Imaginary Australian journalist to Prime Minister: You've announced $5 million in humanitarian assistance for displaced Iraqis, but what will become of the displaced Iraqis (and other refugees from our imperial wars) who are rotting in Australia's billion dollar death camps?

ABC [5/1/15]:

... Mr Abbott also announced that Australia would provide extra humanitarian assistance to Iraq.

"The people of Iraq are going through an extraordinarily difficult time but Australia is a friend of the Iraqi people," he said.

He said Australia would commit an extra $5 million in humanitarian assistance for food aid, for people who have been displaced by this conflict. ...

Transfield soars as $1.2b detention contract win gives shares $80m lift [Sydney Morning Herald - 25/2/14]

A former detention centre guard says he is not surprised an asylum seeker has died from an infection he caught at Manus Island because he witnessed filthy living conditions inside the facility.  ... [ABC - 7/9/14]

... They even prevent me from climbing a chair and looking at the sea. ...

Detailed PNG media report outlines sadism and psychological torture of refugees in Australia's death camp on Manus Island.

PNG Edge [20/3/14]:

Four witnesses were brought in to be cross examined yesterday at the Judge Cannings Inquiry into allegations of human rights breaches.

When the court resumed at 9am yesterday morning, the Immigration officer and the witnesses had not arrived and Justice Cannings asked Mr Frazer Pitpit, lawyer representing the Transferees if they were still going to arrive. Mr Pitpit said yes, they will be arriving shortly.

Justice Cannings pointed out that the transferees giving evidence will release their Identity and will be recorded by the Court of PNG so their lawyer (Mr Pitpit) must point out in advance whether their ID should be suppressed.

Mr Pitpit then asked for the court to be adjourned briefly so they can be consulted on this. Mr Ian Molloy, representing the state, said an affidavit of a transferee containing his personal details was at risk of being seen by the public. He asked for those paragraphs to be struck out to avoid this risk and Justice Cannings made a formal order for the affidavit to be suppressed and removed from the court file until further order.

Mr Pitpit then sought guidance from the Court whether or not written Affidavits could be sufficient instead of Oral evidence because they have already visited the site and therefore can verify claims in the affidavits. Justice Cannings rejected that and preferred Oral evidence because their observations yesterday was not supposed to be used as evidence. Besides the witnesses wanted to talk in court and give evidence on what may not be observed by the Party.

The court was then adjourned briefly at 9:25am as requested by Mr Pitpit to have the transferees consulted before giving witness.

The Inquiry Resumed at 10: 05 am and the first witness was brought in for cross examination.

The focus of the Inquiry was to investigate if there were any human rights abuses or deprivation so the cross examinations were done based on the affidavits provided by the witnesses.

...

Witness 1:

The witness was from Iraq and claimed to be a former body guard of an important person (not specified).

... He claimed that when they were leaving for Manus, Scott Morrison pointed his fingers at them and said, “In your dreams, you can never get to Australia” and he never forgot that moment. He felt homeless and stateless and felt he was not even considered a person seeking asylum and that he had no rights at all.

“I have been feeling like that ever since until this morning. Just by sitting in this court, I feel I have some rights and I am human”.

...

He said one thing that really hurts is the fact that they were never given the freedom to come out.

They even prevent me from climbing a chair and looking at the sea, he said.

He said they were always excited to go out for excursions and to sing and laugh but the management does something very bad to them at the end of the tour.

They bring them to the airport and just let them look at the airport and it reminds them of going home or somewhere where they will have freedom.

“We just stand there and cry, they just spoil our day and I think it was deliberate”.

Obviously it was a psychological torment to them. He said, they must never bring them to the airport at the end of any excursion.

...

3rd Witness

This witness is a Turk who lives in Iran. When cross examined by a lawyer from the Public Solicitors office, he said, he fled his country for politically related incidents. He was the member of a pro-Democratic Party and was threatened. He said that when he arrived, no one informed him of his rights. He did not complain too much about food but he said the heat at his camp is why the Transferees were restless and unhappy. He said there was a lot of delay in getting medical inspection when they requested and he was very unhappy with it. Although he could make calls home, calls to Iran are usually monitored so he uses the Internet to communicate more often.

When crossed examined by Mr Molloy, he revealed that they were forced to get on the plane at Christmas Island with their hands tied.

He said the incident was filmed by some of his friends and uploaded on the internet but were removed by authorities.

They were not certain where they were going when they got on the plane. Not sure whether it was Manus or Nauru. They only knew when they arrived in Manus and they said “Welcome to Manus”.

He said they were told by Immigration officers they were going to be quarantined for 30 days after which they will be processed but its 7 seven months now and no processing has taken place.

When Justice Cannings asked the usual question: If this court finds evidence that Human Rights were breached, what orders would you like the court to make?

He pleaded to the court to move them somewhere else for processing.

They were feeling unsafe because of the recent incident and the transferee who died was his roommate so it was not a good feeling.

Parts of his affidavit containing details of that incident were struck out from his affidavit earlier on as it was not the subject of this Inquiry.

UN torture prevention body announces Nauru visit in 2015

OHCHR Media Release [26/11/14]:

Guatemala, Italy, Nauru and the Philippines are among the countries the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) plans to visit in 2015.

In addition, after receiving assurances from the Azerbaijani authorities, the SPT is to return to Azerbaijan. Its September 2014 mission there was suspended after the Subcommittee encountered obstructions in carrying out its mandate.

The SPT’s role is to prevent and eliminate torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment of detainees. It works with national governments that have ratified the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture (OPCAT).

...

Where are the families and children who have reportedly been released from Christmas Island concentration camp Minister Dutton?

We died all together on an ocean of rolling hills, bad weather
One valley took my daughter, when I rose up I saw her feet
Pale soles, silver bells

I see back in time to losing my husband on a day of dust and damage
Made him leave this place to find us a safe home far away
With rocks of red and trees of grey

I know family ties just won't save us, not this time
And our Christmas Island just won't see us arrive

Will they find the trail of ruin or will they always wonder and wonder
Who was responsible on this earth, don't we have a place
A right to be

I know family ties just won't save us, not this time
And our Christmas Island just won't see us arrive

'Christmas Island', Mia Dyson [2005]

The last asylum seeker children being detained on Christmas Island have been moved to the mainland. [ABC - 21/12/14]

Italy rescues 350 refugees.

IOM get busy with "people smugglers" anti refugee propaganda.

Daily Star [5/1/15]:

Italian authorities disembarked some 360 cold and hungry migrants from a “ghost ship” Saturday abandoned by its crew off the country’s jagged southern coast.

Women and children were among hundreds of migrants left stranded aboard the Ezadeen, which docked in the port of Corigliano Calabro around 11 p.m. Friday after a delicate operation by the Italian navy to take control of the aging vessel.

It had been left to drift in stormy seas without fuel or electricity, and in the dark rescuers had first thought that it could be holding up to 450 people.

But after docking the authorities revised the count to 232 men, 54 women and 74 children aboard, most of whom are thought to be Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland.

All were said to be in good health.

Six coastguard officers were lowered from a helicopter onto the deck of the Sierra Leone-flagged vessel on Friday to set up a tow for the 40 kms to the Italian coast.

The rescue is the latest in a series of maritime operations Italy has mounted in recent days as it struggles with a record wave of migrants making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean.

The appearance of two drifting boats full of migrants – the Blue Sky M and the Ezadeen – within a matter of days has raised concerns that smugglers have started abandoning large boats full of people off the coast of Europe as a new tactic to maximize profits from their ruthless trade.

The Ezadeen, which usually carries cattle, had been en route from Famagusta in northern Turkish-controlled Cyprus to the southern French port of Sete, but had first stopped at the Syrian port of Tartus, according to a shipping website.

The International Organization for Migration estimated Friday in Geneva that people smugglers grossed over $1 million on just one of the abandoned ships alone.

People smugglers likely raked in more than $1.0 million from the hundreds of desperate migrants crammed into just one of the "ghost ships" abandoned off the coast of Italy this week, the International Organisation for Migration says. … [Yahoo - 2/1/15]

Cold weather worsens living conditions for Syrian refugees in Lebanon [5/1/15]

The U.N. refugee agency said Sunday it was unclear whether humanitarian cases would be permitted entry under new visa requirements for Syrians adopted by Lebanon’s General Security, set to go into effect Monday. ... [Daily Star - 5/1/15]

United States continue bombing Iraq and Syria

Centcom [4/1/15]:

U.S. and partner nation military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, Jan. 3, using fighter and bomber aircraft to conduct six airstrikes.

Separately, U.S. and partner nation military forces conducted one airstrike in Iraq, Jan. 3, using fighter aircraft against ISIL terrorists. All strikes took place between 8 a.m., Jan. 3, and 8 a.m., Jan. 4, local time.

The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:

Syria

* Near Kobani, six airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL fighting position and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, four ISIL buildings, three ISIL fighting positions, and two ISIL staging areas.

Iraq

* Near Mosul, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports.

Where are Australia's SAS troops (on their diplomatic passports) Mr Abbott?  What are they up to?

IraqiNews.com [4/1/15]:

A civilian was killed while four others were injured due to a bomb explosion inside a mini- bus (Kia type) in central Baghdad.

Security source reported to IraqiNews.com, “A bomb exploded inside a mini- bus in Tayaran Square of central Baghdad,” noting that “The explosion resulted in killing a civilian and injuring four others.”

“The explosion also caused material damage for the mini- bus,” the source added.

 

 

At least 7,000 people were killed in Yemen in 2014, including at least 1,200 civilians, three times the level of deaths from when the current turmoil began in 2011, according to a Yemeni think-tank's report. … [Al Jazeera – 4/1/15]

Journalist among Four Killed in Yemen Qaida Attack [Naharnet - 4/1/15]

Boko Haram seizes army base in Nigeria town of Baga [BBC - 4/1/15]

At least 100 rebels have been killed after a cross-border attack against the central African nation of Burundi from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a top military source told Agence France Presse Sunday. … [Naharnet - 4/1/15]

Arab League to meet Monday on deteriorating security in Libya [Ahram - 4/1/15]

A suicide bombing has struck Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, killing five people including the bomber, with the armed group al-Shabab quickly claiming responsibility. ... [Al Jazeera - 4/1/15]

Heavy and unprovoked shelling by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) killed a teenage girl and injured a minor in Zafarwal and Shakargarh sectors along the Sialkot Working Boundary Saturday morning. … [Tribune – 4/1/15]

Officials: Pakistan Marble Mine Accident Kills 11 [Naharnet – 4/1/15]

 

 

...Those who are now pushing the world to an irreversible disaster are clearly identifiable: they are market fundamentalists, conservative Christian dogmatists who believe in the superiority of their doctrine and of the ‘chosen nature’ of the Western people and culture, as well as the millions of their lackeys and minor cohorts: thousands of CEO’s and deranged ‘military strategists’.

If they are allowed to choose: to destroy the world or to lose control over it, they would opt for destruction. And they would have no regrets in ending billions of human lives, because their ‘logic’ and ‘morality’ have foundations in some bizarre and hazy ‘holy righteous’ dogmas, and because, during the long and dark centuries, they managed to cultivate countless arguments, designed to justify their lunacy.

The only circumstance, under which they would let the rest of us survive and exist, would be, if we were to become their unconditional slaves; not just servants, but slaves.

They want to rule over us and simultaneously they demand to be feared, admired and adored. Yes, the control, the submission, has to be total. And all those servile, shameful feelings we are expected to demonstrate have to be absolute, ‘pure’ and unconditional. ...

Fascism Will be Fought - 2015: Defending Humanity by Reason or Force,  Andre Vltchek [ICH/Counterpunch - 3/1/15]

 

 

Canberra Times [5/1/15]:

... Elsewhere, the health, industry, education, employment, defence and foreign affairs departments shelled out more than $1.43 million on media monitoring between July and October. Media monitoring involves departments and often their ministers being provided with article clippings and TV reports. It can also include scanning social media.

The government's latest media monitoring deal came into force on New Year's Day - a $170,000, six-month contract to monitor news for the media-sensitive Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Labor spent $110,000 for the same thing but the-then Coalition opposition listed it as one of "50 examples of Labor waste and mismanagement under the Gillard government" in it's so-called Little book of big Labor waste.

...

Australia's Prime Minister arrives in Baghdad to promote WW3

Daily Star [4/1/15]:

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived in Baghdad on Sunday to discuss ways his country can boost Iraqi security forces in their fight against ISIS.

Abbott and his Iraqi counterpart, Haider al-Abadi, discussed military cooperation between the two countries, including the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, said Iraqi state television.

The Iraqi army collapsed last summer in the face of a lightning ISIS blitz that left about a third of Iraq and Syria in militant hands.

Australian fighter jets are launching airstrikes against ISIS targets in northern Iraq as part of a U.S.-led coalition and 200 Australian special forces troops will soon enter Iraq to advise and assist local security forces.

In Sunday's violence, police said mortar shells slammed into several houses in the village of Sabaa al-Bour, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding seven.

Elsewhere, a bomb blast on a commercial street killed two people and wounded six others in western Baghdad.

Medical officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Unknown aircrafts drop weapons to ISIS southeast of Tikrit [IraqiNews.com - 3/1/15]

US Drone Strike Kills 6 in NW Pakistan

Naharnet [4/1/15]:

A U.S. drone strike targeting a Taliban-linked warlord killed at least six militants in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border Sunday morning, Pakistani security officials said.

The strike was aimed the stronghold of prominent warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, as well as the nearby base of an Uzbek commander in North Waziristan, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal districts that border Afghanistan.

"A U.S. drone fired two missiles which hit a compound and a vehicle in Alwara Mandi of North Waziristan... killing six terrorists," a senior security official told Agence France Presse, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The area has been a hub for al-Qaida and Taliban militants since the early 2000s.

Another security official confirmed the strike and casualties.

The area is generally off-limits to journalists, making it difficult to independently verify the number and identity of the dead.

Washington pressed Islamabad for years to wipe out militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan, which have been used to launch attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani military launched a major offensive in the area in June and says it has killed more than 1,700 militants so far, with 126 soldiers having lost their lives.

Bahadur, once seen as "pro-Pakistani," is unhappy with the military offensive in North Waziristan. He is aligned with the feared Haqqani network, which is frequently accused of sending fighters and suicide bombers against U.S. and NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

The latest strikes came after Pakistan ramped up its anti-terror strategy in the wake of a December 16 attack on an army-run school in Peshawar which killed 150 people, 134 of them children.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced the establishment of military courts for terror-related cases in order to accelerate trials, and the premier has also lifted a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, reinstating it for terrorism-related cases.

PNG: Lae police to front media on Moanna shooting

PNG Loop [4/1/15]:

Lae police have called a media conference for tomorrow to talk about the slaying of a young Ahi married woman on the first day of 2015.

Moanna B Pisimi was shot in the back of her head sometime after she and her husband left the Red Dragon restaurant in Lae City.

Conflicting versions of what happened are rife in Lae and online in discussion groups.

There are claims that she was shot after a high speed chase by police while others claim it was more of a planned shooting.

There is a version that a police officer shot her dead from a police vehicle.

She is reported to have been found dead in a part of the Malahang area of the city, a long way from her residence in the Boundary Road suburb of Lae City.

Media outlets have all reported that senior police officers in Lae have not answered their calls for information on the shooting.

The media conference is timed to be held at 10am tomorrow.

Thuringowa MP Sam Cox says there will be no cost to taxpayers when Queensland police take part in an exchange program with Papua New Guinea (PNG).  ... [ABC - 6/6/13]

Russian convoy with Donbas bound aid leaves for Rostov region

TASS [4/1/15]:

A Russian Emergencies Ministry truck convoy with relief aid for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions left for the Rostov region on Sunday, the Ministry’s source told TASS.

The convoy comprising more than 60 trucks left the Emergencies Ministry rescue center in Noginsk at 06:00 Moscow time. The drivers have delivered the relief cargo to Donbas several times.

Viktor Yatsutsenko, the head of the National Crisis Management center, said that the 11th relief convoy would consist of more than 120 trucks that would deliver more than 1,400 tonnes of relief aid, including food and baby food.

The truck convoy is expected to arrive in Donbas on January 8.

Russia has sent ten relief convoys to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since August. They have delivered more than 13,000 of relief cargo, mainly food, medical supplies and building materials to the conflict-stricken Donbas population.

The tenth relief convoy brought New Year presents to the Donbas children late last year.

Kiev's brutal strategy in eastern Ukraine [LA Times – 2/1/15]

Greece: Papandreou launches party, aims for post-election role

ekathimerini.com [3/1/15]:

Former Prime Minister George Papandreou launched his new party on Saturday, as current Deputy Prime Minister and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos insisted that his party would play a pivotal role in political developments after the January 25 elections.

Papandreou said the his party would be called the Movement of Democratic Socialists. If the former PASOK leader’s new grouping is able to gain more than 3 percent in the polls in three weeks’ time, he might gain enough seats in Parliament to have a say in the formation of the next government. Crucially, the new party could also have an impact on how PASOK performs.

PASOK MP Filippos Sachinidis, who served as deputy finance minister in Papandreou’s first government, and Giorgos Petalotis, a previous government spokesman, will act as the new party’s media representatives.

Other PASOK officials that will support the party are former parliamentary speaker Filippos Petsalnikos and former minister Dimitris Reppas. Thanos Moraitis, Sokratis Xynidis and Simos Kedikoglou are also among the lawmakers that are making the move from PASOK to the Movement of Democratic Socialists. Papandreou’s brother, Nikos, has a key role among the ex-premier’s team of advisers.

...

11 November 2011, Greece's PM, George Papandreou, resigns [Chicago Tribune -11/11/11]

In a tumultuous day of political gamesmanship, Prime Minister George A. Papandreou called off a referendum on Greece’s new debt deal with the euro zone on Thursday after winning a measure of support from his opposition and managing to repair, at least for a day, a major rupture in relations with Europe. ... [New York Times - 4/11/11]

 

 

5 January 2015

HOME