Day 130 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @Mums4Refugees [27/7/16]
Behrouz Boochani to Australian politicians: Why do you never ask questions about human rights on Manus and Nauru? [Autonomous Action Radio - 27/7/16]:
... George Brandis says the Royal Commission about juvenile detention should ask many important things.
Why was such brutal mistreatment of detainees allowed to happen? Is there a culture of abuse? Why was earlier evidence of serious problems not acted on enough?
And did those people who did the abuse even understand they had a duty of care?
These questions are so important and I have a question for this man and other Australian politicians.
Why do you never ask these questions about Manus and Nauru?
It shows that you don’t believe in human rights, and only use this concept for political aims.
I mean that the human rights concept is only a cover for your political games and I wonder why Australian people don’t think deeply about the political actions of their politicians. ...
... The chair is not widely used in Australian corrections, and is presently only in the Northern Territory, Queensland and in a trial in Western Australia. ... [Guardian - 27/7/16]
A hood typically made of fabric that blocks a prisoner from spitting at a guard
Designed to prevent transmission of infectious diseases
Used on juveniles in WA, SA and the NT
Not used on juveniles in NSW or Tasmania [ABC - 22/4/16]
The Northern Territory Chief Minister has said he was unaware of a Guantanamo Bay style incident where a 17-year-old was strapped to a restraint chair for close to two hours with a hood over his head, while in the care of the Department of Corrections. ... [ABC - 13/11/15]
Man arrested and tortured to death in restraining chair for 21 hours, state says life worth $250,000 [Countercurrent News - 24/3/15]
... "There needs to be a full investigation into all these prisons throughout southeast Queensland." ... Family gets death-in-custody explanation [The Age - 17 February, 2011]
Thai authorities have charged three human rights activists with criminal defamation over a rare report describing torture suffered by detainees in the country's restive south.
Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, Anchana Heemmina and Somchai Homlaor, were charged on Tuesday with defamation, which carries a two-year prison sentence, and violating the computer crimes act, which carries three years.
Rights groups said both broadly-worded laws are routinely used by powerful interests to silence critics. ... [Al Jazeera - 26/7/16]
Anywhere but our protected little buddy - exceptionalist, isolationist Australia ---> UNHCR continues pressuring Malaysia - a non-signatory to the Refugee Convention - to do more for 1,000s of stranded refugees [The Stateless - 26/7/16]
@jodyhclarke [26/7/16]: Wet but fascinating evening with @Carlow_CC, the @Irelandcricket team given a new lease of life by Rohingya refugees
Burma appoints new Permanent Representative to the UN [The Irrawaddy - 27/7/16]:
... In May of last year, he joined the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean, in Bangkok, Thailand, as Burma’s special representative.
At the meeting, he rejected Burma being “singled out” by the UN when addressing the issue of thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants attempting to reach Malaysia and Indonesia by boat.
Htin Lynn has been recognized as a staunch defender of the previous administration’s stance on the Rohingya.
According to a report issued by the state-run daily Global New Light of Myanmar last January, he said that Burma’s 1982 Citizenship Law would decide their citizenship eligibility.
He has denied accusations of discriminatory policies in the country toward the Rohingya, while recognizing that some ethnic groups were left behind due to geographical difficulties and poor infrastructural development. ...
The International Committee of the Red Cross in a report released on Tuesday called on Sir Lankan authorities to “consolidate a national list of missing persons.”
“Living With uncertainty: Needs of The Families of Missing Persons in Sri Lanka,” outlined the findings of a Families’ Needs Assessments over the course of a year, and consisted of 395 semi structured interviews, 17 focus-group discussions in 11 different districts and meetings with stakeholders including government agencies.
The report found that 38% of the disappearances recorded happened between 2007 and 2009.
During their interviews, the ICRC found strong calls for justice, acknowledgment by the government and a memorialisation process that was led by families of the disappeared. [Tamil Guardian - 26/7/16]
Braving threats, Tamil fishermen return to Kokkilai [Tamil Guardian - 26/7/16]
India is holding negotiations with Qatar in the last ditch effort to rescue two men from Tamil Nadu on death row in Doha, for allegedly murdering an elderly woman in 2012.
The Indian Government has been given time till July 30 to challenge the verdict. ... [New Indian Express - 27/7/16]
28 killed, scores injured in floods, landslides across Nepal [New Indian Express - 27/7/16]
Indonesia's president has appointed a controversial former military chief, Wiranto, as the country's top security minister.
Wednesday's cabinet shake-up is President Joko Widodo's attempt at strengthening the Southeast Asian country's struggling economy.
General Wiranto had been accused of committing atrocities during Indonesia's occupation of East Timor.
He was in the charge of the military when the Indonesian army and paramilitaries carried out deadly assaults after East Timor sought independence from Indonesia in 1999.
About 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed, mainly by Indonesian forces and their proxies, or died of starvation and illness during the occupation. ... [Al Jazeera - 27/7/16]
A contract dispute involving Vanuatu’s embattled national broadcaster seems to be behind continuing disruptions to Australian radio and television services in the country.
Radio Australia and Australia Plus Television are the international services of the ABC but have recently been off-air in Vanuatu. ... [Pasifik - 27/7/16]
A New Zealand couple in Perth has won the right to pursue their racial discrimination case against ANZ for selling them a life insurance policy which is worthless because they are not citizens. ... [RNZI - 27/7/16]
ANZ credit card fee class action dismissed by High Court of Australia [ABC - 27/7/16]
Two people have been taken to hospital following a crash involving a bus in Southport this afternoon.
The bus was reportedly involved in a collision with a car at the corner of Shirley and Anne streets around 3.14pm. ... [MYGC - 27/7/16]
Sandgate Road lane cut after three cars, truck, bike in crash [Brisbane Times - 27/7/16]
Emergency services were at the scene of a bus rollover near Bundaberg on Wednesday afternoon where 14 people were on board.
The accident happened just after 4pm and involved a bus that transported working holiday-makers to and from work. ... [Brisbane Times - 27/7/16]
Queensland brothel madam won't face trial over Tony McGrath murder [Brisbane Times - 27/7/16]
Kaleen man to stand trial over rape of prostitute [Canberra Times - 27/7/16]
The body of an 80-year-old woman has been found near the scene of a stabbing "rampage" in Townsville.
It's alleged a 26-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man were stabbed in suburban Wulguru overnight and police investigating the incident found the body of an 80-year-old woman on Wednesday morning ... [Brisbane Times - 27/7/16]
A neighbour heard a "huge scream" the night a pregnant McDonald's worker was fatally attacked as she walked to a shift, a Queensland court has heard.
Andrew Michael Burke has pleaded not guilty to the rape and murder of Joan Ryther on May 21, 2013, as well as killing her unborn child.
He's accused of viciously attacking Ryther, who was about eight weeks pregnant, as she walked to her evening shift at the Logan Central fast food outlet.
A Brisbane Supreme Court jury on Wednesday heard a couple who lived across the road from Mrs Ryther and her husband Cory recalled hearing a woman's scream on the night.
Stephen Hodby said he was watching the news around 7pm to 7.30pm when he heard the scream, which prompted he and his wife Aurora to go out onto their verandah.
"There was a huge scream. It sounded like a woman screaming, a very loud noise," he said.
Mrs Hodby said she believed the sound had come from across the road.
They both then went back inside, with Mr Hodby telling the court he also heard a "ruckus" later in the evening.
Mrs Ryther's body was discovered the next morning, partially clothed and face down in a front yard.
The Crown contends she was raped, most likely with a screwdriver, and strangled.
The trial before Justice Debra Mullins continues. [Yahoo - 27/7/16]
A man who was captured on film abusing his puppy in a string of attacks that left it with a broken hip has avoided jail after admitting animal cruelty charges.
Videos sent to the animal welfare group RSPCA showed Craig Muller, 36, abusing the black kelpie-cross on at least four occasions in May.
Muller, from North Lakes, north of Brisbane, could be seen choking the dog, hurling it at a swing set, grabbing it by its leg and tail, slamming it against a glass table, and trying to suffocate it with a towel. ... [ABC - 27/7/16]
Black Lung: Diagnosed miner fears for friends still working underground [ABC - 27/7/16]
281 koala deaths around Moreton Bay Rail project [Brisbane Times - 27/7/16]
Nerang's population will double in three years with Gold Coast City Council on Tuesday approving 1160 new apartments and units and some buildings to 13 storeys close to Nerang train station.
In one of the biggest projects approved for outside the Southport/Surfers Paradise/Broadbeach beach strip, a complete make-over of Nerang was on Tuesday given the go-ahead by the Council. ... [Brisbane Times - 26/7/16]
Former Perth child psychiatrist charged with sexual offences against young girls [WA Today - 27/7/16]
A Queensland detective has been stood down from duty over unauthorised searches on the police computer system.
The 49-year-old detective senior sergeant is being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command after allegedly conducting searches on the system that weren't connected to his official duties.
The State Crime Command officer has been served with a disciplinary hearing notice. [Yahoo - 27/7/16]
Crash and hospitalisations after vigilante and police pursuit of allegedly stolen car, Parkwood [MYGC - 27/7/16]
Two boys and one girl charged following dangerous, resource-wasting, class and race based police pursuit, Woodridge [MYGC - 27/7/16]
Woman hit by police car in Melbourne [Nine MSN - 27/7/16]
Driver flees following police pursuit and crash, Melbourne [Nine MSN - 27/7/16]
New Victoria Police pursuit policy comes into effect [Media Release – 27/7/16]
Three intellectually disabled men who say they were mistreated while detained in state care are suing the New Zealand government for up to $1.4 million [RNZI - 27/7/16]
A police officer who stormed the Lindt Cafe during the frantic final moments of the Sydney siege has been accused of not telling the truth about how and when he fired his gun.
The tactical operative, known only as Officer B, has faced a second day of grilling about how he discharged his firearm during the deadly siege in December 2014.
Mr O'Connell on Wednesday said members of another tactical operations team, who burst into the cafe through another door, have given accounts of shots being fired as they entered.
He seized on an email from Officer B's lawyer sent to the counsel assisting the coroner in March.
An excerpt from the email, read aloud to the inquest, described the officer having "no recollection of whether he discharged all five rounds from his rifle in one burst or whether he discharged them in any particular grouping or sequence".
The inquest has heard the man initially told another officer he thought he had fired, within hours told another he did not fire, and days later told investigators he couldn't say either way. ... [Nine MSN - 27/7/16]
Lindt siege: 'Man that was a f--- up,' Officer B said soon after the cafe assault [Sydney Morning Herald – 26/7/16]
The man shot by police in Rotorua almost two weeks ago has died.
At the time, police said they had no option but to shoot after attempts to pepper spray and taser the man failed.
They said the 35-year-old was wielding a slasher and had attacked a police car and refused to drop the weapon.
They believe he was under the influence of a substance, possibly methamphetamine.
He was on electronically monitored bail at the time. ... [RNZI - 27/7/16]
Statement on Hooding, [International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) - 2011]:
... Hooding and other equivalent practices are intentional forms of sensory deprivation which constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment and should be prohibited in interrogations and detention.
When hooding is practiced in conjunction with other acts that may be considered cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, it may constitute torture.
In our experience, hooding is very often practiced in combination with other methods of abuse and typically, under such circumstances, constitutes torture. ...
Last August, a Senate motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT [Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment] didn't even get to a vote because protected and unaccountable Queensland ALP Senator Claire Moore objected.
Senate Hansard [11/8/15]:
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:54): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 782 standing in my name for today, relating to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, be taken as a formal motion.
The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?
Senator Moore: Yes.
The PRESIDENT: There is an objection.
Senator WRIGHT: I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator WRIGHT: I am greatly concerned that the government has chosen to deny me a chance to put this important motion to expedite the ratification of OPCAT, the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This OPCAT was voluntarily signed up to by an Australian government in 2009, and since then both Labor and coalition governments have inexplicably dragged their feet in its ratification. OPCAT would ensure independent monitoring and reporting on places of detention in Australia, all those places where some of the most overlooked marginalised and powerless people are kept detained: prisoners in jails and police lockups, patients in psychiatric facilities, young people in juvenile detention, and asylum seekers. With very recent examples of deaths in custody and cruel and inhumane treatment of people detained, it is very disappointing that I have been prevented from putting this motion today. It is crucial to fully ratify the protocol and set clear time frames to implement. Australia's own good standing is at stake.
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (15:55): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator FIFIELD: Just for the sake of accuracy, while the government does not support Senator Wright's motion, it was the opposition that denied formality on this occasion.
Senator MOORE (Queensland) (15:56): I seek leave to make a short statement.
The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.
Senator MOORE: Yes, Senator Wright, we did deny formality to this important motion, because it is our longstanding practice. Where we have an issue such as this which is complex and creates a number of complex situations and also determines significant discussions across all states and territories, we believe it is not appropriate to use the notice of motion process for that, and that is our standard practice.
No matter your view on asylum seekers and offshore detention, a prohibition on torture is something we can all support, writes Greens Senator Penny Wright, who will present a motion to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture to Parliament today. ... [Lawyers Weekly - 11/8/15]
… Politician granny with your high ideals
Have you no idea how the majority feels?
So with out love and a promised land
We're fools to the rules of a government plan …
'Sowing the Seeds Of Love', Tears for Fears 
A key weapon of the neo-liberal establishment in delegitimising the emergence of popular organisation to the left, is to portray all thinkers outside the Overton window as dangerous; actively violent, misogynist and racist. ... [Craig Murray - 26/7/16]
Head-on collisions with truth [Medialens - 25/7/16]:
... For fifteen years we have found ourselves confronting the extraordinary phenomenon of otherwise sane, highly-educated, often amiable human beings commenting from inside a corporate media bubble that excludes almost everything that matters without their even noticing.
In a recent article, for example, Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner writes:
'I believe that a strong journalistic culture is worth fighting for. So is a business model that serves and rewards media organisations that put the search for truth at the heart of everything...'
Like everyone else in her profession, Viner cannot understand how 'a business model' is in head-on collision with placing 'the search for truth at the heart of everything'.
The 'business model' obviously means the maximisation of profit achieved in cooperation with corporations and state agencies infamously hostile to truth.
It means deathly compromise.
In the real world we live in, it means putting profit, not truth, 'at the heart of everything'. ...
For the first time ever, progress is being made at the United Nations for a binging legal instrument that would hold corporations accountable for human rights violations. Transnational corporations--many with larger economies than the countries they operate in--have enjoyed immunity from charges for destroying the environment and taking human lives. But Ecuador is leading a fight in the UN to create an international treaty and standards that can change this equation. At teleSUR's studios in Quito, Abby Martin interviews Ecuador's Permanent Representative to the UN and Chair of the negotiations for the binging instrument, María Fernanda Espinosa, about the need for this step. [teleSUR - 24/7/16]
Just before former president Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, progressive social media lit up with news that former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, one of Bernie Sanders' most celebrated surrogates, had her convention credentials stripped by the DNC and was ejected from the convention hall. ... [Common Dreams - 26/7/16]
@no_platform [26/7/166]: Flag burning near Oregon Station #ShutDownDNC #DNCINPHILLY
@no_platform [26/7/16]: #ShutDownDNC now chanting from "From Palestine to Mexico, these racist borders got to go!" #dncinphilly
@no_platform [26/7/16]: Crowd chanting "don't vote for Hillary, she's killing black people" ...
DAY 21 – Solidarity in Philadelphia [No Platform - 26/7/16]:
... There are now hundreds of people in front of the confederate flag on Broad Street, blocking the way for other marchers, finally creating that critical mass.
Mothers with their children are sitting in now.
The city brings in a man in a cherry picker.
A giant cheer goes up.
This week, there are tens of thousands of people in Philadelphia protesting something that they are unable to change.
People walk around speaking of a greater plan, of a last minute win for Sanders, of voting for Jill Stein and helping her get 5% of the popular vote.
But here, at Passyunk and Broad, is a real victory.
The flag comes down.
What was at first just a dozen people has swelled into a city block’s worth, and the flag comes down. ...
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has authorised the first payment of election funding to political parties and candidates for votes received at the 2016 federal election.
The total of the first payment is $60 466 642.44.
Payments have been made to 24 parties and 24 independent candidates. ... [AEC Media Release - 27/7/16]
All unquestioningly regurgitated by the media as men, women and children are pushed away and/or tortured and dying ---> PM @TurnbullMalcolm marking two years since an asylum seeker vessel arrived in Australia ... @SkyNewsAust [27/7/16]
Media continues to propagate "people smugglers" lies because they're not allowed to do journalism ---> .@TurnbullMalcolm says the govt has ensured 'people smugglers cannot peddle their evil trade' ... @SkyNewsAust [27/7/16]
Nauru: Hunger striker on trial today for peacefully protesting three years of punishment for seeking asylum. Where are you Gillian Triggs 'n friends?
Oh there you are - promoting each other, and presiding over our ever diminishing rights and liberties, while refugees rot: Professor Gillian Triggs to speak to Queensland Council for Civil Liberties members at The Banco Court - 31 August 2016
@racvictoria: #Manus protest 25th July ...
Australian government gives $2 million to Care Australia to keep Syrian refugees where they are [Media Release - 24/7/16]
“Doctors for Refugees” launch High Court challenge to Australia's bipartisan concentration camp secrecy [Huffington Post - 26/7/16]
Media keeps pushing dubious technology, but Australians simply want universal health care and an ethical medical profession [ABC - 27/6/16]
... In Queensland, as soon as young people turn 17, our laws ensure that they are almost always dealt with by adult courts and adult prisons. ... [Brisbane Times - 26/7/16]
Youth detention workers claim violence cover-ups in Queensland [ABC – 27/7/16]:
Former workers within Queensland's youth detention centres are claiming to have been sacked for speaking out about violence inside the institutions.
They say violent incidents are often downplayed and are backing calls for Queensland to be included in the Royal Commission.
Graham Pattel was a youth worker in the Cleveland Youth Detention Centre in Townsville in north Queensland for eight years.
He said he witnessed excessive force and unnecessary violence against boys in the centre.
"These kids are only about 12 years old. They're going: 'You're hurting me, you're hurting me'. They're really putting some power on them, you know," he said.
Mr Pattel said he was sacked last year for complaining about the centre on social media.
"They shut me up, they charged me under the public service act and went through the process and sacked me. Now, I do not think it was fair," he said.
Another ex-worker from the same Townsville facility, Jeff Ingram, said he had filed numerous reports of excessive force over several years.
He alleges one incident two years ago involved a senior staff member who put a boy in a headlock and hit him in the face with a steel can.
"When I looked back to see him in the headlock, they actually dropped him on the ground in a headlock," he said.
"How he didn't break his neck I don't know."
Mr Ingram reported the incident and has provided the ABC with evidence of his complaints over the past two years, but he said the issue was not taken seriously.
"They told me that that boy, he attacked with a piece of steel," he said.
"I said to them I was there. I never seen a piece of steel, I just seen that boy running."
Mr Ingram was also sacked by the facility last week, he said, for hugging a group of female prisoners and breaching the centre's code of conduct.
He has denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations were made up to silence him. ...
Israeli police shoot, injure Palestinian woman at Qalandiya checkpoint [Maan - 26/7/16]
Number of Palestinians detained in Israel without trial sees sharp rise [Haaretz - 26/7/16]
On the last day before the summer recess, the House of Lords debated “the conditions in which Palestinian children are living and the impact on their health and wellbeing” including their treatment while held in military detention.
This is the second time this year that the UK parliament has considered the treatment of Palestinian children living under military occupation following a debate held in the House of Commons on 6 January 2016. ... [Middle East Monitor - 24/7/16]
Turkish Justice Ministry denies allegations coup detainees tortured [Daily Sabah - 26/7/16]
Turkish Justice Ministry plans to appoint 5,110 new judges and prosecutors in August [Hurriyet Daily News - 26/7/16]
Chemical castration regulation introduced for sex offenders in Turkey [Hurriyet Daily News - 26/7/16]
The U.S. military has no plan of pulling forces out of the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, amid the discussions around the failed coup attempt, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said Tuesday. ... [Anadolu - 26/7/16]
Two Turkish generals based in Afghanistan have been detained by authorities in Dubai following a failed coup in Turkey, CNN Turk television reported on Tuesday, citing diplomatic sources.
It identified the men as Major-General Cahit Bakir, a commander of Turkish forces serving in the international NATO-led security force in Afghanistan, and Brigadier Sener Topuc, who oversees education and aid in the country. ... [Reuters - 26/7/16]
Assange: WikiLeaks to release ‘a lot more’ on US elections [The Hill - 26/7/16]
More than a year ago, Texas county officials began to require that foreign passports presented by parents seeking to obtain their child’s birth certificate include a valid U.S. visa.
The state also ended its practice of accepting Mexican “matriculas” as a form of identification.
As a result, many undocumented parents were unable to obtain birth certificates for their U.S. citizen children.
On Friday, Texas settled a lawsuit brought against them and agreed to expand the list of acceptable documents as forms of identification from parents seeking birth certificates for their newborns. ... [American Immigration Council - 26/7/16]
This little girl’s moving DNC speech about fearing her parents’ deportation brought people to tears [Fusion - 26/7/16]
... But just because Clinton espouses a kinder, gentler, and decidedly more progressive immigration agenda than Obama did in 2008 and 2012 doesn’t mean that these immigrant-rights groups are taking her at her word.
At the height of the child-migrant crisis of 2014, Clinton, then secretary of state, said that children “should be sent back,” and many immigrants are still bruised from Obama’s repeated and ultimately unfulfilled campaign promises to pass immigration reform. ... [The Nation - 26/7/16]
@BernieOrBustLA [26/7/16]: ... DNC cleared out! Hundreds of Empty DNC Seats for Hillary Coronation ...
... Nearly all seats in the Maine, Kansas, Alaska, and Oklahoma sections were empty. ... @CassandraRules [26/7/16]: Bernie delegates have stormed media row, it's locked down by police #DemsInPhilly ...
27 July 2016