So, while Australians spent NYE quietly, or watching fireworks, or at parties, assured of their human right to enjoy the last evening of 2016 in whatever way they wished, Australia's political prisoners spent their fourth New Year's Eve in a place they never agreed to go to, and some of them were beaten.




Julie Grint [1/1/17]:


Marilyn Beech 


Behrouz Boochani has posted about New Year's Eve on Manus Island for two of his fellow refugees.

Only because they are Australia's political prisoners are ANY of these men on Manus Island, in contravention of the PNG Constitution, the Refugee Convention and the men's own human rights.


''I have just spoken with those two refugees who were beaten extremely badly by PNG Immigration and police.

The refugees said they were in Lorengau at 8pm and were going to join the New Year celebrations when Immigration and police attacked them.

The refugees said the first to attack them were two PNG immigration officers who were drunk and came to them and said 'you don't have the right to be outside of the prison at this moment.'

After a few minutes the police joined them and beat them extremely badly in the head, face, back and hands.

One of the refugees has pain in his head and probably his hand is broken.

The other has pain in his nose and is quite sure his nose is broken.

They are still in police detention and need medical treatment.

Photographs of some of their injuries have already been published online by the Refugee Action Coalition.

I can not share the photographs here because the injuries look so bad and I don't think I have the right to publish them and make people upset and angry.

More information will go to the media soon.''


So, while Australians spent NYE quietly, or watching fireworks, or at parties, assured of their human right to enjoy the last evening of 2016 in whatever way they wished, Australia's political prisoners spent their fourth New Year's Eve in a place they never agreed to go to, and some of them were beaten. SHAME ON AUSTRALIA.



Australia's war of attrition against refugees continues unopposed. [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 1/1/17]



Before you believe anything Manus MP Ronnie Knight tweets, or is reported by his friends in the Australian media, remember his history of telling tall tales eg the story cooked up with Markus Mannheim about the non-existent sex video - to which refugees were given no right of reply.



Australia:  Hipsters trample each other at music festival [ABC - 1/1/17]



Australia:  Two killed by fireworks in Victoria, New South Wales [ABC - 1/1/17]



South Koreans demand president's removal on New Year's Eve [Korea Herald – 31/12/16]



South Korea’s former health minister was arrested under a court order on Saturday in a widening probe to determine whether impeached President Park Geun Hye took bribes from businesses including Samsung. ... [The Straits Times - 31/12/16]



Lockheed Martin Corp has been awarded a $450 million modification to a previous contract linked to the development and delivery of F-35A aircraft to South Korea, the Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday. [Reuters - 29/12/16]



Three minors were among seven people shot dead by suspected vigilantes in the Philippines at a house storing illegal narcotics, police said on Thursday, in the latest killings during a bloody and murky war on drugs. ... [Reuters - 29/12/16]



Marshall Islands in Internet blackout [ENCA – 30/12/16]



A New Year’s party in Brazil’s southeastern city of Campinas came to a bloody and tragic end shortly before midnight Saturday when a gunman stormed the celebrations and killed a dozen people, including his ex-wife and son, before committing suicide. ... [teleSUR - 1/1/17]



The ferry from Kali Adem Port in Penjaringan that exploded on its way to Tidung Island in North Jakarta on Sunday morning might have been carrying passengers beyond its capacity as the rescue team tasked with sorting through the wreckage has found more bodies than expected.

The team collected 20 bodies from the ruins of the Zahro Express after it was towed back to Muara Angke pier.

The boat, which was initially reported to be carrying 100 passengers, might have in fact accommodated more than 200 passengers. ... [Jakarta Post - 1/1/17]



Eight miners were killed and some are feared trapped in a cave-in at the Lalmatia opencast coal mine at Rajmahal area of Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) in Godda district of Jharkhand on Thursday night. ... [The Hindu - 30/12/16]



World's highest bridge opens in Southwest China [ - 29/12/16]



Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has again reiterated his opposition to a 2017 referendum by pro-independence groups in Catalonia.

The law, he said, made it abundantly plain that such a move was unconstitutional and illegal. ... [Euro Weekly News - 31/12/16]



Bosnian Serb leader questioned over illegal referendum [Reuters – 30/12/16]:


Under U.S. pressure, the leader of Bosnia's autonomous Serb Republic on Friday submitted to questioning by prosecutors, after defying a summons for three months, for holding a referendum in violation of a Constitutional Court ruling.

The country's chief prosecutor called in Milorad Dodik in September but he refused to come to the Bosnian capital, citing security concerns.

Dodik had said that he would settle for questioning only on the territory of the Serb Republic.

But on Friday, he was questioned in Sarajevo as a suspect in the case, the prosecutor's office said in a short statement. ...



Sarajevo Police Commander charged with war crimes [Balkan Insight - 30/12/16]



Gunman kills 39 in Istanbul nightclub attack, manhunt under way [Reuters - 1/1/17]



Gunman attacks Istanbul mosque, injures 2 [RT - 1/1/17]



A gunman killed Burundi's environment minister early on Sunday, police said, the first murder of a senior government figure in nearly two years of political violence.

Emmanuel Niyonkuru, 54, was attacked as he travelled home in the central African nation's capital Bujumbura, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said in a tweet. ... [Reuters - 1/1/17]



Nazis screen hundreds of North Africans at Cologne station [Reuters - 31/12/16]



Journalist in Bahrain was 'murdered by member of royal family', activists claim [Telegraph - 29/12/16]



Egypt's government has approved a deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia and has sent it to parliament for ratification on Thursday, according to state television. ... [Middle East Eye - 29/12/16]



‏@IraqiSMCEn  - Iraqi Spring Media Center [1/1/17]:


Najaf: Deaths and injuries were resulted as a blast targeted a checkpoint in Qadisiya neighborhood south of Najaf.


Diyala: News agencies:An explosive expert in the government police was killed while trying to dismantle an IED near Abu karma Village northeast of Ba'quba.



Blasts kill at least 28 people in central Baghdad [Press TV - 31/12/16]



Around 1,000 people protested Friday in central Baghdad demanding the release of an Iraqi female journalist after she was abducted by unknown gunmen.

"Freedom for Afrah!" cried the demonstrators, who included many women, after Afrah Shawqi was seized on Monday from her home in a southern neighbourhood of the capital.

"We demand the release of Afrah but we don't know who kidnapped her," Sana Rassoul, a woman doctor, told AFP in the capital's Tahrir Square.

The journalist's supporters joined members of civil society and backers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr who demonstrate in the square every Friday against corruption. ... [The Peninsula - 31/12/16]



UN Security Council approves Russian-drafted resolution on Syria ceasefire [RT - 31/12/16]:


... Western countries expressed cautious optimism about the agreements brokered by Moscow and Ankara.

The US deputy ambassador to the UN, Michelle Sison, said that the US expects the truce to be observed across the whole of Syria while the British deputy UN envoy Peter Wilson said that a system is required to independently monitor the ceasefire. ...



Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation discussed the agreement on the cease fire in Syria and the launch of negotiations with the Syrian opposition in Astana, the Kremlin press service reported. ... [TASS - 31/12/16]



ISIS shows off Turkish Army equipment seized in east Aleppo [AMN - 31//12/16]



As part of its compulsory unilateral economic sanctions and its embargo on the Syrian people, the United States imposed new sanctions against Cham Wings Airlines. ... [SANA - 31/2/16]



Water flow from Euphrates River to Aleppo returns gradually [SANA - 31/12/16]



Two terrorist suicide bombers blew themselves with explosive belts up on the seaside corniche in Tartous on Thursday after midnight. ... [SANA - 30/12/16]



Pennsylvania police on Saturday morning shot to death a suspect wanted for the murder of a rookie trooper who was serving him a protection order, law enforcement authorities said.

Jason Robison, 32, was cornered at around 10 a.m. in an unoccupied house trailer close to his residence in Hesston, which is about 100 miles west of Harrisburg, the state capital, according to state police.

He had gone into hiding since the fatal shooting of Trooper Landon Weaver, 23, of East Freedom, at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

When surrounded on Saturday, Robison refused commands to surrender and vowed to shoot more troopers, a state police news release said.

He was shot and killed in the ensuing confrontation. Further details were not available. ... [Reuters - 31/12/16]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 31/12/16]



A lifeguard has completed three volunteer missions to the Greek island of Lesbos to save people attempting the crossing from Turkey to Greece. ... [Independent - 31/12/16]



Thirty one refugees from Syria (18 men, 6 women and 7 children) that arrived from the Turkish coasts were arrested on Friday on the island of Kastellorizo.

The refugees were arrested for illegal entrance to Greece. [Greek Reporter - 30/12/16]



‏@Refugees_Gr [29/12/16]:  2017 We will continue 2 support disobedient movements Global justice and the freedom of movement for all #refugeesgr  



US Coast Guard conducts 3 at-sea interdictions during past week; forcibly returns 29 Cuban migrants [Media Release - 30/12/16]



Singapore blogger seeking asylum in the US regrets posts in home country [Reuters – 30/12/16]:


A Singaporean blogger who is seeking political asylum in the United States said on Friday he regretted inflammatory posts that landed him in jail twice in his home country.

Amos Yee, 18, who is currently detained in Illinois, told Reuters that videos he filmed insulting Singapore's late prime minister and various religions were in bad taste.

"I told you, it is hate speech, it is overly rude, it isn’t good activism," Yee said by telephone from the McHenry County Adult Correctional Facility in Illinois.

"I completely regret making those videos."

Yee's posts, and subsequent trials and convictions in Singapore, have stirred debate in the conservative city-state over censorship and free speech.

His trials were watched closely by rights groups as well as the United Nations.

Last year, Yee was convicted on charges of harassment and insulting a religious group over comments he made about former Singaporean Premier Lee Kuan Yew and Christians soon after Lee's death. His sentence amounted to four weeks in jail.

In September, Yee was sentenced to six weeks in jail after pleading guilty to posting comments on the internet critical of Christianity and Islam.

Yee arrived at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Dec. 16 and told U.S. Customs officials he was seeking political asylum.

The blogger said that he wanted to live in Illinois and has no plans to return to Singapore, a Southeast Asian city-state that has compulsory military service for males, which Yee said he would not take part in.

Yee should have his first hearing in front of a judge within two weeks, according to his attorney, Sandra Grossman. Yee has had no contact with the Singaporean government since arriving, he said.

While highly critical of actions of the U.S. government abroad, particularly drone strikes in the Middle East, Yee said the country provided the best platform for spreading his political message of anarchist communism and ending private property and wage labor.

“It is not going to the best country. This is about going to the country that most effectively promotes my political philosophy of anarchical communism,” Yee said.


More Rohingya refugees manage to flee Aung San Suu Kyi's western backed genocide despite regional efforts (and consensus) to push them back [New Age - 31/12/16]



‏@Arakan_Times [1/1/17]:  Helpless rohingya refugees living without any roof and shelters in open skye they are asking help ...



‏@Arakan_Times:  Footage Of #ZinPainNyar 21 #Rohingya Houses Demolished On 30th Dec 2016...



Myanmar Border Guard Police rounding up and torturing Rohingya in KoeTanKauk village [Arakan Times - 31/12/16]:


... The incident of the tortures and humiliations of the people took place at the village of ‘KoeTanKauk’ locally known as Dounsay Fara’ in Rathedaung Township on November 5, 2016 (during the two-day long siege of the village by a joint force of the Border Guard Police and the military from November 4 to November 6). ...



Relatives of the disappeared held a protest in Vavuniya on Friday, demanding justice for the thousands of missing and disappeared Tamils. ... [Tamil Guardian - 31/12/16]



Police officers suspected of shooting Jaffna University students further remanded [Tamil Guardian - 30/12/16]



Sri Lanka signs agreement to obtain US $75 million World Bank credit line to "streamline welfare system" [Daily Mirror - 29/12/16]



The Australian Greens and human rights establishment were silent ---> Several of the [Australia-bound] Tamil asylum seekers stranded after arriving by boat on the Indonesian island of Aceh have been tortured in Sri Lanka and face certain persecution if they are returned, a compatriot living in Australia has claimed.


Karikalan said Anathi and her now husband, Wasanth, who is also on the boat, had been in jail alongside him. He said they were all tortured daily, including being hung upside down while being interrogated.


Those on board the boat reportedly did not pay a people smuggler to bring them from the southern Indian city of Velankanni from where they left in early May.

Instead, the asylum seekers pooled their money to buy the old boat, which is now aground on the beach at Lhoknga and listing badly. ...  [Guardian - 23/6/16]



Where are these people today?  Are they still alive?



[Australia-bound] Migrants from Sri Lanka gesture aboard a boat off the coast of Indonesia on Monday.

Authorities in the province of Aceh are preparing to tow the boat out to sea. [National Post - 17/6/16]



Australia-bound Tamil asylum seekers still stranded off Aceh [Jakarta Post - 16/6/16]



What Australia's fanatical anti-refugee policy means for people seeking asylum in our region [Academy of Social Sciences in Australia - 2016]:


... While it is widely reported in the media that the number of boats leaving Indonesia for Australia has significantly dropped since the commencement of OSB, NGOs in Indonesia highlight that people seeking asylum have continued to arrive to the country.

While some live in supported shelters or independently in the community, others are locked up in immigration detention centres.

By 2015 there were 33 sites of immigration detention throughout Indonesia.

Australian funding through the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expanded the capacity of this detention network since 2011. ...



If you aren't protesting every single Australian politician (and their fraudulent human rights/NGO/professional association and union accomplices), you are perpetuating the policy.


... DIRTY POLICY!...   via @InsurrectNews [9/5/16]










Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, May 2016  



Gerry Hand. Vital conduit for US anti-refugee policy. Never held to account for the lives he has destroyed. --->  Calls for Australia to withdraw from UN Refugee Convention [AUDIO - 17/6/13]:


There's growing concern Australia's support for the United Nations Refugee Convention is attracting asylum seekers to Australia.

Former Labor Immigration minister Gerry Hand has suggested withdrawing from the convention, arguing it may lead to a drop in asylum seeker numbers.



MIGRATION AMENDMENT BILL 1992 - Second Reading - House of Representatives [5/5/1992]:


Mr HAND (Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs)

... I now wish to foreshadow major Government amendments to the Bill which I will move during the committee stage.

The Government is conscious of the extraordinary nature of the measures which will be implemented by the amendment aimed at boat people.

 I believe it is crucial that all persons who come to Australia without prior authorisation not be released into the community.

Their release would undermine the Government's strategy for determining their refugee status or entry claims.

Indeed, I believe it is vital to Australia that this be prevented as far as possible.

The Government is determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community. ...



 Immigration minister Gerry Hand bluntly dismissed the hunger strike by 56 Chinese refugees detained at Port Hedland in an interview on Channel 10 on March 23.

"If I was to intervene now", said Hand, "I may as well get the rules, tear them up and throw them away and say, 'Well, if you just come here, that's sufficient for you to stay in Australia'". ... [Green Left Weekly 8/4/1992]



Gareth Evans. Another vital conduit for US anti-refugee policy. Free to warmonger around the world with his "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine. ---> I have rarely ever come face to face – only inches in fact – with such anger. Certainly not at an academic conference.

And certainly not from such a prominent figure: chancellor of Australian National University, former attorney-general and foreign minister, former head of the International Crisis Group, and one of the world’s most prominent global thinkers.

Yet here I was with Gareth Evans, cursing at me, ripping my badge off, and threatening to punch me in the face.

What prompted his outburst was my raising the issue of his support for the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia during its savage repression in the occupied island nation of East Timor.

Since the March 17 conference at the University of Melbourne – at which I, like Evans, was a plenary speaker – was about the first anniversary of the Arab revolts, the organizers came to his defense by insisting that I had raised an issue that was off-topic. In reality, it was very relevant. ... [AlterNet - 5/4/12]



Australia's anti-refugee policy does not "echo" Howard and Abbott, it PRE-DATES them. ---> ... But the routine detention of asylum seekers arriving without visas and the construction of remote detention centres to house them followed the landing of a boat carrying 26 people at Pender Bay near Broome in November 1989.

It was the first boat to carry asylum seekers to Australian territory since 1981 and its arrival marked the beginning of a second wave of boatpeople landing on Australia shores. (The first wave lasted from 1976 to 1981. It was made up of about 2000 refugees arriving in small groups who were fleeing Communism in Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. They were not detained on arrival.)

There were many Cambodians aboard the Pender Bay boat and subsequent vessels and their arrival came at a sensitive time for the Labor government of Prime Minister Bob Hawke.

Hawke’s high-profile foreign minister Gareth Evans was deeply involved in crafting a peace process for Cambodia, which involved the repatriation of 300,000 Cambodian refugees from camps along the Thai border.

The federal government feared that confidence in the plan could be undermined if Cambodians in Australia were found to be refugees or if their personal stories were allowed to become public.

Hawke was quick to declare categorically that the Cambodians were not ‘political’ but ‘economic’ refugees.

He said he would not allow Cambodian asylum seekers to ‘jump the queue’ of Australia’s orderly migration program .

The label ‘queue jumper’ has been used to denigrate asylum seekers arriving by boat ever since. ... Australia's sledgehammer, Peter Mares [APO - 25/2/2004]



1992: Fences go up around the "boat people" [AP Archive]



The Clinton solution for refugees: Guantanamo [Washington Post - 23/11/15]



Your fears are not credible:  A mother and child trapped in Obama's brutal family deportation system [The Intercept - 14/12/16]



Where were the unions, professional associations and human rights organisations in the aftermath of the attack on refugees in February 2014?

Why didn't they demand the immediate closure of Australia's offshore gulags and an end to mandatory detention?


Am told that most Salvation Army staff are being moved off Manus today, being replaced by Transfield workers.


"tweeted" by @oliverlaughland - journalist, Guardian Australia [19/2/14]



Here is a photograph taken on board the Hotel Bibby last night. Shows the makeshift hospital that was set up


In photo one asylum seeker is receiving treatment. @GuardianAus has anonymised the pic..


Image: @oliverlaughland - journalist, Guardian Australia [19/2/14]



...  A stand and deliver moment against 20 guards knowing they were going to smash me.


Image: @nampix Nick Moir [22/2/14]




Guardian [1 March, 2014]:


Chilling footage has emerged of “war zone”-like scenes during last week’s unrest at the Manus Island detention centre, showing dozens of asylum seekers – most unconscious or semiconscious and many with serious injuries – receiving treatment from frantic staff tending to them by torchlight. ...




No wages for your torturers

No budget for your guns

Can you think of your own mother

Dancing with her invisible son?


'They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)', Sting [1987]





1 January 2017