PNG's Supreme Court rules indefinite detention and exile of refugees on Manus Island is illegal  [ABC - 26/4/16]  Where are UNHCR, Amnesty, Refugee Council of Australia and Human Rights Watch's statements calling for and end to offshore processing, and the URGENT repatriation of these men to Australia so their refugee claims can be GENUINELY assessed?

 

 

 

Plenty of time to maintain the status quo at clubby ultra right-wing think tanks, but no time to challenge it? --->  ‏@PearsonElaine [26/4/16]: @kenroth in conversation with @mfullilove @LowyInstitute on ISIS atrocities & Syrian exodus

 

 

 

 

[As above] Human Rights Watch Director Ken Roth tells Doogues Australia is 'ripping up the refugee convention' [ABC - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

 

US: 20 years of immigrant abuses [Human Rights Watch - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

The Globalisation of High Seas Interdiction–Sale’s Legacy and Beyond [Opinio Juris - 10/3/14]:

 

... Maritime migrant interdiction is now a key border enforcement tool for the United States, the European Union, and Australia.

The U.S. developed the model in the early 1980s as a means of preventing Haitian asylum seekers from reaching U.S. Shores.

In 1992, the administration of George H. W. Bush abandoned the past practice of screening Haitians for refugee characteristics and instituted a direct return policy that authorized the repatriation of all interdicted Haitians regardless of whether they would be persecuted in Haiti.

In 1993, the United States Supreme Court gave its imprimatur to this new framework with its Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc. decision, holding that the United States was not bound by the U.N. Refugee Convention when processing Haitians interdicted at sea.

As scholars have noted, Sale later became a key point of reference for other countries seeking to legitimize their own adoption of U.S.-style maritime migrant interdiction programs.  ...

 

 

 

 

Is Human Rights Watch too close to US government to criticise its foreign policy? [Democracy Now - 11/6/14]

 

 

 

United States continues bombing everyone

 

 

 

US Department of Defense [26/4/16]:

 

 

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, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted seven strikes in Syria:

-- Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Mara, six strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL vehicles.

Strikes in Iraq

Bomber, ground-attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Baghdadi, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Rutbah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Beiji, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Fallujah, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units; destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL-used bridges, an ISIL bunker and two ISIL heavy machine guns; and damaged a separate ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Habbaniyah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Kirkuk, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL assembly area and an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL weapons storage facility and destroyed an ISIL supply cache.

-- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL vehicle.

...

 

 

 

"Horrified": Seymour Hersh reacts to Obama's plan to send 250 more US Special Ops troops to Syria [Democracy Now - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

The Greek Police are giving out this information to migrants at Idomeni via @AlbaFerrs @FatimaMG [26/4/16] 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@bobtrafford [26/4/16]:  10 Syrians voluntarily deported from #chios this morning. Still no sign of the legal info entitled to them under EU asylum directive art. 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

More migrants deported from Greece to Turkey under EU deal [Reuters - 26/4/16]:

 

 

Two ferries left Greece for Turkey on Tuesday with 18 migrants on board and a government spokesman said Athens was doing all it could to process returnees under a deal with Turkey intended to stem a huge refugee influx into Europe.

Just over 340 people have so far been returned to Turkey since April 4 under the accord agreed with the European Union in March after more than 1 million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond reached the continent last year.

On Tuesday, 13 people were deported from the island of Lesbos to the Turkish town of Dikili and five were ferried back from Chios to Cesme, police said. Most were Afghans.

None had requested asylum in Greece, a government official said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and human rights groups have questioned whether the deal is legal or moral.

They are also concerned about whether Turkey is a "safe" country for returnees. UNHCR does not currently have access to the Kirklareli camp returnees are sent to.  ...

 

 

 

 

 

@ItalianNavy [26/4/16]:  #Sar Nave Spica #MarinaMilitare ha terminato lo sbarco di 243 migranti nel porto di Reggio Calabria

 

 

 

 

Jordan’s Queen Rania visits refugees in Lesbos and calls for ‘exceptional response’ [Independent - 25/41/6]:

 

 

… “We need to bring humanity and compassion back into the narrative, because this crisis is about people not borders and barriers. It’s about human dignity not deals."

She said the refugees she met had gone “from suffering to suffering” and that many had told her they would “be back in their homes” if they had the choice.

Queen Rania emphasised the need to “find legal alternatives and effective pathways to safety, and also look for more sustainable long term solutions to this crisis”. ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATO is three months from launching a naval mission off Libya under a controversial plan to close the Western Mediterranean migrant route to Europe and begin mass repatriations, Italy said Monday.

The advanced state of preparations was revealed by Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti as leaders of the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy prepared to meet in Hanover, Germany for talks expected to touch on the migrant crisis and instability and Islamist infiltration into Libya.

Modelled on an existing NATO operation in waters between Turkey and Greece, the Libya mission is set to be approved by alliance leaders at a Warsaw summit on July 7, Pinotti said in an interview with Italian daily La Stampa

 ...

NATO's operation to stop migrant boats reaching the Greek islands from Turkey is the first of its kind for the alliance.

An operation off Libya would be more complicated given the country's instability and the presence in some coastal regions of militants allied to the Islamic State group.

The NATO presence could act as a deterrent to traffickers putting to sea with their human cargoes.

But it is thought unlikely they would seek to turn boats back on the model Australia has adopted in recent years.

"It is worth remembering that Libya is not party to the Geneva convention and that conditions in its detention centres are appalling," said Libya expert Mattia Toaldo.

 "I don't think NATO will turn boats back but I do think Italy will start flying people home direct from Sicily." ... [Daily Mail - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

 

 Enough Enough!

 

Suffering Suffering!

 

 

 

‏Day 38 of refugee protests on Nauru via  @racvictoria [26/4/16]

 

 

Image:  ‏@InsurrectNews [26/4/16]

 

 

 

[Behrouz] Bouchani said the Australian government must now “close its Guantanamo”.

 

 

Australia, exceptional in its brutality, Behrouz Boochani [25/4/16]:

 

... The law of 19 July 2013 relies on such violence and is executed every day, despite the fact that it is contrary to the democratic and liberal concepts and principles Australia professes.

It is against all of the principles and standards of human rights and human achievements in the course of history and its violent domination is growing day by day.

The nature and essence of this violence in the system is displayed prominently and obviously in front of the Australian political stage.

To clarify, the immigration minister occasionally appears as a political figure with the gesture of a dictator, or as a populist representation in the form of a demon, and afterward, he disappears. ...

 

 

 

Guardian [26/4/16]:

… In Tuesday’s ruling the majority judgment found that “the undisputed facts clearly reveal that the asylum seekers had no intention of entering and remaining in PNG.

Their destination was and continues to be Australia.

They did not enter PNG and do not remain in PNG on their own accord.

“It was the joint efforts of the Australian and PNG governments that has seen the asylum seekers brought into PNG and kept at the Manus Island Processing Centre against their will. These arrangements were outside the constitutional and legal framework in PNG … the forceful bringing into and detention of the asylum seekers on MIPC is unconstitutional and is therefore illegal.”

The ruling was written by Justices Kandakasi and Higgins, and agreed to by all other members of the bench.

...

Stateless Rohingyan refugee Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque told the Guardian from Oscar compound that he was feeling “very positive” about the court’s ruling.

“I am very happy because there are a lot of happy faces that have been covered with sadness for the last three years.”

However, the 22-year-old said his excitement at the judgment was tempered by a mistrust that the authorities might change the detention regime again, in an effort to circumvent the court’s ruling.

“It overwhelms me at times. I think it’s a turning point. However, it’s hard to believe politics.

“I have been persecuted and deprived of my basic human rights since I was born right up until now. I have never known safety or peace, and I have never known citizenship or a right to call any country my own. My eyes have no more tears as they have dried out and my body doesn’t feel pain any more.”

Iranian refugee Behrouz Bouchani, who has volubly protested his detention and refused to make his refugee claim to the PNG government, said the court’s ruling was “incredibly good news”.

“Today is a historical day in our life. The people in detention cannot believe that news because they have heard a lot of positive news rumours. They are very happy but scared to show it. I am really happy that eventually we have great news, and can feel freedom.”

Bouchani said the Australian government must now “close its Guantanamo”. ...

 

 

 

 

VIVA PNG!!!  PNG's Supreme Court rules indefinite detention and exile of refugees on Manus Island is illegal [ABC - 26/4/16]:

 

 

… MARK COLVIN: … So they want the Australian and PNG Governments, the Supreme Court want this, they want the Governments to act immediately. That has a pretty specific meaning.

Does it mean tomorrow?

ERIC TLOZEK: Well the word they used was forthwith - to cease detaining, or cease the detention of the men on Manus Island and to prevent their further detention. So the order also encompasses any alternative arrangement.

I can only assume that was the reason for including that extra wording. So essentially we saw the immigration officials from Papua New Guinea's immigration service and some presumably Australian inviters leave the court in quite a hurry after the ruling was delivered.

And there's been a number of changes on Manus Island, which I can only assume were made with this possibility in mind. And that included separating those found to be refugees from those whose claims had been rejected, and also allowing an unusual and unprecedented degree of freedom.

This week the refugees were told they'd be allowed out.

MARK COLVIN: Just before you go onto that, on the first issue, separating those that have been found to be genuine refugees and those who have been rejected - does the Supreme Court place them both in the same basket or does it make a distinction?

ERIC TLOZEK: No it places them both in the same basket, which is a very important point I think as part of this ruling. It found that the simple fact that they were detained, which said irrespective of their circumstances or status, that's from one of the judges, is an offence against their rights and freedoms as guaranteed by various conventions on human rights and also by the PNG constitution.

So it doesn't differentiate between the refugees and asylum seekers. But the reason I mention that is because I can only wonder if these changes on Manus Island were done with a view to saying it's no longer a detention.

MARK COLVIN: So in practice, have journalists been able to go there and see what is going on in practice? You say they're allowed out from behind the wire?

ERIC TLOZEK: Well no they haven't been yet but they were told at the start of this week that new arrangements would be coming into effect that would allow them out between the hours of 7.00am and 4.00pm if they sign certain agreements.

And it's not clear if they have to sign onto their resettlements arrangements or not that Papua New Guinea and Australia have been pushing, for which they'd be resettled in PNG itself.

MARK COLVIN: So, let's say that there were very tight conditions like that, what happens to the Supreme Court decision then? Do we know? Is it quite categorical, they must be free?

ERIC TLOZEK: Well it would seem to be. I mean the wording of the ruling is very clear and it says that they must cease the detention and prevent further detention.

So, you now, it says, "And the continued breach of their constitutional human rights." So it said it must prevent the continued unconstitutional and illegal detention.

And given that the asylum seekers are required to remain in the centre at certain times and have no other option for where they can go and no freedom of movement, and the judge dealt fairly extensively with the fact that their freedom of movement was curtailed, you can only assume that it's found the nature of the detention itself - their forced residence on Manus Island in that centre - to be illegal. ...

 

 

 

The Immigration Department says Australia has paid for the "not insignificant" legal costs of the Papua New Guinea and Nauru governments in fighting to keep asylum seeker detention centres open.

It means Australia is paying for the PNG government's defence in a constitutional challenge by PNG opposition leader Belden Namah. ... [ABC - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

Manus Island refugees to sue Australia over illegal detention [SBS - 26/4/16]:

 

... “My clients, there’s a big jubilation in the camp. Everyone is really happy, really happy,” Ben Lomai, the Port Moresby-based lawyer for refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island, told SBS.

“In the next couple of days we will be putting an application to the Supreme Court; one is for them to be released and then that the matter be progressed for compensation.

“The National Court has already settled (in previous cases) for breach of personal liberty. For example, they’ve already ordered 200 kina per day (A$82) and 100 kina (A$41) for exemplary damages.”

Some detainees have been held on Manus Island for several years and Mr Lomai said they could be entitled to compensation of over A$100,000.

Around 850 men are still at the Manus Island processing centre, established by two memorandums of understanding between the Australian and PNG governments in 2012 and 2013.

 About half are thought to have been given refugee status.

“Under the arrangement, the Australian government is obligated to pay costs, and that includes the cost of maintaining the offshore processing centre, including the wellbeing of the asylum seekers and in my opinion their legal costings, including compensation claims,” Mr Lomai said.

 “If we get the compensation claim, we’ll be seeking an order to enforce that against the Australian government.” ...

 

 

 

Indefinite detention and exile of refugees on Manus Island illegal; time to close the camp and bring the people to Australia [Greens Media Release - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

 

Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton clueless on rule of law [Media Release - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

 

 

 

With an election looming, ALP reminds people who are concerned about refugees not to vote for them ["Opposition" Richard "I'd be worse" Marles Media Release - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

Actually, what the PNG Supreme Court decision "affirms" is that PNG has basic rights and adheres to international law.  [Australian Human Rights Commission Media Release - 26/4/16]: ... “The Court’s decision affirms the Commission’s long-standing concern that the prolonged and indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea may lead to breaches of our obligations under international law,” said President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs. ...

 

 

 

The PNG Supreme Court has ordered the release of the men you - Broadspectrum/aka Transfield - are illegally detaining.

No need to wait for further instruction from your client. RELEASE THESE MEN. ---->  ... A spokesperson for the Broadspectrum said: "We note the ruling of the PNG Supreme Court and we're waiting on further instruction from our client, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. We will update the market on any impact on our company." ... [Australian Financial Review - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

Plenty of time to post on social media, but no time to respond questions about what their representatives have been doing on Nauru and Manus Island over the past week? ---> Australia for UNHCR [26/4/16]:

 

“The simple truth is that all of us here tonight are the result of someone’s act of kindness. We all stand on the shoulders of good people who didn’t look away when we were in need. The Clooney family fled a famine in Ireland to come to the United States where their very survival required a room, a meal, a helping hand. We call them refugees, but they’re just people, like you and me.” George Clooney tells of his family's refugee past and calls for international aid to increase for refugees  ...

 

 

 

Former worker at Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island tells forum claim rejected because refugee "too educated" to be a Rohingya [Brisbane Times - 9/4/16]:

 

Brisbane maths teacher Jacob Rice taught at the Manus Island immigration detention centre in 2014 when a 23-year-old Iranian man name Reza Berati was bashed to death by security guards during a riot by hunger strikers [when refugees were attacked].

One of the friends the teacher-turned-whistleblower made while working on Manus for nine months was a Rohingya maths teacher.

His friend is still in indefinite detention as his application for asylum had just been rejected on the grounds that he was educated. 

The man has told his family that they should consider him dead.

Mr Rice said the Immigration Department had rejected his friend's asylum claim because they concluded he could not be a genuine Rohingya person because members of this religious minority in Burma were not allowed to be educated.

He holds a masters degree in mathematics.

One of his daughters was studying medicine while the other had won a maths competition. ...

 

 

 

Organisations who have expressed support for refoulement, or boat turnbacks, are discredited. All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:

 

... Welcome to Australia director Brad Chilcott has publicly supported a policy of turn-backs in breach of the principle of non-refoulement.

In advance of the ALP conference, which he attended as a delegate for the increasingly inappropriately named left faction of the party, Chilcott called for the ALP to ‘neutralise’ a divisive debate by ‘closing the ocean route to Australia’.

This, from the leader of an organisation that takes its motto from the national anthem: ‘For those who’ve come across the seas.’

Writing in The Australian, Save the Children Australia CEO Paul Ronalds makes a more reluctant argument for the same conclusion: that organisations supporting refugees should embrace the opportunity for bipartisan consensus by abandoning active support for the principle of non-refoulement:

 

Although we may not like turnbacks, it is clear the policy is here to stay. Now we and other advocates for the rights of asylum-seekers must look beyond this aspect of the policy and concentrate our efforts on implementing a genuine regional framework, which we have long called for.

...

As NGOs have taken on major government contracts for refugee and asylum-seeker services, such as the $19m contract Save the Children currently holds with the detention facilities on Nauru, these organisations have become structurally invested in maintaining government control over asylum seekers.

But liberal humanitarians are more deeply invested in government control over asylum seekers than can be explained by any direct financial benefit.

They may disagree with right-wing conservatives on how many refugees should be accepted, or the details of how those who are turned away should be treated, but they share the premise stated by John Howard during the Tampa crisis: ‘We will decide who comes here and the manner in which they come.’  ...

 

 

 

... This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States ... US approves possible $1.22 billion sale of air-to-air missiles to Australia [Reuters - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

Australia announced Tuesday that French company DCNS had beat bidders from Japan and Germany to build the next generation of submarines in Australia’s largest-ever defense contract.

DCNS, German’s ThysennKrupp Marine Systems and Japan’s Mitsubishi were in the running to build 12 conventional submarines that the Australian navy expects will cost at least A$56 billion ($43 billion).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the French-designed submarines would be built in the Australian manufacturing hub of Adelaide. ... [Japan Today - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

North Korea puts midrange missile on standby, report says [Yahoo - 26/4/16]

 

 

 

Obama spurns North Korea offer to suspend missile program [Antiwar - 24/4/16]

 

 

 

 

 

Suspected Islamists kill Bangladeshi gay activist working for US embassy [Reuters - 25/4/16]:

 

...  Mannan was employed by the U.S. embassy, working for the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department in Washington said.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the United States was "outraged" by the "barbaric attack."

He called Mannan, "a beloved member of our embassy family and a courageous advocate for LGBTI rights - human rights, actually." ...

 

 

 

New report on Bangladesh's human rights abuse supports asylum seekers' fears of deportation [AUDIO – ABC – 15/4/16]

 

 

 

Obama deports 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]

 

 

 

Shout from crowd forces issue of family detention into Clinton Townhall [#NOT1MORE - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

The Government of Panama announced on Sunday, April 24, that it will take measures to discourage the irregular migration of Cubans who continue to arrive in the country on their way to the United States.

...

Meanwhile, Costa Rican immigration authorities reported that they are prioritizing the transfer and care of pregnant women and families with children stranded on the border with Panama who entered the country illegally.

The Costa Rican government will take 18 pregnant women and 25 children and their families to a Child Care Center in the city of Buenos Aires de Puntarenas.

The rest of the immigrants, more than 600 people of 14 nationalities, will be taken to the immigration control center located in the town of Río Claro. ...  [Pan Am Post - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

Cuban migrants who landed in Miami will be allowed to stay [CBS - 25/4/16]:

 

 

Six Cuban migrants who landed at South Pointe Park in South Beach Monday morning will be released from Border Patrol custody, processed by Church World Services and released to begin new lives in the United States.

The men received a very warm welcome from residents and tourists alike when they landed.

“I just felt this urge to shake one of their hands and say welcome,” said Maria Ashe.

Tourist Mercedes Martin also jumped into action to help them.

“They were just very grateful and some started asking for help. People brought them water, started calling their families.”

The men onboard told those who greeted them that they had spent 11 days in the ocean, had suffered through storms, made stops in Anguilla and the Bahamas and had left initially in two rafts.

“One of the rafts they exchanged for food on the way and then the ones from the smaller rafts when into this one which is the one that made it,” Dr. Octavio Pino recalled.

By air, and on the ground, the men’s high spirits were evident. Waving energetically and giving two thumbs up as they walked into the Miami Beach Police station.

Also thankful they made it safe, family members who got the call that they had arrived on American soil.

For Kimberly Garcia whose uncle Zedry was on that boat, the thought of seeing him again brings tears to her eyes.

“It’s been 25 years I don’t see him. And I grew up with him. He’s family,” she told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.

Garcia made the same trip when she was just 11.

“I know how that feels, getting into the ocean, you don’t know what’s going to happen to you.”

She believes her uncle’s choice to leave Cuba, leaving behind four children, will prove to be worth the risk.

“They can be better. He can help them from here,” she said.

 

 

Condemn those collaborating in this conspiracy of silence.

 

Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites [26/4/16]:

 

 

UPDATE: 26/4/2016 BEHROUZ WAS FORCIBLY TAKEN FROM HIS MEETING WITH IMMIGRATION TO OSCAR COMPOUND.

HE IS IN OSCAR NOW WITH OTHERS.

A FURTHER STATEMENT WILL BE MADE LATER IN THE DAY.

IN THE MEANTIME: 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. ...

 

 

 

... "The things we've come to represent freedom of speech, freedom of the press, rule of law standing up for your mates those sort of things are still principles I'm very proud to represent so I'm very humbled to accept this award," Greste said.

"Conflict brings out the very best and worst in human beings and is something I've experienced a lot of time around front lines.

"For every atrocity and act of brutality that you see ... you see a dozen extraordinary examples of human decency of courage and compassion and of goodwill — that's why we cover wars." ...  Peter Greste awarded national RSL Anzac Peace Prize at Brisbane ceremony [ABC - 22/4/16]

 

 

 

The choice between two extreme right-wing parties - and an apologist third ≠ democracy.

 

 

People are dying.

 

 

Protest them all.

 

 

Tweeted by @SandiHLogan - National Communications Manager, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra [19/7/13]

 

 

 

Joint media release with Kevin Rudd - Prime Minister, Mark Dreyfus - Attorney General and The Hon Tony Burke MP - Australian Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship [19/7/13]

 

 

Guardian [13/1/14]:

 

... She was on the first asylum seeker boat to arrive in Australia after Kevin Rudd announced mandatory offshore processing last August.

The boat arrived just hours after the announcement, and had left Indonesia when settlement in Australia was still possible.

Her story starts from the moment she got off the boat and, on the day Guardian Australia releases the letter signed by 15 doctors on Christmas Island that forensically documents shocking allegations of medical malpractice in immigration detention, continues with the revelation of devastating flaws in the medical provision she and Soroush were offered in detention.

“Nobody asked for our permission,” Nazanin said when asked if she knew she was being photographed during that moment.

She says she was moved to a hall where all those on her boat were told they would not be allowed to remain in Australia. And then the cameras rolled.

“Three days after that,” she says, “I just saw my photos in the internet. But nobody [at the time] talk to me about my photos and videos and all that things.”

For Nazanin their publication has exacerbated the suffering. She says they revealed her identity to those she was trying to flee in Iran.

...

 

 

The Immigration Department developed its new, highly restrictive policy on media visits to detention centres with reference to US military arrangements governing media access to the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre.

Documents released under freedom of information show the ''deed of agreement'' that Immigration insists journalists and media organisations visiting detention centres must sign was ''informed by … the current US Department of Defence media access policy for its detention facility at Guantanamo Bay''. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/3/12]

 

 

Denial of medical care in Australia's gulag archipelago is not a "pathetic" bureaucratic response.

 

It is deliberate.

 

And it is torture.

 

The refusal of Australia's professional health organisations to call for a boycott, and for the camps to be closed = support.

 

 

RANZCP has been the only Australian professional medical association to officially respond to the punishment of refugees on Nauru for attempted suicide. [Media Release - 15/4/16]

 

 

High Court case involving Australia's use of abortion as "deterrence" weapon against refugees continues - medical establishment silent. [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/4/16]

 

 

An asylum seeker who became pregnant after being raped in Nauru has won the right to give birth - medical establishment said nothing. [VIDEO - Yahoo - 14/1/16]

 

 

 

How we were misled about Abyan’s case [Kellie Tranter - 30/12/15]

 

 

 

distasteful:  [ADJ]  Causing dislike or aversion; disagreeable or unpleasant ...

 

 

This is what Labor border's protection has been reduced to. Outrageous! Image: @stuartrobertmp - Member for Fadden [29/8/12]

 

 

 

German museum inadvertently highlights Australia's mainstream fascism in exhibition [Red Flag - 25/4/16]:

 

German neo-Nazis love Australia’s refugee policies so much that they copied Australian government immigration material and turned it into a sticker of their own.

The sticker is on display at the German History Museum in Berlin as part of the exhibition “Anti-Semitic and racist stickers from 1880 to today”.

The neo-Nazi origin of the sticker is clear. The outline of Germany that appears at the top is based on its pre-1914 borders, which include the additional “Lebensraum” in the east that was lost in World War One, and which Hitler attempted to win back in World War Two.

The German History Museum is not some dodgy, fly-by-night set-up. It’s an important government-run institution. A lot of thought and detailed planning goes into the exhibitions.

So it means something when a piece of propaganda copied straight from the Australian government turns up there among sundry other documents of fascism in Germany.

It’s doubtful that the curators made the connection; the implication, however, is clear.

The Australian government’s material, cheerily displayed on the immigration website and distributed around the world to help convey the official Australian “line” on refugees, is on par with some of the most depraved and hateful documents of human history over past century.

To those who preside over Australia’s refugee policies, this is “world’s best practice”. To anyone with a skerrick of humanity, it’s more like “the banality of evil”.

The sticker appears in the exhibition with the following text, in German and English: “The text of this sticker refuses to grant refugees any chance of settling in Germany. The image threatens: we would rather you drown at sea”.

For a German audience, this is assumed to be self-evidently racist and vile. In Australia, the idea of using refugee drownings as a way of deterring further boat arrivals is official government policy.

So that’s where we are. In Germany there is increasing concern about the rise of the far right. In Australia we call those people “the government”.

 

 

Shame Australia.

Shame.


 

An rescued asylum seeker is escorted by police officers upon arrival at a hotel in Merak, Banten Province, Indonesia. Picture: AP

 

West Australian [31/8/12]:

 

Australian authorities have ended the search for more survivors from an asylum-seeker boat that sank off Indonesia, citing the unlikely prospect of anyone surviving that amount of time in the sea.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said today the search was called off “following medical advice that there is no realistic prospect of survivability”.

The wooden asylum-seeker boat was about eight nautical miles from Java and about 220 nautical miles from Christmas Island when it issued a distress call at about 1.30am Jakarta time (0430 AEST) on Wednesday.

It’s believed the boat sank at about 7am local time (1000 AEST) on Wednesday.

Muhammed Zahir begged desperately for his sister to stay with him as they drifted in each others arms for days in the Sunda Strait, praying help would come.

But tired and injured, she couldn’t hold on any longer, slipping away and beneath the waves before the rescue boats arrived.

“She told me, ’kill yourself, let’s go together’,” he said.

“I said, ’please don’t go’, but she’s gone.”

As tears streamed down his face, Zahir told of the nightmare he has endured since the boat they were on with 150 others sank on the way to Australia.

Like the rest of those aboard the rickety wooden vessel, Zahir is an ethnic Hazara. They were fleeing persecution in Afghanistan.

...

Unlike in other incidents in recent months involving asylum seeker boats in distress, the Australian Government refused to take survivors to Christmas Island and insisted they be returned to Indonesia.

 

 

Given the UN's recent claims that visits to Manus and Nauru have been restricted - and they won't say what their representatives have been doing over the past week - we can only assume they are now actively helping the Australian government subvert the right to seek asylum.

 

 

Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [26/4/16]: ...  Meanwhile, the UNHCR is on Nauru today. And asylum seekers detained in RPC are preparing to protest for the 38th day running.

 

 

The United Nations has postponed a planned visit to Australia because the federal government cannot guarantee legal immunity to detention centre workers who discuss asylum seekers and migrants.

The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Canada's Francois Crepeau, was due to visit Australia on Sunday for about two weeks to investigate the plight of migrants and asylum seekers in offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, following an invitation from the federal government.

But Mr Crepeau said in a statement that the Border Force Act, which makes it a crime for immigration and border protection workers to disclose information about offshore detention centres, "serves to discourage people from fully disclosing information relevant to my mandate". ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/9/15]

 

 

Australia tortures refugees for three years then says they are to be deported [ABC - 25/4/16]:

 

... This means Boochani remains detained with asylum seekers who have had their refugee claims refused and have been told they have no option but to return to their countries of origin.

 

 

... 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]

 

 

 

... "TO AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT. STOP TORTURING US. IF YOU THINK WE DON'T DESERVE AUS. THEN HAND OVER ALL OF US TO THE UN. WE DON'T WANT YOUR HELP!" ... [CNN - 21/1/15]

 

 

 

 

A Conspiracy of Silence, Queensland's frontier killing times [VIDEO]:

 

 

This is first systematic account of frontier violence in Queensland, Australia.

Following in the tracks of the pastoralists as they moved into 'new' lands across the colony in the 19th Century, Dr Timothy Bottoms identifies massacres, poisonings and other incidents, including many that no-one has documented before.

 

 

 

More than four-fifths of the U.S. Senate have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to quickly reach an agreement on a new defense aid package for Israel worth more than the current $3 billion per year.

Eighty-three of the 100 senators signed the letter, led by Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons. Senator Ted Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate, was one of the 51 Republicans on board.

The Senate's Democratic White House hopeful, Bernie Sanders, was not among the 32 Democrats. ... [Reuters - 25/4/16]

 

 

 

 

26 April 2016

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