Day 222 refugee protests, Nauru
Image: @elahe_zivardar [27/10/16]
PNG Supreme Court dismisses Manus case on technicality - lawyers to lodge fresh application [SBS - 27/10/16]:
The PNG Supreme Court has rejected an application by a group of refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island who sought to be taken to Australia.
That application was dismissed on a technicality and follows an earlier PNG Supreme Court ruling which found holding people on Manus breached their constitutional right to personal liberty and was thus illegal.
Had it succeeded, Australia could have been ordered to take away 302 asylum seekers transferred to Manus Island under the former Labor government's "Pacific solution".
The case was apparently rejected because court filing documents were signed by the group's main lawyer rather than the actual claimants.
They now plan to return to Manus to collect the signatures they need to relaunch the application, Reuters reports. ...
... Justice Poole in giving his decision said other similar cases filed in the Supreme Court were also struck out because the applications were not signed by the right applicants or persons.
Justice David Cannings however refused the application moved this morning saying it was not a mandatory requirement for the applicants (Asylum Seekers) to sign such applications and it can be signed by their lawyer.
He said such section 57 application (enforcement of human rights) are unique and quite different in nature adding that Human Rights laws in PNG are a critical component in PNG which apply to both citizens and non-citizens.
Justice Cannings said the court should be slow on dismissing such applications on technical grounds. ... [PNG Loop - 27/10/16]
... "We lost trust in any court or lawyer or justice," Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian who has been on Manus for more than three years, told Reuters.
For men like Abdul Aziz, 24, who fled his home in Sudan amid a bloody civil war, the court case had stirred hopes of finally leaving the center after 38 months.
"I'm optimistic that after the court case, I will be sent back to Australia. We are keeping our fingers crossed," Aziz told Reuters by telephone before the case was dismissed
"We sought asylum from Australia, not PNG." ... [Reuters - 27/10/16]
Protests on Manus, 20 September 2016 [Image: @racvictoria]
And will you represent the refugees when they sue their captors and tormentors for participating in this atrocity? ---> Teachers/Social Workers still face 2 years jail for exposing child abuse on Nauru. If they try to prosecute you, I'll represent you for free @Kon__K [26/10/16]
STOP WORKING THERE. ---> There is no protection on Nauru from this behaviour because there is no Rule of Law, just arbitrary, crude and evil behaviour. ... [2015 Nauru Senate Inquiry - Supplementary Submission [Mr Jon Nicholls No. 95.1]
Burmese navy massacre Rohingya fleeing by boat [RVISION TV – 17/10/16]:
The Burmese Navy shot at two boats carrying Rohingya people aboard, subsequently drowning and killing a boatful of people fleeing the current military atrocities in their home land.
The Navy indiscriminately started firing at the boats carrying several families consisting of women, children and elderly people hailing from Raim Mar Bil (Ye Dwin Chaung) village in Maungdaw, where a boatful of people are reported to have been killed.
Casualties of the remaining boat is still unknown.
Only one of the family is identified to be Zubair’s and several other family are still unidentified.
Corpses are still floating in the Naff river and no authority has arrived at the crime scene yet.
Israeli army levels Palestinian border lands while navy open fire on Gaza fishermen [PNN - 27/10/16]
An elderly Palestinian man had died on Wednesday of wounds he sustained after run-over by an Israeli settler east of Qalqiliya on Tuesday. ... [PNN - 27/10/16]
US using Tunisia to conduct drone operations in Libya [Reuters - 26/10/16]
US strike in Yemen kills 5 [US Department of Defense - 26/10/16]
A Labour demand for the UK government to withdraw support for the Saudi-led coalition in the 18-month Yemen civil war failed on Wednesday when a substantial number of Labour backbenchers either stayed away or abstained.
In a Commons debate, the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, said the government should withdraw support from the Saudi coalition until an independent UN investigation had examined whether the Saudi bombing campaign, which has seen the deaths of thousands of Yemeni civilians, was in breach of international humanitarian law.
The Labour front bench, partly due to resistance from unions with membership in the defence industry, did not explicitly call for a suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia until the independent inquiry reported.
The Labour call for ministers to withdraw support from the Saudi coalition was defeated by 283 to 193, suggesting that scores of Labour MPs did not vote. ... [Guardian - 27/10/16]
Russia's UN envoy urges organization to prove Aleppo air strikes continue [TASS - 27/10/16]
Rebel snipers obstruct evacuation of 40 civilians from Aleppo – Russia’s MoD [RT - 27/10/16]
22 schoolchildren, 6 teachers killed in attack in Syria’s Idlib province – reports [RT - 27/10/16]
US Defense Secretary meets with French, Turkish counterparts to discuss war on Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 26/10/16]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 26/10/16]
U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the next steps in the campaign against Islamic State during a telephone call on Wednesday, the White House said. ... [Reuters - 26/10/16]
More than 10,000 Iraqis have fled their homes since the October 17 start of an offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State jihadist group, the United Nations said Wednesday.
That figure is just a fraction of the displacement that aid groups expect to see when Iraqi forces reach the city limits and some of the million-plus people thought to be inside attempt to flee. ... [Yahoo - 26/10/16]
"Al-Qaeda leader" targeted by US drone strike in Afghanistan [BBC - 26/10/16]
30 civilians massacred in Ghor province, Afghanistan [Al Jazeera - 26/10/16]
Finland to deport Afghan migrants [Pajhwok - 26/10/16]
@HelpRefugeesUK [26/10/16]: Right now in Calais 100 kids sleeping outside in the freezing cold with no tents
More tents and shelters have been set on fire at the so-called “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, as operations to demolish the settlement continued. ... [EURO News - 26/10/16]
Protests, repression, staff evacuated and 3 injured at Chios refugee concentration camp [Keep Talking Greece - 26/10/16]:
... The explosive atmosphere calmed down after riot police squads entered the hot spot and after the intervention of a local police director.
More than 12,000 refugees and migrants are trapped in the hot spots of the Greek islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea, after the implementation of the EU Turkey Deal in March 2016.
Majority of EU member states failed to provide staff to accelerate asylum procedures with the effect that the frustrated asylum seekers launch more and more protests.
The Editor of one of Austria’s largest newspapers could be tried for a hate crime over a commentary he wrote about the migrant crisis last year. ... [Express - 25/10/16]
Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany [The Local - 24/10/16]
@MSF_Sea [26/10/16]: ... Sadly the death toll from yesterday's rescue has risen to 29. 18 not 14 bodies were recovered by @seawatchcrew from the rubber boat.
Some 729 migrants rescued from boats in the Mediterranean were taken to port in Sicily's Catania on Wednesday, along with the bodies of nine others killed trying to reach Italy. ... [Yahoo - 26/10/16]
UNHCR's Vivian Tan purports to speak for the 65 Karen refugees said to have voluntarily returned to Myanmar from Thailand this week [The Straits Times - 26/10/16]
Can we fund another IOM refugee concentration camp here?
"It's our policy"
Protected and unaccountable regional politicians meet to assert US dominance, subvert international conventions. do deals, suck gas and pacify dissidents and unco-operative populations ---> @DubesAustralia [27/10/16]: Family photo to open the Indian Ocean Rim Association Council of Ministers Meeting in Bali. #IORA
Julie Bishop: Keeping refugees out of Australia and in Indonesian cages - there is no journalism, and there is no opposition. ---> @DubesAustralia [26/10/16]: Foreign Minister @JulieBishopMP meets Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan. @kemaritiman
Notice how politicians like Senator Hanson-Young never promote film or artwork that challenges the policy ---> @sarahinthesen8 [26/10/16]: The world is watching: Film that unveils the horrors Aust refugee policy will air on BBC in the U.K next week
Eva Orner and the Australian human rights chatterati have no demand, and they want us to surrender hope. Don't. ---> ... When asked about her views on this new development, Orner was emphatic: “I’m deeply cynical about it, and I hate to say it, but I don’t think it will make any difference in the scheme of things.
“I hope I am wrong. I hope I am surprised. While we were editing the film there was a High Court challenge in Australia about the legality of Nauru, so the government quickly made the Nauru detention centre an open centre, which meant that people weren’t actually detained there.
“I’m surprised that of all the governments, Papua New Guinea is the one that has stood up and said detention is illegal. The Australian government’s response is that nothing will change. They are saying adamantly that no-one will enter Australia, whether they’re genuine refugees or not. So I don’t anticipate that anything will change.” ... [Australian Jewish News - 26/5/16]
Chasing Asylum: Feeding into the disempowering orgy of violence and despair [Guardian - 30/4/16]:
... Orner is understandably more cagey about the incredible footage filmed inside the detention centres.
It was filmed secretly and captures something that the tens of thousands of words written about asylum seeker policies can’t: that Australia’s detention centres are hell on earth.
The tents are mouldy, the fences are high, there is no privacy, the bathrooms are filthy and some of the men are housed in a tin second world war shed – in the tropics.
Graffiti on the tents reads, “Kill us.”
Whether she got footage from multiple sources or had one major source at each camp, she won’t say.
So distressing is the film that there is an argument to be made that it feeds into the government’s strategy of deterrence.
After seeing the footage of Nauru and Manus, it’s difficult to imagine any place that’s worse, or that is home to more suffering.
“There is no point in trying to come to Australia now by boat,” says Orner, in an odd echo of the government’s line. ...
Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island 
Waleed Aly blames Turnbull for Shorten's US-inspired anti-refugee policy and omits key points: Australia's torture, exile and boat turnbacks are US-driven LNP and ALP policy, backed by business, NGOs, academics, unions and the media [New York Times - 26/10/16]
@PAimmigrant [26/10/16]: At City Hall w @Vamos_Juntos_ @HelenGymAtLarge @MariaQSanchez to announce UN appeal to #ShutDownBerks
@PAimmigrant [26/10/16]: .@MariaQSanchez: we have the power to #ShutDownBerks and everyone who has the power should act immediately to do so.
UN human rights experts conclude visit, highlight abuses in detention [US Human Rights Network - 24/10/16]:
... In a wide ranging report, the Working Group’s preliminary findings includes calls for the abolition of mandatory detention in the context of immigration, ending the use of private companies for immigrant detention, joined calls to end the practices of family detention, the end of life-without-parole sentences for youth, the creation of specific pre-trial and pre-arrest programs to prevent the incarceration of people who need mental health support, and to close the Guantanamo Bay facility. ...
The Legacy of Guantánamo [The Nation - 14/7/2003]:
... Today, approximately half the refugees are dead, Williams estimates. Of those who remain, a number have managed to build new lives for themselves. But a good number still struggle–like Avril, who wiles away his days in a psychiatric institution; or Raoul Surpris, who struggles with drug addiction and is homeless.
Then, there are the refugees still in immigration limbo. All the children who were born on Guantánamo are effectively stateless, since the camp authorities would not give them US birth certificates and Haiti has not extended citizenship rights to them either. “Their status is still hanging in the air,” says Pierre-Louis. ...
... In hindsight, we can see that we were wrong to allow our trust in Clinton and his election promise to dictate legal strategy.
Clinton sorely disappointed us, and our belief in him caused our clients to spend more time in the inhuman camp conditions.
But for our belief in Clinton, we could have tried the case four of five months earlier and ended the horror of the camp that much sooner.
If there ever is a next time and I am faced with a similar situation and must choose a legal strategy, I will disregard the promises of politicians.
Clinton's promises and our reliance on them seriously jeopardized our relationships with our clients.
We wrongly believed and persuaded our clients to believe that Clinton would change their circumstances.
Regaining the trust of our clients was not easy. ... How We Closed the Guantanamo HIV Camp: The Intersection of Politics and Litigation, Michael Ratner
... UNHCR Representative Thomas Albrecht told Ref Coord he had had to deliver a stern warning to the refugees: either shape up or he will ask the GOG [Government of Ghana] to post several military officers inside the camp.
To emphasize the seriousness of his message, he suspended all UNHCR services to Budumburam during the week of May 1-7. ...
Today the Australia - United Nations Parliamentary Group, co-chaired by Melissa and Senator Chris Back, along with the United Nations Association of Australia hosted a morning tea to celebrate Refugee Day (20 June). Mr. Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR regional representative spoke about the plight of refugees around the world and reminded the audience that it was important to also “celebrate” refugees on Refugee Day as these are courageous people who have come through so much, are resilient and contribute enormously. [Melissa Parke - 25/6/14]
"UN UN! SHAME ON YOU! SHAME ON YOU!" [Day 46, refugee protests on Nauru - 3/5/16]
27 October 2016