United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 25/8/16]
Nessun uomo è clandestino ---> A group of asylum seekers who live in a shelter in southern Italy have decided to donate some of their "pocket money" to victims of the devastating earthquake in central Italy.
The coordinator of the shelter in Gioiosa Ionica, Giovanni Maiolo, said the centre's 75 asylum seekers and refugees wanted to make a "small, symbolic gesture of solidarity" to help people displaced by the 6.2-magnitude quake that killed at least 247 people. ... [Mashable - 25/8/16]
Seven Turkish citizens have reportedly approached Greek authorities in Alexandroupoli in northern Greece and also on the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes to request asylum, Kathimerini has learned.
In Alexandroupoli, a couple, both university professors, and their two children are seeking protection from alleged persecution in Turkey.
They are believed to have entered the country via the northeastern border, possibly crossing Evros River by boat. ... [Kathimerini - 25/8/16]
Migrants rescued from sandbank off Kent coast [BBC - 25/8/16]
@mpodil [25/8/16]: Afghan #refugee sends a powerful message to Europeans ...
Day 159 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [25/8/16]
We Care Nauru [24/8/16]:
Dear world, we have the pleasure of introducing to you the work of Abbas Alaboudi, an Iraqi refugee who fled persecution only to be imprisoned on Nauru by the Australian Government for the past 3 years.
We hope and pray this cruelty will end soon, but until that point, may Abbas find solace and escape in painting.
His works are a window into his world.
"... I must fight. I must write. I must publish my articles." This is the voice of Behrouz Boochani, a 32-year-old Kurdish-Iranian journalist detained on #ManusIsland @AJListeningPost [25/8/16]
@manusFad22 [166/8/16]: I think "#Aus should get a #gold medal FOR injustice to people seeking asylum"
Image: @manusFad22 [1/8/16]
Rally outside NZ Parliament followed by a march to the Australian High Commission, Wellington ---> Around 100 people today demanded that the NZ & Australian governments do more for refugees and put an end to detention now. ... [Peace Action Wellington - 25/8/16]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R Sampanthan called for the release of Tamil political prisoners, stating that their continued detention was impeding hopes of reconciliation and criticised Sri Lanka's draconian Prevntion of Terrorism Act.
“It is compulsory that the government states it’s position on this matter and takes action to release the said prisoners," said Mr Sampanthan in an adjournment motion in Sri Lanka's parliament.
"Their continuance in custody causes immense harm and harassment to their families and impedes the process of reconciliation.
The government is seen as being insensitive to the genuine grievances of these prisoners.”
Mr Sampanthan went on to criticise Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, under which many of the Tamil prisoners are being held. ... [Tamil Guardian - 24/8/16]
Tamil IDPs end Paravipanchan hunger strike after Sampanthan calls Defence Secretary [Tamil Guardian - 24/8/16]
Myanmar: Kofi Annan to head Commission on Rakhine state [Amnesty Media Release - 24/8/16]:
The establishment of a high-level commission headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is a welcome step towards addressing the human rights situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, Amnesty International said today.
“Today’s announcement is a sign that Myanmar’s authorities are taking the situation in Rakhine state seriously. But it will only have been a worthwhile exercise if it paves the way for the realization of human rights for all people in the state,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.
Rakhine state on the western coast of Myanmar is home to many minority groups that have faced decades of human rights violations and abuses, in particular, the persecuted Rohingya minority.
The situation there has deteriorated markedly since 2012, when clashes between different groups sparked waves of violence, culminating in scores of deaths, destruction of property and mass displacement.
“The commission should investigate decades of discrimination against minorities in Rakhine state, ensure accountability, recommend reparations, and lead efforts at reconciliation,” said Rafendi Djamin.
The Advisory Commission on Rakhine State, described by state media as a national body, appears to be the most credible and independent attempt yet to address longstanding human rights violations in Rakhine state, with former UN Secretary Kofi Annan and Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi steering the effort.
The commission is composed of three international members and six from Myanmar, including representatives from the Buddhist and Muslim communities.
“The inclusion of international members should highlight how the situation goes beyond Myanmar’s borders. But the commission would have benefited from the presence of Myanmar’s other ethnic and religious minorities, such as the Rohingya,” said Rafendi Djamin.
The Rohingya, who predominantly live in Rakhine State, have faced decades of institutionalized discrimination and denial of their rights.
The state’s other minorities also face discrimination, including ethnic Rakhine, Kaman Muslims, and Christian and Hindu communities.
Little is currently known about the commission’s mandate beyond the announcement’s broad focus on conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, rights and reconciliation, institution building and development in Rakhine state.
It is due to submit a report on its findings to the government after one year.
“For the commission to be truly effective, it must ensure an independent, impartial and thorough investigation of human rights violations in Rakhine State. Only when the facts have been established can Myanmar move towards accountability and dismantling the systemic discrimination that Rohingyas face,” said Rafendi Djamin.
“However, a commission isn’t needed to take immediate steps to restore rights and dignity to the Rohingya and other Muslims in Rakhine State. A first step would be to lift the restrictions on their freedom of movement, and allow them the chance to seek education, employment, aid and assistance.”
Woodside prepares for 2017 Myanmar drilling campaign [OE Digitial - 19/8/16]
Search launched for asylum seeker who fled Hong Kong hospital, leaving newborn behind [South China Morning Post - 24/8/16]
Hong Kong needs change of heart on asylum seekers, says refugee from Congo based in South Korea [South China Morning Post - 21/8/16]:
... Thona worked as a national intelligence officer in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but was forced to flee persecution in 2002.
He was recognised as a political refugee in South Korea six years later, becoming a professor and a well-known human rights activist in the country.
“Hong Kong should give space to refugees to breath as human beings and be self-reliant,” Thona, who is also deputy chairman of the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network, said in an interview with the Sunday Morning Post.
“I think the Hong Kong system must change or be improved. The acceptance rate is very low ... It’s an opaque system, and I don’t understand why,” he said.
As of June this year, there were 11,169 outstanding claimants in the city, with most coming from Vietnam, India and Pakistan.
Between 2009 and June, only 55 people had their claims recognised. Hong Kong’s current acceptance rate stands at 0.6 per cent, whereas internationally it is around 30 per cent.
“In East Asia, officials think that if they keep people in limbo, they will go away. But that’s wrong,” he said. “If they see a person on a boat, they feel sorry for him,” Thona said, referring to photos of refugees seeking asylum in Europe.
“But if they come here they will call them migrant workers.” ...
Manus still waiting for funding after 8 years, says governor [PNG Loop - 25/8/16]
PNG road blocked by Enga villagers [RNZI - 25/8/16]
The investigation into the Hanuabada shooting on January 23, 2015 is nearing its completion.
The alleged police shooting claimed the lives of two men from Hanuabada in the National Capital District.
Crimes Commissioner, Victor Isouve, said a police officer has already been identified, and an arrest will be made soon after the completion of the investigation.
The investigation into the shooting has been described as a dull and long running criminal investigation.
It took police 20 months to, almost, complete the investigation. ... [EMTV - 25/8/16]
Maori students in NZ march for West Papua [RNZI - 25/8/16]
Run it Straight [VIDEO]
You think that just because he puppeteers our political system, Uncle Sam will protect us? ---> Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force tanks and other armoured vehicles take part in an annual training session near Mount Fuji at Higashifuji training field in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Thursday. [Japan Today - 25/8/16]
Kashmir: Day 48 curfew extended to Pulwama district, restrictions in Valley [New Indian Express - 25/8/16]:
... Curfew was imposed in Pulwama in view of killing of a youth in security forces action in the district yesterday during clashes.
The authorities on Tuesday had lifted curfew from most areas of Srinagar - the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir - in view of the improving situation. ...
More "border control" theatre - this time on the Gold Coast ---> Eleven Malaysian citizens who allegedly flew to Australia to work illegally have been detained by the Australian Border Force at Gold Coast Airport.
The group were detained and interviewed by Border Force officers after arriving on the Gold Coast on a flight from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
All 11 individuals were deported back to Kuala Lumpur that night after investigators found the group had travelled to Australia to work illegally. ... [MYGC - 25/8/16]
Widow of slain Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa speaks out [Sydney Morning Herald - 25/8/16]
Man charged over Home Hill stabbing of Mia Ayliffe-Chung [ABC - 25/8/16]:
A man has been charged with murder, attempted murder and animal cruelty over a stabbing attack at a north Queensland backpackers hostel.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed to death in front of about 30 people at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, south of Townsville, after 11:00pm on Tuesday.
Tom Jackson, a 30-year-old British man who came to her aid, received critical head injuries in the attack, and a hostel employee was stabbed in the leg.
A dog was also killed.
Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, who was living with the victims at the hostel, was charged on Thursday afternoon with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of serious animal cruelty and 12 counts of assaulting police officers.
The ABC understands Mr Jackson and Ayad were close friends, and locals who knew them are shocked by the incidents.
It is alleged Ayad used the Arabic phrase "Allahu akbar" both during the attack and his arrest, and while police have so far ruled out any links to extremism, they are still investigating whether the suspect had a romantic interest in Ms Ayliffe-Chung.
Ayad was taken to hospital on Wednesday with non-life-threatening injuries.
When he was released to the watch house on Wednesday evening, he allegedly assaulted two officers and violently resisted until a Taser and capsicum spray were used to subdue him. ...
Woman crushed by block of concrete in Surfers Paradise carpark [MYGC – 25/8/16]:
A woman is recovering in hospital after a freak accident at a carpark in Surfers Paradise.
Gold Coast City Council said a concrete block fell in the stairwell of Bruce Bishop Carpark late on Wednesday night, pinning the 26-year-old to the ground.
A witness told the Nine network he heard the woman’s screams for help.
“I was lying in bed and I heard a girl call out get it off me, get it off me” he said.
“I knew it was bad so I jumped up and got dressed and raced across.
“By the time I got there the block was off her and she was just lying in the corner in a real bad way.
“It was really horrifying to see.”
The woman’s injuries were not life threatening but it’s understood she is being treated for spinal injuries.
A man accompanying her was also treated but his injuries are not as serious.
Council said police, City work health and safety officers and other staff have been on site.
The site will be inspected again on Thursday but the carpark is fully operational and there are no road restrictions in the area.
Man injured after car flips at Arundel intersection [MYGC - 25/8/16]
A Queensland woman has died following a collision which pushed her car into oncoming traffic on the Sunshine Coast.
The woman was driving north on Eumundi Noosa Road on Wednesday evening, police say, when she either stopped or slowed down to turn right and was hit from behind.
The collision pushed the deceased's car into oncoming traffic, and she was thrown from her seat following a second crash.
The 49-year-old died at the scene.
Police are investigating. [Yahoo - 25/8/16]
The search for an elderly man missing in floodwaters in the northern NSW town of Larnook continues today, but hopes are fading that he will be found safe.
Witnesses reported the elderly man's car was swept from a bridge on Martin Road at around 3.40pm yesterday. ... [Nine MSN - 25/8/16]
Former Brisbane teacher avoids jail for possession of more than 4,000 child pornography images [ABC - 25/8/16]
FOR OVER THREE YEARS, REFUGEES IMPRISONED ON NAURU AND MANUS ISLAND HAVE CONSISTENTLY ARTICULATED THEIR GRIEVANCES AND DEMANDS.
THE AUSTRALIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ESTABLISHMENT'S DISMISSAL OF THESE PEACEFUL ACTS OF DEFIANT RESISTANCE - AND UNWILLINGNESS TO RESPOND IN SOLIDARITY - INDICATE THEY ARE THREATENED BY IT.
"WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" Day 158 refugee protests, Nauru via @elahe_zivardar [24/8/16]
"LET'S STOP TORTURE! FREEDOM FOREVER!" Day 62 refugee protets, Nauru via @InsurrectNews [20/5/16]
... 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. ... 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]
Nauruan refugees’ protest defies police ban [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 11/3/15]
"We are dying. Don't be spectators." Photos, video from Nauru refugee protest [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 27/2/15]
... so here is a boy having to report a sexual assault and he is doing it in the open air, in front of guards, while the abuser is standing there mocking him. ...
Former Nauru worker's interview with NPR illustrates how abuse of children is a deliberate component of Australia's anti-refugee torture policy [24/8/16]:
... What was the first case that came to your attention that made you think something is seriously wrong here?
"Three days into my first rotation on Nauru there was an adolescent boy who had been sexually assaulted. The child was living in fear of this sexual assault being repeated not just to him but to his mother who was living without a partner in the detention facility."
Who was the alleged abuser, according to the victims?
"So it was an employee who was a cleaner. And he actually admitted to the sexual assault, and while the security guards were making note of the sexual assault and taking the boy's report, the person who sexually assaulted the young boy continued to mock him. And see there was a complete lack of privacy in this detention facility, so here is a boy having to report a sexual assault and he is doing it in the open air, in front of guards, while the abuser is standing there mocking him. And see what was really amazing to me is here was a Save the Children manager there and she told me at the time that this person was going to be moved to a different detention facility within Nauru but that he wasn't going to be fired. And she said this just as a matter of, this was just normal, you have to accept it, this is just the way it is." ...
... “Child victims of rape are not like adult victims of rape,” says Sarnat.
“They think it must be a punishment for what they have done.” ... [Holocaust film reveals long-hushed child sex abuse - Times Of Israel - 15/4/15]
More tokenism and racist utilitarianism as Australia's atrocities against refugees continue ---> ... Asylum seekers living in Canberra will have access to longer visas with a pathway to permanent residency, as part of the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) program.
The SHEV program was designed to encourage asylum seekers who arrived by boat to work or study in certain parts of regional Australia, and until now only applied to Tasmania and some parts of New South Wales. ... [ABC - 25/8/16]
PNG clears visa roadblocks for Australian tourists [Pasifik – 25/8/16]:
… A spokesman for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has told The National, the system will be strictly regulated.
“It is important to note that this visa on arrival for Australians is for tourists and not for other purposes such as business or journalism,” he said. ...
Why does UNHCR never "advocate on behalf of refugees and the states hosting them" in South East Asia? ---> A European Union scheme to relocate migrants and refugees from frontline countries Greece and Italy to other member states must be bigger and move faster, the UN refugee chief said in Athens on Wednesday. ... [Ekathimerini - 24/8/16]
Hearing echoes from the last refugee crisis today [American Immigration Lawyers Association - 24/8/16]
Mothers suspend hunger strike at Berks detention centre, citing intimidation by ICE officials [Democracy Now - 24/8/16]:
In Pennsylvania, immigrant mothers have suspended their hunger strike at the Berks County Residential Center, citing intimidation by ICE officials.
The women launched the hunger strike on August 8 to protest Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s claims that the average time in family detention is only 20 days.
By the end of this month, at least three families will have spent a full year in custody at the Berks facility.
On Tuesday, the women suspended the strike, saying ICE officials threatened them by saying that if their health weakens, their children could be taken away.
On Monday, Democracy Now! spoke with one of the hunger strikers inside Berks.
Berks hunger striker:
"The head of ICE for this center, Mr. Thomas Decker, came. He came only to threaten us, to tell us that if we were a danger for this facility, for the other women who are not on strike, then he was going to be obligated to take action, such that they would send us to Texas, simply that they would send us to an adult prison, and that if we continue this way, if we continue refusing to eat, then, simply, there would arrive a point at which we would debilitate, and then he was going to be obligated to call the government so they would take away our children. I think this is a threat quite direct and quite strong. I think that it’s not fair, because we are only asserting our rights."
New report examines issues surrounding Berks detention centre [Human Rights First – 22/8/16]
A 31-year-old Aboriginal prisoner has died in custody at Darwin Correctional Centre, Northern Territory Correctional Services has confirmed. ... [ABC - 25/8/16]
Corporations, billionaires and free-market ideologues see dollar signs when they look at American public schools.
Dark money contributors are funding free-market reformers to take over local school boards and transform American public education into a business.
As a result, billions of tax dollars are being diverted away from public school children under the banner of "school choice".
Education Inc. uncovers the money trail while parents, teachers and students across the country fight back. [RT]
@wikileaks [24/8/166]: 67 emails between Hillary & Chelsea Clinton under the latter's covert name 'Diane Reynolds' ...
To Scott "Fluffy" Morrison ...
... Used to be a car and toys in the driveway
Someone mowing the lawn
But a movingman came and the car was towed away
And they cut the gas and phone
And now the place is all alone ...
'Great Big Ol' House', Robert Cray 
Without aid, 49,000 children will die this year in northeast Nigeria: UN [Reuters - 24/8/16]
An attack at the American University in the Afghan capital, Kabul, is over after security forces killed two gunmen, a police official at the scene told Reuters on Thursday.
A security guard was killed and more than 20 people wounded in the attack that began on Wednesday evening with a large explosion and gunfire.
Police said earlier they had rescued some 500 students from the walled compound. [Reuters - 24/8/16]
Yemenis say US drone strike kills 5 [Military Times - 24/8/16]
Thousands of Yemenis stranded after Saudis close airport [Yahoo - 23/8/16]
Newark boy, 10, chased by police 'thought they were going to shoot me' [NY Daily News - 23/8/16]
Statement on possible civilian casualties near Ar Raqqah, Syria [CENTCOM - 24/8/16]
Damascus denounced Turkey’s joint military operation with the Syrian rebels aimed at re-taking the Syrian border town of Jarablus from Islamic State militants (IS, former ISIS/ISIL).
Damascus said it considers Turkish troops’ incursion into Syria a violation of its sovereignty. ... [RT - 24/8/16]
Syria won't reach democracy with Assad, Erdogan says following joint press conference with Biden [Press TV - 24/8/16]
25 August 2016