 already proved been a horror year.
But according to the state coroner, almost half of all murders between 2006 and 2012 were related to domestic or family violence.
Yet Liz, from the Combined Women's Refuge Group (CWRG), said funding for these refuges in real terms has flatlined.
"DV Connect reports they can now only respond to 50 to 70 per cent of their calls where the number used to be closer to 90 per cent," she said.
"All of those calls are women who need help. A significant number need refuge."
A coalition of 24 refuges and support services has joined forces to appeal directly to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in an open letter.
"For too long, the refuge sector has operated in silence, valuing the confidentiality and security of our clients over the need to have our situation heard," it says.
"However with the decline in program funding in real terms over the years, the situation is now getting desperate."
Liz said it showed in bed numbers at refuges.
"1991 was the last time a [new] refuge was funded and since that date one of their refuges has lost their building so there's actually less funded refuge places than there was 24 years ago," Liz said.
Communities Minister Shannon Fentiman said ... [BLURT BLURT BLURT]
[BLURT BLURT BLURT] ... Education Minister Kate Jones said.
Refuge workers will present their own report, called More Than Just a Bed, to the Government at a meeting on Thursday.
West Australian [14/10/15]:
Corporations and property developers must chip in to help get women out of abusive relationships and into safe accommodation, the head of a Brisbane-based charity says.
Karen Lyon Reid is the chief executive of The Lady Musgrave Trust, which provides shelter to young women and children on the cusp of homelessness.
With the organisation's 130th anniversary approaching, she says it's shameful there's still not enough accommodation to safely house all the women in need, and corporations should consider sponsoring property loans and developers donating units to help resolve a backlog.
Australian spies have been slapped with new rules for using guns overseas after a special forces soldier threatened a female agent with a firearm during a booze-fuelled episode in Afghanistan.
But the Government and spy agencies are keeping details of the new orders secret claiming they could place undercover agents at risk. ... [West Australian - 21/10/15]
Ex Scout leader on 129 child abuse charges [Yahoo [21/10/15]
A Queensland after-school carer is facing child exploitation charges.
The 38-year-old Bundaberg man, who works at a primary school in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, was arrested after his home was raided on Tuesday, the Crime and Corruption Commission says. ... [Yahoo - 20/10/15]
Belmore shooting: Man shot in leg in Sydney's south-west was targeted, police say [ABC - 21/10/15]
Jurors to retire in trial of man accused of shooting Gold Coast police officer
Jurors are set to retire to consider their verdict in the trial of a man accused of the attempted murder of a Gold Coast dog squad officer.
The crown closed its case on Tuesday in the trial of 49-year-old Robert George Speedy.
He has pleaded not guilty to attempting to murder Sergeant Gary Hamrey after being cornered in a Parkwood backyard in the early hours of September 27, 2013.
The trial has heard the police dog handler was shot in the cheek after cornering Speedy and accomplice Jake Watson in a backyard on a dark night after the duo stole more than $40,000 from the Arundel Tavern.
During his closing address, defence barrister Rob East suggested a panicked and drug-affected Speedy had fired to get rid of the light from Sgt Hamrey's torch so he could escape.
However, crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy told the jury the logical conclusion from the circumstances was that Speedy had intended to kill Sgt Hamrey.
Justice Ann Lyons is due to sum up the trial on Wednesday before the jury retires to consider a verdict.
Witness in murder case of Gold Coast man to appear in court, despite fears for his safety [MYGC - 20/10/15]
WA Police actions in fatal pursuit reviewed
Nine MSN [20/10/15]:
The actions of West Australian police involved in a high-speed chase that ended with the death of a 20-year-old passenger are being reviewed at an inquest.
Johnathon Ryder died from head injuries at the scene of the crash in Northam in November 2012.
His relative Allan Ryder was not seriously injured and was arrested, with a blood sample later showing he had a blood alcohol reading of 0.247.
Another passenger, Schaefen Wood, was also not seriously injured, telling police the car had become airborne before it crashed into a tree and a wooden power pole on the wrong side of the road, pulling live power lines to the ground.
Internal Affairs made adverse findings after reviewing the actions of four officers who gave chase in a marked car and an unmarked car, but did not conclude they had contributed to or caused Mr Ryder's death.
They found the officers failed to follow an instruction to abort towards the very end of the chase because they had not logged into the computer dispatch system.
Two of the officers were also found to have breached police policies by not activating their emergency lights and sirens, not obtaining authorisation to engage in emergency driving, and by exceeding the sign-posted speed limits in the area without authorisation.
Three of them were sent letters to remind them of their relevant obligations and responsibilities, but one constable resigned before the letters were sent.
The inquest is now independently reviewing the actions of the police officers.
Allan Ryder, who was sentenced to a lengthy prison term after being charged with aggravated dangerous driving causing death and disqualified from getting behind the wheel for life, is among the witnesses.
The inquest continues.
Unlawful use of a motor vehicle charges following dangerous, resource wasting, class and race based police pursuit Ipswich and South Brisbane [QPS Media - 20/10/15]
Police use chopper to harass one man, Bundaberg [QPS Media - 20/10/15]
An unlicensed woman who drove her car onto Gold Coast tram tracks and allegedly fled the scene, has been arrested.
The 24-year-old woman was allegedly attempting to do a U-turn at Main Beach overnight, when her silver Suzuki Swift became wedged in the tracks.
The Labrador woman is then alleged to have fled the scene, however was arrested a short time later. ... [MYGC - 20/10/15]
Professional standards to probe botched prosecution after police 'forgot' to show up to trial [Canberra Times - 20/10/15]
Two arrested over Gold Coast school brawl
A man and a teenager are in custody following a brawl in front of students outside a Gold Coast school.
A Queensland Police spokesman said few details about the incident were available, but confirmed the pair were in custody after a fight involving several people at the Pacific Pines High School as students headed home.
Police earlier said a man armed with a bat assaulted a staff member before running off into nearby bushland just after 3pm on Tuesday.
The staff member was not seriously injured, but a 17-year-old boy was taken to hospital in a stable condition after suffering a wrist injury.
No charges have been laid.
... A 29-year-old man from Coomera has been charged with one count each of going armed so as to cause fear, possession of a knife in a public place and driving whilst under the influence. ... [QPS Media - 20/10/15]
Students will return to two high schools in southwest Sydney a day after they went into lockdown over social media threats.
Police attended East Hills Boys High School in Panania and Sir Joseph Banks High School in Revesby on Tuesday but refused to detail the timing and content of the threats. ... [Nine MSN - 20/10/15]
A woman has died in hospital, more than 24 hours after she was dragged unconscious from the surf at a Sunshine Coast beach on the weekend. ... [Yahoo - 20/10/15]
Woman pulled from the water at Surfers Paradise [MYGC - 21/10/15]
Two have fallen from a window cleaning platform in central Sydney, emergency services say.
The men were cleaning windows at a building on Pitt Street near the Bridge Street intersection when a cable snapped on their platform just after 11am on Tuesday, witnesses said.
Both men were taken to St Vincents Hospital in a serious condition, a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.
One man, in his 20s, suffered back and internal injuries; the other man, in his 50s, serious leg injuries. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 20/10/15]
21 October 2015