Day 18 of peaceful protest Nauru ... ‏@elahe_zivardar [22/2/17]




Paper by Behrouz Boochani featured at Melbourne human rights conference - last week [The National - 22/2/17]:


An asylum-seeker on Manus says the greatest adversity they faced is the lack of laws which protect them.

Kurdish Iran journalist Behrouz Boochani had been held at the regional processing centre on Manus for over three years.

His paper on legal rights was featured at a national human rights conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Friday.

Organised by the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, the conference was attended by those from the legal fraternity, academia, business and the community.

They discussed topical human rights issues and planned pathways on human rights advocacy and research.

“Why have we refugees on Manus Island and Nauru been unable to create a legal challenge against the Australian Government to protect our human rights in an effective and neutral court for nearly four years?” Boochani stated in the paper.

He said it had been the main source of mental torture for refugees and asylum-seekers on Manus and Nauru.

“The history of the Manus Island detention centre is full of legal struggles that have been blocked at the initial stage or have not resulted in our freedom,” Boochani said.

“Four years of fighting for our legal rights has proved inconclusive.”

He said the main challenge was the Australian Government’s policy to never allow people (asylum seekers) who travel by boat to settle in Australia.

“The Government of Australia passed it (policy) by exercising special powers and has implemented it over recent years with legal support from both judicial and legislative powers,” he said.

“Our tragedy reaches a climax when losing one’s rights is combined with exile from society.”

“It can be generally said that we refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are out of any judicial and legislative zone and these islands are places that represent only a shadow of law.”



UN decision in Assange arbitrary detention case:  Big implications for refugees and whistleblowers - but Australia's establishment international law and refugee rights experts ignored the majority decision, and inexplicably focussed on the minority dissenting opinion [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]



PNG Magistrate throws out refugee's drug case; Australia's anti-refugee policy continues unopposed and unscrutinised [PNG Loop - 22/2/17]:


... Magistrate Kalandi asked police prosecution if a search warrant was obtained to search his room prior to his arrest.

None was obtained by police. ...



Australian actors silent on detained refugee performer, as fascist, racist frauds at the MEAA exposed [RNZI - 22/2/17]:


Actors in Australia have refused to voice their support for a campaign to free a performer from Australian detention on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

The campaign, which also appeals for the release of a writer and a cartoonist, is being run by the Australian union for actors and journalists, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

In 2014, prominent Australians including actors took part in a "We Are The World"-styled mass choir that sang a song called "We're Better Than This", which called for the release of child refugees detained on Nauru.

Several Australian actors have joined the union's campaign but when asked to comment on the 32-year-old performer Mehdi Savari, who is detained on Manus Island, none came forward - which New Zealand actor Oscar Kightley said was strange.

"Strange because it's their union. If you're unwilling to comment it's because you're scared about something. But I don't know what they'd be scared of. I don't know what the consequences would be," he said.

Mr Kightley has been outspoken in New Zealand media decrying Australia's four-year detention of refugees in prison camps on Nauru and Manus Island.

Well-known for his recent role in the movie Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Mr Kightley was happy to voice his support for Mr Savari, an actor, troubadour, magician and comedian, who used to host a popular children's television programme in Iran.

"I guess I feel for him as a fellow actor and artist, who's chosen to perform in terms of his way of living life and communicating what he's about as a human," said Mr Kightley.


From hospital in Port Moresby, Mr Savari said he was suffering from paralysis.

"After four years I have finally saved enough money to buy myself a wheelchair," he said.

"I am here because of my eye infection and serious gastric problems for which I take daily medication.

"The emotion trauma I've experienced and the physical hardships I've endured living on Manus Island have resulted in the breakdown of my mental health and are the reason why I am in this situation on Port Moresby." ...



Details of fictional Obama-Australia refugee "deal" still a mystery, as cruel pantomime featuring grubby media and major party sleazebags rolls on [Australian Financial Review - 22/2/17]



At least 1000 residents from the Saraga Settlement in Port Moresby have been displaced following an eviction exercise by police.

Their homes and property worth thousands of kina were destroyed. EMTV News arrived at the scene and saw displaced residents amongst rubble, which had previously been their homes.

This follows an eviction exercise by police, acting on a court order obtained by the Alblaze Consumption Company, who claimed to have ownership over this piece of land. ... [EMTV - 22/2/17]



Huge landslide in Chimbu leaves 400 families homeless [PNG Loop - 22/2/17]



The PNG Council of Churches is advocating for West Papua to be part of the Melanesian Spearhead Group and for the Government to provide land for them, according to general secretary Rev Roger Joseph.

Joseph is attending a United Nations Human Rights meeting this week in Geneva to discuss human rights issues affecting the people of West Papua and ways to help them. ... [The National - 22/2/17]



Rohingyas still escaping to Bangladesh fearing further atrocities [Dhaka Tribune - 22/2/17]:


... Md Yunus, who has long been living at a camp in Kutupalong, said: “I do not believe the atrocities have stopped and Rohingyas are returning home. I came to know three houses were recently burnt to ashes even after the police personnel had been withdrawn from Myanmar’s Maungdaw province that forced some 200 Rohingyas to flee to Bangladesh.” ...



Why is Australia being protected from scrutiny for its fanatical anti-refugee policies, as this genocide continues? ---> About 73,000 people have crossed from #Rakhine #Myanmar into #Bangladesh since October 2016. ... ‏@OCHAAsiaPac  [22/2/17]



So why not DEMAND the region protect the Rohingya, and for signatories to the UN Refugee Convention to offer them sanctuary? ---> The numbers don't lie: deeply worrying humanitarian situation faced by stateless #Rohingya Muslims in #Rakhine State, #Myanmar ...  ‏@ochamyanmar [19/2/17]



Australia refuses to take in regional refugees; Amnesty declares support for UNHCR's Rohingya enslavement program in Malaysia [The Star - 21/2/17]



Myanmar investigates police 'cover-up' of TWO deaths in custody at the beginning of its four month military operation against the Rohingya, which has killed and displaced thousands [Reuters - 21/2/17]



Woodside Petroleum names Richard Goyder as chairman-elect [Australian Financial Review - 21/2/17]



‏@TamilGuardian [21/2/17]:  Protestors call for the release of land and the release of political prisoners ... [Sri Lanka]



‏@TamilGuardian [21/2/17]:  Protest continues down Hospital Road - diverse group of victim/survivor communities and civil society #jaffna



International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) have released a report quoting three female victims who were used as sexual slaves by the Sri Lankan military over prolonged periods under custody.

The cases occurred in 2007, 2009-2013 and 2012-2015 and include different sites: one near Vavuniya, one near Puttalam, one in Colombo and one outside of Colombo but not in the North or East. ... [Tamil Guardian - 21/2/17]



‏@ShutGuantanamo [21/2/17]:


 #FakeNews British ex-Guantanamo suicide bomber in Iraq - why no police or @foreignoffice confirmation? ...



Jamal Al-Harith was sold to US military by the Northern Alliance in 2001 ...



 .@BBCNews headline should read: ex-Guantanamo Brit convenient scapegoat for further military involvement in Iraq  



A former CIA agent will be handed over to Italy in the coming days to serve a four-year prison sentence after being convicted of involvement in a U.S. program that kidnapped suspects for interrogation, a lawyer said Tuesday.

Sabrina de Sousa spent the night in a women's prison near Lisbon after a Portuguese court ordered police to extradite her, her Portuguese lawyer, Manuel Magalhaes e Silva, told the Associated Press in an interview.

He said she was detained Monday after a two-year fight against extradition and would be put on a plane once formalities between Portuguese and Italian police were concluded.

De Sousa, 61, was among 26 Americans convicted of kidnapping suspect Osama Moustafa Hassan Nas, also known as Abu Omar, from a Milan street on Feb. 17, 2003.

She denied involvement in the abduction. ... [Houston Chronicle - 21/2/17]



It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest.


Harold Pinter:  Art, Truth and Politics - The Nobel Prize in Literature 2005:


... The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War.

I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile.

The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn't know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest.

The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them.

You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It's a winner.

Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, 'the American people', as in the sentence, 'I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.'

It's a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words 'the American people' provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance.

You don't need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it's very comfortable.

This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US. ...



Oliver Stone accepts Laurel Award at Writers Guild ceremony [Independent - 20/2/17]:


It’s essentially expected of actors, writers and directors to slam Trump when accepting awards now, but Oliver Stone took it a step further at the Writers Guild Awards on Sunday night, taking aim at the entire political system, incorporating both sides of the spectrum.

Accepting the Laurel Award at the ceremony, he reminded younger filmmakers: “You can be critical of your government and your society.

“You don’t have to fit in. It’s fashionable now to take shots at Republicans and Trump and avoid the Obamas and Clintons. But remember this: In the 13 wars we’ve started over the last 30 years and the $14 trillion we’ve spent, and the hundreds of thousands of lives that have perished from this earth, remember that it wasn’t one leader, but a system, both Republican and Democrat. Call it what you will: the military industrial money media security complex. It’s a system that has been perpetuated under the guise that these are just wars justifiable in the name of our flag that flies so proudly.” ...



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 21/2/17]


A prosecutor in Thessaloniki has demanded the arrest of all the “protagonists” in a violent incident outside an elementary school on Monday, sparked by a group protesting the attendance of nine migrant children from a nearby refugee camp.

Thessaloniki Prosecutor Lambros Tsongas also called on Tuesday for an investigation into the violence, which started when a group calling itself the “Patriotic Union of Greek Citizens of Oraiokatsro” gathered outside the town’s First Elementary School, shouting racist slurs and protesting a scheme to induct migrant children from camps into the Greek public school system as the pupils came out of class. ... [Ekathimerini - 21/2/17]



‏@Refugees_Gr [21/2/17]:  Victim of racist violence finally released, after (against law) arrest inside... hospital and threat of deportation #refugeesgr #antireport



Italian Coast Guard rescue hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean [Yahoo - 21/2/17]



The bodies of at least 74 people have been found washed up on a beach in Libya in what is feared may be another deadly drowning incident on one of the Mediterranean's most dangerous migration routes.

The Red Crescent's Middle East And North Africa Twitter account posted images of workers covering up bodies on the beach near the western city of Zawiya, although a spokesperson for the organisation said on Tuesday that the circumstances of the deaths were still unknown. ... [Middle East Eye - 21/2/17]



Israeli Mayor taped saying 'it's not pleasant' to see 'black folks drinking beer on the square' [Haaretz - 20/2/17]:


In comments about asylum seekers, the Mayor of the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva has been recorded telling the local municipal parents' council that walking on his city's Founders' Square, "you see black folks drinking beer. It's not pleasant."

In the tape, published on the Hebrew-language Walla News website, Mayor Yitzhak Braverman is also heard saying that there are tens of thousands of foreign labor migrants in the country and Israel is not addressing the question of their status. ...



Reiterating his fierce opposition to a two-state solution, Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said Monday that the creation of a Palestinian state would see an influx of Palestinian refugees, many of whom he believes would try to cross into Israel.

Addressing the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO) at its annual summit in Jerusalem, Bennett said: “If we establish a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, that state will open up the gates and will see a flood of refugees enter Judea and Samaria.” ... [Jerusalem Post - 20/2/17]



“Forget about refugee status… where is the humanity?”  Eritrean refugee pushes Canada to help asylum seekers in Israel [Middle East Eye - 27/1/17]:


... For years, the government gave asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan “temporary protection” in the form of short-term visas, which allowed the government to avoid actually processing their asylum claims.

Today, most African asylum seekers must renew temporary visas to remain in the country, and they live under a risk of being summoned to Holot, a detention facility built in the southern Negev desert. Israel also signed a secretive deal to deport asylum seekers to third countries.

The Israeli government says the agreement poses no risk to the deportees; a representative for the Israeli Justice Ministry said last year that at least 3,000 people had been sent to Rwanda and Uganda.

But it’s a policy that refugee advocates say puts the asylum seekers in danger and leaves them in a state of legal limbo.

Some asylum seekers have reported being repatriated to their home countries after their deportation from Israel, where they may face imprisonment, torture and other abuses. ...



Sixty feet and the U.S-Mexico border separated the unarmed, 15-year-old Mexican boy and the U.S. Border Patrol agent who killed him with a gunshot to the head early on a June evening in 2010.

U.S. officials chose not to prosecute Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. and the Obama administration refused a request to extradite him so that he could face criminal charges in Mexico.

When the parents of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca tried to sue Mesa in an American court for violating their son's rights, federal judges dismissed their claims.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday is hearing the parents' appeal, which their lawyers say is their last hope for some measure of justice. ... [KVIA - 21/2/17]



Trump to spare US 'dreamer' immigrants from crackdown [Reuters - 21/2/17]



James Kilgore: The US immigration detention "market" has been a growth area over the past decade ---> We speak to a man who spent twenty seven years on the run and six and a half years in prison for his part in the gang that kidnapped Patty Hearst about the revolving doors of the Prison Industrial Complex. [RT - 20/2/17]



New York Lawyers for the Public Interest release report on delay and denial of healthcare in US immigration detention centres [Politico - 15/2/17]:


... "The people described in this report were denied the healthcare they needed while in ICE custody," the report states.

"The wide-ranging failures to provide medical care to seriously ill immigrants who remain in detention during their lengthy immigration proceeding is unfortunately not a new problem. ... Yet these conditions have not improved over time, and if anything, continue to worsen." ...






AND THEN talk about "alternatives" ?


... Why do people set themselves on fire in front of UN? Because they remind us how human rights is a big business in this country and there is no real action. ...  



Mina Taherkhani - political prisoner of the Australian government, Nauru [Guardian - 7/11/16]



Refugees WANT FREEDOM AND JUSTICE!  Not weasel word gabfests that do nothing but make opportunists and privileged "expert" participants feel better. --->  We kick off our #RefugeeAlternatives conference with a Welcome to Country. @OzRefugeeCounc [22/2/17]




 So why aren't AUSTRALIAN "experts", international lawyers, and human rights spokespeople interested?  ‏@ABCNews24 [21/2/17]:  .@amanfreefiji #Fiji lawyer for Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari says #Manus is Australia’s #Guantanamo on #ABCTheWorld with @bevvo14



And why have "journalist" Michael Gordon, and "trauma counsellor" Janet Galbraith abandoned him? --> @ABCNews24 [21/2/17]:  Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari in court in #PNG could be returned to #Manus according to #Fiji lawyer @amanfreefiji ...



"I am not a criminal, I am a refugee, do you understand what that is?"  [ABC - 8/2/17]



By not demanding to see the details of the bogus Obama-Australia refugee "deal", reporters are merely doing stenography [ABC - 22/2/17]



Kevin Rudd should be held to account, not rehabilitated as a credible spokesperson on Israel-Palestine.



Australia and Papua New Guinea regional settlement arrangement [Joint media release with Kevin Rudd - Prime Minister, Mark Dreyfus - Attorney General and The Hon Tony Burke MP - Australian Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship - 19/7/13]



 I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]



Rudd government expels cleaner from Israeli Embassy after forged Australian passports used to undertake an assassination [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/5/10]




22 February 2017