They’ve lied to us so often that nothing is believable to me anymore.
Political prisoner at Australia's refugee concentration camp on Nauru [Guardian - 17/2/17]
10th day of peaceful protest Nauru ...
Stop separating families.
"WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" Image: @elahe_zivardar [14/2/17]
Details of phoney Obama-Australia "deal" still a secret as Department of Immigration and Border Protection secretary Mike Pezzullo flogged with a wet lettuce leaf during Senate Estimates [ABC - 27/2/17]
WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING ... WAITING... ---> US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman renews call for declassification of phoney Obama-Australia refugee "deal" [Senator Chuck Grassley Media Release - 2/2/17]
"They killed Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Faysal Ishak and they are trying to kill us": Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island say "US deal" fake news [RNZI - 24/1/17]:
Refugees detained on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island are sceptical of news they'll meet immigration officials from the United States next month.
Many of the 900 men detained there don't even believe their Australian custodians have struck a deal with the US to re-settle them.
Speaking from Manus Island, the Sudanese refugee, Omar Jack Giram, said the deal sounded like fake news.
"You know, it's almost four years we have been told many, many fake news and fake informations about our future. ...
I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]
Perhaps Australian Border Force personnel wouldn't be so traumatised if they were RESCUING asylum seekers, instead of pushing them away? [ABC - 27/2/17]:
Australian Border Force is investigating the extent of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in its workforce caused by having to retrieve the bodies of asylum seekers killed trying to reach Australia by boat.
Speaking before a Senate estimates hearing at Federal Parliament on Monday morning, Border Force chief Roman Quaedvlieg revealed there was "significant anecdotal evidence" of trauma to frontline personnel.
"Not just those that were pulling bodies out of the water, but those that were actually dealing with the trauma of the interceptions, the capsizes, several of our officers went overboard, were at significant risk of harm and indeed death to themselves, and certainly dealing with the stress and trauma of the [illegal maritime arrivals] on board those vessels," Mr Quaedvlieg said. ...
... The court heard Cassidy suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had slipped into drug abuse after witnessing the "deaths and near-deaths of child and adult refugees" during his service. ... Former navy serviceman jailed for ramming Gold Coast airport with car [Brisbane Times - 13/12/16]
Corpses of Rohingya women and children float in Naf River – Bangladesh Marine Engineer [The Stateless - 12/12/16]
... Alam had made a deal with a boatman to help his family cross the river, but just as they were making their escape, the security forces found them.
“When the Myanmar police got a sense that people were preparing to cross the river, they opened fire,” the man explained. ... [Carbonated.TV - 4/1/17]
... After five days at sea, their boat reached Australian waters, but the engine failed as they struggled to make their way closer to Christmas island.
The Rohingya desperately waved to the crew of a passing Australian Navy vessel, which Mr Abdul said did not respond. ... [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]
... Australian Operation Sovereign Borders personnel told asylum seekers: Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ... [ABC - 22/7/14]
Why are Australian academics being funded to research refugee camps in Greece, and not their own region - South East Asia? [The Conversation - 27/2/17]
Pressure mounts on transit countries such as Indonesia, as signatories to the UN Convention commit atrocities against refugees with impunity [TEMPO - 24/2/17]
Instead of urging the region to protect the Rohingya, UNHCR dogwhistles, blaming them for their own plight [The Hindu - 25/2/17]:
“Why are we punished, we are not involved in any militancy,” says Insan Ali, an elderly man living in the Teknaf refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar.
He’s one of the thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled Myanmar’s Rakhine State in recent months after the Army carried out a four-month long operation against “militants”.
Mr. Ali is from Maungdaw in Rakhine and reached Cox’s Bazar, a resort town in southeast Bangladesh, with his family after a perilous journey across the Naf river that marks parts of the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
“Unless Myanmar addresses the core issues, the region may turn into a fertile breeding ground for extremist ideologies,” says a UNHCR official in Cox’s Bazar.
Thai Criminal Court to hand down trafficking verdict July 19; Rohingya still trapped, unprotected, and pushed away [Bangkok Post - 26/2/17]:
The Criminal Court has set July 19 for handing down a verdict on the alleged trafficking of Rohingya migrants in a case that involves 103 suspects including a senior army officer and former politicians.
The court's newly established human trafficking division has reportedly finished hearing the testimonies of 209 witnesses in a case that came under the media spotlight in 2015 after graves, believed to belong to Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants, were found in Songkhla near the Thai-Malaysian border.
The last group of witnesses made their statements on Feb 24, ending a lengthy investigation, which caused worries over Thailand's image at a time when the country is under close watch by the United States, which is monitoring human trafficking in various countries. ...
Image: @RohingyaVision [16/12/16]
@Unilever [26/2/17]: Unilever stands firm with Nobel Peace laureates calling for action from UN Sec Council to protect the Rohingya ...
Tamil university students protest in support of families of missing [Tamil Guardian - 26/2/17]:
Tamil university students in Kilinochchi joined the ongoing protest by families of the disappeared in a solidarity demonstration on Sunday.
The families' protest demanding information and accountability for their missing loved ones has been ongoing for seven days. ...
@wikileaks [27/2/17]: Why Palestine never became a stable country ...
Israeli army hits Gaza with multiple airstrikes, injuring 3 Palestinians [Maan - 27/2/17]
A Palestinian woman was shot and injured by Israeli security guards at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, as Israeli police claimed she was carrying a bag in a "suspicious manner." ... [Maan - 27/2/17]
Palestinian activists from Qalandiya refugee camp in the central occupied West Bank closed al-Quds Ramallah Street and all entrances of the camp that lead to Jerusalem for the second consecutive day on Monday morning, aiming to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA) to help secure the release of two residents of the camp held in Israeli prison without trial or charge for more than a year. ... [Maan - 27/2/17]
Palestinian children attend class in the street after Israel shuts down school [Maan - 26/2/17]
Israeli forces injured a 16-year-old Palestinian with live fire on Friday in the central Gaza Strip near the border between the besieged enclave and Israel.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qadra said that the Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces and injured in his right leg.
His wounds were described as medium.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces stationed at the border fence east of Maghazi refugee camp opened live ammunition on a group of Palestinian youth in the area, causing the injury to the minor. ... [Maan - 24/2/17]
It was an emotional closing prayer in front of the sacred fire at Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, ground zero of the movement to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. ... [The Intercept - 25/2/17]
#ClintonsWalk hat; feathers one of uncles back home giving me these as gifts. Black cockatoos very sacred bird & special in the south west @Clintonswalk [27/2/17]
Message from aunty Sonya Brindle via Aboriginal Tent Embassy [26/2/17]:
... Who does this person think they are, our Elders who are nearing the end of their time with us, should not have to answer to anyone but their wives, or sons or daughters, So to be dictated to as if they were little Boys again, by someone other than a family member is insulting to say the least, to think that this Foreigner from across the seas, America to be precise,
So the member of staff that has dragged our uncle into court is a young woman, can you believe this, a woman not even an Australian, has managed to create and then put herself into a position in the office of an Aboriginal Men's group. ...
Nicole Kidman makes movies for people needing reassurance about white supremacy and genocide ---> ... The story is exceptional both for the way in which he found his mother, and for the unconditional love given to Brierley and his adoptive brother, also from India, by a loving Tasmanian couple who saw them only on arrival in Australia. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 27/2/17]
Murdoch and Kidman's Australia: The fun genocide - come visit! [I'll See Anything - 13/12/08]:
... And while we will no doubt continue stealing vast amounts of land in the name of, well, stealing vast amounts of land, could we at least have the good taste not to make films celebrating this fact?
Australia, heavily subsidized by the Australian government as a boost to the tourist industry, shows off all its natural wonders and the like.
But the story goes something like this: bad white people came and stole the land. Good white people followed.
They didn’t give the land back (that’s crazy talk), but they were slightly nicer to the brown people whose land got stolen.
Come visit! ...
@MaxBlumenthal [26/2/17]: The White Helmets & @sams_usa accept funding from pro-Israel Leichtag Foundation that "builds connections" w/Israel ...
... The bravado displayed by the White Helmets under Syrian government and Russian bombardment has captivated some of the most influential observers of the Syrian conflict.
Among the group’s biggest boosters is Sophie McNeill, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent who was among the first reporters to publish the now-famous photo of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh being extracted from the rubble of an Eastern Aleppo apartment building.
On her Twitter account, McNeill urged readers to donate money to the White Helmets and expressed her hope that the group wins the Nobel Prize.
(McNeill did not respond to questions sent to her publicly listed email.)
Back in November 2014, Tim Dixon, the managing director of Purpose Europe, a former adviser to Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and an original Syria Campaign board member, issued a report detailing how his firm’s “White Helmets campaign uses compelling storytelling to mobilize public support.”
Dixon wrote: “Purpose believed their story had the power to inspire empathy and action in the wider public, and launched the White Helmets campaign in August as part of an ongoing effort to build support for the protection of civilians.” ... [Alternet - 2/10/16]
@VanessaBeeley [26/2/17]: #Netflix #WhiteHelmet #AlQaeda propaganda film had already been binned by one funder in October 2016. ...
@wikileaks [26/2/17]: Report that Spicer audited staff phones for press contacts. But every phone is a microphone for CIA+NSA & MI6+GCHQ
@wikileaks [25/2/17]: Newly elected DNC Chair Tom Perez advised Clinton to cast Sanders as candidate of whites to turn off minorities
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.”
The cold heart of ICE [Truthout - 26/2/17]:
... It was the Obama administration that started this epidemic of arrests, beginning with an operation specifically targeting Central American unaccompanied minors and women with small children who were seeking political asylum in the United States, especially over the summer of 2014.
One of them, Ingrid Portillo Hernández, was learning English in the 11th grade in Durham.
She had fled El Salvador after her father, a community activist, was assassinated during a period of increased violence in their home country.
She was arrested walking to her new school in May, accompanied by two younger relatives, a little more than a month after she had turned 18.
Ingrid was swiftly deported in September, despite the intercession of a US Congressman from North Carolina, G.K. Butterfield, who has also interceded on behalf of Felipe and many others. ...
A poem so that the weight of this country does not crush you – Yosimar Reyes [Mijente - 25/2/17]
Salvadoran asylum seeker returned to Texas detention centre after being diagnosed with a brain tumour [USA Today - 23/2/17]
Men, women and children imprisoned by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru are fighting for their lives.
Where is the honest advocacy?
Australia's Kafkaesque punishment of asylum seekers continues because there is no opposition, and media, human rights organisations and refugee "advocates" refuse to challenge the bipartisan "deterrence" lie [ABC - 26/2/17]
Protesting for their lives as the AMA and health unions say nothing, and refugee "advocates" work on their next partisan stunt. ---> Day 21 of peaceful protest Nauru Island Saturday - 25/02/2017 PLEASE, STOP SEPARATING FAMILIES
Dengue fever outbreak on Nauru; political prisoner of the Australian government "medivaced" to Pindara Private Hospital on the Gold Coast [Guardian - 25/2/17]
Australian funded "health care" provider operating without registration in PNG [The National - 24/2/17]
Journalist and political prisoner Behrouz Boochani neatly highlights the policy's dangerous logic as Australian law societies look the other way [The National - 22/2/17]:
... “It can be generally said that we refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are out of any judicial and legislative zone and these islands are places that represent only a shadow of law.” ...
Australia donates vehicles to the PNG police; refugees still illegally and unconstitutionally imprisoned by the Australian government on Manus Island [The National - 27/2/17]
"Cheque's in the mail": PNG to UN; refugees still illegally and unconstitutionally imprisoned by the Australian government on Manus Island [The National - 27/2/17]
Man who murdered Reza Barati escapes prison, again - Australian G4S accomplices still at large down under [The National - 23/2/17]
Perhaps Radio New Zealand could ask Hugh de Kretser why the Australian media, human rights organisations and refugee "advocates" have closed ranks against Loghman Sawari? ---> Refugee now stateless thanks to the UNHCR [ABC- 23/2/17]
Refugee escapes to Fiji from Australia's sham "resettlement" regime in PNG, but was deported and jailed [Amnesty USA - 24/2/17]
Does Australia's imprisonment, torture and sexual abuse of refugees continue as part of US foreign policy goals? ---> PNG Family Sexual Violence Police Chief selected to participate in IVLP program as part of US foreign policy goals [PNG Loop 27/2/17]
US Ambassador Cefkin to stay … @FijiOneNews [19/1/17]
They're pickin' up the prisoners
And puttin 'em in a pen
And all she wants to do is dance ...
'All She Wants To Do Is Dance', written by Danny Kortchmar - Don Henley 
Image: @AmbCefkin [5/12/16]
Ambassador reaffirms US influence on "illegal immigration" to stay in the Pacific [Fiji Times - 28/1/17]:
... "The US is a Pacific nation. Our friendship with Fiji and the other Pacific Island nations is deep and abiding. We will remain committed to strengthening our co-operation in areas of mutual interest." ...
... 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]
Why Obama didn't close Guantánamo [One Small Window - 7/1/17]:
... With over one thousand people shot dead by US law enforcement agents each year, the alleged risk posed by Guantánamo prisoners to the US is clearly exaggerated, and with the naval base home to another indefinite detention facility since 1991, for immigration detainees, there is no interest in ending indefinite arbitrary detention, a highly lucrative business. ...
... It’s unusual that they [Connect Consortium - who run "settlement" services for refugees exiled on Nauru] haven’t encountered any allegations of rape or sexual assault, because there are many. Such as the story of Beth, a young Ethiopian refugee who was released into the Nauruan community in May.
Allegedly Beth, whose name I have changed, was sitting on the beach with some other Ethiopian women when local men gave her a drink. Beth began to feel woozy, before being dragged into bushes by two or three men and raped.
They then poured fuel on her and set her alight. I have seen photographs of her after the assault.
Her left breast is so badly burnt that the skin has blackened and lifted from the flesh.
As a result of the rape, Beth became pregnant. A solemn Christian, the thought of abortion appalled her but she decided to go through with it. Beth was flown to Brisbane for the termination where, not long after, she attempted to hang herself with a bed sheet. She is now back on Nauru.
These are not isolated incidents. I have another letter, also written by a Somali woman, who recounts a similar story. Sarah, whose name I have also changed, was offered a lift by a man at the supermarket’s bus stop.
“In car, man said I have to get something from my home first. When we got there dogs came out barking. Man said get out of car, dogs won’t hurt you. Dogs came close to attacking me. I asked him to call dogs away. He said get inside the house – they don’t know you – if you go inside they think you are part of family.
“I went inside. Dogs came in too. Man took off all his clothes and showed me his private parts. I wet my pants and soiled my pants. This is reason I left Somalia – this fear of rape – I see it happen to many. Then he said I don’t care and hit my face very hard. He said dogs will kill you if you don’t suck my private part. Then I have no choice.” ... [The Saturday Paper - 22/8/15]
27 February 2017