Georgia man suspected of killing five before shooting himself: sheriff [Reuters – 23/4/16]
United States continues bombing everyone
US Department of Defense [24/4/16]:
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
Attack aircraft conducted four strikes in Syria:
-- Near Manbij, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, and an ISIL anti-air artillery system.
-- Near Mar’a, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, and an ISIL bomb.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 24 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL bomb factory, and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Huwayjah, a strike destroyed an ISIL tunnel system and an ISIL generator.
-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.
-- Near Fallujah, five strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL vehicle, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL bunker, and three ISIL trench systems.
-- Near Habbaniyah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL weapons cache, and an ISIL trench system.
-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL recoilless rifle.
-- Near Kisik, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL assembly areas, four ISIL improvised explosive devices, an ISIL observation camera and suppressed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL mortar position.
-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL modular refinery and an ISIL headquarters and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and two ISIL vehicles and damaged an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Ramadi, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
-- Near Sultan Abdallah, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, an ISIL bomb and weapons facility and destroyed six ISIL assembly areas, an ISIL mortar system, and an ISIL supply cache.
Baghdad suicide bombing an act of ‘unparalleled criminality’– UN envoy [Media Release - 23/4/16]
Merkel steps up war on Syria [Reuters - 23/4/16]
The head of a Western-backed rescue group in Syria known as the White Helmets has been refused entry into the United States, where he was slated to receive a humanitarian award.
Raed Saleh landed at Washington’s Dulles International Airport on Monday, only to be told his visa was canceled.
He was put on a flight back to Turkey.
The State Department has refused to provide details.
His group, Syria Civil Defense, is famous for coordinating thousands of volunteers to rescue people trapped in rubble after airstrikes. [Democracy Now - 22/4/16]
Libya: UN envoy calls for safe evacuation of civilians caught up in Benghazi fighting [Media Release - 21/4/16]
@shul_evolution [24/4/16]: La hora de juegos no puede faltar ni un día! #Idomeni
Dozens of migrants break through Macedonian border: AFP [Yahoo - 24/4/16]
Shock and war: This is Europe, this is now - Lesvos to Berlin, 2015 - Part 1 [April 2016]: Stories and images from Giles Duley, photographer covering the refugee crisis for the UNHCR. ...
@MSF_Sea [24/4/16]: ... Currently onboard #Dignity1 are 308 rescued #people including 80 women & 23 kids. Most are from #Eritrea.
@ItalianNavy [24/4/16]: #SAR Nave Borsini #MarinaMilitare in Operazione #MareSicuro recupera 122 #migranti su gommone in difficoltá
@guardiacostiera [24/4/16]: #SAR #NaveDattilo #GuardiaCostiera soccorre un altro gommone nel #CanalediSicilia. Salvati 121 #migranti
@guardiacostiera [24/4/16]: #SAR #CentraleOperativa #GuardiaCostiera coordina soccorsi #CanalediSicilia. #NaveDattilo CP940 salva 143 #migranti
@ElFarodeCeuta [23/4/16]: 119 inmigrantes han logrado cruzar el espigón de Benzú ...
@ElFarodeCeuta [23/4/16]: Vídeo: Unos 70 inmigrantes llegan a Benzú ...
Everyday something beautiful ...
Music star John Legend and Colombian singer Juanes joined forces to sing to detained immigrants in Arizona.
On Wednesday morning, Juanes and Legend brought their music to the doors of Eloy Immigration Detention Center, where more than 1,500 incarcerated people are facing deportation proceedings.
The two sang as part of the #freeamerica campaign in a protest against "crimmigration."
The Grammy winners each played two songs separately and one together -- Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" -- as dozens of people sang along in Eloy, about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix.
Both singers were not allowed to sing inside the facilities. ... [Billboard - 20/1/16]
Day 36 of protests at Australia's concentration camp on Nauru
Image: @InsurrectNews [24/4/16]
Free the Children NAURU [23/4/16]:
They have lowered the fence because they want you to think we are not locked up.
Don't they know that the threat of punishment from the intimidating security, the threat of jail for protesting and taking photos and the deep ocean surrounding the 8sq mile tiny island is like maximum security prison with a twisted psychological torment?
You can be locked behind a line drawn in the sand if there is a gun pointed at your head!
... We call on all reading this to make calls and representations wherever they can. We particularly call on all journalists and media workers, Behrouz is one of you. ...
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites [24/4/16]:
UPDATE: 5.50pm EST Behrouz Boochani has come down from the tree of his own accord.
The spokesperson from Foxtrot says: 'He came down after 10 hours. He is successful because no one touched him and he is still in Foxtrot'.
Behrouz came down from the tree on the condition that the 'immigration boss' come and speak to him and guarantee not to move him.
I am told that this guarantee has been made and that Behrouz will not move him from Foxtrot. ...
Behrouz will make a statement later and we will keep you updated.
“The world was born yearning to be a home for everyone.”
Harsha Walia keynote at the End Detention conference, Baltimore [AUDIO - 23/4/16]:
Harsha Walia spoke about reframing the immigrant rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, state building, and racialized empire.
How can our mobilizing against immigrant detention build on and strengthen alliances with movements against prison and police abolition, war and imperialism, and all forms of oppression?
Harsha Walia is a South Asian activist, writer and educator.
Formally trained in the law, for the past fifteen years she has been active in grassroots anti-racist, migrant justice, Indigenous solidarity, anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist movements.
She has presented to the United Nations on issues of detention, homelessness and violence against women.
Harsha is the author of Undoing Border Imperialism and has been called “one of Canada’s most brilliant and effective political organizers” by Naomi Klein.
Amplifying voices from detention - presentation by Will Coley [Prezi - 24/4/16]
Montagnard asylum seeker commits suicide at UN-provided guesthouse [Phnom Penh Post – 22/4/16]:
The body of a Montagnard asylum seeker, who committed suicide at his UN-provided guesthouse on Wednesday, has been cremated at a pagoda in the capital, according to police.
Kpa Thanh, one of 172 asylum seekers from the Vietnamese central highlands staying in accommodation provided by, and receiving food support from, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, was found in his room in Choam Chao commune, in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district.
The 41-year-old hanged himself, said Choam Chao commune deputy police chief Ngor Serey, who said the man suffered from a chronic illness.
Hundreds of members of the minority group crossed into Cambodia last year from Vietnam, where they face persecution for their Christian beliefs.
Yesterday, Mom Sophanarith, deputy director of the Refugee Department, said about 100 of the 190 Montagnard asylum seekers had been registered and interviewed.
Sophanarith was unable to give a timeline regarding a decision on their asylum applications.
“We are interviewing them one by one, but I can not tell the results now,” he said.
With a curtain drawn to obscure his appearance and his likeness pixellated on court monitors as a protective measure, former killing fields guard Tay Teng testified at the Khmer Rouge tribunal yesterday on the atrocities he witnessed – and was at times party to – during the Democratic Kampuchea regime.
Teng, now in his late fifties, told the court about summary murders at the Choeung Ek killing fields on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, and described the disembodied screams he heard emanating from S-21, the regime’s infamous prison where he once stood guard. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 22/4/16]
Suspected US child abuser arrested in Phnom Penh [Cambodia Daily - 23/4/16]:
... Maj. Gen. Seila said Mr. Erdmann moved to Cambodia about five years and would likely be deported next week.
According to court records, a man named Eric Erdmann, of the same age, was charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse in Oregon’s Multnomah County in 2010.
A Facebook profile under the name Eric Erdmann — confirmed by Maj. Gen. Heisela to be same Mr. Erdmann who was arrested — says he teaches at Phnom Penh’s Pannasastra University.
Photographs posted to the page show him humping a lion sculpture at the Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap province and later fondling the stone breasts of an Apsara bas-relief, all while wearing camouflage fatigues.
His cover photo includes an image of a large-caliber rifle with a silencer and high-powered scope alongside the words “Don’t Tread on Me,” an American Revolution-era motta adopted by various right-wing groups. ...
Government halts migration to Thailand for four months [Cambodia Daily - 22/4/16]
1,000s of Bangladesh workers demand justice on third anniversary of Rana Plaza disaster [The Straits Times - 24/4/16]
A university professor has been hacked to death in Bangladesh, in an attack police say is similar to killings of secular bloggers and atheists by suspected Islamist extremists.
AFM Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, was a professor of English at Rajshahi University in the country's north-west.
He was attacked with machetes as he left home to go to work. ... [BBC - 23/4/16]
Protesters in Nepal's capital Kathmandu vented their anger and frustration on Sunday, urging the government to hasten the speed of reconstruction and recovery in the wake of the massive Apr 25 earthquake in 2015.
The "Open the Gate" march by protesters on a government compound in Kathmandu, called for the authorities to work alongside the people to help speed up the slow pace of reconstruction in the quake-devastated country.
In response, the authorities opened the compound gates to the protesters, which numbered around 200.
They then held a minute's silence to commemorate the first anniversary of the disaster. ... [Channel News Asia - 24/4/16]
Authorities are performing an autopsy on the body of the inmate whose death triggered a riot and a massive fire inside the Banceuy Narcotics Prison in Bandung, West Java, on Saturday morning.
His family and fellow inmates have dismissed the prison management's conclusion that he committed suicide.
The riot broke out at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday morning after inmates learned that Undang Kosim, 54, had been found dead in his cell at 1.30 a.m. H
undreds of prisoners started throwing rocks at the guards before they set fire to prison officials' offices.
An inmate told Tempo.co that they suspect Undang was tortured in an effort to get him to confess that he had tried to smuggle drugs into the prison. ... [Jakarta Globe - 24/4/16]
China has agreed with Brunei, Cambodia and Laos that the South China Sea territorial dispute should not affect relations between China and the Association of South East Asian National (ASEAN), China's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday. ... [Channel News Asia - 24/4/16]
North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast on Saturday, South Korea said, amid concerns that the isolated state might conduct a nuclear test or a missile launch ahead of a ruling party meeting in May. ... [Reuters - 23/4/16]
Woman dies following suspected violent domestic attack in Bundeena [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/4/16]
A man has been found stabbed to death in the Hobart suburb of Sandy Bay and an injured woman taken to hospital.
Police were called to a house in French Street about 4:00am where they found the man's body with knife wounds.
The woman also had stab injuries and she is in a serious but stable condition in Royal Hobart Hospital.
Police do not think anyone else was involved.
Detectives and forensics officers have spent the day combing the property, which is close to the University of Tasmania campus. Police would not reveal any details about the man's death, other than to say it was a complex investigation. ... [ABC - 24/4/16]
Police have charged a boy following an incident on Mornington Island.
It will be alleged around 2.15am, a man and a girl were struck with an oar and a woman was punched in the face following an altercation at a residence.
A 38-year-old man was been airlifted to Townsville Hospital with serious facial injuries.
The two others did not seek medical treatment.
Those involved are known to each other.
A 15-year-old boy has been charged with one count each of assault occasioning bodily harm, assault occasioning bodily harm whilst armed and grievous bodily harm.
He will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1992 Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day. [QPS Media - 24/4/16]
A man has been charged following an alleged stabbing in Slade Point early this morning.
It will be alleged that just after 2am, two men were involved in a physical altercation in Slade Point Road in which one of the pair sustained stab wounds to his lower chest and abdomen.
Moments earlier, a 53-year-old man had allegedly repeatedly rammed a car he was driving into the passenger door of a 58-year-old man’s car.
The 58-year-old was transported to Mackay Base Hospital for treatment where he has undergone surgery and remains in a serious but stable condition.
A 53-year-old Slade Point man has been charged with grievous bodily harm and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
He is due to appear in the Mackay Magistrates Court tomorrow.
Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day. [QPS Media - 24/4/16]
Fatal traffic crash, Kurwongbah [QPS Media - 24/4/16]
A woman's body has been found at a notoriously dangerous stretch of coastline on the Central Coast.
About 10.30am on Sunday emergency services were called to Snapper Point after a woman's body was found lying face down inside the blow hole.
Police and Westpac Rescue Helicopter officers recovered the body and a crime scene was established. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 24/4/16]
Officer allegedly pinned by car, man savaged by police dog, Carrara [Brisbane Times - 24/4/16]
1,000s protest in Hanover ahead of Obama visit [Deutsche Welle - 23/4/16]
Russia delivers 30 tons of humanitarian aid to Ecuador [Ecuador Times - 23/4/16]
... At least 580 people died in the 7.8 magnitude quake that shook Ecuador's coast last week, and over 8,000 people were injured.
In the worst-affected areas, approximately 40,000 people still need emergency relief items, such as tents and jerry cans.
These people are particularly at risk, as many are refugees from neighbouring Colombia.
Ecuador is the biggest refugee-hosting country in Latin America, providing international protection to over 200,000 Colombian refugees, many of whom had settled in the earthquake-affected areas. ... [UNHCR Media Release - 22/4/16]
Rousseff avoids the word 'coup' at the UN, but admits the grave moment Brazil is undergoing [Merco Press - 23/4/16]
... Brazil is Australia’s largest trading partner in South America and our largest source of in-bound students outside of Asia. ... Celebrating Australian arts and culture in Brazil [Foreign Minister Media Release - 21/4/16]
Twelve people were arrested overnight during clashes between police and demonstrators around Place de la République, the Paris square where protesters have been holding nightly rallies for the past three weeks.
Riot police fired teargas to disperse a group of around 100 people who tried to break through police lines around the square in central Paris, police said in a statement on Saturday.
A police car was torched during the clashes, which erupted shortly after midnight, the statement said.
No injuries were reported.
The clashes mark the latest flare-up on the sidelines of the largely peaceful "Nuit Debout" (Up All Night) gatherings, which began on March 31 in protest at the government's proposed labour reforms and have since grown to encompass a range of grievances, from the plight of migrants to tax evasion. ... [France 24 - 23/4/16]
Protests continue in Macedonia [Independent Balkan News Agency - 22/4/16]
An interesting day observing Queensland's Attorney-General take away a key remnant of our democracy ----> Third year QUT student Meagan began her Justice Journey yesterday by spending the day with the Attorney-General ... via @justiceQLD [21/4/16]
... Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath told Fairfax Media on April 13, through a spokesman, that compulsory preferential voting was "not something that's under active consideration at the moment".
That changed in dramatic fashion just eight days later, on Thursday night, when the Palaszczuk government introduced an amendment to the Liberal National Party opposition's bill to increase the size of the Parliament. ... [Brisbane Times - 23/4/16]
During the last election campaign, the Queensland Greens urged voters to number every box and put the LNP last. At the very least, they should respond to this radical change. ---> “Appalling, "opportunistic”, and a return to “the bad old days of Queensland politics”. That’s how experienced political analysts have described the “partisan game-playing” that unexpectedly ended on Thursday night with a vote to make Queenslanders number every box on their ballot paper at the next state election. ... [The Conversation - 22/4/16]
Queensland lawyer accused of misconduct [Nine MSN – 22/4/16]:
A high-profile lawyer should have known tendered material accusing Queensland's now chief justice of criminal activity was defamatory, a court has heard.
Michael Bosscher is facing disciplinary action after new Chief Justice Catherine Holmes filed a complaint against the solicitor for professional misconduct.
Mr Bosscher appeared before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on Friday, where his legal team defended his decision to tender a document called The Rofe QC Audit of the Heiner Affair at a Child Protection Commission of Inquiry in 2012.
The document contained allegations Justice Holmes had engaged in corruption when she was a barrister assisting a child abuse inquiry.
The 2500-page document called for Justice Holmes - who in 2012 sat on the Queensland Supreme Court of Appeal - to remove herself from the bench.
The Legal Services Commission filed a lawsuit against Mr Bosscher on the grounds he should not have tendered the document because it was scandalous.
Glen Rice QC said Mr Bosscher "failed to exercise appropriate forensic judgment" by tabling something he should have known was defamatory.
"The respondent is an expert in the practice of criminal law," he said.
Mr Rice QC argued the document was not relevant to the inquiry, but said even if it was Mr Bosscher should have made an application for discretion because of the sensitive nature of the material.
Mr Bosscher conceded he knew about the claims contained in the document and that they were unfounded.
But barrister Peter Davis QC said his client had an obligation to tender the report because it was in the best interests of his client.
Mr Davis QC said the document was already publicly available and it was up to the commissioner or his team to redact the allegations or issue a non-publication order before it went on the inquiry website.
NSW Judge Clifton Hoeben, who was called in to preside over the hearing, reserved his judgment until a later date.
If Mr Bosscher is found guilty of professional misconduct, lawyers for both parties will lodge submissions about appropriate punishments, before a final decision is made by Justice Hoeben.
The stand for nothing Australian political and media establishment are blacking this out because Behrouz has outclassed them all!
I'm here for my political values, and western civilisation values.
Behrouz Boochani [VIDEO - via RAPBS - 24/4/16]
Behrouz remains in the tree.
The guards are ignoring him at the moment.
The men continue to support his stance.
Behrouz asks that any representation of him "by other is strong and shows me as human rights defender with a voice, with strength and intelligence not as a voiceless victim".
As Suvendrini Perera writes in the Stand With Behrouz statement by RAPBS: his is an 'indomitable spirit ... it will not be broken'.
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites [24/4/16]:
... These photographs stand as poignant testimony to Boochani’s indomitable spirit.
His fragile body has been wracked by years of starvation, pain and illness and subjected to cruel and inhumane conditions of confinement in the infamous Chauka isolation cell.
Yet it will not be broken.
What we see in these photographs is evidence of Behrouz Boochani’s unshakable moral force and fighting spirit. ...
Photos of support for Behrouz Boochani (who is in a tree highlighting his fight for humanity )sent from men in Foxtrot compound on Manus. Titled: We are with you Behrouz. And 'With you even in rain'. [via RAPBS - 24/4/16]
International media covers refugee's defiant protest at Australian concentration camp on Manus Island [Guardian - 24/4/16]
Greens and human rights groups.
Your silence is helping the LNP and ALP cover up their exile and disappearance of tortured refugees.
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites Media Release [24/4/16]:
Behrouz Boochini resists, climbs a tree in the Foxtrot Compound in Australia's black site on Manus Island.
Mr Boochani has climed a tree in the Foxtrot compound in order to stand against what he terms as a 'new form of slavery' which he has recently criticially examined in his article A Critical Silence published on RAPBS website.
A spokesperson for Boochani who is also detained in our black sit says Mr Boochani 'wants to show that he will not comply with Australia's cruel offshore policy and current relocations. He does not want to kill himself or ham himself but instead to fight for humanity. VIVA Freedom'.
Mr Boochani, has chosen to resist the farcical conferring of a positive refugee status by PNG immigration upon him even as he has refused to give his claim for asylum to PNG.
He has climbed the tree and remains there.
'I left my country because I am a liberal writer and I will always fight for democratic values even with my body', he writes.
RAPBC finds Mr Boochani's identification of the use of his body in order to resist striking and hope it is met with the gravity it deserves.
Mr Boochani has requested that RAPBS send out the following statement to the media:
Tomorrow morning [24th April] they will move me to Oscar. I want to resist. They must take me by force. They said 'you only have 15 minuses. If you resist we will take you by PNG police by force.'
I received a positive refugee status determination on 18 April 2016 from the PNG immigration.
I arrived in Australia 3 years ago and asked Australia for asylum under international law.
The Labor government of Australia exiled me to their prison camp in Manus Island PNG by force.
I have been imprisoned here for almost 3 years and have been under a lot of pressure fill in the protection application in PNG but I have constantly denied to do so.
I did not arrive in PNG and did never give the PNG government my case for asylum.
I have never wanted to resettle in this country.
This is part of my fight. I have worked hard and tirelessly during the last 3 years to send out Manus voice. I worte lots of articles and pieces in my real name and fake name. I have worked hard with film-makers, felllow journalists, organisations and lawyers but now I want to send out Manus voice by my body. I don't have any other way.
I don't want to lose my personality. I don't want to be nameless detainee. By the 19 July law our legal status hs been suspended and we become legally un-nameable beings.
We are made into non-beings without dignity.
Think of Hamid Khazaei, his body was used to violently send a message to the world'.
This is a fight for Western democratic values of freedom, equality, the right to safety, the right to asylum, the right to freedom of speech and movement, and mutual respect.
I will resist not for my self but for humanity values.
I left my country because I am a liberal writer and I will always fight for democratic values even with my body.
I fight to show people that Australia has tortured people in this hell prison for three years.
RAPBS will release a further statement later in the day.
... Behrouz told the Refugee Action Coalition, “I have never accepted their positive result. I want to show to all people that their process is fake. Where would you find an asylum seeker who would rather be in a ‘negative’ prison than be found to be a refugee? Only in Manus.” ... [Media Release - 24/4/16]
UNHCR Australia branch's recent trip to Manus gives Australia another tick of approval? ... Representatives from the UNHCR visited the Manus Island detention centre last week and met the men detained there.
The UNHCR in Australia has been approached for comment. ... [Guardian - 18/4/16]
UNHCR "welcomes" Australia's lies about releasing refugees on Nauru [5/10/15]
... Lawyers in PNG are seeking to raise the issue at the next directions hearing in regard to the Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby tomorrow, Thursday, 21 April. ... [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - [20/4/16]
Take action for Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani [PEN - 10/12/15]:
PEN International is deeply concerned by the detention of Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who has been held in Australia’s offshore Immigration Detention Centre on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea for the past two years.
He has sought asylum is Australia since July 2013.
Boochani worked for several Iranian newspapers including Kasbokar Weekly, Khanoon, Etemad and the Iranian Sports Agency, Boochani co-founded, -edited, wrote for, and published the Kurdish magazine Varia (Werya), where he was able to champion Kurdish culture and language.
On 17 February 2013, officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps ransacked the Varia offices in Ilam and arrested 11 of his colleagues. Several were subsequently imprisoned.
Mr Boochani was in Tehran that day and so avoided arrest. On hearing of the arrests, he published the information on the website Iranian Reporters, and his report was widely circulated.
Mr Boochani feared for his safety and went into hiding eventually deciding to flee Iran on 23 May 2013.
While in detention, Boochani continues to write and publish articles in Kurdish publications.
He has also served as a vital source of information flowing out of the detention centre to the media ...
Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and an honorary member of PEN International, writes from Manus Island, where he has been interned for 29 months [AIM - 10/12/15]:
... When I was in the Foxtrot camp, groans and cries of miserable, homeless human beings broke the dark silence of the island.
Once I climbed up a big tree to attempt to see why the people were crying.
Looking down I saw a very distressing scene. A thin boy who suffers from psychological problems had fallen into the ooze and slime near the fence. I could not tell if he was conscious.
His beaten face was clear under the weak lamp light. He lay like a foetus in the uterus. His clothes were ragged and scruffy.
Four ERT guards were sitting on chairs just beyond where he lay watching his bloody body.
One of them caressed the prisoner’s body with a thin piece of wood in his hands.
... The trouble for us journalists is that there is no neutral turf, no safe ground from which to report. As much as we abhore and condemn the executions of James and Steven, it was George Bush who set the ground rules in the wake of 9/11 when he declared that you’re either with us or with the terrorists. That single statement made it impossible for reporters to hold to the principles of balance and fairness without being accused of acting as an agent for the enemy.
Al Jazeera learned that to its cost when the US hit its offices in Baghdad during the invasion to oust Saddam. And in Afghanistan one of its cameramen, Sami al Haj, was arrested. He spent seven years in Guantanamo Bay before being released without charge.
Since the War on Terror began, all manner of abuse of journalists and attacks on human rights and press freedoms have been excused as necessary evils, and by governments across the globe. It almost feels like a kind of globalised McCarthyism, where simply invoking terrorism is enough, in some cases, to get away with murder. ...
Peter Greste’s Keynote Speech for the Frontline Club 2014 Awards Ceremony [16/10/14]
Peter Greste says Julie Bishop’s death stare helped get him out of prison [Buzzfeed - 26/3/15]
... Mark Isaacs highlight the targeting of writers: “the Nauruan police took Dev away from the camp in handcuffs. They said to him, ‘Goodbye Mr Journalist’, an implication that this was revenge for him having contact with Australian media”.
Behrouz Boochani writes in a report to the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders: One time they put me in the jail after the hunger strike. You know in Foxtrot we had no violence at that time. I was in jail just for reporting to the outside about the hunger strike. He writes further, in a private letter, I remember when they moved me from the Lorengau jail to Charlie the officers said: “He is in here because he is a journalist”. ... [AIM - 15/11/15]
Australia's 'beautiful prison' in Papua New Guinea, Fariba Sahraei [VIDEO – BBC – 18/2/15]:
... "Imagine a large and real cage in the most isolated island, surrounded by ocean and jungle and tall coconut trees," says Omid, a 25-year-old Iranian.
"No doubt our prison is the most beautiful prison in the world."
Omid is not exaggerating. Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea (PNG), is small and rugged, covered in thick jungle, and the coastline is stunning.
It's home to around 50,000 islanders - but also to about 1,000 detained asylum seekers who never wanted to be here and are mostly desperate to get out and go anywhere except back where they came from.
Until mid-2013, Omid was a journalist in Iran. He fled the country under the threat of arrest, paying traffickers a small fortune to take him to Australia.
Like many asylum seekers setting off from Indonesia, Omid headed for Christmas Island, a tiny Australian territory much closer than the mainland.
Despite reaching Australian borders, he was relocated to an overcrowded detention centre on Manus Island, where he has been stuck for the last 18 months.
Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island: A film by Lukas Schrank - WINNER: Best Short Documentary, Melbourne International Film Festival 2015 ...
... Australia’s refugee policy doesn’t just affect refugees.
The public has much to fear from politicians who are ready to countenance the barbarism to other human beings we have been witnessing. ...
Nick Riemer [The Guardian - 19/1/15]
AQAP identifies two Australian fighters killed in drone strike [Long War Journal - 16/4/16]
... Harvard’s stepfather said in June 2014 his stepson arrived in Yemen in 2011 to teach English and had his passport cancelled, “so he had to stay”. ... [Guardian - 17/4/16]
FOI [14/4/16] DFAT response to media enquiry ... about deaths in Yemen
Medieval exile laws passed in December 2015 make it easier to take Australians' passports away.
No justice for these people under Turnbull OR Shorten. Resist both or expect worse. FREE THE REFUGEES! [Guardian - 13/4/16]
RANZCP has been the only Australian professional medical association to officially respond to the conviction of a refugee on Nauru for attempted suicide. Human rights groups remain silent. [Media Release - 15/4/16]
24 April 2016