Russian Defense Ministry: Growing tension in Syria is result of NATO's senseless activities [TASS - 7/2/16]
Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees have gathered near a border crossing with Turkey after fleeing a major government offensive on rebel-held areas in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that his country would keep its "open border policy" for the refugees, adding that 5,000 of them have already been allowed into Turkey.
"Another 50,000 to 55,000 are on their way and we cannot leave them there," he said from the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, after holding talks with EU counterparts.
However, the governor of the Turkish province of Kilis, on the border with Syria, said thousands of Syrian refugees arrived at the Turkish border near Kilis City in the last 48 hours and were being accommodated at camps on the Syrian side of the border. ... [Al Jazeera - 6/2/16]
@MSF_Sea [7/2/16]: ... A calm morning at #Idomeni where the border is open ~1200 #people wait in the camp and ~2500 in 54 buses.
@MSF_Sea [7/2/16]: Good weather in #Lesvos after a few rough days has meant a busy Sunday for @Greenpeace @MSF- 6 boats so far.
@PROACTIVA_SERV [7/2/16]: Domingo invernal #lesvos.Los ojos siempre puestos en el horizonte de un mar envenenado por la política y las armas.
How many refugee and asylum seeker boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back and/or abandon in the last 24 hours? ----> Proactiva Open Arms [VIDEO - 6/2/16]: Teamwork with official maritime organizations is important. Cooperation between official teams and volunteers is essential to increase safety at sea and prevent more deaths. What the following images explain happened a few days ago in the waters of Lesbos in a joint action with the Frontex Portugal team. Great job.
A high level officer from the Office of the UN Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator and representative of United Nations Office for Coordination of Human Affairs(UNOCHA) met some Rohingya elders in Aung Mingalar of Sittwe on February 4, at about 10:00 AM.
“The group of Rohingya elders included U Shwe Hla, U Aung Thein, U Maung Tun, U Kyaw Sein and some others” said a local to Burma Times.
The representatives discussed some important issues with Rohingya community leaders of Aung Mingalar including the life of Rohingya in future.
It is not known that the meeting with Rohingya is related to UN Special Rapporteur who will pay a visit to Sittwe next week.
But many assume as it is a fore-running agenda to get information of persecuted Rohingya in Arakan. [Burma Times - 6/2/16]
... Today, the family share a townhouse with two other families on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Mr Abdul, now 26, spends his day hauling ice at a local market for 400 baht (S$15.60) a day. He goes home immediately after work to avoid drawing the attention of the immigration police.
Shahid, now four, stays mostly indoors in the ground floor space the family occupies. The white-tiled room contains nothing more than a mattress, electric fan, clothes rack, and cooking utensils piled neatly in one corner.
There are small luxuries: Ms Asimah retains a slab of stone which she uses to grind a log of thanaka into a cosmetic paste, typical of Myanmar women. Shahid grasps a bright red toy car in his palm.
"This home is better than the one in Bangladesh," said Ms Asimah, who is now 35. But she worries about her son's future. "He has no documents. He can't go to school."
With the Thai authorities now taking a tougher stance against undocumented migrants, the couple are wary even of straying too far from their home to seek refugee status at the United Nations office in Bangkok.
The triumph of Myanmar's longtime opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi over the military-backed incumbent party in the November general election has given them some hope.
"We would like to go back to the country," Mr Abdul said.
"But not now. And not to our hometown. Maybe Yangon." Buddhist-Muslim couple flee intimidation in Myanmar for a new life [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]
More fighting and more abductions: Northern Shan villages robbed of children [Myanmar Times - 5/2/16]
UN High Commissioner meets protesting relatives of the disappeared in Jaffna [Tamil Guardian - 7/2/16]
Who is trying to limit our demands?
Whoever controls the media, controls the mind
- Jim Morrison
US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]
"Not In Our Name" double page advertisement in The Age [1/3/14]:
We, the undersigned, publicly declare:
To the Australian people,
To the Federal Coalition Government,
To the Federal Opposition,
To all refugees currently held in offshore detention centres:
THAT WE BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ARE IMMORAL, INHUMANE AND INCONSISTENT WITH OUR HUMANITARIAN OBLIGATIONS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW:
1. The ongoing incarceration of refugees in offshore detention centres, with consequent distress and physical injury, and the recent death of Reza Berati, one of the refugees in our care.
2. The continual demonising of refugees, and the framing of the refugee issue as primarily relating to Australian sovereignty, rather than as worldwide tragedy demanding a compassionate and global response.
We state that these actions should not have taken place in our nation - or indeed any civilized society - and though they have been enacted by a democratically elected government, we reject them, and declare that they were done not in our name.
We call on all thinking an concerned citizens of the nation to raise their voices in protest against the shameful actions of this government and its agencies, and to make peaceful but urgent representation to their local members on this vital issue; the moral integrity of our country is at stake and our role in the concert of civilized nations.
William and Margaret Henderson
Brisbane literary identities Bronwyn Levy, Nick Earls and Krissy Kneen signed this petition.
This is so obviously a cynical stunt playing with people's mind's emotions and lives. Free them ALL you BASTARDS. [Brisbane Times - 7/2/16]:
Queensland will join Victoria and New South Wales in calling for the federal government to stop asylum seeker children and their families being sent back to immigration detention centres.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird echoed Mr Andrews call and said his state would do all it could to help.
On Sunday, Queensland Premiere Annastacia Palaszczuk said nobody wanted to see children in detention centres. ...
'Yes and yes': Australian Capital Territory signals it will accept asylum seekers awaiting removal to Nauru [Guardian - 7/2/16]
Refugee camps are factories for terrorists? Not really. [The Intercept – 6/2/16]
Behind bars in immigrant-only prisons [AUDIO - Reveal News - 6/2/16]:
Anyone who serves time for a federal crime will end up in what prison experts say is the best-run system in the country: the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
But if you’re not a U.S. citizen, you could end up in one of 11 facilities that don’t have to follow the same rules – and are run by private companies instead of the government.
This hour of Reveal investigates medical negligence in this parallel private prison system for immigrants.
We also expose the shift in criminal justice policy that helped fill up these prisons.
The Empire Files: The Empire's Border Part II - A Hidden War [VIDEO - teleSUR - 5/2/16]:
In the second installment of this two-part episode, Abby Martin continues her investigation of the hidden war on the U.S.-Mexico border, looking at the root causes of the epidemic of migrant deaths.
The Empire Files documents an inflated, paramilitary Border Patrol, the devastating impacts of NAFTA, how the U.S. Empire benefits from immigrant labor and what can change the equation.
Protest Shorten too or you're just supporting an ALP pep rally
This coming Monday night, thousands of Australians will gather in capital cities to stand for sanctuary, and demonstrate that Australia says welcome to refugees.
In 2015, tens of thousands of you rallied to Light the Dark in cities and towns across Australia, in memory of Allan Kurdi and to demand the government do more in response to the global humanitarian crisis. <----- And in February 2014 1,000s more held candlelight vigils across the country calling for the camps to be CLOSED after Reza Barati was murdered.
Tell the Prime Minister - let them stay. <---- Why only him?
This event is supported by:
Welcome to Australia ... [Refugee Rights Action Network WA]
Image: @prehumax [29/6/15]
All aboard the bipartisan ship [Overland - 11/8/15]:
... Welcome to Australia director Brad Chilcott has publicly supported a policy of turn-backs in breach of the principle of non-refoulement.
In advance of the ALP conference, which he attended as a delegate for the increasingly inappropriately named left faction of the party, Chilcott called for the ALP to ‘neutralise’ a divisive debate by ‘closing the ocean route to Australia’.
This, from the leader of an organisation that takes its motto from the national anthem: ‘For those who’ve come across the seas.’
The Coalition and Labor have joined forces to vote down a motion to grant amnesty to almost 270 asylum seekers currently in Australia.
The 267 people, including 37 babies, are facing the prospect of being sent to Nauru in the wake of yesterday's High Court judgement which upheld offshore immigration detention.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young today moved a motion in the Senate, asking for the Federal Government to allow the asylum seekers to remain onshore.
In full, the motion read: "the Senate calls on the Turnbull Government to grant amnesty to the 267 men, women and children in Australia as part of the M68 High Court challenge, and allow them to stay."
It was defeated 10-40, with independent senator John Madigan siding with the Greens.
Only a fool or a fraud remains in a political party whose policy they disagree with ---> The 267 asylum seekers whose removal to Nauru was cleared by a controversial high court ruling are welcome to stay in Victoria, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said.
Andrews wrote to the Malcolm Turnbull on Saturday offering that the group – which includes 37 babies born in Australia to asylum seeker mothers – can “call Victoria home”. ... [Guardian - 6/2/16]
@ABCNews24 [3/2/16]: Shorten: Offshore regional processing is an important part of defeating the crime gangs. ...
@ABCNews24 [29/9/15]: Plibersek: People coming to Australia by boat should not expect to be accepted into our refugee & humanitarian intake ...
Mr Tim WATTS (Gellibrand) (19:40) [House of Representatives Hansard - 25/11/15]:
... We also committed to practical, compassionate measures that will work in the short term—continuing the combination of offshore processing and regional resettlement together with the policy of turning back boats that has stopped the flow of vessels arriving on our shores. ...
ALP helps Abbott lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]
So these writers have only just noticed that Australia is imprisoning refugees in concentration camps? Really? ----> ... The open letter was sent to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the immigration minister, Peter Dutton.
Its 61 signatories include: Coetzee, a South African-born novelist and naturalised Australian who won the Nobel prize in 2003; Booker prize winners Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally; Helen Garner, Gail Jones, Michelle de Kretser, Alexis Wright, and Frank Moorhouse.
The writers asked the minister and prime minister: “do we wish to live under a government that routinely treats other humans cruelly? Can we be sure of our own immunity to cruel treatment when such practices are, we know, obviously common, no matter how secretive immigration authorities are about the entire detention system.” ... [Guardian - 6/2/16]
The only way to end a bipartisan policy of cruelty is through NON partisan opposition. Anything with the taint of partisanship is doomed to fail. Labor's 'Pacific Solution' gets going in Nauru [The Age - 18/912]:
... Another planeload of several dozen Tamils are expected later this week, and the first group of Afghan Hazaras early next week.
By then the camp will house more than 150 asylum seekers.
Some of those 150 may also turn out to be women, children or whole families, as Immigration Minister Chris Bowen last week told a press conference that ‘‘you can expect to see a broad cross-section of people transferred to Nauru next week and in coming weeks’’. ...
... Meanwhile on Nauru, Friday 5 February, the main supermarket near Anibare refused to serve refugees.
Some refugees queued for most of the day, but still were not served, after being told that only Nauruans could buy goods. [Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney - 6/2/16]
Nauru Senate Inquiry - August 2015 - Supplementary Submission [Mr Jon Nicholls No. 95.1]:
... Despite what one may find on the internet, at no time has Mr Nichols suggested waterboarding etc was part of some organised intelligence gathering for whomever - he says it occurred in a modern day 'Lord of of the Flies' - 'Stanford Experiment' type situation - the guilty parties did it for mere enjoyment and human nature is what it is.
There is no protection on Nauru from this behaviour because there is no Rule of Law, just arbitrary, crude and evil behaviour. ...
Refugees settled on Nauru woke on Monday to find an ominous letter, signed “Youth of Republic of Nauru”, had been delivered overnight. Copies had been left at shops, homes, workplaces employing refugees… [Manifesto for a pogrom: hostility to exiled refugees grows on Nauru - The Conversation - 20/11/14]
Still waiting for some journalism, and/or an Australian "human rights" organisation to issue a statement ---> @wikileaks [6/2/16]: UNWGAD #Assange decision backed by UN, UNASUR, HRW, ACLU, RSF; attacked by UK journalists and a UK minister of state strangling his dog.
El secretario General de la Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (UNASUR), Ernesto Samper, instó este viernes a Suecia, el Reino Unido y Ecuador, acordar la liberación del fundador de Wikileaks, Julian Assange, luego de que la ONU emitiera su resolución considerando arbitraria su detención.
"Me parece que lo que ha hecho Naciones Unidas es abrir la puerta para que haya un acuerdo entre los distintos países que están involucrados en el caso de Assange para dejarlo en condiciones de libertad, si eso es lo que solicita Naciones Unidas", expresó Samper. ... [teleSUR - 5/2/16]
SUBMISSION TO THE WORKING GROUP ON ARBITRARY DETENTION BY MR. JULIAN ASSANGE:
... 35. It is internationally recognized—in numerous WGAD and EctHR cases, and by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees—that detention includes circumstances in which the only alternative to confinement is to renounce the possibility of claiming asylum. Mr. Assange’s continued residence at the Ecuadorian Embassy cannot be described as ‘volitional’. If he leaves its perimeters – even to obtain fresh air or emergency medical treatment – he will be arrested and extradited – without assurances – to Sweden, and thereby subjected to the very risk (refoulement to the United States), which the asylum was afforded to him as a protection against. 
36. This risk extends to a likely prospect that Mr. Assange would be subjected to prolonged incommunicado detention,which falls foul of the prohibition on cruel and inhumane treatment. 
37. Forcing an individual to be indefinitely deprived of liberty, as a condition for seeking or enjoying asylum, violates the very principle behind ICCPR Article 9's protection of both liberty and security of the person.  States are subjected to particularly intense scrutiny in relation to whether they have fulfilled their obligation to secure both rights in relation to their treatment of human rights defenders, including journalists and publishers in this field, such as Mr. Assange. 
38. The UNHCR has long agreed with the principle that forcing one to choose between confinement or sacrificing a fundamental right to seek or enjoy asylum constitutes detention. It has long held that detention is:
“confinement within a narrowly bounded or restricted location, including prisons, closed camps, detention facilities or airport transit zones, where freedom of movement is substantially curtailed, and where the only opportunity to leave this limited area is to leave the territory.” 
A US government jet was lying in wait in Copenhagen to extradite the whistleblower Edward Snowden if he had come to Scandinavia after fleeing to Moscow in June 2013, the Danish government has revealed.
Nicholaj Villumsen, MP and foreign affairs spokesman for the Red Green Alliance, said: “It is grotesque that the then government put the interests of the United States above citizens’ freedoms. They violated fundamental democratic rights. We owe Edward Snowden a big thank you for his revelations of illegal US mass surveillance. Denmark should therefore in no way participate in the hunt for him.”
The clear intention of the Danish government to cooperate with the US over Snowden suggested that Scandinavian governments “would probably do the same with Julian Assange”, were he to travel to Sweden to face rape allegations, Villumsen said.
Assange’s insistence that he faces a risk of extradition was a central aspect of his appeal to the UN working group on arbitrary detention, which on Friday ruled in his favour. [Guardian - 6/2/16]
... The degraded discourse about the UN group’s decision does not just threaten Assange, but endangers vulnerable political dissidents around the world. The very fact that Hyde and her ilk are so ready to sacrifice these people’s rights in their bid to tar and feather Assange should be warning enough that there is even more at stake here than meets the eye. [Jonathan Cook - 6/2/16]
7 February 2016