"I am not a criminal, I am a refugee, do you understand what that is?"


Man deported from Fiji after attempted escape from Australia/PNG anti-refugee regime hospitalised [ABC - 8/2/17]:


An Iranian refugee who fled Australia's offshore detention regime in Papua New Guinea is being treated in hospital while he awaits court.

Loghman Sawari was deported from Fiji on February 3, after spending 10 days in that country.

His lawyer had said he intended to seek asylum in Fiji, but Sawari was arrested while on his way to a meeting with immigration officials, taken to the airport and sent back to PNG.

PNG police charged him with giving false information in his application for a PNG passport.

The 20-year-old was being kept at a Port Moresby police station but is now in hospital.

He was brought to court in Port Moresby to apply for bail, but there was a problem with the lodgement of his bail application and the matter was deferred.

Sawari was visibly upset and shaking while he waited to apply for bail.

"I am not a criminal, I am a refugee, do you understand what that is?" he said.

He showed journalists apparent self-harm injuries on his arm and said he had developed serious mental health problems from his detention and deportation. ...



Loghman Sawari, the asylum seeker who was charged for falsifying information, has expressed disappointment, on what had appeared as another adjournment to his bail application, and arraignment hearing.

The 21-year-old Iranian, was supposed to have his case heard by the Boroko District court this afternoon, however, that did not happen.

Police prosecution, told Sawari and his lawyer, that there was no magistrate present to hear the applications.

Sawari’s case was adjourned to this afternoon because the arresting office, wrote the incorrect name of Sawari’s village on the Information Sheet, which was presented to the Boroko District Court yesterday.

Magistrate Maristelle Painap upon learning that the village name was incorrect, she instructed the police prosecution to confirm Sawari’s village name before she could read out the allegation. Sawari was charged with Falsifying Information.

Police alleged that he used false information to obtain travel documents from the Immigrations and Citizenship Authority Services in July 2016.

Sawari then used the travel documents and traveled to Fiji last month.

However, he was deployed to Papua New Guinea last Friday.

This afternoon, Sawari appeared with his lawyer, Loani Henao.

However, they were told to return tomorrow because certain court documents were not filed at the District Court Registry.

Henoa told media personnel; they will be pleading not guilty to the charge and will be applying for bail when the case returns to court. ... [EMTV - 8/2/17]



Given they have time to write "Open Letters" to PNG, what does the Refugee Council of Australia have to say about this? --> ... [Fiji's Attorney-General] Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he was advised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that Mr Sawari was not recognised as a refugee under the UNHCR mandate.

"It has further advised that he is a refugee recognised by Papua New Guinea under its national procedures. So Fiji has merely returned Sawari to his rightful place of residence," he said. ... [RNZI - 3/2/17]



31 January: UNHCR refuse to comment on Loghman Sawari case [Fiji Times]:


... When contacted, the United Nations refugee agency regional Representation in Canberra external relations officer, Catherine Stubberfield, said the agency could not comment on individual cases of people of concern for the individuals' protection. ...



It is time for the UNHCR to explain why it doesn't want refugees on Manus and Nauru immediately released and GENUINELY resettled.



It’s only genocide, when we say it is [Center for Constitutional Rights - 7/2/17]:


...Where does the international community stand in all of this? As a result of Myanmar’s alleged move towards democratization, a number of countries including the U.S. have lifted sanctions against Myanmar, completely disregarding the plight of the Rohingya and providing a license to continue to act with impunity.

All we have had in response to one of the gravest humanitarian catastrophes of our time is the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s “deep concern” for reported human rights abuses in the Rakhine State which has more recently developed into statements that Myanmar security forces have ‘very likely’ committed crimes against humanity.

The Rohingya struggle is one of the starkest embodiments of the failure of international systems and international law. There are a number of legal and normative frameworks that ought to apply to the Rohingya plight, including international human rights law, international criminal law, international refugee law and the responsibility to protect. 

Yet there is no relief, no remedy and no effective recourse. ...






Bangladesh offers three other ports for Rohingya Food Flotilla, Teknaf - where all the refugees are - a no go [The Malay Mail  Online - 7/2/17]



Investors urge Chevron to refrain from doing business with abusive governments. amid persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]



A Tamil boy died on Sunday after falling into an unprotected waste oil pit dug by the Sri Lankan army.

The body of 10-year-old Gajenthirakumar Sajinthan was retrieved from an 15-foot deep oil pit which has been in Kankensanthurai for ten years.

Locals expressed concern that the waste oil pit was uncovered, adding that it contributed to making their community spaces unsafe. [Tamil Guardian - 7/2/17]



Sri Lankan man accused of bringing Tamil asylum seekers into Canada granted bail after more than six years in jail [Global News - 3/2/17]:


A Sri Lankan man accused of bringing hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers into Canada illegally has been granted bail after more than six years in jail.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled on Thursday that Kunarobinson Christhurajah does not have to remain in custody while awaiting a new trial over allegations of human smuggling.

Last week a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the case of Christhurajah, who is accused of organizing the voyage of the MV Sun Sea, a rickety cargo ship that transported 492 Tamil asylum seekers from Thailand to Canada in August 2010.

The jury found three other men not guilty.

Christhurajah’s wife, Mary Patrishiya, sobbed outside the courtroom after learning the result of the bail hearing.

“I have no words,” she said, covering her tear-streaked face with both hands.

“I’m going to hug him,” she added when asked about the first thing she would do when she saw her husband.

Christhurajah’s six-year-old daughter was with her mother outside court on Thursday. The girl was born months after the couple arrived in Canada aboard the Sun Sea.

“Nobody here. No friends. No family. I was pregnant. I had hardship the last six years,” his wife said.

“But I forgot everything in this moment.” ...



Australian security law watchdog urges scrapping of indefinite detention [Reuters - 8/2/17]



Matter of a teenage couple facing thought crime charges ready to proceed to committal, prosecutors tell Sydney court [SBS- 8/2/17]



Teenage "terror suspect" held in solitary 23 hours a day and denied visits from family members, lawyer [ABC - 7/3/16]



A massive fire swept through a crowded shanty town near the docks in Manila, destroying houses and leaving 15,000 people homeless, authorities in the Philippine capital said on Wednesday.

Seven people were injured in fire that broke out late on Tuesday night and raged for 10 hours as it spread rapidly, engulfing more than 1,000 makeshift houses, fire officer Edilberto Cruz told reporters. ... [Reuters - 8/2/17]



‏@manila_today [6/2/17]: Youth groups held a protest at Mendiola to denounce Duterte's declaration to lift ceasefire. They call on the admin to #ResumePeaceTalks.



Protest in Pulwama after soldiers enter school, beat up teacher and 2 students [Kashmir Reader - 8/2/17]



Police officers remove a demonstrator from in front of a gate to the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Schwab in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Tuesday.

The protestors oppose a plan by the Japanese and U.S. governments to relocate a U.S. Marine Corps air base in Futenma to a new offshore facility to be built by reclaiming land off Nago.

Offshore work began on Monday. [Japan Today - 8/2/17]



US, Japan intercept ballistic missile in test [US Department of Defense - 7/2/17]



US Secretary of State Tillerson phones lapdogs [Reuters - 7/2/17]



French police arrested a dozen people in a fourth straight night of confrontation with youths in suburbs north of Paris, with tension sparked by accusations of police violence spreading to new areas, a police representative said. ...  [Reuters - 8/2/17]



‏@NABEELRAJAB [8/2/17]:  Nabeel Rajab faces court today. He already served 8 months in pre-trial custody. Continues Judicial harassment. #Bahrain



UK High Court to review arms deals with Saudi Arabia [Press TV - 7/2/17]



Saudi-backed Yemeni forces capture Red Sea coast city [Reuters - 7/2/17]:


Yemeni government forces backed by Gulf Arab troops have secured the Red Sea coast city of al-Mokha, United Arab Emirates news agency WAM reported on Tuesday, in a push that paves the way for an advance on the country's main port city of Hodeidah.

Supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been fighting for weeks to capture the small town, which once served as a main port for exporting coffee, from the Iran-aligned Houthi that has held it since early 2015.

The advance comes amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran since President Donald Trump came to office in January.

U.S. officials said last week that the United States had deployed a Navy destroyer, the USS Cole, to patrol off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthis, including escorting vessels. ...



Gunmen kill four guards in hotel attack in Somalia [Reuters - 8/2/17]



‏@dersi4m [7/2/17]:  On 7/8th February 2016, 178 #Kurds, mostly youths trapped in basements were burned to death by Turkish military in Cizîr #NeverForget



Turkey has dismissed more than 4,400 civil servants including teachers, police officers and academics over their suspected links with terrorist organizations, a decree showed late on Tuesday, in the latest purge since a failed coup last July.

Ibrahim Kaboglu, a prominent constitution professor who has expressed opposition to planned constitutional changes giving President Tayyip Erdogan greater executive powers, was among those ousted under the decree published in the Official Gazette.

Court clerks, computer experts and librarians were also among 4,464 sacked, part of a crackdown since the July coup bid which Turkey says was carried out by U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. ... [Reuters - 8/2/17]



Turkish army and Syrian rebels close in on Islamic State town of al-Bab [Reuters - 8/2/17]:


... The battle for al-Bab has raised the prospect of confrontation between the Turkish military and the Syrian army, which has pushed to within a few kilometers of the city's southern outskirts.


Turkish presidency sources said on Wednesday President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed in a phone call overnight to act jointly against Islamic State in al-Bab and Raqqa, another Syrian city held by IS.

The White House said in a statement that Trump spoke about the two countries' "shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms" and welcomed Turkey's contributions to the fight against Islamic State, but it gave no further details.



‏@wikileaks [7/2/17]:  US media is conspicuously ignoring verified US government leaks showing just how bad its CIA led Syria policy was



United States continues bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 7/2/17]



‏@sol2refugees [7/2/17]:  No one in tents they say! But these photos showing the conditions of #Moria #Camp #Lesvos tonight, its like nothing changed. ...



‏@Lihtenvalner [6/2/17]:  Another migrant tragedy from Greek detention prisons: Man from Algeria found dead in police station #PetrouRalli ...



‏@TStavrak [6/2/17]:  Refugees have confronted the migration minister at the entrance of a camp in Athens, trying to stop him from entering the site ...



IOM January 2017 Situation Report airbrushes its shady activities in Libya keeping migrants detained and out of Europe [ReliefWeb - 31/1/17]:


On 7 January, the emergency food intervention expanded to include Tripoli’s Abu Salim detention centre.

On 13 January, during a one-day visit to Tripoli, IOM met with the leadership of the Libyan Coast Guard to discuss the outcomes of a needs assessment conducted last year.

On 23 January, IOM helped 46 stranded Bangladeshi male migrants return home to Bangladesh from Misratah, Libya.

On 30-31 January, a two-day Community Stabilization Committee Coordination Meeting for Sabha was held in Tunis ...



‏@afpfr [6/2/17]:  Maroc: 18 migrants franchissent la frontière à Melilla ...



Spanish frigate Canarias rescues 484 migrants off coast of Libya [Naval Today - 7/2/17]



‏@guardiacostiera [7/2/17]:  Motovedette #GuardiaCostiera trasbordano con avverse condizioni meteorologiche 434 #migranti da rimorchiatore a largo di #Lampedusa



A boat that washed up on the west coast of Ireland is thought to have been used by Cuban migrants travelling to the US.

The makeshift vessel was found on a beach near Mullaghmore and Cliffoney in Co Sligo.

Images of the strange sight were then shared in the ‘Lost at Sea’ Facebook group by a local who spotted the vessel at the end of January.

The origin of the boat was discovered by reading the labels on the plastic bottles used to make the boat more buoyant – which were Cuban. ... [The Journal - 7/2/17]



En route to the US, Cuban migrants in Panama wonder if they're better off where they are [Reuters - 5/2/17]



Obama handed a lethal deportation machine to Trump's gang of white nationalists [AlterNet - 7/2/17]:


... “It’s really important to understand that there is already this massive deportation machine that was constructed by Obama,” Bethany Carson, researcher and organizer for Grassroots Leadership, told AlterNet.

“The massive nature of our immigration enforcement system already is widely misunderstood and underestimated, as well as the fact that there is a very militarized border that is harder to cross than any time in our history." ...



Sound familiar Australia? ---> All death and no returns = "Successful" US border policy [VIDEO - The Empire's Border Part I - teleSUR - 31/1/16]:


 Along the southern border of the United States is a graveyard, where hundreds upon hundreds of human remains are waiting to be found in the sand.

They are teenagers, mothers and spouses walking the only path available to them—away from poverty and violence: towards their families, the only place safer and easier to eat.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, Abby Martin reveals a catastrophe at the Empire's gates; not only a shockingly high body count, but a humanitarian crisis manufactured by the U.S. government.

Sinister tactics, a for-profit prison pipeline, and a court system that looks more like a slave auction than a trial await those who survive.

Join The Empire Files on-location to learn how Border Patrol has turned land into a weapon, to take the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. ...








@wikileaks [6/2/17]:  Ecuadorian Presidential candidate's first act after Feb 19: terminate Assange asylum ...



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



‏@BehrouzBoochani [8/2/17]:  Greens want to stop Trump visiting Australia. But why? You already have a lot of Trumps, & ruined reputation with Manus and Nauru



Australia tortures, murders and deports refugees to "stop them from drowning", as Greens Party waste their parliamentary platform performing anti-Trump stunts [The National - 8/2/17]:


An Iranian asylum seeker detained at the regional processing centre on Manus Island has gone on a hunger strike because of mental illness and fears of deportation.

Kurdish Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani told The National yesterday that the asylum seeker, a cartoonist known as Eaten Fish, aged 25, had lost six kilogrammes after he started a hunger strike six days ago.

“He is on hunger strike because he is seriously sick (and) he is under pressure from deportation,” Boochani said.

“There are not enough medical facilities in Manus for people with mental illnesses, if they want to help him they should take him to Australia.”

“I don’t know how he (Fish) is at the moment. On Monday I tried to gain access to see him but the security guards stopped me,” Boochani said.

“Fish’s condition is gradually going from bad to worse, the pressure of his deportation is adding weight onto his situation,” Boochani said.

Fish is kept in a special supported accommodation compound known as the VSRA due to his mental and physical condition.

He said the refugee claim by Fish had been rejected by officials at the centre.

They several times told him that they will deport him and that made his situation even worse,” Boochani said.

“The main issue at this moment in the centre is deportation of the asylum seekers.”


 On April 26, last year the PNG Supreme Court ruled that detention of asylum seekers at the regional processing centre on Manus was unconstitutional.

The court said that the detention breached a person’s right to personal liberty as enshrined in the constitution.



"Cartoonists 4 ALP" representative says talented refugees welcome - others can get fucked.  Australia's torture, exile and turnbck policy continues unchallenged [RNZI - 8/2/17]



"TOO NEWSY" for the ABC's English speaking audience because it reminds Australians that our anti-refugee policy is illegal in PNG? ---> TO .@wendyeverett1- journalist, Radio Australia [8/2/17]:  So this is a report about latest directions hearing in Lomai #Manus release and compensation case? [NO REPLY.]



More desperate PR for fictional "US Deal" as Australia's war on refugees continues unopposed and unscrutinised [ABC - 8/2/17]



US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman renews call for declassification of phoney Obama-Australia refugee "deal" [Senator Chuck Grassley Media Release - 2/2/17]



Is this why "journalist" Michael Gordon and "trauma counsellor" Janet Galbraith have abandoned him? ---> Loghman Sawari case illustrates how Rudd's July 2013 PNG "refugee resettlement" agreement has produced nothing but exile and statelessness for hundreds of men who were seeking asylum [RNZI - 8/2/17]:


... Loghman Sawari, who was detained on Manus Island, travelled to Fiji using fake travel documents last month.

The lawyer Ben Lomai said the 21-year old refugee was being held at the Waigani police station for questioning and was yet to be charged.

He said, as a refugee, Mr Sawari should be allowed to travel.

"Loghman Sawari is already given refugee status and therefore he should be given some travel documents for him to travel," said Mr Lomai.

"It's not that Loghman is falsifying documents, no. It's people within the immigration department that falsify those documents.

They wanted to do it to help Loghman Sawari." Ben Lomai said for the police to hold his client for longer than three days without charge amounts to what's known as administrative detention. ...



Human rights organisations continue condemning Fiji - but where were they BEFORE Loghman Sawari was deported [RNZI - 8/2/17]




8 February 2017