A Sudanese man who walked through the Channel Tunnel last summer at the height of Europe's refugee crisis walked free on Wednesday after a lengthy court case and said his priority now was to rebuild his life in Britain.
Abdul Haroun, who fled war in his native Darfur region, was sentenced to nine months in jail for obstructing a railway but had already spent as long in pre-trial detention.
He was arrested as he emerged from the railway tunnel after walking 50 km (30 miles) from France in near total darkness, clinging to metal brackets on the tunnel walls to dodge passing trains.
"Even if I died, there wasn't another solution," he told police when asked what made him walk through the tunnel, the court heard. ... [Reuters - 22/6/16]
Kos hot spot left without water for third day [Ekathimerini - 22/6/16]
The European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission have reached a deal on regulations governing a new agency of EU border guards and coast guards, the Council said Wednesday. ... [ANSAmed - 22/6/16]
Germany expands military mission in Mediterranean [ANSAmed - 22/6/16]
Day 95 refugee protests, Nauru
AUSSIES, AUSSIES! TAKE US FROM THE HELL! @elahe_zivardar [22/6/16]
Image: @SuchNigel [22/6/16]
UNHCR bigots continue helping exceptionalist, isolationist Australia push back its borders
Which country on this map of South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, but hasn't accepted refugees since July 2014?
New Straits Times [22/6/16]:
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is hopeful of turning Malaysia into a “country of destination” for refugees, but Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed is having none of it.
UNHCR representative to Malaysia, Richard Towle, said the more than 150,000 refugees living in the country already viewed Malaysia as a final destination and no longer a transit point.
Towle said this after launching the new UNHCR card and card verification application yesterday, with the aim of giving refugees under its protection here legal standing in the country.
“At the moment, refugees are not allowed to work, and under Malaysian law, their children can’t go to mainstream schools.”
UNHCR hoped its latest initiative to properly register and manage refugees would soften the Malaysian government’s policy that prohibits the group from securing jobs and getting their children a proper education.
This, Towle said, would also provide stability to the lives of the refugees here.
Malaysia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and is not bound by international laws to provide refuge, asylum, jobs and education to refugees. It does so out of goodwill and on humanitarian grounds.
In response to UNHCR’s hope to make Malaysia a final destination for refugees, Nur Jazlan blasted the United Nations body, warning it against “blackmailing” Kuala Lumpur.
“UNHCR is publicly pressuring Malaysia to take responsibility and accept these people.
“We have accommodated the refugees based on their (UNHCR’s) request, but only on the understanding that Malaysia is a transit country. It is not fair to force Malaysia’s hand to take responsibility for them (the refugees).
“Malaysia is a transit country, but suddenly, they want us to be a final destination? This is totally irresponsible. They do not even follow their own charter, let alone our policies and laws.
“UNHCR claims it operates under the auspices of international law, but to make statements that are contrary to ours, that run counter to our Constitution and the sensitivities of our citizens, this is just not done.
“I would appreciate it if they would stop making announcements like this,” he told the New Straits Times.
Nur Jazlan said UNHCR should instead focus on its core responsibility of moving the refugees to a third country.
Towle, during the unveiling of the new card and mobile application, thanked Canberra for its financial contribution to the project.
“Australia has been a very strong supporter of this project (and) of our work here in Malaysia for a few years now. Thank you for that,” he said at the UNHCR headquarters in Jalan Bukit Petaling here.
Present were United States, Australian and Malaysian officials.
To this, Nur Jazlan questioned Australia’s interest in the project, saying if the country wanted to support the cause, it should be taking the refugees in, too.
“Why didn’t Australia take these people in if they are really interested in the project?
“They are trying to push the project here by giving money. Since they support the cause, why don’t they take in these people? It would be a bigger contribution,” he said.
Nur Jazlan said the refugees in Australia would not even be on Australian soil, as they are sent to Christmas Island and Nauru.
The new card, which Towle called “state-of-the-art”, has a number of enhanced security features, including 3D holograms and barcodes. On the back of the card, a large “Secure Quick Response” code is printed.
Towle said the card was supported by an enhanced biometric data collection system at the UNHCR office, while the physical quality of the card was more robust, stronger and durable.
“We are never going to be able to eradicate fraud completely, but we are doing what we can, on our side, as much as we can.
“We can develop the card, but unless law enforcement officials work closely with us, there will still be people trying to find ways to manipulate the system.
“We hope (from) today, we will see a new level of cooperation.” ...
UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]
Thomas Vargas, Volker Türk, Thomas Albrecht and Andrew Goledzinowski <--- Protected by the media and regional NGOs. Sleep like babies.
None of Australia's present politicians can ever again be taken seriously talking about human rights - and refugees. Greens included. ---> Aceh Governor says Indonesia to forcibly return Australia-bound asylum seekers to Sri Lanka [Jakarta Globe - 22/6/16]
Media unquestioningly report LNP and ALP lies about people smugglers and "deterrence", as pushback of another boat of Vietnamese asylum seekers announced [ABC - 22/6/16]
Australia gloats to world about turning back 28 refugee boats in past three years [South China Morning Post - 22/6/16]
Australian naval ship arrives on ‘goodwill visit’ to Sri Lanka [Tamil Guardian - 21/6/16]
... Deaths in custody in the nation's prisons, cellblocks and watch houses, particularly those involving Indigenous Australians, has over the years generated a raft of inquiries, reforms and even a Royal Commission.
But now emerging data is showing death rates are actually higher in those prisoners released from custody.
The findings also reveal a lack of support services for those who have been released back into the community. ... [ABC - 22/6/16]
Aurukun teachers agree to return [Nine MSN - 22/6/16]
Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them. ... [Maan - 21/6/16]
Israeli forces injure 3 Palestinians during raid in Tulkarem-area refugee camp [Maan - 21/6/16]
Israeli forces raid cells of PFLP prisoners following mass hunger strike [Maan - 21/6/16]
FBI tried to lure Omar Mateen into a terror plot before Orlando shooting [Zero Hedge - 20/6/16]
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation told the former wife of the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, Sitora Yusufiy, not to speak of his homosexuality or the fact that she, his family and others believed he was gay, Yusufiy’s current fiance, Marco Dias, told a Brazilian TV channel in an interview.
Dias told the Brazilian television station SBT Brazil Tuesday that Yusufiy believed Mateen was gay and that his father called him gay several times in front of her.
However, “the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media.” ... [teleSUR - 16/6/16]
Oakland is facing a major police scandal in which multiple Oakland police officers are facing allegations of statutory rape and human trafficking after allegedly having sex with an underage girl who was working as a sex worker.
Three police chiefs have resigned in recent days. The Associated Press reports that of the 14 Oakland police officers involved in the sex crime scandal, two have resigned and three others are on paid leave.
On Friday afternoon, protesters demonstrated outside the Oakland Police Department headquarters, wrapping red "danger" tape outside the department and posting "Megan’s Law" warnings to alert the community that there are statutory rapists in their vicinity.
We speak to Cat Brooks, an Oakland-based Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project. Brooks helped organize Friday’s protest against the Oakland Police Department. ... [Democracy Now - 21/6/16]
More than 20 civilians killed in an explosion at an ammunition store in the Libyan town of Garabulli east of Tripoli. ... [Al Jazeera - 21/6/16]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [21/6/16]:
Anbar: Hundreds of rockets have targeted the northern and eastern neighbourhoods of Fallujah.................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Sabe' Al-Bour area north of Baghdad resulted in two deaths and 9 injuries....................
Baghdad: A roadside bomb has exploded in Fudheiliya area east of Baghdad resulted in two deaths and 7 injuries..............
One civilian was killed as terrorists targeted al-Khalidia neighborhood in Aleppo city with gunfire, SANA reporter in Aleppo said. ... [SANA - 21/6/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 21/6/16]
Defense Secretary Ash Carter released statements last night welcoming decisions by two coalition nations that he said would accelerate the effort to bring about a lasting defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Poland announced that it will deploy 60 special operations forces to Iraq, as well as four F-16s and associated personnel to Kuwait for reconnaissance missions over Iraq and Syria.
New Zealand will keep up to 143 trainers for the partner-capacity-building mission at Taji, Iraq, until November 2018, will provide additional training of Iraqi security forces in Besmaya, and will authorize the training of stabilization forces. ... [US Department of Defense - 21/6/16]
Royal Commission: ADF recruits forced to rape each other, inquiry told [Sydney Morning Herald - 21/6/16]
@LighthouseRR [21/6/16]: Today, Swedish politicians decided on stricter asylum laws making it much more difficult for separated refugee families to re-unite. ...
Police and migrants clashed in the French Channel port of Calais on Monday, with traffic blocked for several hours.
Police fired teargas to disperse migrants trying to board lorries headed for Britain.
At least one migrant was arrested for throwing a projectile, police said, but nobody was injured in the clashes near the Jungle camp. ... [rfi - 21/6/16]
MOAS statement regarding I SEA App [21/6/16]
@MSF_Sea [21/6/16]: Out of 160,000 relocation places, just 8,090 have been allocated. Europe, stop wasting cash on your #EUTurkey deal & fix your asylum system!
@MSF_Sea [21/6/16]: Likewise, just 777 #refugees out of the 39,600 promised have been relocated from #Italy.
PNG Chief Justice grants joinder of claims for all political prisoners in Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island [PNG Loop - 22/6/16]:
Detainees at the Manus Regional Processing Centre have been allowed joinder in the Supreme Court proceeding filed by Belden Namah that found the establishment of the centre unconstitutional and illegal.
Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia yesterday afternoon granted the joinder of all asylum seekers who are parties to two proceedings currently before the Supreme Court.
Although the orders issued yesterday cover those who are part of the cases as parties, the case filed by Namah covers over 900 transferees who were brought to PNG against their will to be processed in Manus.
Lawyer representing 300 of those asylum seekers, who are part of the two court cases, was in court yesterday when the orders were granted.
Joinder of asylum seekers now also means their detention is illegal as per the orders issued by the court on April 26.
Ben Lomai said the court, allowing his clients to join the case that was filed by Namah in 2013, now paves way for him to apply for consequential orders for the release and compensation of the asylum seekers.
The consequential orders will be sought from the proceeding SCA 84 of 2013, which saw a five-judge Supreme Court bench order both Australia and Papua New Guinea governments to take all necessary steps to cease the operations of the regional processing centre in Manus.
The five-man bench on April 26 ruled that the detention breached the right to personal liberty in the Constitution.
Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika, Justices Sir Bernard Sakora, Ambeng Kandakasi, Don Sawong and Terence Higgins all sat on this bench.
Australia-bound boat refugees still stranded in Aceh. UNHCR continue playing dumb. IOM offer "psycho-social" support. Greens, Australian human rights organisations mute [SBS - 21/6/16]
Amnesty censure imperilled Nauru refugees with #StaySafeStayStrong campaign, then issue a media release welcoming the new Crimes Act 2016. This is WRONG.
The adults deserve this treatment? And the Australia-bound asylum seekers currently stranded on Aceh? [UNICEF - 20/6/16]:
... “A real policy solution is urgently needed. This must include a credible country for resettlement and genuine opportunities for education and livelihoods as well as access to critical services that will help refugees to recover and rebuild their lives. <--- OR YOU COULD CALL ON AUSTRALIA TO RESUME MEETING ITS OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE UN REFUGEE CONVENTION.
“It is an outrage that Australia continues to warehouse refugee children on Nauru. As we have seen over and over again, it has devastating impacts and it fails to address the root causes of refugee movements in our region including conflict, persecution and violence. ...
@SuchNigel [21/6/16]: Sorry I have a bad circumstances so I didn't tweet yesterday #Nauru ...
22 June 2016