... "I watched these children's lives being destroyed by these camps," said Katie Price, a former child and youth recreation officer who was employed on Nauru with Save the Children for almost two years. ...


[NEOS KOSMOS - 22/8/16]



Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, May 2016



Former Nauru worker's interview with NPR illustrates how abuse of children is a deliberate component of Australia's anti-refugee 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." ...



Activists read the Nauru Files - Australia House, London - August 2016 [Guardian - 29/12/16]



Another example of Australia's fraudulent, sham process to drive away refugees [Guardian - 29/12/16]:


Eaten Fish, the award-winning cartoonist and Iranian asylum seeker detained on Manus Island, has had his refugee claim rejected and been told he must return to Iran, despite severe mental illness and Iran refusing to accept asylum seekers who are forcibly repatriated.

In a letter dated 17 October, Papua New Guinea’s minister for foreign affairs and immigration told 25-year-old Ali, who goes by the pen name Eaten Fish, that a final decision had been made to reject his application for refugee status.

The letter informed Ali he was now in the country unlawfully and would be detained indefinitely – until he either left voluntarily or was forcibly removed. ...



Former worker at Australia's death camp on Manus Island tells forum man's refugee claim rejected because he was deemed "too educated" to be a Rohingya [Brisbane Times - 9/4/16]:


Brisbane maths teacher Jacob Rice taught at the Manus Island immigration detention centre in 2014 when a 23-year-old Iranian man name Reza Berati was bashed to death by security guards during a riot by hunger strikers [when refugees were attacked].

One of the friends the teacher-turned-whistleblower made while working on Manus for nine months was a Rohingya maths teacher.

His friend is still in indefinite detention as his application for asylum had just been rejected on the grounds that he was educated. 

The man has told his family that they should consider him dead.

Mr Rice said the Immigration Department had rejected his friend's asylum claim because they concluded he could not be a genuine Rohingya person because members of this religious minority in Burma were not allowed to be educated.

He holds a masters degree in mathematics.

One of his daughters was studying medicine while the other had won a maths competition. ...



 I was told to lie: Manus Island staffer [SBS - 25/2/14]



Miltants attack security forces in Kashmir [The Hindu - 29/12/16]



Strongly condemning the arrest of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader, Ab Gani Bhat, Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Bhat, father of acting district president, Kupwara, Farooq Ahmad Bhat, chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani Thursday said that being active political worker, Ab Gani Bhat was on the forefront of the ongoing uprising for the last five months, leading the peaceful and non-violent demonstrations throughout South Kashmir. ... [Kashmir Today - 29/12/16]



The investigation into the July murder of popular political analyst Kem Ley has been closed, a Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman said on Wednesday, leaving his friends and family angry and the public with almost no answers about what many believe was a political assassination. ... [Cambodia Daily - 29/12/16]



Indonesian authorities hold meeting on how to handle provocative content on social media and fake news [Jakarta Post - 29/12/16]



2 Indonesians deported from Singapore after attempting to travel to Syria [Channel News Asia - 29/12/16]



Japan’s defense minister went to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo Thursday, media reports said, the day after accompanying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a highly symbolic visit to Pearl Harbor. ... [Japan Today - 29/12/16]



China warns US against allowing stopover for Taiwan's Tsai [Reuters - 29/12/16]



Five dead in car bomb attack in China’s western Xinjiang region, official media reports [South China Morning Post - 29/12/16]



Philippines Duterte says no concern about China militarisation, manmade isles [Reuters - 29/12/16]



Twin explosions rocked a town fiesta in Hilongos, Leyte Wednesday evening, leaving at least 35 people injured.

Hilongos Mayor Alberto Villahermosa said a cellphone-triggered improvised explosive device (IED) went off around 9:30 p.m. while a crowd was gathered watching a boxing event at Rizal Plaza in Hilongos.

A weaker second explosion followed the first blast.

Villahermosa told CNN Philippines at least 35 residents have been injured. ... [CNN - 29/12/16]



‏@wikileaks [28/12/16]:  New data shows that WikiLeaks publications were the most referenced topic on Twitter during the US election ...



Julian Assange: "Donald? It's a change anyway" [Repubblica – 23/12/16]:


... What about Donald Trump? What is going to happen?


"If the question is how I personally feel about the situation, I am mixed: Hillary Clinton and the network around her imprisoned one of our alleged sources for 35 years, Chelsea Manning, tortured her according to the United Nations, in order to implicate me personally.

According to our publications Hillary Clinton was the chief proponent and the architect of the war against Libya.

It is clear that she pursued this war as a staging effort for her Presidential bid. It wasn't even a war for an ideological purpose.

 This war ended up producing the refugee crisis in Europe, changing the political colour of Europe, killing more than 40,000 people within a year in Libya, while the arms from Libya went to Mali and other places, boosting or causing civil wars, including the Syrian catastrophe.

If someone and their network behave like that, then there are consequences. Internal and external opponents are generated.

Now there is a separate question on what Donald Trump means". ...



It has become known as the first genocide of the 20th century: tens of thousands of men, women and children shot, starved, and tortured to death by German troops as they put down rebellious tribes in what is now Namibia.

For more than a century the atrocities have been largely forgotten in Europe, and often in much of Africa too.

Now a series of events – and a policy U-turn by Berlin – is raising the international profile of the massacre of Herero and Namaqua peoples and bringing justice for their descendants a little closer.

Negotiations between the German and Namibian governments over possible reparation payments are expected to be completed and result in an official apology before next June.

In Berlin a major new exhibition about the country’s bloody colonial history opened earlier this winter.

It features letters from missionaries expressing their concerns about concentration camps and killings in Germany’s south-west African colony.


In Germany, debate around the country’s colonial project has long been overshadowed by the crimes of the National Socialist era.

While most German cities commemorate the victims of the Nazi period, there are no significant monuments to the victims of German colonialism. ... [Guardian - 25/12/16]



Lebanon's new prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, has won parliamentary approval for his government following a confidence vote on Wednesday, with 87 deputies voting in favour out of the 92 in attendance.

Four deputies voted against.

The only abstention came by way of Emad al-Hout, the sole deputy for the Jamaa Islamiyya party, which is seen as Lebanon’s branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Reflecting Lebanon's fragile stability, the Lebanese army reported an explosion on Wednesday morning that killed a local official in al-Ain, a town in the northern Bekaa valley region. ... [Middle East Eye - 28/12/16]



A leading Bahraini human rights activist who is on trial for tweeting against the Bahraini political system was freed on bail today after spending months in detention.

He was then immediately re-arrested in a separate case.

Nabeel Rajab, one of the most prominent voices of the Bahraini opposition during the Arab Spring, tweeted that he is being released on bail and a travel ban being lifted and with a pending re-trial.

However, hours later his son tweeted that Rajab had been re-arrested. ... [Middle East Monitor - 28/12/16]



Oman joins Saudi-led Islamic alliance: Gulf sources [Reuters - 28/12/16]


‏@zaidalrazhi [28/12/16]:  3 raids by US-Saudi coalition on #Baqam #Saada this morning, 2 r cluster bombs. 4 civilians injured:2 children&a woman. #Yemen ...



@narrabyee [28/12/16]:  Yemen social media Jokes&mocking after Saudi forces backed with100s of fighter jets declared proudly that a donkey surrendered2'legitimacy'  



@aKhBcuuvwkSFm8W [28/12/16]:  بالعربي الفصيح سيتم تدشين العام الجديد للمرتزقه ببعض الترقيات اهمها: حمار ركن حمار طيار حمار اول حمار ثاني حمار ابن حمار  



40 killed as pro-Saudi forces launch offensive in southern Yemen [ - 27/12/16]



A bomb attack targeted a member of Afghanistan's parliament in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday, wounding him and several other people, officials said.

Fakori Behishti, a member of parliament from Bamyan province, and his son were wounded in the blast, an official with the parliament's security department said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which destroyed the vehicle in which Behishti was traveling, badly damaged other vehicles and shattered the windows of nearby shops.

Last week, another member of parliament was targeted by a suicide bomber who killed seven people.

The member of parliament survived. [Reuters - 28/12/16]



Taliban destroy key highway bridges in Helmand [Pajhwok - 28/12/16]



US drone strike kills "3 ISIS militants" in east Afghanistan [Khaama - 28/12/16]



"Over 30 insurgents" killed, wounded in Kunduz operation [TOLO News - 29/12/16]



Military operation launched to "clear Kandahar district" [TOLO News - 28/12/16]



The Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Wednesday said that Afghan National Police (ANP) special forces have killed at least 1,551 insurgents over the past nine months, including 400 key insurgent commanders.  ... [TOLO News - 28/12/16]



Islamic State attacks Iraqi army near Mosul, 60 militants killed [ - 28/12/16]



After trudging for 40 days through the bitter cold and sometimes difficult terrain of northern Iraq, Ahmet Ali Bekir reached Turkey, one of 1,500 Turkmens to arrive in the last two days after fleeing deadly fighting near home. ... [Reuters - 28/12/16]



ISIS executes young Palestinian woman in Yarmouk refugee camp [AMN - 29/12/16]



Russian Embassy in Syria comes under mortar fire again - Foreign Ministry [Sputnik News - 28/12/16]



Turkey and Russia have agreed on a proposal toward a general ceasefire in Syria, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said on Wednesday, and will aim to put it into effect by midnight.

Anadolu, citing sources, said the two countries have reached a consensus that will be presented to participants in the conflict on expanding the ceasefire that was established in Aleppo earlier this month. ... [Reuters - 28/12/16]


Fifteen people, including 13 Daesh terrorists and two Syrian opposition fighters were killed during clashes in Syria’s Al-Bab on Monday, the Turkish military said in a statement Tuesday. ... [Anadolu Agency - 27/12/16]



US military may soon hold its first execution in 56 years [Newser - 28/12/16]



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 28/12/16]



Nearly 20,000 migrants turned away at Germany's borders, 55,000 more chose to leave [Deutsche Welle - 28/12/16]



Over 62,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece after a series of Balkan border closures and a European Union deal with Turkey to stop migrant flows.

AP's chief photographer for the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Muhammed Muheisen is on assignment in Greece documenting the daily life in the refugee camps and below are some of his most recent photos. ... [AP - 28/12/16]



Another 900 migrants have been rescued from stricken boats off Libya, Italy's coastguard said Wednesday, three days before the end of what is already a record year for arrivals at the country's southern ports.

Most of the latest batch of migrants were picked up overnight from two wooden boats travelling together and around 40 people were rescued from another boat at dawn.

Around 400 were rescued by the Aquarius, a rescue boat operated by charity SOS Mediterranee, which said the migrants it had taken on board included Eritreans, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Somalians and Syrians. ... [Yahoo - 28/12/16]




Spanish activists held in Greece for "refugee smuggling attempt" [Ekathimerini - 28/12/16]



Afghanistan’s first female pilot, Capt. Niloofar Rahmani, has applied for asylum in the U.S., citing worsening security conditions, harassment by male colleagues and no pay.

Rahmani’s ascension to pilot in 2013 was widely hailed in Washington, D.C., where she received a woman of courage award from the White House in 2015 and was personally praised by First Lady Michelle Obama.


Rahmani applied for asylum while currently stationed in the U.S. undergoing flight training.

The Afghan National Security Forces vehemently denied Rahmani’s claims and urged the U.S. government not to grant her asylum. ... [The Daily Caller - 26/12/16]



US Border Patrol "rescue" 11 migrants stranded in the Rio Grande [Valley Central - 27/12/16]



Brazil says 19 US-bound migrants feared drowned off Bahamas [Jamaica Observer – 27/12/16]:


... The Brazilian foreign ministry said it was not ruling out the possibility that the migrants could be in prison or missing for other reasons.

But silence from everyone in such a large group, known to have been being trafficked into the US, raises many concerns.

Several Brazilian media outlets reported that family members of the missing migrants told them their kin paid thousands of dollars to "coyotes," people traffickers who smuggle them into the US.

The busiest such route was from Grand Bahama to the Palm Beach area of Florida; now it may include Bimini closer to Miami, or other Bahamian islands.

The sister of one of the Brazilians missing after allegedly traveling to the Bahamas told CBN radio station Globo that it was the third time he was trying to enter the US.

He was deported in 2013 after living illegally in the US for eight years, she was quoted as saying.

This time we do not know who took him. ...



"Food flotilla" to depart from Malaysia for Rakhine state in Myanmar next month [The Straits Times - 28/12/16]:


… The flotilla is organised by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islam Organisations (Mapim), Kelab Putra 1Malaysia and a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) from the region.

Mapim secretary-general Zulhanis Zainol said there are three scenarios the flotilla could face - allowed to land and hand over the supplies, told to turn back in Myanmar waters, or be attacked by Myanmar security forces.

He said the main aim was to support the Rohingya communities in Maung- daw and Buthidaung towns.

"Access to the affected areas is completely blocked. This resembles Gaza as victims are squeezed between military attacks and closure of the border to a neighbouring country. As a result, all access is completely blocked and humanitarian agencies are not allowed to enter," said Mr Zulhanis.

He estimated there would be 200 participants for the flotilla, including NGO members, media practitioners, a medical team, former ministers, politicians, religious leaders, volunteers and the crew.



Add Energy wins 3 year drilling project management contract with Woodside in Myanmar [Media Release - 7/12/16]



Region continues pushing back Rohingya refugees to Aung San Suu Kyi's genocide; UNHCR, MSF, and MOAS continue their silence [Arakan News Agency - 28/12/16]



Bangladeshi fishermen claim Myanmar navy attacked trawler [Channel News Asia – 28/12/16]:


Four Bangladeshi fishermen were injured when Myanmar's navy allegedly opened fire on them while they were fishing along the countries' troubled border in the Bay of Bengal, an official said Wednesday.

A group of 14 fishermen, four of whom have been hospitalised with bullet wounds, told coastguard officials that a Myanmar navy ship had entered Bangladeshi waters and opened fire on their trawler on Tuesday.

"They said the navy ship started firing on them without any warning," coastguard officer Saiful Absar told AFP by phone from southern Saint Martin's Island, which is close to where the alleged incident happened.

"Four fishermen were injured. They had bullet wounds all over their hands and feet," he said, adding they had been taken to a hospital in the coastal district of Cox's Bazar.

The coast guard is investigating whether the Myanmar Navy had intruded into Bangladesh's territorial waters, he added. ...



No justice for Bangladesh-India border killings [Dhaka Tribune – 28/12/16]:


... According to the Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), as of November 2015, at least 29 people have been killed by the BSF.

In reply to a question at the parliament in June 2015, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said a total of 591 Bangladeshi citizens were killed by BSF and Indian citizens in the last 10 years. ...



Demolition of Rohingya houses and extortion in South Maungdaw [The Stateless - 29/12/16]



Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh tells how Myanmar army dragged her husband away and killed him in a paddy field before torching their house [The Stateless - 26/12/16]



Buddhist monk says Muslims and Christians are dogs, interlopers [Coconuts Yangon - 28/12/16]



Mannar fishermen protest Sri Lankan Navy obstruction [Tamil Guardian - 28/12/16]



Tamil restaurant owner abducted and assaulted by Sinhalese bus driver and conductor [Tamil Guardian - 24/12/16]



On December 26th, 2004, over 35,000 people perished during the catastrophic tsunami that hit the coasts of the North-East and South of the island of Sri Lanka. ... [Tamil Guardian - 26/12/16]




29 December 2016