Peaceful protests on #nauru continue "we want freedom" ...


via ‏@drobwlldiad [4/5/16]



Guardian [4/5/16]:


... The lawyer bringing the second case, Ben Lomai, told Guardian Australia the successful Namah challenge had established that the Manus Island detention regime was unconstitutional, breaching the “right to liberty” of those held within.

On Monday, PNG’s chief justice ordered Lomai’s case back before the Supreme Court on 16 May, where it is likely to be heard by the full bench.

Lomai said he would seek three orders: joining the Commonwealth of Australia to his case contesting the constitutionality of the men’s detention; releasing all the asylum seekers and refugees into the custody of Australia; and ordering all the men returned to Australia.

“Then we will seek ‘reasonable compensation’ for those men who have been illegally detained, and who are still illegally detained,” Lomai said. ...






Cate Blanchett's next big role - Ambassador for @Refugees Must watch interview w/ @camanpour ...



"tweeted" by ‏@melissarfleming [3/5/16]



Beaut to discuss #refugee policy with UNHCR's Thomas Albrecht & fellow parliamentarians.


Image: @ALeighMP - Andrew Leigh - ALP MP Fraser [26/6/14]




Nothing seems able to make Nauru asylum seekers an issue [The Conversation - 4/5/16]:



... In parliament on Wednesday, the Greens' Adam Bandt challenged Dutton with a highly provocative question.

“Aren’t you just showing pure cowardice by blaming the advocates helping the vulnerable, instead of accepting responsibility for your actions?”

Bandt asked, then added: “Can’t we do better than this Labor-Liberal policy of not drowning, but burning?”

It was Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke who jumped up to declare this was deeply offensive to all MPs.

Bandt had to withdraw his “burning” line. ...




Richard "I'd be worse" Marles reasserts the ALP's support for refoulement, refugee concentration camps, disappearance and exile [House of Representatives Hansard - 2/12/15]:


... So, when history looks to lay the blame for what occurred in the past, it will not be nearly as simple as the minister's description just now.

Equally, when history looks to ascribe credit to how we have brought an end to the journey from Java to Christmas Island, it will remember that the regional resettlement arrangement, which was put in place by the then Labor government and resulted in 90 per cent of the vessels from Java to Christmas Island stopping before the current government was ever sworn into office.

Yes, there is no doubt that turning around the remaining 10 per cent of those vessels has been a critical step taken by this government, but this government has enjoyed an opposition which has supported it in its endeavours to bring an end to that journey between Java and Christmas Island—an enjoyment that was not shared by the former Labor government in respect of the former coalition opposition. ...




Just reminding you again that we stopped the boats by establishing refugee concentration camps [Brisbane Times - 22/6/14]:


... Mr Marles also said Labor deserved the credit for stopping the boats, as it was Labor's PNG solution that had proved the greatest deterrent to people smugglers. ...




UNHCR Australia responds to allegations that US military style torture techniques are being used on refugees incarcerated in Australia's concentration camp on Nauru. [SBS - 19/8/15]:


... UNHCR regional representative Thomas Albrecht told AAP it was difficult to verify whether such claims were an exaggeration or had real substance because of secrecy surrounding the centre's operation.




Australia hasn't accepted refugees since July 2014 [Jakarta Globe - 21/3/16]




@david_busch [6/6/14]:   New UNHCR regional head in Canberra, Thomas Albrecht, speaks at #Romero #refugee conf in Brisbane. ...




Palmer received funding from a mining company that he owned, whereas LNP and ALP take contributions from mining companies that own them



Clive Palmer valedictory, House of Representatives Hansard [4/5/16]:


... Palmer United's voting record has been clear in the 44th Parliament and that is why the electorate needs to judge at the coming election.

I have been continually personally attacked over last three years by centrally controlled media, which is, by its very support for the two-party system, a danger for democracy in this country.

All of the so-called scandals and media questions have amounted, in hindsight, to nothing. And the same is true about the current lies and criticisms, which I will deal with later in this speech.

The status quo of this country is threatened by any third-party political force in politics and will mobilise itself in many ways on both sides politics—the union movement, the banks and the Public Service—to seek to destroy diversity and public debate in our political system.

This is the real reason for unprecedented political attacks against me personally and the stand that we took as a party against the 2014 budget. ...



Day 46, refugee protests on Nauru





Image:  @Mums4Refugees [4/5/16]




Vigil for Hodan in Sydney ...



Image:  @PplJustLikeUs [4/5/16]




‏@MKarstunen [4/5/16]:  People attending the vigil for Hodan, the second person to light themselves on fire in #Nauru ...




Self-immolation incidents on Nauru acts of "hopeful despair", Dr Lucy Fiske [The Conversation]  Yes.  But don't forget the UNHCR's role




ABC Hack report that a boat of refugees made it to Australia, but don't follow up what has become of them?  Why?  [ABC - 3/5/16]


… Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?

Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?




I’m a-going back out ’fore the rain starts a-falling

I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest

Where the people are many and their hands are all empty

Where pellets of poison are flooding their waters

Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison

Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden

Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten

Where black is the colour, where none is the number

And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it

And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it ...




'A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall' is a song written by Bob Dylan in the summer of 1962.  ... and covered by Bryan Ferry in 1973 ... [Wikipedia]




PNG Catholic Church welcomes Supreme Court Manus decision [PNG Loop - 4/5/16]:


The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) of PNG and Solomon Islands has welcomed the recent decision of the Supreme Court to declare the Manus detention centre for asylum seekers unconstitutional and unlawful.

General Secretary of the CBC, Fr.Victor Roche said the Catholic Church has always maintained that the arrangement to bring people seeking refugee status in Australia to PNG and to detain them on the island was unjust, inhumane and unlawful.

“These people have human rights and dignity that have to be considered, just as every other person living in PNG,” said Roche.

However, Roche added that it is imperative that the two governments respect and honour their obligations to uphold the laws and to accord full rights to people in accordance with the law.

“The court’s decision is a vindication of justice and the supremacy and value of our Constitution.

“The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision is a victory not only for the asylum seekers but also for the Constitution of PNG.

“It was the Australian Government, in a deal with the PNG Government, which brought the Asylum seekers to Manus Processing Centre, more aptly described as a detention centre.

“It is our prayer and hope that the Australian Government with the help of the PNG Government will find a compassionate and humanitarian way to respond to the plight of those who find themselves in this situation,” said Roche.

Roche finished by saying that the Church believes the PNG Court decision can also impact on the people detained on Nauru.

“Nauru has a similar Constitution as PNG with the same human rights provisions contained in its Constitution.

“While the PNG Court decision can be heralded on one hand, we are mindful of the uncertainties still faced by the asylum seekers, especially when Australian Government maintains that these unfortunate and vulnerable people will not be taken into Australia.

“The Catholic Church is prepared to assist in the resettlement of any genuine refugees who wish to remain in Papua New Guinea.

“We also want to see that the asylum seekers are justly compensated for the injustice they suffered,” said Roche.




Australia's political prisoners on Manus Island seek urgent High Court injunction



ABC [4/5/16]:


More than 700 asylum seekers held on Manus Island have launched legal action calling on the Federal Government to immediately move them to Australia.

The application for an urgent injunction was filed with the High Court on Wednesday by human rights barrister Jay Williams.

It follows last week's decision in the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court which ruled that the Manus Island detention centre breached the country's constitution.

The group of 757 asylum seekers are also seeking an order from the court preventing the Australian Government from moving them to Nauru.

The group allege that both the Australian and PNG governments have committed "gross" human rights breaches including forcible detention, torture and degrading treatment and false imprisonment.

A solicitor for the group, Mathew Byrnes, also called for a Royal Commission into the operation of the Manus Island centre.

"In addition to the orders being sought from the High Court in these applications, we are of the view that there is an urgent need for an inquiry or a Royal Commission in relation to the arrangements," Mr Byrnes said.

Mr Byrnes said any inquiry should be headed by retired High Court justice Michael Kirby.

The asylum seekers allege that following the Rudd government's announcement in July 2013 that no asylum seeker arriving by boat would be settled in Australia they were forcibly deported to Papua New Guinea by Australian Government officials working with their PNG counterparts.

They allege their detention on Manus Island constitutes arbitrary and indefinite detention under international law.

The group also allege the Australian Government's decision to detain them on Manus Island resulted in the murder of Reza Berati, who was killed during a riot at the centre [when the camp was attacked] in February 2014, as well as threats of death and cannibalism and instances of grievous bodily harm.

As part of their claim against the Federal Government, the group are seeking to be sent to Australia so that their refugee claims can be immediately assessed, as well as damages and legal costs.

The Department of Immigration has been contacted for comment.




Are there no journalists in Port Moresby to challenge this colonialist clap trap? [Joint Statement: Papua New Guinea-Australia Senior Officials Meeting [DIPB - 3/5/16]:


Senior officials from the Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia have met today to discuss the Regional Resettlement Arrangements (RRA), following the 26 April 2016 ruling by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea and ongoing cooperation to counter people smuggling within the region.

 Australia and Papua New Guinea undertook to work cooperatively to ensure the Papua New Guinea Government was compliant with the 26 April 2016 decision of the Supreme Court. 

To that end, the two Governments agreed to continue to work together on a roadmap that would ensure the Papua New Guinea Government's compliance with the Court’s orders.

The Governments of Papua New Guinea and Australia will continue to work closely together and meet regularly in the coming weeks in support of achieving these outcomes. Regional cooperation remains vital to combating the scourge of people smuggling and the resulting tragic loss of life of people at sea.

Papua New Guinea and Australia have a long history of cooperation on many fronts and the current discussions are continuing in this spirit.




Classes will be suspended for the entire week at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby after students decided to boycott their schedule in protest against the prime minister. ... [RNZI - 2/5/16]




 And still only the Financial Times of London calls on Australia to close its ILLEGAL camps on Nauru and Manus Island



@amapresident standing up for health professionals @FinancialReview


"tweeted" by ‏@ama_media [4/5/16]







AMA Submission to Senate Community Affairs References Committee Inquiry into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment in Australia [4/5/16]



Only a fraud or a fool stays in - and/or supports - a party whose policies they disagree with.


...  The deterrence value of Nauru is quite simply that it tortures those who make the journey. ...



[Stephen Jones MP - 23/9/11]




Melissa Parke won't recontest seat - but the ALP has no shortage of "alibis" [Guardian - 22/1/16]:


... Burke and Parke said they would continue to work for the election of a Shorten-led Labor government at this year’s election.   <--- That would be a "Shorten-led Labor government" that has repeatedly supported, endorsed, and defended the LNP's fascist, anti-refugee policy, and pledged to continue it (in fact, it was the ALP's policy first). 


Abandon all hope:  President of Nauru echoes Australian government's message to world



 Omid Masoumali, the 23-year-old Iranian had been recognised as a refugee. [Guardian - 3/5/16]



The refugee protests on Nauru have been taking place for over a month

They are well organised, peaceful and resolute gatherings which occur at the end of the day, and are keenly followed by activists in Australia who wish to express solidarity with their calls for freedom and justice.

President Waqa's latest remarks about advocates will be dutifully amplified by the media and partisan human rights establishment - who have ignored these remarkable protests, and have no interest in conveying the refugees' explicit demands.

In the meantime, Dutton is revelling as the death toll rises and he is portrayed as a demon.

But he - and Waqa - are small, expendable cogs in this global game of life and death.

In the past few weeks, 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".

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 last week, the UNHCR Australia branch has 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 publicising the plight of refugees 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.

The role of the UNHCR in supporting Australia's anti-refugee policy should be investigated.








4 May 2016