Diplomatic protection for the stateless Rohingya [Policy Forum - 22/3/17]:


... If the United Nations or one of its authorised agencies were allowed to provide diplomatic protection in case of the ‘stateless’, it would ensure proper treatment of these people within the territory of any state and could consequently incentivise a nation to treat these people in accordance with the international law for the treatment of aliens.

Furthermore, through the exercise of diplomatic protection, the UN would also be able to seek reparations in case of injury on behalf of the ‘stateless’ in various national and international legal fora.

All of this would lead to the fair and equitable treatment of the ‘stateless’ communities across the world and provide them with an avenue to seek relief and respite from their plight. ...



Turkish ambassador's turn to ogle Rohingya in IDP camps and call for "durable solutions" [Arakan Times - 22/3/17]



Duterte gives Suu Kyi a bouquet of roses and $300,000 for her US-backed Rohingya genocide [Rappler - 20/3/17]



600 "dignity kits" distributed, and 200 "counselled", as Rohingya women in Bangladesh refugee camps fight for their babies' lives [Reuters - 20/3/17]



@TamilGuardian [22/3/17]:  Protest @ Jaffna central bus stand today calling for international justice mechanism and for #lka not to be granted extension #Tamil #hrc34



Protests were held in various locations across the North-East last Thursday demanding a justice mechanism with international judges.

Organised by North-East Coordinating Committee, Tamils, including victims and the families of the disappeared, called for international involvement in accountability as well as calling on Sri Lanka to move on pressing issues such as demilitarisation and the issue of the disappeared. ... [Tamil Guardian - 21/3/17] 



Shanti Prayas exercise commences in Nepal [US Department of Defense - 21/3/17]:


... Shanti Prayas III provides an opportunity for participating nations’ militaries to train together, building interoperability and establishing good working relationships.

Military personnel from Nepal, the United States, Australia, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and Zambia are participating. ...



Yemeni Army, popular committees kill dozens of Saudi-led mercenaries in Taiz [Al Manar TV - 21/3/17]



Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah fighters and their allies in the army have fired a long-range ballistic missile at an airbase in the Saudi capital Riyadh, marking the second such attack on the city, a report says.

The missile of Borkan-2 type accurately struck King Salman Air Base on Saturday, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

In a statement carried by Yemen's official Saba news agency, a Houthi military official said the missile attack came in retaliation for the criminal Saudi war on Yemen.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni army pledged that missiles would target the Saudi territory until the regime’s bombing campaign stops.  ... [Press TV - 19/3/17]



US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Tuesday discussed with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg the current situation in Afghanistan and the global fight against ISIS. ... [Pajhwok - 22/3/17]



US delivers 4 Super Tucano attack aircraft to Afghan forces [TOLO News - 22/3/17]



US drone strike in Afghanistan kills militant blamed for attack on Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan [Reuters - 21/3/17]



Three U.S soldiers were shot Sunday in an apparent insider attack at an Afghan military base in Helmand province, raising to at least 15 the number of American personnel wounded in Afghanistan so far this year.

The Americans are being treated for their injuries, said Navy Capt. William Salvin, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Afghanistan in Kabul.

He had no further details about their medical condition.

It's not immediately clear to which unit the Americans are assigned. ... [Military Times - 19/3/17]



Car bomb kills 6 near Somalia presidential palace [Yahoo  22/3/17]



18-year-old Palestinian killed, 2 injured by Israeli shelling in Rafah [Maan - 22/3/17]:


... In a separate incident in southern Gaza on Wednesday morning, witnesses told Ma’an that four Israeli bulldozers raided the town of al-Qarrara in northern part of Khan Yunis, escorted by several Israeli military vehicles deployed inside the Gaza’s borders.

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers indiscriminately opened fire at Palestinian farmers tending to their lands there, however no injuries were reported. ...



Israeli forces punitively sealed a Palestinian home in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabbir on Wednesday morning by pouring concrete inside the house, displacing five Palestinians -- including four children -- as a result.

The house belonged to the family of Fadi al-Qunbar, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in January after he drove a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers, killing four.

Israeli special forces, police, and intelligence officers were heavily deployed in the neighborhood, having closed off the main streets and preventing vehicles and pedestrians from entering or leaving the area. ... [Maan - 22/3/17]



An Israeli vehicle hit and injured an elderly Palestinian woman on Monday evening in the northern occupied West Bank.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Hilweh Abu Ras, 70, was hit by an Israeli settler driving near the village of al-Sawiya in the Nablus district.

Abu Ras was evacuated to al-Najah hospital in Nablus, where doctors said she sustained moderate to serious wounds. ... [Maan - 21/3/17]



Turkish Army attacks Kurdish forces in northern Syria [AMN - 22/3/17]



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israeli forces will continue airstrikes in Syria if they deem it necessary.

“If there is feasibility from an intelligence and military standpoint – we attack and so it will continue,” Netanyahu said during a visit to China, adding that he had informed Putin of Israel’s intentions.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli PM also dismissed reports that Russia was insisting that Israel cease its military operations on Syrian territory.

On Monday, Syrian President Bashar Assad told visiting Russian MPs that he is counting on Russia to prevent further Israeli attacks on Syrian soil and to help Damascus avoid a full-blown conflict with Tel Aviv. ... [RT - 22/3/17]



Kremlin 'unclear' about Tillerson's possible April visit to Russia [Sputnik - 22/3/17]



At least 33 people were killed in an air strike that hit a school sheltering displaced people near the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, a group that monitors the war in Syria said on Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed the strike was carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State.

Observatory activists had counted at least 33 bodies at the site near the village of al-Mansoura, west of Raqqa, Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters.

The air strike took place on Monday night, he said.

The U.S.-led coalition has escalated its aerial campaign against the militant group around Raqqa this month, causing numerous civilian casualties, Abdulrahman said. ... [Reuters - 22/3/17]



Mosul civilians flee amidst coalition airstrikes and ISIS [RT - 22/3/17]



New reports of chemical weapons in Mosul; 47 killed in Iraq [Antiwar.com - 21/3/17]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of  Defense - 21/3/17] 



... While the European Commission, the bloc’s executive, can sue countries that fail to meet their commitments, it has so far shied away from doing so over immigration, highlighting the political sensitivity surrounding issue.

"It is important for governments to understand that they should be part of it," Avramopoulos told a news conference in Warsaw.

"If some of them do not comply... the Commission has the power, the tools to convince these countries." ... EU migration chief mumbles things about the consequences countries may face for not hosting refugees [Ekathimerini - 21/3/17]



@drivaspacheco [21/3/17]:  56 people landed today in #Chios, 16 children #Greece #refugeesgr ...



Woman gives birth to baby girl on refugee rescue boat in Mediterranean Sea [The Independent - 21/3/17]:


... Mercy was one of 947 men, women and children to be taken to safety after a hectic weekend that saw more than 3,000 people rescued on one day between Libya and Italy.

Aid agencies fear the mass launches seen on Sunday are a sign of things to come as seas calm with the arrival of spring.

Conor Kenny, an MSF doctor on the Aquarius, said rescuers feared the quality of unseaworthy dinghies used by Libyan smugglers were deteriorating, placing those crammed on board in even greater danger.

He told The Independent the ship would head back to the rescue zone as soon as possible, having received reports of at least 40 people killed when a boat capsized over the weekend.

“The figures have gone up since January and I see no reason why they shouldn’t continue to rise,” Dr Kenny added.

“Within the medical clinic the patients have been victims of torture or sexual violence while in Libya – in detention, by their employers or police or armed gangs as well.”

Dr Kenny said refugees rescued over the weekend were suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and chemical burns from leaked fuel, as well as fractures and sprains sustained in beatings in Libya.

“You simply don’t know what you’ll find with each boat,” he added, saying approaching rescuers routinely check for refugees suffocated at the bottom of boats.

“It’s a fine line between life and death in the Mediterranean.

“Weeks ago we came across boat at 2am with people suffering from hypothermia. Had they been found a few hours later, at least eight of them would have died.”

Almost 20,000 migrants have arrived by sea in Italy so far this year, with a record of 587 dying in the attempt, according to figures compiled by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The Central Mediterranean –now the deadliest crossing in the world – has become the main sea route to Europe following moves to prevent crossings over the Aegean Sea with the EU-Turkey deal.

MSF is deploying a second vessel to the search and rescue zone lying to the north of Libya’s volatile coast, with the ship expected to start operations on Wednesday morning.

The Prudence will be able to transport 600 people with emergency capacity for another 400, as well as 13 MSF staff members manning an emergency department, clinic, pharmacy and morgue.

Save the Children is also launching a rescue boat in April, while numerous smaller charities from across Europe are working alongside naval forces and cargo ships enlisted for missions by the coordination centre in Rome.


Dr Kenny said one of the refugees rescued on Saturday had been on a boat caught and forced back to Libya by the coastguard two weeks ago, and was detained and beaten before managing to depart for a second time on Saturday.

“What these guys undergo when they are detained is brutal,” he added. “That is really concerning.”


The vast majority of migrants arriving in Italy are from sub-Saharan African nations including Guinea, Nigeria and Gambia, and Bangladesh, while those reaching Greece are mostly Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans.



Libyan coast guards stop 215 migrants fleeing to Italy as EU ramps up anti-refugee efforts [Libya Observer - 21/3/17]



... On Monday, Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Serraj negotiated for an additional EU assistance package of $860 million in military equipment, including ships, vehicles, helicopters and communications gear.

Some question whether using Libya’s coast guard to turn back migrant boats is ethical. SOS Mediterranee says that refugees are reporting a high rate of human rights abuses in Libyan transit camps and prisons, reinforcing a well-documented narrative of the forced detention, extortion and mistreatment of African migrants at the hands of Libyan authorities. 

"They take you to a prison, give you a phone and make you phone your family to get them to pay to get you out," one Cameroon national told the NGO.

Another alleged that the "Libyans shoot us like dogs."

The Libyan coast guard itself faces charges of human rights abuse following a raft boarding that killed at least 15 migrants last October. ... [The Maritime Executive - 21/3/17]



Somali community denounces Saudi attack on refugees in the Red Sea [SABA - 21/3/17]



... The refugees were hit by light weapons fire in waters off rebel-held Hodeida, but the boat managed to dock in the city's port, an official there said. ... [Daily Nation - 18/3/17]



US mistreatment of asylum seekers reviewed by Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [American Immigration Council - 21/3/17]:


... The hearing opened with testimony highlighting the barriers put in place during asylum seekers’ initial encounters with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry.

The practice of turning away asylum seekers has become all too common and was recently brought to the attention of the U.S. government in a complaint.

Despite the evidence presented and media coverage, this practice seems to be on the rise.

According to one asylum seeker recently turned away by CBP, whose declaration was read at the hearing:

“I told [the CBP official] that I wasn’t from here, that I was from Honduras, and that I wanted asylum. He told me that there was no longer asylum for Hondurans. . . .  I pled with him for help and told him that I couldn’t return to Honduras. I started to explain why I couldn’t return and what I was fleeing from but he interrupted me and said that everyone comes with the same story, that he couldn’t help me . . .”

... The hearing also covered the horrible conditions and deplorable treatment of asylum seekers in CBP detention facilities, and the negative effects of detaining asylum seekers while their claims are pending.

Joanna Williams of the Kino Border Initiative described her organization’s work with detained asylum seekers in Arizona and noted that CBP officials “willfully ignore and discourage” asylum applications.

Theodora Simon of the Hope Border Institute explained that the systematic, prolonged detention of asylum seekers ultimately leads some to withdraw their applications. ...



Cuban migrants still trying to reach the US [Military.com - 21/3/17]



The deportation of immigrants from the United States stems way before President Donald Trump took office. So what happened to the millions of people deported under previous administrations?

Many of them had little or no connection to the country they were deported to, with some not even knowing the native language.

To this day, there are individuals separated from family members who wait for when they will be reunited, if ever.  

Trump’s targeted immigration plans have amplified fears for many undocumented people. The uncertainty has forced some to leave the US voluntarily. Mexico is currently scrambling to figure out how to accommodate the potential of more arrivals.

For years, various aids groups in South America have also helped in getting people settled.    

Returning home can come with risks. Some face the threat of violence that initially motivated them to seek asylum. Cases of Central American migrants killed shortly after being sent back have made headlines, which has raised human rights concerns.  

In this episode of The Stream, deportees join us to talk about the challenges of trying to rebuild their lives. [Al Jazeera - 21/3/17]



... Reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation ...


'The Beaten Generation', The The [1989] 



Asylum seeker deported from Manus Island concentration camp fears for his life in Lebanon.  Australia's anti-refugee indefinite detention, exile and turnback policy continues unopposed. [Sydney Morning Herald - 22/3/17]



Murdoch Press generates predictable, cyclical attempt to neutralise Australia's atrocities against refugees by exploiting handpicked Syrians [SBS - 22/3/17]




Protest in Melbourne, September 2015 ‏@LaydeeAidee 




Refugee kiddies locked up #Nauru while Abbott & Shorten scramble to out compassion each other   ‏@KayeBernard  [8/9/15]



... But it should not wait until bodies are washed up on foreign beaches before it is spurred to action.

And nor should Australia reserve its help for those fleeing conflict in distant wars.

Its first duty should be to those who face death and persecution in its own region.

There are both practical and moral reasons for this.

Practically, it is faster and more effective to provide sanctuary to those closer to home and to repatriate those who wish to return when it is safe to do so.

Morally, it is Australia’s neighbours to whom it owes its first duty of assistance. ...  Catherine Renshaw  [The Conversation – 9/9/15]



Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States (i.e. Hillary Clinton's State Department) [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]:


Star Labor candidate Peter Khalil has confirmed he acted as a protected source for the US government, feeding them information about Labor’s asylum seeker policy.

Khalil served as a foreign policy adviser to former prime minister Kevin Rudd back in 2007 and was also director of national security policy for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq from 2003-04.  ...



... The expression "kick the can" is sometimes used to mean "to procrastinate", or in political terms, to put off solving a particular problem until later. ... [Wikipedia]



Anne Richard, [Former] Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, inspects Rohingya refugees during a tour of an Indonesian detention centre

[Binsar Bakkara/AP - Guardian - 3/6/15]



Blood on all their hands ----> Desperate Australian media - and now former Obama official Anne Richard - perpetuate myth of an actual US refugee "deal [ABC - 22/3/17]



In her former role, Anne Richard conveyed a fanatical ideological opposition to the genuine resettlement of refugees from South East Asia.  --->  ... 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. ... [CBS - 1/6/15]



This fanaticism was echoed by Australian officials, the IOM and UNHCR at the 2015 Bangkok Rohingya refugees boat crisis meeting. [Guardian - 3/6/15]:


... 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.



In this press conference at the conclusion of the 2015 Bangkok summit, Anne Richard fobbed off concerns about Myanmar human rights atrocities and the regional refugee bottleneck.  She also signalled boat turnbacks as an acceptable course of action - thus condemning 1,000s to detention, refoulement or death [3/6/15]



UNHCR silent as Bangladesh proudly pushes back boats of Rohingya refugees [Dhaka Tribune - 21/12/16]



UNHCR and IOM showcase their role in maintaining the region's genocidal refugee bottleneck [Media Release - 20/12/16]



UNHCR's Vivian Tan posts a "good news story" about Rohingya as Rakhine burns [Media Release - 20/10/16]



Corpses of Rohingya women and children float in Naf River – Bangladesh Marine Engineer [The Stateless - 12/12/16]




“When I see the picture, I feel like I would rather die,” toddler’s father Zafor Alam told CNN. “There is no point in me living in this world.”



Carbonated.TV [4/1/17]:


... “In our village, helicopters fired guns at us, and the Myanmar soldiers also opened fire on us. We couldn't stay in our house. We fled and went into hiding in the jungle,” Alam continued.

“My grandfather and grandmother were burnt to death. Our whole village was burnt by the military. Nothing left.”


After Alam made it to the Naf River, which runs between Myanmar and Bangladesh, he started swimming and was rescued by some fishermen who helped him across the border.

Once there, he began trying to get his wife and sons to safety.

“I called (my family) on Dec. 4. They were very desperate to leave Myanmar,” Alam recalled.

“They were the last words I had with my family. When I was talking to my wife over phone, I could hear my youngest son calling 'Abba-Abba' (father-father).”

Alam had made a deal with a boatman to help his family cross the river, but just as they were making their escape, the security forces found them.

“When the Myanmar police got a sense that people were preparing to cross the river, they opened fire,” the man explained.

“Hurriedly, the boatman took all people on board to escape the firing. The boat became overloaded. Then it sank." ...




22 March 2017