And still not a single objection from any Australian politician, refugee "advocate", UN representative, human rights organisation or law association as men are refouled from Manus Island [Reuters - 3/3/17]
... The men's lawyer, Ben Lomai, said there were major problems with the assessment process, and the Government should not be deporting people until they are resolved.
"It's a concern that some of them, not all of them, but some of them or even a few of them may not have been assessed properly," he said.
The asylum seekers, lawyers and human rights advocates have raised concerns about the refugee determination process on Manus Island, which was not overseen by the United Nations.
About 30 asylum seekers refused to give their claims to PNG authorities for processing.
Most were given an arbitrary "negative" status, including the vulnerable witness to the murder of Reza Barati, Benham Satah.
"Some of these people are genuine people. They've marks of physical injuries on their body to these assessors, but they failed to cross check [that] information and then give them a favourable response," Mr Lomai said. ...
A #Rohingya inmate, Zakir Ahmed s/o Izhar Meah, died after falling sick due to extreme tortures in #Buthidaung Prison on Mar 2 morning.
#Myanmar authorities accused him of involving in Oct 9 attack on BGP headquarter & arrested him in his village #Ngakura, northern Maungdaw
UN denied access to 1,000s of starving children in Rakhine; media continue presenting Myanmar's obvious genocide as "conflict" [Independent - 1/3/17]
@MarkCutts [1/3/17]: Still no freedom of movement for 1 million Muslims in Rakhine. Some IDPs told me today "conditions getting worse"
International approval of genocidal operations against the Rohingya prompts Myanmar's plans for more diplomatic outreach [Myanmar Times - 1/3/17]:
Myanmar is extending its hand in friendship to seven small nations, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Minister U Kyaw Tin in a statement last Friday said the new government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD) will form diplomatic ties with the countries once the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw gave the nod.
The countries are the Vatican City, Guinea, Malta, Ecuador, Seychelles, Liberia and Marshall Islands. ...
US-trained Sri Lankan battalion holds military ceremony in North-East [Tamil Guardian - 1/3/17]
Sri Lanka's main Tamil party has asked the United Nations to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes committed during the country's 26-year war against Tamil separatists. ... [Reuters - 1/3/17]
2 US drone strikes kill 4 in southern Yemen [Arab News - 2/3/17]
Senior Houthi leader Yahya Eryani and his five bodyguards were killed on Wednesday by an airstrike of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.
The airstrike hit Eryani’s car in the southern Khalid ibn al-Walid camp east of the city of Mocha, the Al Arabiya broadcaster reported.
Since Monday, the Saudi-led coalition has reportedly carried out over 30 airstrikes near the Khalid ibn al-Walid camp. ... [Sputnik News - 1/3/17]
Downplaying US contribution to potential Yemen famine [LobeLog - 1/3/17]
Famine threatens millions in the Horn of Africa as Washington prepares expanded war in Somalia [WSWS - 21/2/17]
US drone strike kills 2 men riding a motorcycle in Pakistan near Afghanistan border - village elder [Reuters - 2/3/17]
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Thursday said 20 of the 104 people wounded in Wednesday’s blasts in Kabul were in critical condition.
At least 16 people were killed and 104 others wounded in the bombings that rattled the capital yesterday.
The incidents occurred in the sixth and 12th police districts.
Dr. Wahidullah Majrooh, MoPH spokesman, told Pajhwok Afghan News 16 people were killed more than a hundred wounded -- 20 of them critically. [Pajhwok - 2/3/17]
One civilian was killed and four others were wounded on Thursday when a bomb blast rocked an area south of Baghdad, according to police sources. ... [IraqiNews.com - 2/3/17]
Civilians killed in west Mosul mosque strike, residents say [IraqiNews.com - 2/3/17]
@IraqiSMCEn - Iraqi Spring Media Center [2/3/17]:·
Nineveh: News agencies: More than "50" civilians were killed and homes destroyed as the aviation shelled the neighborhoods in Farooq area west of Mosul.
German police have arrested two Syrian men, one of whom is suspected of being involved in the murder of 36 Syrian government employees in Syria in March 2013 and committing war crimes, prosecutors said on Thursday. ... [Reuters - 2/3/17]
United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 1/3/17]
An investigation found that allegations that U.S. Central Command senior intelligence officials falsified intelligence in the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria could not be substantiated, the acting Defense Department inspector general told a House subcommittee yesterday.
Glenn Fine told members of the House Armed Services Committee panel on oversight and investigations that a team of 30 DoD IG employees investigated allegations that intelligence was falsified, distorted, delayed or suppressed. ... [US Department of Defense - 1/3/17]
Palmyra citadel liberated by Syrian Army [AMN - 1/3/17]
Neither Russian nor Syrian air forces had bombed positions of Syrian Arab coalition fighters supported by Washington in Syria on Tuesday, Russia's Defense Ministry has said, rejecting accusations put forward by a US military commander.
The Russian military in Syria had been contacted by their American counterparts, who "expressed concern" that Russian and Syrian aircraft could "carry out an unintended strike" at positions of Washington-backed fighters during an anti-terrorist operation, the Russian ministry said.
"To avoid any incidents, the US representative has provided exact coordinates of the US-backed opposition forces in the region to a Russian officer," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the information was "taken into account" by the Russian military. ... [RT - 1/3/17]
Gabbard joins colleagues in backing “Stop Arming Terrorists Act” [Maui Now - 1/3/17]:
... Tima Kurdi, co-founder of the Kurdi Foundation, whose sister-in-law and two nephews drowned while trying to cross to Greece seeking refuge from the Syrian war, also spoke at the press event.
They are pushing for legislation to stop arming rebels in Syria and end the regime change war there.
The bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, and the US Peace Council.
“Regime change will not bring an end to the suffering of my people in Syria,” said Tima Kurdi.
“A military solution is not the path to peace in Syria. We must find a political solution. I’m proud to support the Stop Arming Terrorists Act and call on President Trump to end the regime change war in Syria that has only led to more bloodshed, more suffering, and created more refugees. Enough is enough,” she said. ...
Italian authorities evict migrants from shantytown [EURO News - 1/3/17]
About 85 migrants rescued from drifting boat south of Greece [Yahoo - 1/3/17]
Hundreds of U.S. forces are rehearsing a migrant crisis this week at the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a massive multimillion dollar drill that envisions the United States capturing huge numbers of people in the Caribbean bound for the United States — and how the military, State Department and Homeland Security would collaborate on handling it.
At the Southern Command, Army Col. Lisa Garcia said the military was contributing 400 troops and spending $2.5 million on its portion of the month-long exercise, to include transportation and airlift. It ends Friday.
She said Southcom’s “battle staff” is taking part in the exercise as well as its Public Affairs team.
The Miami Herald asked to watch and report on the exercise and was declined.
The U.S. military likewise declined to release photos of it. ... [Miami Herald - 1/3/17]
Trump’s immigration remarks at joint address, debunked [American Immigration Council - 1/3/17]:
This week, President Trump gave an address to a joint session of Congress where he continued his divisive, inaccurate rhetoric on immigration.
Some analysts have said Trump moderated his tone in this speech, but in reality Trump isn’t shifting from his hard-line immigration policies.
In his speech, he continued to falsely blaming immigrants for the underlying cause for many issues our country faces.
Below are five statements from President Trump’s Joint Address that need to be corrected and explained.
1. Trump claimed that we’ve left “our own borders wide open for anyone to cross.”
This is categorically false Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration and border enforcement. Currently, the number of border and interior enforcement personnel stands at more than 49,000.
The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled from Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 to FY 2016 with Border Patrol now required to have a record 21,370 agents.
Additionally, the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents devoted to its office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) nearly tripled from FY 2003 to FY 2016. ...
Global media suddenly loves Trump after he delivers an incendiary, war mongering speech not mentioning "fake news" [White House - 28/2/17]
Why a group of international human rights lawyers have taken Australia's anti-refugee policy to the International Criminal Court [Foreign Policy - 1/3/17]
PNG lawyer's application to stop deportations from Australia's illegal refugee concentration camp on Manus Island adjourned until 8 March [The National - 2/3/17]
Coercion of illegally held political prisoners on Manus Island continues unchallenged and unopposed by Australian media, lawyers, "advocates" and human rights organisations [The National - 2/3/17]:
Twenty asylum seekers from the Regional Processing Centre on Manus Island returned to their countries last month due to continued pressure from PNG Immigration and the Australian Border Force, a detainee says.
Kurdish Iran journalist Behrouz Boochani, detained at the centre, told The National yesterday that more asylum seekers were expected to leave this month after they succumbed to pressure from the officials.
“The immigration used a lot of different ways to push them to go back, which means they did not go back according to their own decisions,” Boochani said.
He said tactics carried out by the officials included threats of deportation and monetary incentives if an asylum seeker agreed to return to his home country.
He said that from the 20 asylum seekers that left, 16 were from Nepal which included one who was deported early last month.
The other four are from Iran. According to Boochani, three asylum seekers from Lebanon and 12 from Bangladesh agreed to voluntarily leave the centre.
“They will be transferred in the next few days,” Boochani said.
“All of these men signed but the big problem is that all of them were under pressure and threatened by immigration for a long time.
“Nobody has done research about the people who went back to their countries during the past four years, so we don’t know what has happened to them.
“It’s hard to imagine the cruelty of this policy and how they have put so much pressure on people who had suffered incredibly for four years.”
Boochani said that the Resettlement Support Centre, a company contracted to assist refugees seeking permanent resettlement in the United States, interviewed about 20 refugees per day.
The Resettlement Support Centre was contracted by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
He said that there was uncertainty within the centre whether the resettlement deal between the Australian and the United States governments would eventuate.
“In Manus, there are no advisers for refugees to help them make decisions about their future,” he said.
“When refugees asked RSC (Resettlement Support Centre) company officers, they don’t give them any useful information.
“There is no assurance that they will reunite with their families and it’s very worrying .”
Australian media's censorship of Nauru dengue outbreak continues as refugees fight for their lives in our offshore gulags [Marianas Variety - 2/3/17]
2 March 2017