Australian anti-refugee policies are creating a bottleneck and subsequent flowon human rights atrocities


... UNHCR Representative Thomas Albrecht told Ref Coord he had had to deliver a stern warning to the refugees: either shape up or he will ask the GOG [Government of Ghana] to post several military officers inside the camp. To emphasize the seriousness of his message, he suspended all UNHCR services to Budumburam during the week of May 1-7. ...





 Mountz: image showing #Australia's onshore and offshore #detention sites ...  Image:  ‏@AudraLMitchell [12/11/15]



Reuters - 24/5/16]:

Rights groups called on Tuesday for an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar who was involved in a dramatic mass breakout from a detention center in southern Thailand.

Twenty-one Rohingya men escaped from the Phang Nga Immigration Detention Center in the early hours of Monday after sawing through an iron bar in their communal cell.

One was shot dead and three caught after they kicked, pushed and threw stones at police and immigration officers who chased them up a nearby mountain, police said.

Eleven more Rohingya were arrested on Tuesday and will be charged with fleeing detention, police said. Another four are still missing.

Police are investigating the shooting but several rights groups called for an independent inquiry.

"The police need to demonstrate that a legitimate cause existed to justify the use of lethal force against a group of refugees," said Amy Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights based in Southeast Asia.

Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled poverty and persecution in western Myanmar since sectarian violence erupted there in 2012.

Many have been arrested by Thai authorities or ended up in human trafficking camps in the jungles of southern Thailand as they tried to reach Malaysia.

Most Rohingya are stateless and unrecognized by the two countries they call home - Bangladesh and Myanmar.

This complicates repatriation and can lead to lengthy spells in overcrowded Thai detention centers, which Rohingya often try to escape.

Rights groups urged Thailand to end the indefinite detention of refugees and human trafficking survivors - some of whom have been in detention for two years - and warned there would be further breakouts.

"This will happen a second time, a third time," said Siwawong Suktawee of the Migrant Working Group Thailand, a network of non-profits advocating for migrants and refugees.

"During Ramadan, which begins in June, that is when families normally get together, and I think the pressure of their detention may cause the situation to explode again," he said.

The Migrant Working Group Thailand said more than 400 Rohingya were held in Thai detention centers.

The U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said they would work with the Thai authorities to find alternatives to detention.

"It's deeply tragic that a refugee life should have been lost. This incident underscores UNHCR's serious concerns on a worldwide basis over the use of detention for dealing with people forced to flee war or persecution," UNHCR spokeswoman Vivian Tan said by email. ... <--- What a crock of shit.  The sham Bali Process - supported by the UNHCR - has allowed "durable solutions" of detention, deportation and death to flourish across South East Asia.



As Bali Process condemns 1,000s of refugees in South East Asia to indefinite detention, refoulement and genocide --->  UNHCR leadership "pins hopes" on democracy in Myanmar and "repatriation" -  calls on Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to sign the refugee convention, while ignoring the role of Australia's exclusionary policies in creating the bottleneck [23/3/16]



South East Asia refugee and migrant genocide can continue being covered up with weasel words and the complicity of a racist, victim blaming media [UNHCR Media Release - 4/12/15]



US Envoy on Refugees, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia [Anne Richard] press conference with UNHCR and IOM fobs off concerns about Myanmar human rights abuses and refugee exodus [3/6/15]:


... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess. The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.

You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.

And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.

But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country. So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...




Yahoo [1/6/15]:


... 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. ...




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.






... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.

Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.

Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."

Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...




Important lecture about seeking asylum - and how Australia is trashing the UN Refugee Convention ----> Professor Alison Mountz, of Harvard University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, responds to and challenges the crisis narratives unfolding in the media as she discusses political struggles over the erosion of asylum taking place globally. This talk explores shifting geographies of migration and border enforcement in major transit sites where migrants and asylum seekers seek entry and protection. The talk dwells in islands and enforcement archipelagos, offshore sites where struggles over entry and exclusion transpire and where the infrastructure of border enforcement and detention are growing. ... [VIDEO - Centre for International Governance Innovation - 12/11/15]



Teenager detained by ICE as part of Operation Border Guardian faces deportation to Honduras [Democracy Now - 24/5/16]:


Students at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, are gathering on Capitol Hill today to demand the release of their undocumented classmate, 19-year-old Wildin Acosta.

Acosta was detained by immigration agents in January while he was on his way to class. He had no criminal record and was in his final semester of high school. Acosta’s family is from Olancho, Honduras, one of the most violent regions in a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Wildin was scheduled to be deported in March, but his teachers and peers gathered together, held vigils, lobbied their local representatives and took to social media.

Wildin Acosta remains detained in Georgia’s notorious Stewart Detention Center. He is one of several teens in North Carolina—sometimes referred to as the "NC6"—who have been targeted by Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents as part of the Obama administration’s Operation Border Guardian.

All this comes amid reports that ICE is launching a brand new month-long campaign of raids specifically aimed at rounding up and deporting undocumented Central American mothers and children.

We’re joined from Washington, D.C., by Paromita Shah, the associate director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and Axel Herrera, a senior at Riverside High School in Durham, North Carolina, where Wildin Acosta was also a student. ...




Day 66 refugee protests on Nauru









Image:  ‏@SuchNigel [24/5/16]




New York Times joins Financial Times in calling on Australia to close its illegal refugee concentration camps ----> ... Perhaps “offshore processing” was supposed to afford the government plausible deniability.

Australia would pay billions of dollars to poor Nauru and poor Papua New Guinea to take a big problem off its hands. But in reality there can be no plausible deniability.

On the contrary, by any ethical standard, the policy engages Australian responsibility for cruelty.

... Bring those stranded in Nauru and on Manus Island, many of whose refugee claims have already been deemed legitimate, to Australia.

Treat them with humanity as their demands for permanent settlement are assessed.

Scrap a policy that shames a nation with its pointless cruelty. [New York Times - 23/5/16]




Weekly Public Vigil:   Weekly vigil at Flinders St Station steps on Fridays from 5.30 to 6.30pm.

Please come and show your solidarity with the refugees trapped in Nauru and Manus




Please stop using refugee men, women and children to get pro-detention pro-torture ALP politicians elected.



Image:  ‏@shanebazzi [23/5/16]: Day 11 of protests on #Manus "Every death in PNG and #Nauru is blood on your hand" @TurnbullMalcolm @PeterDutton_MP  <---  This impliedly endorses the ALP, and therefore perpetuates detention and torture.




We're ignoring your letter, but #StaySafeStayStrong until we get Richard Marles, Chris Bowen and Tony Burke elected!




Adam Bandt attacks Peter Dutton and the policy of offshore detention more broadly closing with "can't we do better than the Labor/Liberal policy of not drowning but burning" And then before Dutton even starts talking, Labor's Tony Burke interjects with some bs about it being 'unparliamentary' and 'offensive'.

You know what's ~actually~ offensive? People committing suicide and self-harming in detention facilities that BOTH major parties have allowed to remain open instead of processing refugees onshore like literally every other country. How fucking dare he. [VIDEO - Axeris Sondyre - 3/5/16]




... They want your fuckin' retirement money. They want it BACK. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it ALL from you sooner or later -- 'cuz they OWN this fuckin' place. It's a big CLUB. And YOU AIN'T IN IT. You and I are NOT IN the big club. ...



George Carlin





Australian Financial Review [24/5/16]:



Actuaries have warned the Palaszczuk Labor government about raiding Queensland's $34 billion defined benefits scheme for public servants, saying it could leave them financially exposed if the sharemarket tanked.

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Tuesday confirmed the Palaszczuk government was considering using its superannuation scheme to pay down debt and build infrastructure. ...




New political earthquake in Brazil:  Is it now time for media outlets to call this a “coup”? [The Intercept - 24/5/16]




Sydney siege inquest: Police did not enter cafe earlier as first shot was in air, not at hostages [ABC - 24/5/16]




A police commander in charge during the final hours of the Lindt Cafe Sydney siege was told during a handover briefing the hostages were "jovial", an inquest has heard.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Jenkins was the Police Operations Centre Commander as the 17-hour siege involving gunman Man Haron Monis and 18 hostages came to an end in December 2014. ... [ABC - 23/5/16]



Victorian woman stomped and left in police cell without pants [Nine MSN - 24/5/16]



Two women have died following a horror two-vehicle crash involving a truck and a car on Mount Flinders Road at Peak Crossing. ... [Yahoo - 23/5/16]



Murdoch Press sets up another "have mercy on me Minister Dutton with your executive powers" exploitative media stunt [Yahoo - 24/5/16]:


... Her mother Cheryl Webb, 51, told NewsCorp her daughter had been drug-free for the length of her sentence and had ‘pulled it together’ for her family. ...




Aboriginal woman blocked from Queensland's Parliament House over flag on T-shirt [Brisbane Times - 24/5/16]




As long as you're not a refugee on Nauru.  --->  Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters, the party's spokeswoman on women, said abortion across Australia should be "legal, accessible and affordable".

"Access to abortion is part of every woman's right to make decisions about her own body," she said. ... [Brisbane Times - 24/5/16]  Go away Queensland "Greens".  This election, I will #VOTEINFORMAL



‏@Jay_Williams003 [22/5/16]:  The hearing of S99 in the High Court tomorrow has been adjourned until 31 May 2016 - please spread the word.



International Criminal Court:


“Crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:




deportation or forcible transfer of population;



rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds;

enforced disappearance of persons;

the crime of apartheid;

other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.




Whereabouts of Hodan remain a mystery as ABC Brisbane asks protected and unaccountable Foreign Minister what her fave karaoke song is. ---> @612Brisbane [24/5/16]:  "Do I have to admit this? Dancing Queen. A little bit of ABBA goes a long way at karaoke" - @JulieBishopMP ...




Cambodia preys on Nauru refugees because the Australian human rights establishment are negligent in advocating their rights --->  Cambodia makes more noises about pressuring refugees to succumb to exile and disappearance [Cambodia Daily - 24/5/16]:

... On Monday, immigration department director Sok Phal said plans were tentatively being made for Cambodian officials to visit Nauru next month, but that there was no fixed date for the trip.

“The plan is June,” he said.

General Phal said Australia, which runs the Nauru camps, requested a brief delay to the trip. He referred further questions to the Australian government, which did not reply to a request for comment. Tan Sovichea, who heads the immigration department’s refugee unit, said both of the new volunteers were from Iran.

“We have a plan to send three officials to Nauru to interview the two Iranians, but I do not yet know when the trip will be because the interior minister has not yet made a decision,” he said. ...



Open letter to UNHCR from Nauru refugees questions motive of their April visit, calls for GENUINE resettlement after three years of punishment and torture [OP Voice - 2/5/16]:


... They tried to encourage refugees to utilise the one and only option (Cambodia) to go and live there but on the other side, refugees did not want to be misused again as laboratory rats ...

Cambodia's offer from Australian immigration to Nauru refugees have proved that Nauru does no have abilities for local integration.


The purpose of NO ADVANTAGE and PACIFIC SOLUTION policies for refugees [who are] described as queue jumpers to be punished in underdeveloped countries and be processed as long as it will take for refugees who applied for UNHCR resettlement process from Indonesia that attest take 3 to 4 years to get an answer. 

The difference between us and refugees who are in Indonesia is that we have been processed in DETENTION CENTRE under mouldy tents. ...

 We can witness a processing case from a refugee that applied UNHCR in July 2013 in Indonesia who has been accepted and will be resettled in Australia next week, but Nauru refugees still located in Nauru and they are just eligible enough to tolerate the discrimination from UNHCR processing system.

This strategy has proved to all Nauru refugee that the time of the torture is over and all refugees deserve to be transferred as soon as possible to the 28 UNHCR countries so they can start their new life if they are still mentally and physically healthy.

In conclusion, we are asking from UNHCR to arrange a resettlement in the 27 UNHCR countries except Australia. 

But it is obvious that regarding to UNHCR, absence of visiting Guantanamo, government of Australia have used the opportunity to cover some of the problems and disasters therefore it is fair for us to doubt on your visitation of Nauru after all these years for another political games. 

We are going to publish this news so at least you can answer media and reporters' questions. ...



Why did the UNHCR tell Nauru refugees they'd be imprisoned for 10 years?



And why is it acceptable to the international community that Australia refuses to take refugees? Don't look for the answer here --->  Al Jazeera holds refugee to account for being exiled by Australia from Nauru concentration camp to Cambodia  [VIDEO - 1/4/16]



Australia's multi million dollar refugee exile deal with Cambodia is no joke [BBC – 18/9/15]:


... When the first four refugees arrived in June, they were swiftly taken to a gated villa on a quiet street in southern Phnom Penh, where they have been sequestered ever since.

They have had limited contact with outsiders, including other people living in the neighbourhood.

Officials at the International Organization for Migration who are assisting the refugees will not be drawn on their daily activities, citing privacy concerns.

Sister Denise Coghlan, who heads up the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Cambodia, has extensive experience in welcoming refugees to the country, as well as assisting them in settling in to life here.

But she says by email: "We offered to welcome them and take them out, but received no response."

One Rohingya refugee in Phnom Penh says the refugee experience could be lonely, frightening and stressful, but that he and two other Rohingya there wanted to meet the new arrival to dissuade him from going back.

When he first arrived, he took refuge in a mosque. His own application for asylum took more than three years to process and he has lived, for the past five years, in a dank room in an underground alleyway.

During Cambodia's months-long rainy season, the room floods frequently.

"If I went back home, the government would kill me," says one Rohingya refugee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears for the safety of his family in Myanmar.

"A few months ago, one of my uncles was killed in Rakhine state, but I didn't share this with anyone, because I want to keep my privacy.

"Cambodia is very, very hard to survive. We don't have any proper documentation.

"Rohingya are not educated persons. For them, finding a job in Cambodian society is very, very hard.

"For restaurant work, you earn less than $5 a day. How can you survive?"

He says Cambodians often yell "Indian, Indian" at him in a manner he feels is derogatory. "They don't like me - they hate us," he says.

He has also been forced out of the small space where he used to set up his roti cart.

A second Rohingya refugee, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, says he was unable to register the birth of his new daughter, because a village chief was demanding a $50 (£32) bribe to sign certain documents.

The refugees simply don't have that kind of money. ...



Fate of Rohingya refugee exiled by Australia and IOM from Nauru to Cambodia now in hands of Myanmar government  [Phnom Penh Post - 8/9/15]



...The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is providing initial accommodation for the refugees and some services, yesterday suggested that media access to the refugees would not be forthcoming.

“Media exposure could potentially jeopardise protection needs of refugees and carries high level of risk to their families at home,” an IOM spokesman said.

 “While IOM can speak in general terms about what services will be available to refugees, IOM will not disclose any specific details about a refugee’s particular assistance.”

The group said last week that it had “villa-style” accommodation in Phnom Penh readied for the arrival of the four. ... [Phnom Penh Post - 28/5/15]




Letter from men illegally incarcerated by the LNP and ALP on Manus Island to PNG's Chief Justice (and cc'd to human rights organisations and Australian politicians), requests freedom, justice and GENUINE resettlement [via Lynne Murphy - 18/5/16]



Nearly a month after the PNG Supreme Court decision and London's Financial Times is still the only establishment voice calling on Australia to CLOSE its concentration camps and respect the UN Refugee Convention


... When Pacific Standard reached out to Nauru Ambassador Judith Cefkin for her thoughts on the refugee camp conditions, she sent back only a boilerplate response:

“We encourage all countries to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers.” ...


Nauru: A ‘Human Dumping Ground’, Julie Morse [Pacific Standard - 12/4/16]




... Dr. Thomas Albrecht is the Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra, with geographical responsibility for the region, which includes Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

Mr. Albrecht’s role is to work with governments and other partners to ensure all persons of concern to UNHCR, including refugees, asylum-seekers and stateless persons, receive protection, assistance and durable solutions to their plight.  ...  UNHCR Regional Representative visits UQ to discuss Migrant Smuggling [Media Release - 10/6/15]




Jeanie Walker, President - Australian Democrats SA [30/4/16]:


Here is something the men of Manus have asked me to share.

The Australia government period lost Australian reputation. Before three years in the world had a good reputation.

Now in the world majority country and majority people detesting Ausralia for the government.

In the world every where knew asylam seeker aren't smugglers, they left their country for governments oppression, Some people left for risky life and political case against their government and lots of dangerous life in their society.

Those are our reason asylam seekers came to Christmas island Australia. The Australia government sent us forcibly manus island, Nauru and Combodia spending lots of money and losing the country reputation.

If I thinking about both things the government and asylam seeker within us the government is a smuggler.

Asylam seekers are not smuggler, the Australia government smuggling asylam seeker other country .

Our opinion its true if you are thinking you are also will say true that .

Now We asking the Australian peoples who is smuggler asylam seeker or Australia government? ...




This is resettlement ---> A New Beginning in a Third Country [UNHCR] It is taboo for Australia's genocidal political, media and human rights establishment. 




This is treating refugees like human trash --->  Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the Government of Australia, relating to the transfer to, and assessment and settlement in, Papua New Guinea of certain persons, and related issues [6/8/13]  It has been ruled ILLEGAL by the PNG Supreme Court.




I DO NOT CONSENT.  I AM GOING TO #VOTEINFORMAL ---->  Albanese: Bipartisan war of attrition against refugees needs to move away from slogans [SBS - 24/5/16]




Last week Canada apologised for turning away a boat of migrants. [Democracy Now - 20/5/16]  Tony Jones, Albo and #QANDA are full of shit.




Why are professional health associations and unions silent about their members working in such unethical environments, and the insidious pursuit of whistleblowers? [Guardian - 24/5/16]:


... The documents also reveal that International SOS, the owner of detention health provider IHMS, provided evidence to the AFP early on in the police investigation.

The organisation provided an internal report into the disclosures undertaken by IHMS to the AFP in December 2014.

That document has been redacted by the AFP in part on the grounds that it might “prejudice the future supply of information to the AFP” if it were released. ...







Vietnamese refugees forcibly returned by Australia face jail (UNHCR may have mumbled something in 2014, but they say nothing now) [Guardian - 24/5/16]:


... On 22 April this year, the people’s court of La Gi commune, Binh Thuan province, sentenced Tran Thi Thanh Loan to three years’ imprisonment, her husband, Ho Trung Loi, to two years, Nguyen Thi Lien to three years and Nguyen Van Hai to two years, all under article 275 of the penal code, which is designed to combat human trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. ...




US Secretary of Homeland Security focusses on enforcement, "people smugglers" during Central America visit [teleSUR - 23/5/16]:


... In his statement to the media, Johnson reiterated his hard-line stance against irregular migration by people from Central America. 

“We must enforce U.S. immigration laws consistent with our enforcement priorities, and we will continue to do so.  Accordingly, in both El Salvador and Honduras, we continue to send migrants who have been ordered deported home at a rate of around 6 flights a week each,” said Johnson from San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

Johnson made no mention of the economic and social conditions in Honduras and El Salvador that is prompting so many to brave the perilous journey through Mexico to the United States.  ...




... The lawsuit seeks to understand how the electronic selection process works, what the process is for accepting or rejecting a petition in the lottery, how USCIS determines how many petitions to select in the lottery, how USCIS decides it has enough petitions to meet the numerical limits for petition approvals, how USCIS keeps track of visa number usage, and if USCIS actually allocates all of the available visa numbers. ... Lawsuit against DHS and USCIS seeks transparency in H-1B Lottery Process  [American Immigration Council - 23/5/16]




Greens candidate wins Austria presidency in tight race [US News - 23/5/16]




Venezuelan Leader Nicolas Maduro arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday night for talks with Prime Minister Keith Rowley, after having visited Jamaica where he signed various agreements, including one to improve the Caribbean island nation's refinery infrastructure. ... [teleSUR - 23/5/16]




Argentina unions plan protests as Macri rejects layoff freeze [teleSUR- 23/5/16]




People took to the streets in more than 400 cities on six continents Saturday for a global action against the agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Here in New York City, about 100 people marched against Monsanto’s use of the herbicide glyphosate, which some studies have shown may cause cancer. ... [Democracy Now - 23/5/16]




... Heriberto González: "I would like to say, each time you are eating, or each time you have something in your hands that you are going to eat, remember us, who do not have the rights that other workers have. And if you can, support us. We are going to be marching for another week and a few days. If you see us, it would be good if you support us by walking with us, maybe a couple of hours, one hour, for a day if you can. That would be very good." ... Farmworkers walking 200 miles to demand labor protections [Democracy Now - 23/5/16]




Source reveals how Pentagon ruined whistleblower's life and set stage for Snowden's leaks [Democracy Now - 23/5/16]:



... AMY GOODMAN: What gave you the courage to speak out? Talk about your family.

JOHN CRANE: Civil society is very important. And in any large society, that there is a compact between the governed and those who govern them, and there needs to be transparency, and that there needs to be accountability. And should you have the wrong balance, should you have an executive out of control, that can simply compromise everyone’s rights. And in the Germany after World War I, when you have lots of unemployed soldiers with a grievance following very talented sociopaths, you can have a really explosive combination, and that was Nazi Germany. My father [sic] served under the Weimar Republic, and that was the liberal German republic after—

MARK HERTSGAARD: Your grandfather.

JOHN CRANE: Grandfather, after the First World War, that he was actually based down in Munich. He was in charge to—charged to monitor radical elements. And when Hitler tried to seize power for the first time, Hitler tried to use force. And then, in the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, Hitler tried to seize the whole Bavarian government. Hitler walked into the beer hall and fired a gun into the ceiling, saying that he was taking control. My grandfather stepped in front of him, saying, "Mr. Hitler, this way he will never control Germany." And then Hitler simply put his gun down, went to the front, captured the whole senior leadership. My grandfather then helped to have the actual countercoup established, put down Hitler’s uprising, and then he was to trial—then he was a witness at the trial for the government that, of course, put him in jail.

AMY GOODMAN: And what happened to your grandfather?

JOHN CRANE: My grandfather, of course, wasn’t a fascist, that in 1933, when Mr. Hitler seized power, that he resigned, but he wasn’t allowed to resign. He was very active with the antifascist resistance, that my uncle was killed in Poland in 1939. And one of his friends was a young officer called Graf Claus Schenk von [Stauffenberg]. He was the man who actually put the suitcase beside Hitler in 1944 to have Hitler killed. And so, he was a family friend. And the issue is: Within any society, how does a person channel simply principled civil dissent within a Nazi dictatorship that accords violence? Within the system we have here, because it is a constitutional democracy, principled dissent needs to be channeled through the whistleblower system, because that will help senior management also seeing levels down. ...




Freddie Gray case: Baltimore Police Officer Edward Nero found not guilty of all charges [MSN - 28/5/16]




The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday effectively overturned a black man's 1987 conviction for murdering a white woman, rebuking Georgia prosecutors for unlawfully excluding black potential jurors in picking an all-white jury that condemned him to death.

The 7-1 ruling handed a major victory to Timothy Foster, who is 48 now and was 18 at the time of the 1986 killing of Queen Madge White, a 79-year-old retired schoolteacher, in Rome, Georgia. Prosecutors, however, still could seek a new trial. ... [Reuters - 23/5/16]




US releases Guantánamo prisoner after 14 years and no conviction [Boing Boing - 23/5/16]




24 May 2016