Day 98 refugee protests, Nauru
WHO LOSE ELECTION? WHO WIN ELECTION? via @InsurrectNews [25/6/16]
Image: @elahe_zivardar [25/6/16]
Many hundreds of people marched through the Fremantle CBD at lunchtime on Saturday during the FREO SAFE HARBOUR rally, demanding the closure of detention centres and an end to off shore processing, and a more humanitarian approach toward refugees by the Australian government. ... [Freo's View - 25/6/16]
Image: @grbradbury [25/6/16]
"OPEN THE BORDERS! CLOSE THE CAMPS! FREE THE REFUGEES!" @MikeCoggan [25/6/16]: Protesters heading to Rundle Mall ...
@MikeCoggan [25/6/16]: Pre-election protest in Adelaide's Rundle Mall in support of asylum seekers ...
The refugee issue is big in Australia - millions care but they're ignored: John Clarke to Kim Hill [AUDIO - RNZI - 25/6/16]
Thailand: Hundreds of migrant workers from Myanmar rounded up and arrested for being migrant workers from Myanmar [Bangkok Post – 25/6/16]
The US Pacific Command says it's concerned with North Korea's latest missile tests that they say could threaten military bases in Guam and potentially reach the Northern Marianas.
The Deputy Commander of the Pacific Command, Lieutenant-General Anthony Crutchfield, said they were aware of North Korea's intention to fire its latest batch of missiles.
This week North Korea boasted about the successful testing of a powerful new midrange ballistic missile that state media said could be propelled more than 1,400 kilometres high have a range of 3,000 kilometres and which could allow strikes on US forces throughout the region.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the tests were a great event that strengthened his country's nuclear capability.
Lt-Gen Crutchfield said the US continues to monitor everything that was happening in and around North Korea.
He said they were concerned, as international community should be concerned.
The Deputy Commander said any country who continued to test long-range missiles was dangerous not only to the region but the whole world. [RNZI - 25/6/16]
Putin, Xi Jinping to discuss large-scale bilateral projects, international affairs [TASS - 25/6/16]
The Pentagon confirmed Friday that U.S. warplanes struck Taliban insurgent positions for the first time since officials approved a widening of the American involvement in the war last week.
The airstrikes hit Taliban targets in southern Afghanistan, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters.
The attacks aided Afghan forces on the ground in an ongoing operation, and no U.S. combat troops are in the area, he said.
Cook declined to offer more details, saying commanders in Afghanistan specifically requested that information about the airstrikes be withheld. ... [USA Today - 24/6/16]
Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian woman who had rammed a vehicle into a parked car near an Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, injuring two people sitting inside, the army has said. ... [Al Jazeera - 24/6/16]
Syrian journalist Khaled al-Essa dies after bomb attack [Al Jazeera - 25/6/16]
One civilian was killed, 6 others were injured due to a terrorist rocket attack on al-Sabil neighborhood in Aleppo city on Friday.
A source at Aleppo Police Command said that terrorists fired a number of rocket shells on al-Sabil neighborhood in Aleppo city, most of them landed in the area surrounding al-Rahman Mosque as people were leaving Friday prayers, killing a civilian and injuring six others. ... [SANA - 24/6/16]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 24/6/16]
Kurdish media office attacked; 87 killed in Iraq [Antiwar - 24/6/16]
Following yesterday’s historic decision by voters in the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke today by telephone with his U.K. counterpart, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a readout of the call. ... [US Department of Defense - 24/6/16]
Calais Mayor says France should reconsider treaty stopping migrants entering UK via Channel Tunnel [Telegraph - 24/6/16]
@guardiacostiera [24/6/16]: #CentraleOperativa coordina oggi 9 operazioni #SAR. Salvi oltre 2100 #migranti con unità @ItalianNavy @frontex @EUNAVFORMED_OHQ @moas_eu ONG
@MSF_Sea [24/6/16]: At midnight last night, after 3 hours of searching in the darkness, we found this little boy and 124 others.
Australia's political, media and human rights establishment want us to believe that these men, women and children are not our concern [EIN - 23/6/16]:
Mr. Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, Prime Minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), today in a letter to the Aceh Governor whilst thanking him for the, "emergency assistance given to Sri Lankan refugees," urged him not to return them to Sri Lanka.
Instead, Rudrakumaran has asked the 44 refugees be given access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and be permitted to make refugee claims: "We request the governments of Indonesia and of Aceh to allow the 44 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees now ashore in Aceh, access to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration," Rudrakumaran wrote.
Earlier, in a move to force them back to sea, warning shots were allegedly fired by the Indonesian police as the Tamil refugees stranded for over a week on the coast of Aceh, attempted to come ashore.
Although Indonesia is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, Rudrakumaran appealed to, "Aceh and Indonesia nonetheless to respect and adhere to customary international law, which binds all states, components of states and individuals."
Rudrakumaran pointed to factors that would make it dangerous for them to return - particularly the, "numerous human rights abuses, abductions and rape," and the, "arrests carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) that have failed to meet even the minimum standards of due process."
Citing dire conditions prevailing in Tamil areas, Rudrakumaran reiterated that, as such, it would be, "inhumane in these circumstance to deny Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the State of Aceh their rights to seek protection."
"Tamil areas are saturated with Sri Lankan security forces, where there is one military personnel to every five civilians, which is believed to be the highest civilian to security forces ratio in the world. Tamils also remain deeply nervous about persistent surveillance by the Sri Lankan security forces. There is a substantial internally displaced population who have not been resettled in the seven years since the end of the war," he stated.
He reminded the Governor of, "the genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes Tamils have been subject to," referring to the, UN Internal Review Report on Sri Lanka, that found, "around 70,000 Tamils were killed and hundreds of Tamil women were raped by Sri Lankan security forces."
In further persuading the Governor, quoting from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, "which is part of the international law binding all," Rudrakumaran wrote: "Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. This principle, of non-refoulement, means that refugees in need of protection and refugee claimants should not be forcibly returned to the country they fled where they will be subject to persecution." ...
Australia's exceptionalist and isolationist anti-refugee policies writ large [Jakarta Globe - 22/6/16]
@AcehFoundation [22/6/16]: #Tamil #asylumseekers arrive at #Lhokseumawe immigration centre, #Aceh
... According to the latest figures from the United Nation's refugee agency the Bayani family are among approximately 13,745 people in Indonesia in limbo - with more than 6500 of these already deemed refugees and more than 7100 classified as asylum seekers.
Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees so refugees must be resettled elsewhere.
But all these statistics were not known to the Bayani family when they fled Afghanistan in September last year.
"All we were told was that once we get to Indonesia we had a chance to get to a third country," Baqir Bayani told AAP this week.
"We didn't want to get to a particular country. We just wanted a safe life, so we can see a future."
The teenager's parents fled Afghanistan several years before he was born and set up a spice shop in Quetta, Pakistan.
"We were very very happy with our lives," he recalls.
But in June last year a militant group - attacked their stores and that of other Hazaras, gunning down five people, including his father, who was shot seven times.
In fear of their lives, the family sold everything they had and fled back to Afghanistan, hoping they could start over.
But within less than two weeks threats from the Taliban saw them paying a people smuggler to organise plane tickets for them to Indonesia, via India and Malaysia.
"We had no financial problem. The problem was our lives. We didn't want to lose our lives," Baqir Bayani explained.
When they arrived in Indonesia, they felt one thing.
"Freedom from Taliban. The freedom that we got our lives back and we saved ourselves."
"We don't want Australian people to criticise us in future, as illegal citizens," he said.
"We are seeking a secure life and future where ever that is." [SBS - 24/6/16]
No third country resettlement = UNHCR backed "durable solutions" of detention, deportation, exile and death ----> Rohingya refugees in Aceh, Indonesia: Hostile hospitality [Middle East Institute - 2/6/16]
... 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.
Scores of Buddhists ransacked a mosque in central Myanmar forcing Muslims to seek refuge overnight in a police station after a dispute between neighbours spilled into religious violence, officials and residents said Friday. ... [The Nation - 24/6/16]
The only way to end a bipartisan policy of cruelty is through NON partisan opposition.
"Refugee advocates" impliedly endorsing the ALP with preferencing scorecards is the lowest act ever. ----> @J4RSA [22/6/16]: Where do the parties stand on #refugee issues? #ausvotes checkout the scorecard <----- Please stop using men, women and children in your partisan games.
Anything that involves "put the LNP last" is a Trojan horse endorsement of the ALP (unless your electorate is highly unlikely to be LNP or ALP).
I refuse to give my consent to ALP (and Queensland "Greens") or LNP. I will #VOTEINFORMAL
Australia's offshore refugee concentration camps were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]
Richard Marles reasserts the ALP's support for refoulement, refugee concentration camps, disappearance and exile [House of Representatives Hansard - 2/12/15]:
... So, when history looks to lay the blame for what occurred in the past, it will not be nearly as simple as the minister's description just now.
Equally, when history looks to ascribe credit to how we have brought an end to the journey from Java to Christmas Island, it will remember that the regional resettlement arrangement, which was put in place by the then Labor government and resulted in 90 per cent of the vessels from Java to Christmas Island stopping before the current government was ever sworn into office.
Yes, there is no doubt that turning around the remaining 10 per cent of those vessels has been a critical step taken by this government, but this government has enjoyed an opposition which has supported it in its endeavours to bring an end to that journey between Java and Christmas Island—an enjoyment that was not shared by the former Labor government in respect of the former coalition opposition. ...
Undocumented mother and US citizen daughter call on Obama to stop deportations despite SCOTUS ruling [Democracy Now - 24/6/16]:
... AMY GOODMAN: Josefina, you were arrested at a Trump rally in May in Washington state?
JOSEFINA MORA: I was.
AMY GOODMAN: And why were you there protesting? How old are you, by the way?
JOSEFINA MORA: I’m 18. I just turned 18, so I’ll be 19 this year. I participated in that rally because I wanted my community to know that we will not allow bigotry to be in our community, because more—it’s bigger than the Trump campaign, really. It’s just representing a country that’s founded on hate, on racism, on the taking of native peoples’ land.
We want to remind people that this land really is the native peoples’ land, and we shouldn’t be having—immigrants shouldn’t be having to ask permission for the U.S. government to allow them to stay; really, it should be the native people.
So our message was make Lynden, which is where he was, Coast Salish again, which is the native peoples’ original name for the land.
And so, it was really important for me to represent, not only as a citizen of this country, but as a daughter of immigrants, that we will not allow bigotry and hatred into our community, on especially a town that’s so historically racist. ...
Can President Obama still stop deportations?
[#NOT1MORE – 24/6/16]:
… Why is a moratorium justified now?
President Obama has publicly said that part of the strategy behind harsh immigration enforcement tactics was to pave the way for relief from deportation or immigration reform.
Over the course of his presidency he has deported over 2.5 million people.
After eight years of record-breaking deportations, the return of home immigration raids, and the continued criminalization and detention of immigrants, and no significant relief programs beyond the very limited Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The least the President could do is commit to ending the deportation programs that continue to terrorize, criminalize, separate and incarcerate our communities.
The ask for a moratorium is not new, and it tends to be used when the laws are falling behind what the political and social context require, and that is still true.
Most recently a group of political science and sociology professors called for a moratorium on deportations in response to the January 2016 immigration raids, where they state, “A moratorium on deportations is sound action that President Obama can take independently of the current obstructionist Congress, and it is the only decent, fair, and humane way forward.” ...
... Until recently, many migrants would board freight trains in Mexico known as "La Bestia" or The Beast heading to the U.S. border, following well-established migrant routes along the railway tracks.
But the clampdown on migrants has meant they have sought out new, and more hidden, paths to cross through Mexico, putting them in greater risk of being trafficked.
As part of efforts to boost conviction rates against human traffickers the IOM is providing training to Mexican judges across the country on the 2012 anti-trafficking law and cases. ... [Reuters - 24/6/16]
25 June 2016