What did your navy do today Australia? ---> ‏@ItalianNavy [5/11/15]:   #SAR nave Fasan #MarinaMilitare ha soccorso due gommoni in difficoltà recuperando 203 #migranti ...





First they came for the refugees:  WA man incarcerated in Australia's concentration camp on Christmas Island faces deportation



 ABC [6/11/15]:



A 51-year-old man who has lived in Western Australia since he was one year old is stuck in limbo on Christmas Island and facing possible deportation to the UK.

He is one of hundreds of people who have lived the majority of their lives in Australia but because they have served more than 12 months in jail have been caught up in changes to the Migration Act that lawyers say are tearing families apart.

Ian Wightman was last year convicted on charges of starting a scrub fire and served 15 months in jail.

He was released in September but immediately apprehended and detained at a WA detention centre for eight weeks before being flown to Christmas Island, allegedly without warning, at 3:00am last Wednesday.

Speaking from Christmas Island, Mr Wightman described the detention as "mind-numbingly degrading".

"It's an open-ended sentence and there's no information, you can't get any information," he said.

"There's a constant struggle every day to keep your sanity, try to maintain who you are without falling into the depths of bloody despair."




Australian government's torture of refugees continues. ALP, Greens and professional medical organisations say nothing about closing the concentration camps [ABC - 6/11/15]





The Doctors Trial: The Medical Case of the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings [United States Holocaust Memorial Museum]:


On December 9, 1946, an American military tribunal opened criminal proceedings against 23 leading German physicians and administrators for their willing participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity






Advocates for traditional landowners in Vanuatu:  We took part in an Australian aid program - it was more about helping your country than ours [New Matilda - 6/11/15]





Senator Hanson-Young asks Attorney-General George Brandis about the 8,000 stranded refugees in the Straits of Malacca.   


His answer: "Thanks to this government, it isn't Australia's problem anymore". [Senate - May 2015]





Which country on this map of  South East Asia is a supposedly a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention?





Rohingya refugee crisis: Burma’s Muslim minority face choice of life in open-air camps or dangers of fleeing by boat [Independent - 5/11/15]





@RichardMarlesMP:  The people you meet in Yangon - Kieran Gorman-Best of IOM who hails from my hometown of #Geelong.





A child died in the IOM health clinic near Leda refugee camp of Bangladesh after waiting in que for the doctor to treat him.

One year Md Zubair was suffering from pneumonia and was rushed to the IOM clinic in a critical condition at around 9am.

But the on duty staff told his father Zahid Hossain that he must wait in the line like everybody else.

After almost two hours, Zubair died waiting in line. ... [Burma Times -  6/11/15]





Three members of the Australian Parliament will travel to Myanmar to observe the national elections on 8 November 2015.

Senators Dean Smith and Scott Ludlam and Ms Lisa Chesters MP will join Australian observation teams which also include officials from the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) and the Australian Embassy in Yangon.


Australia is providing $4.2 million to support what we trust will be a credible and inclusive election process.  ... [Foreign Minister Media Release - 5/11/15]





Myanmar:  Elections marred by growing repression and Rohingya disenfranchisement [Amnesty - 5/11/15]



Two in five indigenous Australians not on electoral roll [Nine MSN - 4/11/15]




@AishaManiar [5/11/15]:   Out in pouring London rain for #Rohingya, most persecuted in world & excluded from #Myanmar elections ...







... 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. ...





A former Guantanamo Bay prisoner turned peace activist who was detained on arrival in Canada as an apparent national security threat will likely be allowed to return to France, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Mourad Benchellali, of Lyon, was being held as a maximum security prisoner after agents refused to allow him to withdraw his request to enter Canada and go home voluntarily.  ... [The Globe And Mail - 4/11/15]





Brisbane protest questions Wilson role at Australia's refugee concentration camps on Manus and Nauru [Brisbane Times - 6/11/15]






Save Mohammad Albederee [5/11/15]:



UPDATE: Mohammad has lost feeling in his legs and is very scared and unwell. He still vomits if he attempts to drink. He has still not eaten.

IHMS and Immigration are planning to send him to Port Moresby Hospital to have a camera put in his stomach as they don't know what is causing the hyperemesis, and have said he may have a problem with his pancreas.

He reports his urine is red with blood.

He is terrified of having invasive procedures at this hospital as are all the men on Manus.





When will unions and organisations representing the medical profession BAN members from working in Australia's refugee concentration camp system?



Are they at least warning members of future liability - and if not - why?




"Innovative and tailored healthcare solutions"




Medical profession continues facilitating torture of refugees of Nauru [Guardian - 6/11/15]:


... Aspen Medical, which provides medical services at Nauru Hospital, took the extraordinary step on Thursday to search LinkedIn urgently seeking a neonatologist able to fly out in 24 hours to oversee the baby’s delivery.

“I know this is a long shot but Aspen Medical has been requested to provide a Neonatologist to fly to Nauru tomorrow (6 November), for a week. There will be a baby born by planned caesarean which will require the care and oversight of an experienced neonatologist,” the company wrote in a LinkedIn message to doctors.

Doctors were even asked to nominate a salary.

“I am also curious about what your salary expectations might be for such a role (even if you aren’t actually interested), or if you happen to know of someone else who may be interested.” ...




Hatami’s husband Rashid, wrote to the IHMS and the Immigration Department and to detention managers Transfield on Nauru at least three times in September appealing for help for his wife, but his appeals were ignored.


Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [6/11/15]:

The Refugee Action Coalition is calling for the heavily pregnant, 34 year-old, Kurdish asylum seeker, Hatami, to be urgently brought to Australia to give birth.

Hatami’s diabetic pregnancy means the welfare of herself and her baby is at serious risk. That risk has been dramatically increased because the baby is also in the breech position.

It has also been revealed that the Immigration and Border Force Department is making urgent attempts to find a neonatologist to go to Nauru (as early as today, Friday 6 November) and be prepared to stay a week.

Hatami’s husband Rashid, wrote to the IHMS and the Immigration Department and to detention managers Transfield on Nauru at least three times in September appealing for help for his wife, but his appeals were ignored.

“The deliberate delays by the Immigration Department have put the lives of baby and mother at risk,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The risks in a diabetic pregnancy are well established. To delay proper treatment to the point where lives are at risk is medical negligence of the worst kind.

“Medical best-practice is a distant second to the ideologically driven policy agenda of the Immigration Department and the Minister, Peter Dutton. This is the second time in three weeks that Border Force policy has over-ridden medical advice.

“Abyan, the pregnant Somali refugee’s requests for medical attention were also ignored for weeks. Now Border Force is playing with the life of another woman.

“Hatami must be brought to Australia for the medical assistance she and her baby urgently need.”

Hatami, her husband Rashid, and their four year old son, have been on Nauru since 15 May, 2014. Like most other children in the Nauru detention centre, their son has been diagnosed with “passive” tuberculosis.





Australia: Progress Needed at UN Rights Review [Human Rights Watch – 5/11/15]:




... A Human Rights Watch submission to the UPR flagged concerns over asylum seekers and refugees, counterterrorism measures, disability rights, indigenous rights, and sexual orientation and gender identity rights.

Despite Australia’s commitments at its 2011 review to address refugee protection, the government reintroduced offshore processing by transferring asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Papua New Guinea and Nauru for processing and eventual resettlement. Asylum seekers are held in dirty, overcrowded conditions, where there have been reports of sexual and physical abuse, and have few long-term prospects for resettlement.

In 2011, Australia accepted recommendations to process asylum seekers’ claims, in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, which Australia has ratified. Yet in 2014, Australia removed most mentions of the Refugee Convention from its Migration Act.

“Over the last four years we’ve seen serious backsliding on the rights of asylum seekers and refugees arriving in Australia,” Pearson said.

“Countries should press Australia on its policy of diverting asylum seekers to countries with far less capacity to process their claims and integrate those found to be refugees. Countries should hold Australia to account for abuses during offshore processing and mandatory detention.”






The Committee against Torture will meet at the Palais Wilson in Geneva from 9 November to 9 December to examine measures adopted by Liechtenstein, Azerbaijan, Austria, Denmark, China, including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, and Jordan to prevent and punish acts of torture.

Representatives of those countries will come before the Committee to discuss national efforts to implement the rights enshrined in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. ... [UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Media Release - 5/11/15]




Australia deports Kiwi on return from Syrian peace mission


RNZI [6/11/15]:


A New Zealander is being deported from Australia one day after returning from a peace mission to Syria.

 Warren Marriner said he went to Syria as part of an International Tour of Peace organised by the Social Justice Network of Sydney, which aims to prevent the radicalisation of young Muslims.

A registered nurse, who is formerly from Taranaki but has lived in Perth for 11 years, Mr Marriner said he travelled to Syria to prove that it was safe to visit the country and see for yourself what was going on.

His group, which was led by the Muslim community leader and anti-radicalisation campaigner Jamal Daoud, visited areas that the Syrian army and its allies had liberated from rebel movements such as Islamic State.

"I went to the Yarmouk Palestinian camp that was heavily, heavily attacked by Islamic State and Daesh. The spirit of the people ... they've got a spring in their step, they seem to be very happy now. There seems to be a brighter future you know."

Mr Marriner said life in Syria was still tough because sanctions meant it could not get the medical supplies it required.

 Speaking from the Perth Immigration Detention Centre this morning, Mr Marriner said he told Australian authorities he was planning to visit Syria before he left and only fell foul of immigration officials when he returned to Perth.

He said he forgot to declare 30-year-old minor convictions in New Zealand and that was the official reason for his deportation.

The 49-year-old was, however, convinced it was because of where he had travelled to.

"It's because I went to Syria. I mean, I had no problem about hiding such things. I said look, excuse me, it was just a slip of the mind, you know, it was 30 years ago and a lot of other things have happened in life.

"And yeah, they decided to pick up on that now so it's definitely political, it's definitely political."

The Australian and New Zealand governments advise against all travel to Syria and it is illegal for Australian citizens, including dual citizens, to provide any kind of support to any armed group in Syria.

It is also an offence under Australian law for Australians to enter or remain in the Syrian province of al Raqqa, which has been declared an area where a listed terrorist organisation is engaging in a hostile activity.

Mr Marriner is being held at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre pending his return to New Zealand, which is expected to be tomorrow.




Suspicious death, Pimpama




QPS Media [5/11/15]:



 Police are investigating a suspicious death following the discovery of a body at Pimpama this afternoon.

 Around 5:30pm police responded to reports a body had been located on the banks of the Pimpama River, near Kerkin Road North at Pimpama.

Officers attended and located the body, which appears to have been there for a number of days.

A crime scene has been declared and forensic officers remain at the scene.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.






Police have confirmed a body found in the Tweed River yesterday is that of prominent entomologist and long-time Tweed Shire Council staff member Clive Easton.

On behalf of staff and councillors Tweed Shire Council GM Troy Green has expressed ‘deep sadness on the passing of the well-respected and former staff member.’ ... [Tweed Shire Echo - 6/11/15]





An 86-year-old Perth man has been charged with attempted murder after a woman was stabbed in a domestic incident. ... [Nine MSN - 5/11/15]





An Illawarra mother who has gone missing along with her nine-year-old daughter was reportedly due to appear in court the day before they went missing.

Tiffany Figueira, 28, and her daughter, Abbey Parsons, were reported missing by a family member when they failed to return to their Primbee home, south of Wollongong, on Tuesday.

The pair were last seen on Sunday leaving their home and contacted friends on Tuesday, police said.

Ms Figueira was due to appear in Albion Park Court on Monday as part of an application for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) against another person, the ABC reports.  ... [Yahoo - 5/11/15]





A man charged with the murder of four-year-old Gold Coast boy Tyrell Cobb has been refused bail.

Matthew Ian Anthony Scown, 32, was charged with the brutal murder of the young boy after allegedly bashing him to death in 2009. ... [MYGC - 5/11/15]






​The state's corruption watchdog has exposed "malaise and systemic weakness" in the WA Police force in the case of the bashing death of 21-year-old Josh Warneke in Broome in 2010.

The Corruption and Crime Commission report on the Major Crime Squad Investigation into the unlawful killing of Mr Joshua Warneke, delivered to state parliament today, sets out its review of the police investigation – Operation Aviemore –focusing on a series of flawed police interviews in 2012. ... [WA Today - 5/11/15]





A 30-year-old man has been charged after a ten-hour standoff with police at his rural southeast Queensland property. ... [Yahoo - 5/11/15]




Update – Suspicious fire investigation, Sunrise Beach  [QPS Media - 6/11/15]:



 Investigations are continuing into an incident at Sunrise Beach where a teenager received serious burn injuries on Saturday (October 31).

Emergency services were notified of the incident around 6.45pm when they were called to Lipton Street where they located the injured boy.

The 14-year-old Sunrise Beach boy was taken to the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

Detective Senior Sergeant Phil Hurst, Officer in Charge of the Sunshine Coast Child Protection Investigation Unit said they are following up on information provided by the public.

“We haven’t yet been able to speak with the boy so at this time we don’t know if this has simply been a terrible accident or if it may be something more serious,” Detective Senior Sergeant Hurst said.

“We are asking for anyone who may have been in the vicinity of the parkland off Lipton Street at any time during the late afternoon and into the early evening to contact Crime Stoppers,” he added.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or crimestoppers.com.au 24hrs a day.







Unlawful wounding, Regents Park –police officer injured [QPS Media - 5/11/15]





A teenage mother and her one-day-old baby have gone missing from a Melbourne hospital, sparking police concern for their welfare.

Amanda Clay, 17, and her newborn daughter Phoebe were last seen at the Northern Hospital about 3.30pm on Thursday and need urgent medical attention, police say. ... [West Australian - 6/11/15]



Cleaner dies in 25-metre fall at Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre [ABC - 5/11/15]





Man killed by lightning strike near Normanton, north-west Queensland [ABC – 5/11/15]



Queensland police officer with PTSD won't be made to retire [Yahoo – 5/11/15]


Jury discharged for second time in criminologist Paul Wilson's sex abuse trial

ABC [5/11/15]:


A second jury in the child sex abuse trial of high-profile Queensland criminologist Paul Wilson has suddenly been discharged.

Mr Wilson has been charged with four counts of indecent treatment of a girl under the of 12, with alleged offences dating back to the 1970s.

He has pleaded not guilty.

On day one of the trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court, the first jury was discharged just over an hour after being empanelled.

A juror informed the judge he was not sure he could remain impartial.

When contacted by the ABC, Defence Barrister Peter Davis QC said he could not outline the reasons why the second jury had been discharged, but he did confirm it had nothing to do with media reporting of the case.

A new trial has been listed for February 1, 2016.

A pre-trial hearing will be held tomorrow.





... "We could've done more," staff member Ronald Cochrane told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

"It's inconceivable that he did what he did."

The inquiry began hearings in Brisbane this week, tasked with looking into the experiences of former students and staff responses at prestigious schools Brisbane Grammar and St Paul's.

Lynch worked at both schools at different times, before taking his own life a day after being charged with child sex offences in 1997.

On Thursday, Mr Cochrane denied dismissing a complaint from one of his victims who had been hypnotised and molested after seeking out the counsellor's help for homesickness. ... [Nine MSN - 5/11/15]







A 44-year-old Christian pastor and father-of-two has been jailed for 10 and a half years for sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl. ... [WA Today - 5/11/15]



Cleveland Youth Detention Centre detainees in Townsville to get new "rewards system", additional goon squad [ABC - 5/11/15]



Yahoo [7/10/15]:

An inspection of a north Queensland youth detention centre has found high incidents of self harm, harsh use of restraints after suicide attempts and children cleaning up urine.

Inspectors who visited Townsville's Cleveland Youth Detention Centre earlier this year expressed concerns about separation rooms, where one boy self harmed in the school precinct of the centre.

The full inspection report for the March quarter, gained by AAP under Right To Information, shows there is no formal standing order for staff to monitor children locked in the rooms and several said they urinated on the floor in the absence of toilet facilities.

A spokesman for the department said the rooms did not have toilets for safety reasons and that the children were asked to clean up the urine where appropriate.

He said staff observed the young people every 15 minutes they were locked inside the room.

The inspectors, who visited the centre for five days, were also critical of the treatment of a troubled 16-year-old boy, referred to as YP-L, who twice in a month climbed onto the roof.

The second time, when he fell or jumped with a rope around his neck, was described as "one of the most serious and potentially fatal incidents of self-harm within Queensland youth detention centres in recent years".

YP-L was subsequently handcuffed and escorted by two staff members whenever he wasn't inside his accommodation unit, including during visits with his baby.

"Considering the reason YP-L made the roof ascent was over trauma associate with restricted family contact, keeping him handcuffed through visits was a questionable decision at the least," the report said.

"The inspectorate is of the opinion that it would be difficult for any person to be able to safely and securely hold a baby when handcuffed."

Inspectors found the use of restraints would not meet regulations and called their implementation during family visits "extraordinary" and "excessive".

The department spokesman said the centre agreed the use of handcuffs was inappropriate and had created stricter guidelines.

He also said search procedures had been extended after a sweep three days after YP-L's second incident found more lengths of rope.

The centre is installing "drumroll" barriers on fences to make it harder for people to get on the roof, he said.

Cleveland's 30 incidents of self harm in 2014 far exceeded the four in Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, despite the southern facility holding double the number of young people.





33yo Palm Island man jailed over sexual relationship with 12yo girl [ABC - 5/11/15]





The firm that advised the Newman government on its "Strong Choices" privatisation plan has been engaged to help find a solution for the Palaszczuk government's proposed power company merger.

Queensland Treasury Corporation awarded KPMG the contract to help "analyse, review and help find solutions" for its plan to merge the government-owned energy corporations, a move greeted with reticence by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, but which Treasurer Curtis Pitt said would go ahead "in some form". ... [Brisbane Times - 6/11/15]



Health records could be hacked: expert [5/11/15]:

The private medical details of all Australians could potentially be stolen in an Ashley Madison-style hacking scandal if the federal government pushes ahead with plans to put everyone's records online, an expert has warned.

The Australian Privacy Foundation's Bernard Robertson-Dunn, who has developed IT systems for several government departments, says the proposed My Health Record system is full of privacy risks.

He says the recent Ashley Madison adultery website hacking scandal - in which a group of hackers released credit card details, email accounts and home addresses of the website's users - showed hacking was "always a possibility".

Health Minister Sussan Ley announced a reboot of the current e-health system in May, switching it from an opt-in to an opt-out model in order to get more people using it.

The model would contain the health records of every Australian, unless they chose to opt out of it.

Trials of the new system are set to begin in early 2016 in north Queensland and the NSW Blue Mountains region, involving one million Australians.

Dr Robertson-Dunn says having an opt-out model used by everyone makes the system more attractive to hackers.

He says even lawful access of the system could pose a "huge invasion of privacy", allowing anyone employed at a medical institution or organisation to access a person's entire medical record.

"It is possible that somebody working for a medical centre could access somebody's record because they're visiting the GP and gain information about the person which could be useful to pharmaceutical companies, or even hackers," he told AAP on Thursday.

"My concern is a lot of medical people don't actually understand enough about how this system works to understand the risks."

Several submissions to a parliamentary inquiry examining the legislation have raised concerns about the opt-out model, including from the Australian Information Commissioner.

A parliamentary committee on human rights chaired by Liberal MP Philip Ruddock has also raised privacy concerns about the opt-out model and has asked the minister whether there are sufficient safeguards in the legislation.

The Health Department has defended the claims, saying the same range of strong security and privacy protections in the existing model would carry over to the opt-out setting, along with stronger penalties for any misuse.

The Senate inquiry is due to hand down its report on Monday.



Bob Katter opposes any GST changes

North West Star [5/11/15]:

Kennedy MP Bob Katter will oppose any changes to the goods and services tax (GST) should the Federal Government look to raise the GST rate in the coming year as has been rumoured in recent weeks.

The Katter's Australian Party (KAP) leader said he had never been a fan of the GST as he saw it as a tax on those who could least afford it.

"The burden falls into two classes of people. One is the husband and wife and three kids. Even if they're both working, they will spend all their money, they can't save anything, with three kids you can't save any money, but if you are rich you can save money,” he said.

“If you've got an income of $200,000 a year you can save half that income, so as long as you haven't got five or six kids to look after, so half their income is not GST taxed, the husband and wife with three or four kids, all of their income is GST taxed.

"The other class is the retirees. Every cent of their income, almost everyone above 65 that are not still working would fit into this category, they spend all of their incomes, so all of their income is taxed, so there is two classes of people where all of their income is taxed. The other class are the rich people and only half of their income is taxed because they save half their income, so GST is a most unfair tax.”

Mr Katter said he would prefer the introduction of a financial services tax as opposed to a GST. He feels his fellow independent Senators would also be highly opposed to any rise.

"We will be taking in the KAP, the most trenchant opposition to it, and I'm in the process of drafting letters to my house of representatives and senate colleagues, but I'd be surprised if Palmer and Wilkie do not see it the way I see it. Certainly Andrew and I will be moving legislation to try and stop it,” he said.

"We're in a very powerful position and we will use that power to drive the government back in this direction. We will write to all of our senate colleagues. We enjoy a very close relationship with senators such as Maddigan, Xenopohn, senator Lambie, senator Dio Wang, Ricky Muir. We will write to them to plead with them to oppose tenaciously an extension of the goods and services tax."




New York investigating Exxon over climate statements [Reuters - 5/11/15]





News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal, reported its third straight quarter of revenue decline, hurt by a strong dollar and lower print ad sales, mainly in Australia.

The company, controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said on Thursday revenue from its news and information business fell about 11 percent to $1.29 billion in the first quarter. ... [Reuters  - 5/11/15]






The scientist investigating the Williamtown contamination scandal has accepted an invitation to meet with the community dealing with its consequences.

Professor Mark Taylor will attend the Williamtown community drop-in session on November 19 after an invitation from Port Stephens MP Kate Washington on behalf of residents.

‘‘I am looking forward to meeting and talking to the residents,’’ Professor Taylor said.

He is investigating past and future management of fire fighting foam contaminants known as PFOS and PFOA at Williamtown RAAF base, and the Environment Protection Authority’s role since it was first advised of the contamination in May, 2012. ... [Herald - 4/11/15]






State must offer better protection to writers, publishers and others threatened by extremists in Bangladesh – Zeid




UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Media Release [5/11/15]:



UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein today strongly condemned the continuing violent attacks against bloggers and publishers in Bangladesh, and called on the Government to take urgent, concerted measures to ensure the protection of all those who are being threatened by extremists operating in the country.

“At least five Bangladeshi writers and publishers as well as two foreigners have been violently murdered this year in Bangladesh and many more attacked and threatened, apparently by groups that believe they have the right to impose their views on others through wanton violence,” the High Commissioner said.

“There is an urgent need for a concerted response to prevent more killings by promptly bringing the perpetrators to justice, and by taking effective measures to protect writers, publishers and any other people in Bangladesh who are being threatened with violence. The State must not allow extremist groups to take matters into their own hands.”

 In the latest attacks last Saturday, publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan was hacked to death in his office in Dhaka and, in a separate incident, three people at another publishing house in the city were reported wounded.

Dipan had published the work of a prominent blogger, Avjit Roy, who himself was hacked to death in February this year.

Three other bloggers have been murdered this year, all of whom had written about sensitive social, political and religious issues.

Many others have received threats on social media and there are hit-lists published on Facebook targeting the writers.

Some of those threatened have gone into hiding or fled the country.

“I urge political and religious leaders to consistently and unequivocally condemn this spate of vicious killings and threats against writers and publishers and anyone else who may be targeted by these takfiri groups,” Zeid said.

Zeid stressed that the State must ensure that journalists, civil society actors and human rights defenders are able to exercise their rights to freedom of expression and opinion without fear for their safety.

“When people have been explicitly threatened with violence or murder, it is the duty of the State to provide them with effective protection,” the High Commissioner said.




6 November 2015