These people have the right to seek asylum.

Why did the UNHCR tell them they'd be imprisoned for 10 years?



Day 48, refugee protests on Nauru






Image: ‏@InsurrectNews [6/5/16] 




‏@Mums4Refugees [6/5/16]: ... Day 48 of continual Peaceful protests on Nauru ...    



@blxckalgerian [6/5/16]: ... protest in response to the horrific conditions that refugees on Nauru and Manus endure.  [Brisbane]



‏@jlyon_9 [6/5/16]:   #BringThemHere #refugees #Brisbane



@kikei [6/5/16]:   Vigil for those who have died while seeking asylum ... [Perth]




Well you better listen my sister's and brothers

'Cause if you do you can hear

There are voices still calling across the years

And they're all crying across the ocean, and they're cryin' across the land

And they will 'til we all come to understand ...



'None of Us Are Free' is a rhythm and blues song written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and Brenda Russell. It was first recorded by Ray Charles on his 1993 album My World ... In 2002, a version was recorded by soul singer Solomon Burke on his album Don't Give Up On Me. ... [Wikipedia]




‏@Mums4Refugees [5/5/16]:  Day 47 Peaceful protests Nauru. Note baby behind bars, yes children still locked up. ...







Nauru Dictator David Adeang is not being "conciliatory". He's reinforcing Australia's abandon all hope message. [ABC - 6/5/16]




ALP fans and Guardian echo Turnbull's they're not coming here by proposing Norfolk Island as a refugee dumping ground. [5/5/16]




Manus refugee death camp has been ruled illegal. There is no adversarial media. Pezzullo remains protected and unaccountable. [SBS - 5/5/16]




 ABC [3/5/16]:


... Peter Lloyd, the Iranian man Omid Masoumali and his death; now on this program yesterday his best friend said he that he believed Omid had spiralled into a suicidal depression after asylum seekers were told by the UNHCR to expect to remain on Nauru for a decade.

Has there been any response from the UNHCR about that?

PETER LLOYD: There's been no direct response from the UNHCR about the specifics of that allegation.

What they have done is issued a statement which essentially repeats what they said last week, which was that they'd been on Nauru for a mission to monitor the welfare of asylum seekers.

That's not what some people on the island are saying, it was put to us yesterday in the program and subsequently after that a number of others backed up the claim that in meetings, Thomas Albrecht, the UN's representative who led that mission was making statements along with a fellow woman in that team from the UN that the asylum seekers could expect to be on the island for as much as 10 years.

That was directly blamed for the suicide of the Iranian last week, and perhaps it may have been a factor in what happened overnight with the Somali woman.

We don't know yet, but certainly it can't be ruled out that the belief amongst the asylum seekers whether it's true or not, the belief has taken hold that they are going to be there for a very long time.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Peter Lloyd thank you.






... UNHCR Representative Thomas Albrecht told Ref Coord he had had to deliver a stern warning to the refugees: either shape up or he will ask the GOG [Government of Ghana] to post several military officers inside the camp.

To emphasize the seriousness of his message, he suspended all UNHCR services to Budumburam during the week of May 1-7.


Albrecht was dismayed that an "entitlement mentality" had gripped many of the refugees, some of whom have spent 15 years in camps. ...



Federal Court finds Nauru rape victim owed duty of care whilst being punished for seeking asylum [Sydney Morning Herald - 6/5/16]:


...  The young woman, who was semi-conscious after suffering a suspected epileptic seizure when she was attacked on Nauru, had begged authorities to let her come to Australia to terminate the pregnancy she does not want.

Instead, Australia sent her to Papua New Guinea, where the criminal code states abortion is illegal.

Since then the woman, known only as S99, has spent a month in limbo in a Port Moresby hotel room, as first the High Court, and then the Federal Court, considered her fate.


Federal Court finds Australia owes Nauru rape victim a duty of care Justice Bromberg forbade Australia from procuring an abortion for the woman in Papua New Guinea, but did not require her to be brought to Australia. ...



Save The Children more concerned about their reputation than closing the camps and freeing the refugees [Media Release - 6/5/16]



What rhymes with money?  Silence?  [Foreign Minister Media Release - 6/5/16]



It's perfectly normal.




Image: ‏@endofnext [4/5/16]



... A natural occurrence, the paper called it  ...



Masses of kelp continue washing up on Surfers Paradise beach. Cue "it's perfectly normal" experts on ABC local radio. [6/5/16]





Globemasters fly over the Gold Coast [MYGC - 5/5/16]




... In a Facebook post on Friday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen hailed the agreement, saying that more training areas for Singapore troops “will sharpen the SAF to one of the most well-trained and proficient militaries in the region, to keep Singapore and Singaporeans well protected”.

“Last year, I visited SAF troops training in Shoalwater Bay Training Area and celebrated our 25th Anniversary there. This precious training land allows thousands of soldiers from infantry, armour, artillery, aircraft and helicopters to hone their skills together, over an area 3 times the size of Singapore. I told the press then that my wish was for more SAF troops to be able to train there.

“Today, that wish has come true! PM Lee Hsien Loong and PM Malcolm Turnbull have announced new initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement between both countries. MFA, Mindef and MTI have been hard at work over the last few months and have now settled on a mutually beneficial package,” he wrote. ... [The Straits Times - 6/5/16]




Singapore or Israel: We think none of them are smart and this is why [The Independent - 3/5/16]




Phuketwan journalists say this picture of emaciated Rohingya on the beach was given to them by the Thai navy [BBC - 1/9/15]




As UNHCR report happy moments in the Rakhine (Arakan), an ugly regional conspiracy is partially uncovered by Peter Lloyd.





Rohingya genocide: International complicity in Burma’s brutal domestic violence, Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd [Australian Institute of International Affairs - 3/5/16]:


... Australia privileges commercial interests at the cost of human rights. It is time to take a principled stand on the issue.

As the only democratic nation to have not legislated a Bill of Rights, Australia has not publicly condemned persecution of Rohingya.

The Rohingya await a human rights principled stand for their survival.

Australia continues to ignore the systematic and widespread abuse detailed each year by the UN Special Rapporteur of human rights. ...




Australia's anti-refugee policies have created a flow on regional human rights catastrophe




"I saw the navy patrol boat towing the Indonesian fishing boat out to sea away from Christmas Island.  ... It's a wicked thing to do."


SBS [20/11/15]




Days after MOAS abruptly abandons its short lived South-East Asia mission, Rohingya refugees perish [Reliefweb - 20/4/16]



MOAS ends its sea mission in South-East Asia, will continue using their ground network and advocacy in the region - apparently [Media Release - 15/4/16]



South East Asia refugee and migrant genocide can continue being covered up with weasel words, the complicity of a racist, victim blaming media, and the ability to ignore the elephant in the room i.e. the regional pariah's example setting human rights atrocities against refugees and asylum seekers [UNHCR Media Release - 4/12/15]




Stay where you are and die:  US Envoy on Refugee, Migration Policy in Southeast Asia, UNHCR and IOM press conference fobs off concerns about Myanmar human rights abuses and refugee exodus [3/6/15]




Eroding human rights in Australian foreign policy, one asylum seeker at a time, Phil Robertson - Deputy Asia Director of Human Rights Watch  [Guardian - 17/2/16]:


... Australia is rarely pushing for rights-respecting solutions these days – and more than that, is too often part of the problem. Politicians trapped in the refugee policy dialogue in Canberra frequently fail to recognise that Australia’s boat push-back policies, and offshoring asylum seekers into abusive conditions of detention in Nauru and on Manus Island, are seen as a green-light by Asian governments to do the same: send asylum seekers and refugees back into harm’s way or lock them up in indefinite detention.

For example, during the south-east Asia boat people crisis in May 2015, the Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian navies played a cruel game of “human ping-pong” by pushing away boats of starving and sick Rohingya. At a time when the governments were prepared to let these people float around waiting to die, then prime minister Tony Abbott did the unconscionable by justifying those tactics, saying “if other countries choose to do that, frankly that is almost certainly absolutely necessary if the scourge of people smuggling is to be beaten.”

It suddenly became much harder for non-governmental organisations, governments, and UN agencies to persuade those three countries to bring the Rohingya to shore.

By soliciting governments to help stop boats, Australia also ends up looking the other way on other rights abuses. By cooperating with Australia to take back boats of their nationals, both Sri Lanka and Vietnam know they could count on Australia not to publicly raise concerns about the rights abuses that drove those people into the boats in the first place.

Push backs by other countries are also met with silent acquiescence from Canberra. Australia said nothing when Thailand sent back 109 ethnic Uighurs in July to China to face torture in custody and long prison terms, and has kept silent as Beijing pursues its dissidents in Bangkok. China arrests and sends fleeing North Koreans back to the brutal regime of dictator Kim Jong-Un, and is met by deafening silence from down under.

Australia has praised Cambodia for signing the September 2014 Cambodia-Australia deal to resettle refugees from Nauru to Phnom Penh. Prime minister Hun Sen told Australia that Cambodia was safe for refugees to resettle – but don’t tell that to ethnic Montagnards fleeing political and religious persecution in Vietnam who Cambodia hunted down in the border forests of Ratanakiri province and forced back into Hanoi’s hands, all after the Australia deal was signed.   ...




The ALP and LNP voted against a Greens Senate motion for Australia to provide SAR assistance and to help resettle some of the refugees [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]:

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:39): I move:

That the Senate—

(a) expresses concern at the disturbing reports aired on the Four Corners television program on 22 June 2015;

(b) notes:

(i) that only 412 Rohingyans have been resettled in Australia through Australia's humanitarian program since 2008, and

(ii) the Government's recent refusal to provide assistance or resettlement for Rohingyans currently in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, and stranded at sea off these three countries; and

(c) urges the Government to:

(i) contribute to the search and rescue mission for thousands of migrants, including Rohingyans, currently stranded at sea,

(ii) resettle some of the Rohingyan migrants rescued by Indonesia and Malaysia, and

(iii) resettle an increased number of Rohingyans in the 2015 humanitarian program, increasing the number of the program if necessary.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion be agreed to.


The Senate divided [15:39]

(The President—Senator Parry)


Ayes ...................... 13

Noes ...................... 33

Majority ................. 20


Di Natale, R

Hanson-Young, SC

Lazarus, GP

Ludlam, S

Madigan, JJ

Milne, C

Rhiannon, L

Rice, J

Siewert, R (teller)

Waters, LJ

Whish-Wilson, PS

Wright, PL

Xenophon, N


Back, CJ

Bilyk, CL

Brown, CL

Bullock, J.W.

Bushby, DC

Cameron, DN

Canavan, M.J.

Colbeck, R

Edwards, S

Fawcett, DJ

Fifield, MP

Gallagher, KR

Heffernan, W

Ketter, CR

Leyonhjelm, DE

Lindgren, JM

Lines, S

Marshall, GM

McEwen, A (teller)

McGrath, J

McKenzie, B

McLucas, J

Moore, CM

Nash, F

O'Neill, DM

Parry, S

Peris, N

Polley, H

Ruston, A

Ryan, SM

Urquhart, AE

Wang, Z

Williams, JR

Question negatived.






... We also told the Australian delegation that since the conference did not formally discuss the Rohingyas - originally slated to be the key point of the conference - that the AHG [Ad Hoc Group] mechanism should be pursued quickly to address this pressing issue.

Bringing Burma to the table was a major accomplishment, we acknowledged; however, we cannot wait for Burma to change its policy before discussing the Rohingya crisis. This can be discussed without Burma.

Foreign Minister Steven Smith later approached us privately to assure us that Australia would press for the AHG mechanism to "be invoked soon to deal with the Rohingyas."

Australia announced at the conference its contribution of AD300,000 to care for the Rohingyas in Aceh. IOM said the Dutch are promising a similar donation, perhaps conditional upon a U.S. donation. ...



 I do not consent to being governed by a fascist cartel. 


I am going to VOTE INFORMAL.



Refugees arrested in Sri Lanka after being forcibly returned by Australia [Colombo Page - 6/5/16]



Richard "I'd be worse" Marles supports the policy, then feigns concern for those suffering because of it.
[Sydney Morning Herald - 6/5/16]:


...The small boat was intercepted close to the Indian Ocean archipelago, about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka, in rough weather on Monday morning.

Then, local eyewitnesses said, it was carrying an estimated 12 asylum seekers.

But on Friday morning another local witness, who asked not to be named, said there were more than 12 asylum seekers on board, and said the group included women and children - including at least one infant.

He said the asylum seekers were transferred from the Ocean Protector customs vessel on to a smaller boat, before being taken to West Island, where they were loaded onto a bus.

Australian officials covered up all the windows, in an attempt to shield what was happening from a gathering group of locals.

But at least one local photographer was able to capture what transpired. It's understood he is negotiating to sell his photographs.

The asylum seekers were then loaded onto an Australian charter flight.

The wooden vessel is understood to be the first boat in about two years to make it so close to the Cocos Islands, although the government has turned back at least one other boat in the past year.

The government has refused to make any comment about the boat's approach, what process officials undertook to process their claims for asylum if any, or the operation to return them to Sri Lanka.

However flight records show a plane with registration identical to the plane photographed by locals on the Cocos Islands' airport on Thursday night departed Cocos Island for Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, overnight.  ...




Greens say nothing - even after being alerted ---> @taylor_jessie [6/5/16]:   Hey @sarahinthesen8, Dutton has just flown asylum seekers straight from cocos islands to Colombo.




UN Special Rapporteur visits Sri Lankan torture site [Tamil Guardian - 5/5/16]




Amnesty repeats call for a Royal Commission into Operation Sovereign Borders [Media Release - 5/5/16]:


The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s interim report on the payment of cash in exchange for asylum seeker boat pushbacks raises serious questions about Operation Sovereign Borders that must be fully investigated.

Overnight, the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee tabled its interim report on the alleged payments of $32,000 made by Australian officials to six Indonesian crew members in May last year.

The report comes in the wake of the February Inquiry which investigated evidence - including Amnesty International research - which showed Australian officials paid the crew members to turn back their boats and deliver the 65 vulnerable people who were on board, seeking asylum, to Indonesia.


During the pushback incident, Amnesty received reports that Australian officials subjected these people seeking asylum to various forms of ill treatment, including confiscating medicines from the passengers and denying them access to medical assistance when they requested it.

While the looming Australian election has expedited the report and cut short the possibility of thorough recommendations, members of the committee echoed the concerns aired by Amnesty that Operation Sovereign Borders is conducted under an unacceptable veil of secrecy. ...




Jail for boat crew paid by Australian official to turn back [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/1/16]:


The captain of an asylum seeker boat who said he was paid thousands of dollars by an Australian official to return to Indonesia has been sentenced to five years and eight months' jail on people smuggling charges.

The panel of judges also ordered Yohanis Humiang​, 35, to pay 700 million rupiah ($70,000) or serve an additional five months in prison. 

The remaining five crew members were sentenced to five years and six months' jail and a fine of 500 million rupiah or an extra three months' prison time.


The asylum seekers remain in limbo in Indonesia.

Kandiha Kayuran and his wife, who gave birth in December, are still in immigration detention in Kupang.

He told Fairfax Media they had no idea what the future held.

"No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us."





 ... Yet, using detention and deportation to deter future immigration both raised legal concerns and is ineffective. 

Last year, a federal judge ruled that DHS could not detain asylum-seeking mothers and children in order to deter other Central Americans fleeing violence from coming to the United States.

Further, a recent report analyzing the U.S.’ deterrence policies found that knowing about migration risks—including an increase in deportations—did not have any significant effect on whether or not a Central American intended to migrate to the United States.

The report, Understanding the Central American Refugee Crisis: Why they are Fleeing and How U.S. Policies are Failing to Deter Them, also details how the U.S.’ deterrence policy is based on a fundamentally flawed assumption—that greater migration dangers and knowledge of them would effectively deter Central Americans from coming to the United States.

The report analyzes surveys of Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans conducted in the spring and summer of 2014, revealing that crime and violence have the most powerful impact on someone’s decision to migrate. ... [American Immigration Council - 24/2/16]




New Zealand media report Ex-Christmas Island detainees subjected to police harassment (with no context) [RNZI - 6/5/16]








RISE (Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees) [8/11/15]:



RIP Fazal Chegeni : Our condolences to the family and loved ones. Another death in Christmas Island : Who is responsible ? Who is accountable since last 20 years ?

Iranian Kurdish refugee detained on Christmas Island died after escaping from the high-security centre on Friday.

“One minute he was alive calling out ‘help’ and the next minute he was dead.”

"15-20 Serco guards and police go into bushland and later saw them bring a body bag back to the camp. ...





6 May 2016