UAE says Trump travel ban an internal affair, most Muslims unaffected [IraqiNews.com - 1/2/17]:

 

... “The United States has taken a decision that is within the American sovereign decision,” Sheikh Abdullah said at a joint news conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Abu Dhabi.

 “There are attempts to give the impression that this decision is directed against a particular religion, but what proves this talk to be incorrect first is what the U.S. administration itself says … that this decision is not directed at a certain religion.” ...

 

 

‏@IraqiSMCEn [1/2/17]:  Nineveh: News agencies: An aerial shelling has targeted the neighborhoods in Najjar area and its surrounding at the right side of Mosul.

 

 

The January casualty figures in the Iraqi conflict are 4,176 dead and 1,433 injured.

The number of fatalities is higher than the December figure with was 3,174 killed.

Another 1,939 were wounded last month.

Most of the fighting this month took place in Mosul, but reports from there are unreliable. ... [Antiwar.com - 31/1/17]

 

 

United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [CENTCOM - 31/1/17]

 

 

Syrian militias get more US support, plan new phase [Reuters - 31/1/17]

 

 

... Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) will “personally reimburse the cost” of her controversial visit to Syria earlier this month, according to her office.

“Though the trip has met every requirement of the House Ethics Committee, the congresswoman has decided to reimburse [the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services-Ohio] for the trip because it has become a distraction from the important issue at hand,” the statement read.

But Gabbard stood by her trip, which has drawn condemnation from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“Do the American people want their taxpayer dollars to continue to be used in support of militant groups working hand-in-hand with al-Qaeda and ISIS in the effort to overthrow the Syrian government?” the statement said. ... [The Hill - 31/1/17]

 

 

UN cannot confirm postponement of Syria talks [Middle East Online - 27/1/17]

 

 

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem received on Monday United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the accompanying delegation.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations and means to enhance cooperation between the Syrian government and UNHCR and the activities the organization carries out in Syria. ... [SANA - 30/1/17]

 

 

Third migrant dies in a week in harsh Greek camp conditions [Reuters - 30/1/17]

 

 

For decades, residential shelters have operated as humane alternatives to immigrant detention. Could they work on a larger scale? [Texas Observer - February, 2017]:

 

... Reports show that the prison-like conditions of detention often re-traumatize asylum seekers, especially mothers with children, and smother access to necessary legal assistance.

The vast majority of detention centers are run by for-profit prison companies, which have been repeatedly found to cut corners on health care, security, food and other services.

Residential shelters, in contrast, are based on a model that stresses humane treatment.

They offer freedom of movement and a sense of community.

Immigrants in shelters also have a dramatically better shot at finding legal representation and winning their cases.

Yet the federal government has shown little appetite for embracing such a model, instead expanding its detention regime.

In October 2016, the detainee population hit an all-time high of 42,000. ...

 

 

Looks like GEO Group might be looking for more business in a stupid country ---> ... Walnut Grove, located an hour's drive east of Jackson, is a 1,450-bed prison that houses inmates ages 13 to 22 who are minors convicted as adults.

It is run by GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation's second-largest for-profit prison corporation, which posted a profit of $284 million last year.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections pays GEO to manage the prison.

Jonathan Smith is chief of special litigation in the civil rights section at the Justice Department, which spent two years looking into conditions at Walnut Grove. 

"To have a prison that's chaotic, poorly run, dangerous, didn't provide services, highly sexualized and highly violent really limits the ability of the state to turn those folks around, and to ensure public safety upon their release from prison," Smith said. ... Mississippi prison operator out; facility called a 'cesspool' [NPR - 24/4/12]

 

 

Where are the privatisation experts when you need them? [ABC - 5/12/16]:

 

A man who wrote a report into the Northern Territory's corrections system this year has told a Royal Commission that he was so horrified at what saw he felt compelled to alert authorities before the report was finished.

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory today began hearings in Darwin, and heard from Keith Hamburger, who this year gave the Government a report on the state of the corrections facilities.

Mr Hamburger said that although his report, A Safer Northern Territory Through Correctional Interventions, was given to the Government on July 31, his team decided the situation was so dire that they needed to tell NT Commissioner of Correctional Services Mark Payne about what they had found straight away. ...

 

 

Keith Hamburger AM - Managing Director [Knowledge Consulting]:

 

... Keith, as Director-General of Corrective Services (1988 to 1997), led a major successful reform of the Queensland Prison System.

This success was demonstrated by Commonwealth Industry Commission reports showing Queensland to have, at the conclusion of Keith’s stewardship, the most cost-effective system of Corrections in Australia, including the lowest return to prison rate.

Keith has considerable expertise in the area of outsourcing of public services to the private sector, including issues relating to the separation of “purchaser” and “provider” roles, specification of deliverables and the auditing and monitoring of “provider” services.

Under Keith’s leadership Queensland Corrective Services became the first jurisdiction outside of the United States of America to successfully outsource the management of high security prisons to private sector correctional service providers.

 

 

7 boys charged with 52 offences following uprising and rooftop protest at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre [Nine MSN - 1/2/17]

 

 

‏@AvaniDias [1/2/17]:  Justice Peter Barr told the court he still hasn't decided on #Voller's bail application but will announce his decision tomorrow afternoon

 

 

@AvaniDias [1/2/17]:  Prosecutors say #Voller being mechanically restrained and spit hooded wasn't out of the blue but a result of self harm attempts #DonDale

 

 

STOP THE LIES!

 

END THE POLICY!

 

FREE THE REFUGEES!

 

NOW!

 

 

Australia's political prisoners protest on Manus Island, June 2016

 

 

Details of fictional "US Deal" remain shrouded in mystery as the desperate PR campaign rolls on [ABC - 1/2/17]

 

 

The parameters of the discussion could be brought back to: Humanity, decency and adherence to the Refugee Convention - if Australia had a functioning media - and honest human rights/refugee advocates. --->  Turnbull doesn't have to do anything while Shorten has his back, but Refugee Action Coalition Sydney push on with exploiting refugees, and co-opting sincere activism, to impliedly endorse the ALP [1/2/17]

 

 

AUSTRALIA STOPPED ACCEPTING REFUGEES NEARLY 3 YEARS AGO AND WE HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN A DECADES LONG SUBVERSION OF THE UN CONVENTION.   PROTESTING TRUMP IS POINTLESS.

 

 

UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty, Refugee Council etc still silent about the urgent need for Loghman Sawari to be protected ----> Fijian politicians vent about border security as lawyer for man who escaped Australia/PNG anti refugee regime revealed [Fiji Times - 1/2/17]:

 

Opposition spokesperson for defence Mosese Bulitavu has questioned the security of our borders after an Iranian refugee allegedly entered the country with fake documents last week.

"The fact remains that 21-year-old Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari has beaten our immigration system and has exposed the shortfalls we have at our borders," Mr Bulitavu claimed.

Mr Sawari, who is represented by Lautoka-based human rights lawyer Aman Ravindra Singh, is applying for asylum in Fiji.

Mr Singh said he communicated with Department of Immigration director Nemani Vuniwaqa on his client's intention and hoped to submit an application in the next few days.

Mr Bulitavu wants the Department of Immigration to investigate the incident.

"It seems the Department of Immigration is waiting for Mr Sawari to turn himself in to the authorities when the department has the legal authority to seek assistance from police to collect him and hold him in a detention centre until all his claims for asylum have been assessed," Mr Bulitavu said.

He suggested that the Department of Immigration implement and enforce proper border control mechanisms to prevent such incidents from happening.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority CEO Visvanath Das said although the authority and the Department of Immigration shared border control functions, the Department of Immigration was responsible for cases such as Mr Sawari's.

"But you can rest assured that the borders are safe," Mr Das said.

Mr Singh said because of security and privacy issues, he was not able to reveal his client's location until a decision was made on his residence status.

"What I can tell you is that for someone who has faced persecution in Iran and fled a very difficult atmosphere in Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where he saw a lot of hardship, being in Fiji is a huge change for him," Mr Singh said.

"My client has said he was much happier and it was a relief for him to be in a country where there's peace."

Mr Singh said his client had yet to disclose how he managed to obtain documentation which allowed him to travel to Fiji from PNG.

When quizzed about how Mr Sawari had made contact with him for representation, Mr Singh said he was contacted by people who knew of his human rights background.

"There's only a handful of human rights lawyers in Fiji and my name came up. For me, I am simply doing the right thing.

"I do not discriminate on race, colour or creed. I saw a situation where a man is simply seeking a better life for himself and took up the opportunity to see him through his quest."

 Questions sent to Director of Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa since last Saturday remained unanswered.

 

 

Manus MP Ronny Knight continues threatening Australia's illegally and unconstitutionally held political prisoners [RNZI - 1/2/17]

 

 

Damned lies, News Corp and Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island, Behrouz Boochani [The Saturday Paper - 28/5/16]:

 

... Have Peter Michael and his fellow journalists ever asked themselves why the Manus prison is operating so confidentially, and why no journalists have been allowed to visit the centres to report directly on conditions?

The answer is crystal clear. The government is engaged in illegal and inhumane policies that they have kept secret from the public.

I emphasise once again that these days, days prior to the election, are vital for refugees, particularly those on Manus Island.

We have been exploited politically for so long, in a brutal and harsh way.

We are really worried, and have been since the Supreme Court decision that ruled our incarceration illegal.

Still, we are kept here.

We are worried about what role the Australian government will make for us in the election and what kind of impact that will have on us.

It feels dangerous because we are powerless.

 

 

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''.

The department also justified extremely tight media control and censorship to the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, as ''the right balance'' in circumstances that included ''the current climate associated with media ethics, media 'phone hacking' [in Britain]''. ...  [Sydney Morning Herald - 14/3/12]

 

 

For more sophisticated propagandising see the ABC's Four Corners and Sarah Ferguson - whose "Smugglers Paradise" played a key role in re-opening Nauru and Manus Island concentration camps -->  Daily Telegraph: Government providing refugees with beds and coathangers [Crikey - 17/2/12]

 

 

Katie Hopkins' migrant 'cockroaches' column resembles pro-genocide propaganda, says the UN [Independent - 24/4/15]:

 

... In its statement the Commission argued that Ms Hopkins's column, published in [Rupert Murdoch's] The Sun newspaper, used “language very similar to that employed by Rwanda’s Kangura newspaper and Radio Mille Collines during the run up to the 1994 genocide”. ...

 

 

Quebec mosque shooting: Alexandre Bissonnette faces 11 charges [Montreal Gazette - 31/1/17]:

 

... A fellow university student, who also knew Bissonnette from high school in Cap-Rouge, said the accused had developed radical views.

“He was not overtly racist or Islamophobic, but he had borderline misogynist, Islamophobic viewpoints,” said Vincent Boissonneault, who is taking International Studies at Université Laval.

“Unfortunately, that’s become more or less acceptable these days.”

Bissonnette did not show signs of mental illness or paranoia, Boissonneault said, adding he didn’t think he was part of an organized extremist group, either.

An organization devoted to helping refugees in the capital city said Bissonnette’s name and photograph, as they surfaced in the media Monday, were already familiar to them.

On a Facebook post, the organization Bienvenue aux réfugiés said Bissonnette was “unfortunately known by several activists in Quebec City for his viewpoints that were pro-Le Pen and anti-feminist, as expressed in social media and at Université Laval.”

Reached by phone, François Deschamps, the founder of the group, which matches Syrian families with volunteers who want to help them, did not want to go into detail about Bissonnette while the police investigation is ongoing.

But he spoke of the polarization of Quebec City between those who warmly welcomed the Syrian refugees and others, particularly on certain local radio stations, whose anti-immigrant discourse has become increasingly harsh.

“Quebec City’s population is white and francophone, and ­we already heard discourse that was a little xenophobic before the refugees arrived,­ so we were afraid of what could happen,” Deschamps said.

“And yet, the welcome was much stronger than what we expected.”

That said, Deschamps said he was not surprised at the events Sunday at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec, in which six people were killed.

The mosque has been the target of several hate crimes.

A pig’s head was placed on its doorstep last year.

“I feel infinite sadness and the feeling that there were so many warning signs about the extreme right that we didn’t want to take seriously,” Deschamps said.

“We want to think we are good and nice, but there are so many far-right groups that are extremely well-organized.” ...

 

 

A radicalised white supremacist who was stockpiling homemade guns and weapons across Sydney had expressed an intention to commit a mass shooting at a popular Westfield shopping centre.

 ...

In July 2015, the Firearms Squad received a tip-off that he was manufacturing homemade guns, knuckle dusters and slingshots in his grandfather's garage.

A month later, when Holt attended the "Big Show" Militaria, Guns Collectibles Fair in Toowoomba, he was caught with a knife and knuckledusters and was charged by Queensland police.

The caller led police to the Tall Timbers Hotel, where Holt had eight firearms hidden in the cupboards and a flick knife and slingshot in the fridge of his rented room. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 28/1/17]

 

 

Emergency situation revoked, White Rock [QPS Media – 31/1/17]:

 

An emergency situation declared this morning at White Rock under the Public Safety Preservation Act (PSPA) has been revoked.

Officers were called to an address on Progress Road around 8.30am following reports that a man was inside the residence with a gas bottle.

Police were able to enter the home around 2.35pm and take the man into custody without any further incident or injury.

He has been taken to Cairns Hospital for medical treatment.

The earlier emergency declaration was revoked at 5.15pm.

Investigations are continuing.

 

 

A man and his mother have been left with serious burns after a gas bottle explosion inside their Cairns home on Thursday.

Paramedics were called to a Kewarra Beach home about 3pm after a gas bottle explosion that reportedly caused extensive damage to the home and badly burnt a man, 39, and his 65-year-old mother.

The pair were treated for significant burns and transported to Cairns base hospital.

The man was airlifted to Brisbane for treatment overnight.

A crime scene has been declared and detectives from the Criminal Investigation Branch will investigate the incident. ... [Brisbane Times - 27/1/17]

 

 

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has launched a review into its operation as the fall-out continues from the ongoing Mount Isa court matter of pilot Josh Hoch.

Mr Hoch was released on bail on Friday after being charged with 342 offenses which involve tampering with the planes of other users of Mount Isa Airport. ... [North West Star - 30/1/17]

 

 

A man is in a critical condition in hospital after his neighbour allegedly doused him in a flammable liquid and set him on fire during a dispute over a pet dog in Wollongong overnight, police say. ... [The Herald - 25/1/17]

 

 

Amirah Droudis, the girlfriend of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis, has been sentenced to 44 years in prison for the murder of his ex-wife.

Droudis, 37, was last year found guilty of killing Monis's ex-wife, who can only be identified as Helen Lee, by stabbing her 18 times and setting her alight at Werrington in western Sydney in 2013.

Droudis has been given a non-parole period of 33 years. ... [ABC - 1/2/17]

 

 

The wife of murdered businessman Michael McGurk has told the Supreme Court trial for the alleged killer Ron Medich that she was threatened at her home in the months after her husband's death. ... [ABC - 31/1/17]

 

 

Paedophile ring member Ryan Trevor Clegg jailed for abusing girl offered up by father [ABC - 31/1/17]

 

 

A former north Queensland principal and Christian Brother has been jailed for three years for abusing boys at a Catholic school in the 1970s.

Terence Patrick Aquinas Kingston, 79, was sentenced in Brisbane District Court on Tuesday for nine counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

The court heard Kingston abused seven boys in grade eight and nine while he was principal at St Teresa's College in Abergowrie, near Ingham, more than 40 years ago. ... [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

Ex-Trinity Grammar teacher sentenced to 18 years' jail for sex abuse [ABC – 27/1/17]

 

 

Gold Coast police have charged a man with more than 160 sex offences including rape, possessing child exploitation material, and deprivation of liberty.

The 42-year-old was arrested last night as he arrived home from Thailand. ... [MYGC - 25/1/17]

 

 

Ciboros claim Bible essential to their defense [Toledo Blade – 21/1/17]:

 

... The pair has been in jail since May when a 13-year-old girl escaped from their Noble Street home and reported that she had been shackled in the basement on and off for several years.

They were subsequently indicted on charges they sexually abused her.

Timothy also faces rape charges involving another child. ...

 

 

A man is being treated at the scene of a serious truck crash on the Gold Coast this morning.

The accident occurred southbound on the Gold Coast Highway at Surfers Paradise around 7.30am.

Witnesses have told myGC it looks like the truck has slammed into a guardrail. ... [MYGC - 1/2/17]

 

 

Toddler dies after being hit by minibus on Palm Island [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

Officers were called to The Ring Road at Condon shortly after 12.20pm following reports a van and a truck had collided near the Douglas Arterial Road on ramp.

The driver of the car, a woman in her 80s, was transported to Townsville Hospital but was pronounced deceased a short time later.

The driver of the truck didn’t sustain any serious injuries. ... [QPS Media - 31/1/17]

 

 

Mother dies after being hit by her own car in Melbourne driveway [Nine MSN - 30/1/17]

 

 

‏@QldAmbulance [29/1/17]: #Goodna - female 30's has been rolled over by own vehicle. Patient transported to Princess Alexandra Hospital with serious injuries.

 

 

Four hospitalised after separate crashes on the Gold Coast [MYGC - 26/1/17]

 

 

A female paraglider has been rescued after crashing into bushland on a ridge in the Gold Coast hinterland on Sunday morning.

After spending about two hours at the crash site, the 38-year-old woman was airlifted by the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopter to Gold Coast University Hospital in a stable condition. ... [Brisbane Times - 30/1/17]

 

 

‏@GraffitiExpert [28/1/17]:  Police, Fire and Rescue appear to have retrieved person from car park ledge, Outrigger - Surfers Paradise ...

 

 

Three men are in hospital this morning – one of them in a critical condition – after falling from heights in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast overnight.

The separate incidents occurred at Kangaroo Point, Mount Nathan and Coolangatta. ... [MYGC - 27/1/17]

 

 

"So there is now a feeling that the people of Paradise Waters were punished because some of them opposed it at the time." ... Gold Coast City Council votes against light rail stop at Paradise Waters [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

Broadbeach monorail closes after almost three decades in service [ABC - 30/1/17]

 

 

Gold Coast Spit:  Have your say on the Queensland government's latest installment of its foregone conclusion to progressively sell off public land [MYGC - 31/1/17]

 

 

Smoking banned at Queensland campsites from tomorrow [MYGC - 31/1/17]

 

 

Police close “illegal beach doof” at Pottsville [Tweed Shire Echo – 30/1/17]

 

 

Several teenagers have been arrested after police were forced to shut down a wild party in suburban Brisbane.

Five aged between 15 and 20 will face court on charges including obstruct police and public nuisance after scuffles broke out when police tried to shut down the party.

Police were called to the house in Everton Park around 10pm to complaints that up to 50 teenagers were drinking in the street and damaging property. [Yahoo - 29/1/17]

 

 

... Teresa was killed by her estranged husband David Bradford in an apparent murder-suicide on the Gold Coast.

Her children found their bodies in her Pimpama home early on Tuesday morning.

Just two weeks earlier, Mr Bradford had been released on bail over a slew of domestic violence related assault charges.

...

Ms Bradford was studying nursing at Griffith University, but according to Ms Degraaf was "a little fearful" her back injuries sustained in a domestic violence incident in 2016 would prevent her from practicing as a nurse.

Ms Degraaf said Ms Bradford was keen to continue her studies, and had gone to the university to discuss what support would be available to her, including potential bursaries for text books.

"She was trying to protect [her children] from what was going on at home and provide for them, trying to get nursing done so she could provide a good life for them," Ms Degraad said.

"She was really trying to hold it together for them."

Ms Degraaf and another friend, Debra Napper, said she had been determined to move elsewhere so her estranged husband couldn't find her.

"She was trying to leave this house and find somewhere else to live," Ms Napper said.

"She told me that. She was ready to pack up and move."

Ms Degraaf said Ms Bradford needed help moving because of her health issues, which proved more difficult than she imagined.

"I'd been going through a range of options. She tried to get help, I tried to get her help - it was so easy for him to find her too," Ms Degraaf said.

Ms Napper said she was "very disappointed" with how the system had failed to prevent the tragedy from happening.

"You would think being in a domestic violence relationship that somebody would have helped her move out quicker," she said. ... [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

Man knocked unconscious in savage road rage attack in Surfers Paradise [MYGC - 30/1/17]:

 

A champion kick boxer has been charged after allegedly knocking a man unconscious and assaulting his daughter in a road-rage attack in Surfers Paradise.

Police will alleged two cars were involved in an incident at the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Trickett Street around 1.15pm on Saturday. ...

 

 

Australian boxer Jeff Horn's dream of fighting Filipino champion Manny Pacquiao in his hometown of Brisbane is a step closer to reality with the Queensland government formally bidding to host the fight.

Queensland tourism minister Kate Jones confirmed on Sunday the state government had put its offer to promoters with Suncorp Stadium the proposed venue for the April 23 WBO world welterweight championship bout. ... [Nine MSN - 29/1/17]

 

 

Auditors reviewing Queensland's official crime statistics [Brisbane Times - 30/1/17]:

 

... The ABC says it's been told two police crime managers on the Gold Coast have raised concerns that legitimate crime reports have been labelled "unfounded" in an effort to keep offences off the books.

The broadcaster said the managers took their concerns to the audit office only after telling a superior, who did nothing about it. ...

 

 

The Australian Research Council has backed three projects led by The University of Queensland to deliver innovative solutions to the resources sector with $1.2 million in competitive funding announced today. ... [UQ News - 30/1/17]

 

 

UQ studies underlying fertility issues behind the worldwide people shortage [UQ News - 26/1/17]

 

 

‏@Clintonswalk [1/2/17]:  When we started this walk, I love been in the bush, you can name a lot of birds, I love to see & hear them in the wild -Noonie

 

 

@Clintonswalk [29/1/17]:  The photos are from the top of the Lookout Cave here at Coober Pedy - Noonie ...

 

 

'I hope it educates people': Mundine says he won't stand for national anthem at fight [SBS – 30/1/17]

 

 

Professor Gracelyn Smallwood: Queensland government is defending racism in its appeal against the Palm Island discrimination ruling [ABC - 31/1/17]:

 

... She said the Palm Island community, north of Townsville, felt a sense of injustice.

"We wanted our voices heard, our lives to be valued," she said of the protests after Mr Doomadgee's death.

"But the police responded with discrimination and violence.

"We're desperate to put this behind us and move on, not to be back where we started." ...

 

 

Queensland government - supposedly the model litigant - indicates it intends complying with court orders. Media spin as generosity. [Nine MSN - 31/1/17]:

 

The Queensland government will pay $220,000 in damages to three Palm Island residents despite lodging a notice to appeal the outcome of the landmark racial discrimination case. ...

 

 

Rockhampton prison expansion to create 170 jobs: Palaszczuk [Brisbane Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

The Israeli authorities issued 35 administrative detention orders against Palestinians, including a lawmaker and a journalist, in the period between January 18 and 31, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Tuesday. ... [WAFA - 31/1/17]

 

 

A Palestinian youth on Monday sustained inuries in his leg after he was shot by Israeli soldiers at Jebara checkpoint south of Tulkarm, northern West Bank. ... [PNN - 30/1/17]

 

 

Protesters outside US Embassy in Tel Aviv compare Trump immigration order to Israeli anti-refugee policies [LA Times - 29/1/17]:

 

... Elliot Vaisbrub Glassenberg, a protest organizer and migrant rights activist, compared the new U.S. policy to Israeli policies toward tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who crossed into the country illegally from Egypt’s Sinai desert.

"The policies that Trump has enacted are no worse than the policies that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has enacted for years here – such as not allowing any non-Jews to be given refugee status in Israel, except for a select few.’’ ...

 

 

US Immigration Court to hear Singaporean blogger Amos Yee's plea for political asylum [The Straits Times - 31/1/17]:

 

... According to an account posted online by US-based Singaporean activist Melissa Chen, a Customs and Border Protection officer flagged him for secondary inspection where "they seized his electronic devices and found text messages between Amos and me, where we had been making arrangements for his bid for political asylum in the US".

"Amos was compelled to tell the truth," she said.

"The US has acted totally according to procedure here. He won't be released until a hearing/interview."

In their earlier statement on Jan 12 on the case, the law firm Grossman Law LLC said: "If Mr Yee is released from custody, due to backlogs in the Immigration Courts, it may take years for his claim to be heard.

"With more than 520,000 cases pending in US immigration courts, asylum applicants from all over the world are subjected to lengthy wait times, separation from family, legal limbo, and an adjudicatory system that is increasingly void of basic due process guarantees.

"Counsel has requested humanitarian release or release on parole and submitted evidence… that Mr Yee qualifies for release."

 

 

Singaporean blogger Amos Yee - who is seeking asylum in the US - condemns their "fucking bullshit" immigration detention system [The Independent - 23/1/17]

 

 

Calling on the government to condemn Trump - while refusing to call for an end to Australia's anti-refugee policy - is hypocrisy, not journalism, opposition or human rights advocacy.

 

Unsurprising given the tellingly unsupportive silence from UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and Refugee Council etc regarding the urgent need for this man to be protected --->  Director of Fiji Immigration says man who fled Australia/PNG anti-refugee regime hasn't claimed asylum yet [Fiji Village - 31/1/17]:

 

Director of Immigration Nemani Vuniwaqa says no approach has been made by the Iranian man who fled to Fiji from Papua New Guinea.

Vuniwaqa says he wants to meet with him and deal with the issues at hand.

...

We have also sent questions to Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He is yet to comment.

 

 

Save The Children pleased their traumatic saga has come to an end with $1million payout [Sydney Morning Herald - 31/1/17]

 

 

Save The Children not saving anyone [Green Left Weekly – 10/9/16]:

 

.. Save The Children board members, including a Corporate Social Responsibility academic, declined to speak with Green Left Weekly on the record.

Green Left Weekly has uncovered that a corporation that provides military ships to the Department of Defence is the employer of one board member.

This is critical because one of the specific questions RISE asks is: “Paul Ronalds, the CEO of Save The Children — Australia, publicly urged refugee advocates to accept asylum seeker boat turnbacks are here to stay.

Considering the fact that the operation of boat turnbacks endangers the lives of asylum seekers does your organisation endorse this compromise of human lives, including the lives of children?” ...

 

 

Former Nauru worker interviewed on NPR explains how child abuse is a deliberate component of Australia's anti-refugee torture policy [24/8/16]:

 

... What was the first case that came to your attention that made you think something is seriously wrong here?

"Three days into my first rotation on Nauru there was an adolescent boy who had been sexually assaulted. The child was living in fear of this sexual assault being repeated not just to him but to his mother who was living without a partner in the detention facility."

Who was the alleged abuser, according to the victims?

"So it was an employee who was a cleaner. And he actually admitted to the sexual assault, and while the security guards were making note of the sexual assault and taking the boy's report, the person who sexually assaulted the young boy continued to mock him. And see there was a complete lack of privacy in this detention facility, so here is a boy having to report a sexual assault and he is doing it in the open air, in front of guards, while the abuser is standing there mocking him. And see what was really amazing to me is here was a Save the Children manager there and she told me at the time that this person was going to be moved to a different detention facility within Nauru but that he wasn't going to be fired. And she said this just as a matter of, this was just normal, you have to accept it, this is just the way it is." ...

 

And still NOT ONE human rights and/or refugee advocacy organisation has demanded the government AND opposition end Australia's anti-refugee torture, exile, turnback policy, and

 start respecting international law.

 

 

Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, June 2016

 

 

Still refusing to comment on the ongoing medical neglect of the refugees Australia has exiled to Manus and Nauru, or is the media protecting you ? --->  AMA President slams governments for excluding obstetricians, specialists from maternity working group ... ‏@amaausmed [24/1/17]

 

 

“They’re trying to kill me, if they kill me take care of my son.” [Guardian - 30/12/16]

 

 

Australia's war of attrition against refugees continues because there is no opposition to the policy [SBS - 31/1/17]:

 

A pregnant asylum seeker suffering from a serious condition is reportedly being flown to Australia to receive medical attention, after Doctors for Refugees [ALP] advised that Nauru medical services cannot sufficiently treat her. ...

 

 

Who exiled Dee to Nauru Senator Urquhart? Deliberate medical neglect of refugees on Nauru and Manus Island is ALP policy, and as an ALP politician, you don't get to selectively condemn the ongoing medical neglect of refugees.

 

 

Labor will be supporting this legislation because it is our policy.:  "Opposition" Leader, Bill Shorten speaking on the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015  [House of Representatives Hansard - 24/6/15]

 

 

ABC [4/2/16]:

 

The Coalition and Labor have joined forces to vote down a motion to grant amnesty to almost 270 asylum seekers currently in Australia.

The 267 people, including 37 babies, are facing the prospect of being sent to Nauru in the wake of yesterday's High Court judgement which upheld offshore immigration detention.

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young today moved a motion in the Senate, asking for the Federal Government to allow the asylum seekers to remain onshore.

In full, the motion read: "the Senate calls on the Turnbull Government to grant amnesty to the 267 men, women and children in Australia as part of the M68 High Court challenge, and allow them to stay." ...

 

 

 

The ALP's red,

The LNP's blue.

Let's not forget,

Who re-opened Nauru.

 

 

 

Paris Aristotle is one of the chief architects of Australia's anti-refugee policy.

He - and all othe other apologists and profiteers - should be held to account, not given platforms to continue spruiking themselves.

Blood on your hands ABC.

 

... We are living in a camp in the jungle. This is where they ‘re-settled’ us. This is no place to live. If we are refugees why are we not living in community? We have no neighbours here. Our ‘neighbours’, our ‘relatives’ are mosquitoes and flies and dogs. Please listen to our issues. We want to tell you that we are here like animals. ...

 

 

The day Paris Aristotle laughed at refugees [Statement and questions from the more then fifty refugees exiled by Australia on Nauru - 4/8/14]:

 

... We want to tell you that we are here like animals. In a zoo there is different animals from different countries and people go to look at them. Nauru is a zoo.

We are just different animals from different countries. People come to visit here and then asks some questions then they note it down.

But we know from experience that they are doing just paper work and nothing will happen.

They just come to look at us.

Recently one man called Paris Aristotle came to our accommodation and he said he was from a NGO in Victoria. He said he is here to help us and to listen to us.

On that first day we asked him to take our problems to the media and he said that he cannot because he has good relationship with the minister!

We are confused. Is this man here for us or immigration?

The second day when he came, he came with Mark who is the deputy chief secretary of immigration and, as he told us, he is in charge of all detention centres of Australia.

When we were talking Paris was supporting Mark, not us.

When we tell them some things they laughed at us.

We are confused, is this man, Paris, here for us or for the DIAC?  ...

 

 

President Trump's Executive Order DOES NOT mention the fictional US "deal". Political, media and human rights establishment liars are in damage control - desperate to protect Australia's unsustainable, murderous anti-refugee policy. [27/1/17]

 

 

There is no "Australia-US refugee deal" and there is no "resettlement" - there never was.  There is only indefinite detention - and THAT is the policy. ---> I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]

 

 

UNHCR endorses bogus "US deal" it claims to know nothing about [Media Release - 13/11/16]

 

 

UNHCR refuse to comment - even in a general sense - to case of man who fled PNG and Australian anti-refugee regime to seek asylum in Fiji [Fiji Times - 31/1/17]

 

 

UNHCR's Volker Turk calls on Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia to do something about the flow-on impact of Australia's anti-refugee atrocities [23/3/16]

 

 

Australia stopped accepting refugees in July 2014.

 

 

... Prior to taking up this assignment in early 2014, Mr. Albrecht served as Head of the UNHCR Regional Support Hub in Nairobi, which, in close collaboration with the Organization’s Headquarters, works with offices in the East and Horn of Africa as well as the Great Lakes Region to ensure strategic coherence, programme quality and results, management effectiveness and financial due diligence and accountability for UNHCR's operations.

...

From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Albrecht served as Deputy Regional Representative at the UNHCR Regional Representation for the United States of America and the Caribbean, located in Washington ... Thomas Albrecht UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Refugees for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific [Kaldor Centre - UNSW]

 

 

GHANA REFUGEE ROUNDUP  [12/5/2005]:

 

... 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.

... Albrecht was dismayed that an "entitlement mentality" had gripped many of the refugees, some of whom have spent 15 years in camps. ...

 

 

“Omid was doing well, enduring hardships for better future. What happened to Omid’s hope? Who has taken his hope? Who has taken our hope, our Omid? Who has made the life so bitter for him?”

 

(And why isn't anyone interested in pursuing the truth?  Doesn't Omid's wife and family deserve that?)

 

[Guardian - 21/5/16]

 

 

Omid [ABC - 29/4/16]

 

 

In late April, representatives from the UNHCR - lead by Thomas Albrecht - undertook secretive missions on Manus and Nauru.

After being pressed by the media what they were up to, they said their mission was to "monitor" conditions of the camps, and the mental health of the refugees.

During the UNHCR visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years". [Arman has never been given a right of reply to the UNHCR's denial of these claims.]

Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"

After more than 24 hours without adequate medical attention he was airlifted by private contractor to Brisbane, where he died on 29 April 2016 from his burns.

Up until the time Omid died, the UNHCR Australia branch deflected any queries about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in South East Asia to the "Bangkok office".

Their only recent publicised activity in the region has been to assist the Australian government in its subversion of the right to seek asylum by "welcoming" its lies about the "release" of refugees on Nauru in October 2015.

Their fundraising and highlighting the plight of refugees and asylum seekers anywhere but in our region  - especially those imprisoned in Australia, and on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island - has never been scrutinised.

That the UNHCR are only calling for the "immediate movement" of refugees, rather than urging Australia to immediately close offshore camps and resume meeting its international obligations under the refugee convention, is telling.

Albrecht should explain why the UNHCR does not want the refugees on Nauru and Manus freed and resettled.

 

 

 

31 January 2017

HOME