United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 4/2/17]



@Eric_Reidy [5/2/17]:  #Refugees intercepted by #Libya coast guard end up in detention centers in terrible conditions. Effort funded by #EU


@guardiacostiera [3/2/17]:  #CentraleOperativa coordina 3 operazioni #SAR: #NaveDiciotti CP941 #GuardiaCostiera salva circa 300 #migranti su 2 gommoni 1 barchino



UNHCR chief says safe zones would not work in Syria [Reuters - 3/2/17]



In 1937, a decade of skirmishes between Japan and China erupted into full-scale war.

The Japanese army conquered the ancient Chinese capital of Nanking that December with such brutality that the event became known immediately as the Rape of Nanking.

In the weeks following the Japanese conquest, more than 200,000 prisoners and civilians were murdered, tortured and raped, according to witnesses who testified at the tribunal dealing with Japanese war crimes after World War II.

Decades later, the official museum commemorating the victims of the massacre puts the number of victims at 300,000.

Hundreds of thousands in the city sought shelter in a safety zone set up by foreign businessmen, doctors and educators — and it's the story of that effort to shelter civilians that's at the center of the cinematic drama John Rabe. ... [NPR - 14/6/10]



... “The place where they live is inappropriate even for animals, not to mention humans. When I asked a child if he had eaten, he just cried instantly,” he said. ... Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugees in dire condition [Dhaka Tribune - 4/2/17]



UN issues report "urging" Myanmar to end its latest military operation against Rohingya - AFTER FOUR MONTHS. [3/2/17]



7 October 2016:  Obama lifts sanctions on Myanmar - two days before the military began its latest round of atrocities in Rakhine [Reuters]



Woodside Energy expects to spud exploration wells by mid-year offshore Myanmar and Western Australia.

The campaign off Myanmar is due to start next month.

The first two wells will appraise the Thalin discovery, and will incorporate coring and drillstem testing programs.

Woodside adds that the joint venture partners for blocks A-6 and AD-7 have approved two exploration wells, one on each block, with work in progress to identify two additional drilling prospects. ... [Offshore - 23/1/17]



Tamils protest Sri Lanka's Independence Day [Tamil Guardian - 5/2/17]:


Tamils in the North-East have protested on Sri Lanka's 69th Independence Day, as a large security forces parade was held in Jaffna.

Jaffna Magistrate's Court had banned protests obstructing the road, but despite demonstrators confining themselves to the sides, police obstructed the civilians from moving.

Family members of the disappeared and of political detainees attended the protests and chanted slogans, demanding the release of detainees, answers for the disappeared and for the removal of the military from Tamil land.

Members of the military and the police filmed protestors. Special Task Force personell were also rushed to the scene.

The protest came as an unprecedented large military parade was held in Jaffna, causing deep anxiety to locals, still traumatised from decades of military violence. 

Sri Lanka's military is thought to have committed mass atrocities on a large scale and maintains a heavy presence in the Tamil-dominated North-East of the island.

Impunity prevails 8 years after the end of the armed conflict and suspected war criminals remain amongst the forces in the Tamil region.



Australia, Indonesia strengthen cyber-security ties but West Papua ignored [Asia Pacific Report - 5/2/17]:


Before the meeting, Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association declared in a statement that once again “West Papua will be the elephant in the room”.

“As usual we can expect the issues of  counterterrorism, cybersecurity, and maritime security to be on the agenda but no doubt West Papua will be the elephant in the room again,” he said.

“The human rights situation in West Papua should be raised not only at this meeting but raised by Australian officials at all bilateral talks between Australian and Indonesian officials.”

Collins was commenting on a statement from the Australian side in the negotiations saying “Australia and Indonesia share a steadfast commitment to a stable and prosperous Indo‑Pacific region”.

Collins said: “West Papua is the one issue of great concern in our region and Australia should be doing all it can to encourage Jakarta to sit down and dialogue with West Papuan representatives to discuss all the issues of concern they have.

“It is now 54 years since Indonesia took over the administration of West Papua and the courageous West Papuan people  are still marching in the streets risking arrest and torture and calling for their right to self-determination.

“The West Papuan people and their representatives have achieved great victories in the past few years and as support continues to grow for West Papua not only in our region but world wide, Australia and Indonesian must realize that West Papua is truly back on the agenda and won’t be going away,” Collins said.



A 42-year-old protester has been charged with trespassing on the Indonesian consulate-general in Melbourne after an incident which came at a time of renewed tensions in the bilateral relationship.

The arrest was made three days after Indonesia criticised Australia for not arresting a man who clambered onto the roof of the consulate-general and waved a separatist West Papuan flag on January 6.

"The Australian Federal Police can confirm it arrested a 42-year-old man in the Melbourne suburb of Williamstown on Monday, January 30," the Australian Federal Police said.

The arrest comes just days before Attorney-General George Brandis, Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Minister for Defence Personnel Dan Tehan are scheduled to attend the Ministerial Council on Law and Security in Jakarta. ... [The Age - 31/1/17]



QLD Premier: Drop the appeal protecting cops who breached the Racial Discrimination Act [PETITION]



Activists standing in solidarity with Indigenous issues and the push to move the date of Australia Day have managed to halt an in-service commuter train in Brisbane, and paint one whole side of a carriage in the Indigenous flag.

A bit before 6am yesterday morning, around 12 people descended on the train at Dutton Park Station, just south of central Brisbane.

Jamming its doors open, which as a result prevented the train from moving, the group then used spray paint to paint the Indigenous flag all the side of an entire carriage, with the slogan "one mob" emblazoned inside the yellow sun.

QLD Rail staff watched the whole thing unfold via CCTV links, and they did call the police on the group.

But by the time cops arrived at the scene, the group had finished their work and had left the scene. ... [PEDESTRIAN - 27/1/17]



‏@Clintonswalk [5/2/17]:  Just 12 days to go to we hit port August. He we come port August people :)



‏@Clintonswalk [3/2/17]:  Woomera.... Which of my tweeps can give us a history lesson?  ...



Israeli forces opened fire towards Palestinian fishermen and farmers in separate incidents Sunday morning, local sources told Ma'an, with no injuries reported in either incident.

Israeli military vehicles stationed near the Sufa military post east of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah fired from heavy machine guns towards Palestinian farmers who were tending their crops in the area, eyewitnesses said.

Meanwhile, in the northwestern Gaza Strip, Israeli navy ships fired at Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahia, forcing them to sail back to shore. ... [Maan - 5/2/17]



Thousands rally in Tel Aviv against racist Israeli state and home demolitions [Maan - 4/2/17]



Palestinian security forces dispersed a rally in the center of Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank on Saturday, detaining at least 25 participants, Palestinian security sources said.

Protesters were marching to Russian Compound church, also known as Abraham's Oak Holy Trinity Monastery, to protest a decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to officially cede ownership of the compound and its surrounding lands to the Russian Patriarchate Commission. ... [Maan - 4/2/17]



Israel continues construction on separation wall in Hebron [Maan - 4/2/17]



The Lebanese police on Saturday had ordered the eviction of 50 homes of Palestinian refugees living in the al-Qasimiya community to the north of the southern Lebanese city of Tyre (Sour), in preparations to demolish the houses.

Sources said that the demolitions are due to Lebanese authorities building an autostrad that will connect Lebanese cities together.

The homes were established over 50 years ago following the 1948 Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe). ... [PNN - 5/2/17]



Japan: Israeli settlement activities are in violation of international law [PNN - 3/2/17]



Israel has had a ‘Muslim ban’ from the start [Mondoweiss - 4/2/17]:


... There’s so much Trump and USA could still learn from us – and they do.

We are masters of deception, and we can turn exclusivist nation-states into ‘enlightened democracies’ by the sheer power of our Hasbara propaganda.

So Netanyahu congratulates Trump for the wall: “Great success”, “Great idea”.

It’s already success because it’s not an ordinary wall, it’s a racist wall, like ours. It’s a great idea because walls are our thing. And we call the ‘other’ refugees ‘infiltrators’.

Actually, our deputy Defense minister Eli Ben Dahan says that “they don’t need to be extended a helping hand or be pulled out of the sea and saved from drowning.” 

Yes, he’s an orthodox Jew you see, he knows what Jewish values are.

But now the ‘liberal Zionists’ are protesting against Trump.

This doesn’t look good, he’s gone too far.

So now J Street, Americans for Peace Now and many other organizations who are ideologically against the Palestinian refugees’ right to return, are shedding crocodile tears.  ...



... The border fence is often regarded as a success by the Israeli government, as it has significantly reduced the immigration of asylum seekers from these countries.

However, there are other significant factors that have led to this situation.

In February 2012, the International Criminal Court ruled that a deal signed between Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, according to which ships of migrants headed for Italy would be sent back, is illegal.

After the policy was revoked (aided by the deposition of Gaddafi), the path across the treacherous Mediterranean was reopened.

Many asylum seekers chose to take to the water in hopes of recognition, rights, and a decent life rather than to travel by land to Israel — a country that provides them none of these.

According to the Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, there is also a complex system in place on the border, which includes cooperation with the Egyptian army.

Using security cameras and constant monitoring, the IDF scans an area four kilometers into Egypt’s Sinai desert.

When a potential migrant is spotted, the Egyptian border guards are alerted and make an arrest.

The migrant is then sent to an Egyptian prison where they will wait to be deported to their country of origin, often risking their lives. ... Netanyahu’s wall isn’t about immigration — it’s about race [+972 - 3/2/17]



US Envoy on Refugees, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia [Anne Richard] press conference with UNHCR and IOM fobs off concerns about Myanmar human rights abuses and refugee exodus [3/6/15]:


... A/S RICHARD: Well thank you for your question. I did meet with Australian colleagues at the May 29th meeting in Bangkok including the Ambassador for People Smuggling -- or Against People Smuggling, I guess.

The United States takes a different approach off our shores to people coming toward us in boats.

You know our Coast Guard intercepts the boats and then conducts interviews on its decks to find out if the people, if the boat people in the Caribbean have a credible fear of persecution or not.

And if it is judged that they are economic migrants they’re returned to places from which they’ve come.

But if it’s judged that they may have a case for asylum then they are not returned and that they get follow-on interviews and they may end up being moved as refugees to a new country.

So the numbers we’re talking about in the Caribbean are quite small, but this, with this approach of ensuring that people get a chance to express their case is a part of what the US is doing that I think is needed throughout the region. I think that’s mostly on that issue. ...



... With over one thousand people shot dead by US law enforcement agents each year, the alleged risk posed by Guantánamo prisoners to the US is clearly exaggerated, and with the naval base home to another indefinite detention facility since 1991, for immigration detainees, there is no interest in ending indefinite arbitrary detention, a highly lucrative business. ... Why Obama didn't close Guantánamo [One Small Window - 7/1/17]



... Bill Clinton continued the Bush policy of keeping refugees at Guantanamo indefinitely.

But Clinton introduced a new policy as well: testing the Haitians for HIV, and segregating those who tested positive.

In doing so, he created “the world’s first HIV detention camp.” ... [Jacobin - 22/10/16]



What Australia's fanatical anti-refugee policies mean 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. ...


Australia's refugee concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island were reopened by the ALP under the watchful guidance of the United States (i.e. Hillary Clinton's State Department) [Buzzfeed - 4/6/16]







WAKE UP AUSTRALIA ---> US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman renews call for declassification of covert refugee deal [2/2/17]




Australia's political prisoners protest on Nauru, May 2016



@BehrouzBoochani [5/2/17]:


Manus prison:Cartoonist Eaten Fish is on hunger strike, media doesn't care. He's close to death & media only watching Donald Trump


 ... The main danger is that Eaten Fish is with 49kilo.If anything worse happen for him Australia is responsible


 Eaten Fish is on hunger strike for more than 6 days.He is seriously sick and traumatised by the system



Turnbull doesn't have to do anything while Shorten has his back. 

If you were serious about ending the torture of the men, women and children imprisoned on Nauru and Manus Island, you would refrain from exploiting their misery for partisan advantage, and demand ALL Australian politicians END THE POLICY. ---> [Janet Galbraith and Friends Media Release - 5/2/17]:


... Cartoonist Rights Network International joins with dozens of other institutions and hundreds if not thousands of people around the world in demanding that Prime Minister Turnbull of Australia take immediate and personal responsibility for what is happening at these rendition camps in Papua New Guinea’. ...



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]



No sanctuary for refugees in South East Asia and the Pacific, as the subversion of the convention reaches its end goal [Fiji Times - 5/2/17]:


The lawyer of Iranian national, Loghman Sawari, who was deported on Friday, said the events relating to his clients deportation was planned by the Immigration Department.

At a press conference in Suva, Lautoka lawyer Aman Ravindra-Singh said his client entered Fiji through legal means and would have filed an application seeking refuge in the country on Friday.

Mr Ravindra-Singh said his client entered the country on a Papua New Guinea passport and was granted a tourist visa on arrival at the Nadi International Airport.

Mr Ravindra-Singh, however, could not confirm whether the passport his client was carrying was legitimate.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the authorities in Fiji had been informed by PNG officials that Mr Sawari's passport was obtained by fraudulent means.

"Despite several attempts by the Immigration Department to engage with Sawari, these attempts were ignored," he said. ...




5 February 2017