Why isn't Julie Bishop demanding that the UK return Assange's passport, and why are the Australian media censoring the particulars of the UN WGAD case and its applicability to refugees imprisoned on Nauru and Manus?








The United Kingdom and Sweden must allow Julian Assange to go free, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño told teleSUR Friday, soon after the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention released its opinion that Assange has been arbitrarily detained by those governments.

"It's time. I insist it. That both governments grant freedom to Assange," Patiño, speaking from Ecuador, told teleSUR.

"It is intolerable what these countries are doing."  ... [teleSUR - 5/2/16]




On Assange, following the rules or flouting them? [Human Rights Watch - 5/2/16]:


... Both Sweden and the UK are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the treaty on which much of the decision rests, and are bound by other customary international law against returning refugees to locations where they risk persecution. Their failure to give due consideration to these international rights and obligations is what drove the conclusion that Assange’s confinement is “arbitrary.”

Let’s be clear: the issue is not Assange fleeing Swedish justice; he has continually expressed his willingness to be investigated by Sweden. What he won’t do is risk eventual extradition to the United States, which would like to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. ...



Magna Carta anyone?


tyrannical [adj] Exercising power in a cruel or arbitrary way ...











Opinions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding [5/2/16]:



... “The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” said Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the expert panel.

“The Working Group maintains that the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation,” Mr. Hong added.  ...





... Anybody who believes the neo-con countries do not persecute dissidents is naïve in the extreme. The indignation at the UN calling them on it is both hilarious and chilling. Assange – a fundamental vindication [Craig Murray - 5/2/16]




Julian Assange's Ecuadorian embassy balcony speech in full [Belfast Telegraph - 5/2/16]




UN Victory in Assange Case:  Decision has big implications for refugees and whistleblowers [Center for Constitutional Rights - 5/2/16]:


... In our briefs to the WGAD, we argued that someone is effectively detained when they are forced to choose between confinement and running the risk of persecution. That is the precise dilemma faced by Mr. Assange, who would lose the protection of his asylum if he stepped out of the embassy. The risk of extradition is the 'fourth wall' for the now repudiated claim that he is free to leave the embassy. As a result, it has been years since Mr. Assange has had access to proper medical care, sunlight, or the ability to see his family.

The WGAD's decision in Mr. Assange's case sets an important precedent for refugees. In our submissions we analogized the situation faced by Mr. Assange to that of asylum-seekers in detention facilities. States may claim that asylum-seekers held in subhuman conditions are not 'detained' because they are technically free to leave for their home country, but this is a non-choice, since the home country would persecute the asylum seeker.

The WGAD decision could mean that so-called 'open' facilities like the Israeli Holot, deep in an Israeli desert, and the Australian-run center in Nauru are legally equivalent to closed prisons.

This concept of detention builds on arguments already adopted by many sources of international law, including the European Court of Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and WGAD case law.

We expect this decision to be cited in future refugee detention challenges.

The decision is also resounding victory for freedom of expression as it recognizes that whistleblowers and publishers need protection, and acknowledges the coercive effect of an extradition threat. The WGAD announced today that the “Republic of Ecuador granted asylum because of Mr. Assange’s fear that if he was extradited to Sweden, he would be further extradited to the United States where he would face serious criminal charges for the peaceful exercise of his freedoms.”

The decision is a major milestone in the growing international consensus about the need to protect those who promote the publication of truth about government. Last October, the European Parliament voted to protect whistleblower Edward Snowden from extradition to the United States. That same month, the UN envoy charged with safeguarding free speech around the globe issued a report calling on governments to protect whistleblowers and confidential sources rather than punishing them.  





... Political appeals must be made, but for them to be successful, opponents to offshore processing must also offer alternatives. Alternatives that counter the most persuasive aspect of the status quo – that drowning at sea has stopped. <---- This is nothing but a regurgitation of the establishment's lies and false choices based on partisan tribalism. The boats HAVE NOT stopped. Refugees are being pushed away and/or tortured by the Australian government in offshore gulags.  This atrocity is bipartisan and supported by the media and human rights establishment. What a shame 'The Saturday Paper' [6/2/16] is unwilling to challenge the dominant paradigm, and invest in some actual journalism to expose our complicity in a regional human rights scandal.




A very brave young lady, Sarah Smith, chained herself to Sydney Harbour Bridge this afternoon (Dec 8) to demand an urgent medevac for Mohammad Albederee, an Iraqi refugee who has been on hunger strike for more than 8 months. Mohammad is currently kept in Port Moresby, PNG without having fluids down for 6 days. Refugee advocates demand him to be brought to Australia for proper medical treatment before it is too late. ...  [Activists for Refugee Freedom - 8/12/15]




Censored by "Free the Children NAURU" Australian facebook admins:


25.11.15 Connect told to refugees in Nauru : "we have new accommodation for you" when I went there I didn't have room

I lied on the street and Nauru police arected (arrested) me and 3 strong Nauruian men with force pushed me in the police car and they kept me in the jail, still I don't have room for live.

please help me just I need a room for live.

I asked Australian connect worker (her name is (deleted) and they left me alone and Nauru police arested me and they kept me in ...the jail and they left my belongs in the street, I need your help please. still I dont have any place for live.

I am not alone,we are 4 single ladies.

This morning 27.11.15 a protest started at RPC3 one man (Name deleted) climbed to the top of a crane

He was protesting about having another interview with Australian immigration because he has had many interview and he still doesn't know about his refugee statue .

he has a message to world : ( WORLD ,KIDS IN NAURU NEED YOUR HELP )





Are single refugee women still sleeping out in the open?




Refugee advocates are concerned for a Sri Lankan asylum seeker on Nauru who has been jailed after he attempted to commit suicide at the detention centre there.

The Tamil Refugee Council, based in Australia, says the 30-year-old man climbed up a tree and remained there for nine hours on Sunday, threatening to jump.

Its spokesperson, Aran Mylvaganam, says the man's refugee application was rejected recently, after being in detention for two and a half years.

Mr Mylvaganam says detention centre workers told the man he and his family would receive help if he came down, but when he did, the police arrested him.

"The police came and arrested him and according to the information we are getting from the refugees inside the centre he is in jail but we don't know the reasons why the police have arrested him. It may be illegal for someone to attempt suicide in Nauru, that may be the case."  [RNZI - 30/11/15]




“This is one of the more sinister consequences of the regime: how our society has become anaesthetised or desensitised to one of the gravest violations of liberty known to the rule of law and liberal democracy: indefinite detention without charge, evidence and effective judicial control. The normalisation of such an extreme measure in turn blunts our resistance to other kinds of violations. It is a slippery slope. Treating people terribly is the new normal, and barely registers in the public conscience any more.”



Professor Ben Saul  [A phonecall, a meeting, then indefinite detention: the refugees at the mercy of ASIO - Guardian - 28/11/15]




...  “The torture perpetrated by the U.S. was not just the work of ‘a few bad apples’ – it was systemic and ordered by the highest levels of government. Senior U.S. government and military leaders and others who devised, authorized and ordered abusive and unlawful practices deployed by U.S. forces must be held accountable. There must be arrests and there must be prosecutions. The U.S. cannot – and, frankly, will not – be seen as a leader on human rights if it continues to turn a blind eye to its own abuses.

“Those who have suffered at the hands of U.S. personnel have had nowhere to turn to for truth or justice.”  New photos pertaining to torture released, US should launch criminal investigations [Amnesty International USA - 5/2/16]




6 February 2016