And still only the Financial Times calls on Australia to close its illegal camps and respect the UN Refugee Convention.
@sarahjkeenan [8/5/16]: The refugees who self-immolated in Australian detention centre on #Nauru remembered at Australia's London embassy
@sarahjkeenan [8/5/16]: London protest: 'RIP Omid left to die by the Australian govt' @AusHouseLondon @AusHCUK ...
It's a week since the death of Omid Masoumali. [Omid in Farsi means hope.]
The 23 year old Iranian asylum seeker set fire to himself in protest against his detention on Nauru Island and died of his injuries.
A Somali woman followed suit, and remains in a critical condition.
The incidents have highlighted Australia's controversial offshore immigration processing policy, and the plight of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Islands.
It's a story that's been followed closely by Fariba Sahraei of BBC Persian as many of the detainees originate from Iran, she tells us about the impact of the latest developments in both camps on their audience. "I cannot take it anymore" [AUDIO - BBC - 7/5/16]
Day 50, refugee protests on Nauru
I listened last night, at a dinner given to Philip Gibbs on his return from the front, to the most impressive and moving description from him of what the war really means, that I have heard. Even an audience of hardened politicians and journalists were strongly affected. If people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know. The correspondents don't write and the censorship wouldn't pass the truth. What they do send is not the war, but just a pretty picture of the war with everybody doing gallant deeds. The thing is horrible and beyond human nature to bear and I feel I can't go on with this bloody business.
David Lloyd George - in a private conversation, as quoted by C. P. Scott in his diary (27 December 1917)
DIRTY BUSINESS ... via @InsurrectNews [8/5/16]
Image: @Mums4Refugees [8/5/16]
@Mums4Refugees [8/5/16]: ... Aussies don't be silent please ...
ABC News Radio reported this evening that the Brisbane Somali community have been prevented from visiting Hodan Yasin, and her family are being denied information about her condition. [8/5/16]
US-funded Somali intelligence agency has been using kids as spies [Washington Post - 7/5/16]:
... The boys were used for years as informants by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), according to interviews with the children and Somali and U.N. officials. They were marched through neighborhoods where al-Shabab insurgents were hiding and told to point out their former comrades.
The faces of intelligence agents were covered, but the boys — some as young as 10 — were rarely concealed, according to the children. Several of them were killed. One tried to hang himself while in custody. The Somali agency’s widespread use of child informants, which has not been previously documented, appears to be a flagrant violation of international law.
It raises difficult questions for the U.S. government, which for years has provided substantial funding and training to the Somali agency through the CIA, according to current and former U.S. officials. ...
All we can do is bear witness, as our government continues denying the right to asylum and condemning 1,000s of people throughout the region ---> Cocos Islander heartbroken after Sri Lankan refugees deported with blacked out windows [ABC - 8/5/16]:
... A small group of residents went to the airport on Thursday night to watch the group board the plane.
Local businessman Tony Lacey said the boat passengers travelled to the airport on a bus that had its windows blacked out.
"It was about 8:30 at night, we didn't see much at all, the asylum seekers were getting on at the rear of the plane, which meant it was out of sight for most onlookers," Mr Lacey said.
A local gave triple j's Hack a video they said was captured at the airport, showing a mini-bus with covered windows and a large white passenger jet on the runway.
Cocos Island resident Leah Stratford said she wanted to say hello to the group, which she said included women and children.
"I felt sad that when they got up on the plane, the windows where they were all seated, at the back of the plane, were all blanked out with some kind of screen or white paper so they couldn't see out, we couldn't see them," she said.
"Just as an island and as a community ... they were people, that passed through our small island, we just wanted to wave and say hello, maybe get a smile out of them."
Local residents said the group waited inside the bus for more than two hours before they were transferred onto the plane.
"I know what it's like as a mum with small kids if you're having to sit on a bus for a couple of hours, they were probably a bit tired and ratty," Ms Stratford said.
"I was a little bit heartbroken that they were faceless people ... I could see little arms and legs sticking out from over shoulders and flopped over this way and that." ...
UN special rapporteurs say practice of torture still used in Sri Lanka, call for reforms [Colombo Page - 7/5/16]
Ninety-one people were arrested in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu on Saturday as they held a black flag protest condemning the Congress party's failure to safeguard Tamils in Sri Lanka as the armed conflict ended in 2009. ... [Tamil Guardian - 7/5/16]
The ruling class are joining the dots. We should too ---> Data or razor wire: What controls migrant bodies? [VIDEO - re:publica - 3/5/16]
UNHCR in Jordan excitedly promotes expensive, militarised border control techonology as it creeps into mainstream ----> @And_Harper [8/11/15]: Rest of world is now waking up 2 what we are doing in #jordan w @IrisGuard @CairoAmmanBank @Refugees #innovation
UNHCR's new biometrics system helps "verify" 110,000 Myanmar refugees in Thailand [Media Release - 30/6/15]
A "positive step" toward "cutting humanitarian dependency" [ABC - 22/3/16]:
The United Nations says 25,000 Rohingya Muslims have left camps for displaced people and returned to the communities they fled in Myanmar during sectarian violence in 2012.
The number of people still in camps has fallen to around 120,000 from 145,000 in Rakhine State in Myanmar, according to the UN.
The majority of Rohingya who have left the camps have rebuilt houses in their place of origin, said Vivian Tan, regional spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency. ...
Newly-released documents expose more explicitly the details of IBM's pivotal role in the Holocaust -- all six phases: identification, expulsion from society, confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and even extermination.
Moreover, the documents portray with crystal clarity the personal involvement and micro-management of IBM president Thomas J. Watson in the company's co-planning and co-organizing of Hitler's campaign to destroy the Jews. ... [Huffington Post - 28/2/12]
Important lecture about seeking asylum - with a focus on how Australia is trashing the UN Refugee Convention ----> Professor Alison Mountz, of Harvard University, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, responds to and challenges the crisis narratives unfolding in the media as she discusses political struggles over the erosion of asylum taking place globally. This talk explores shifting geographies of migration and border enforcement in major transit sites where migrants and asylum seekers seek entry and protection. The talk dwells in islands and enforcement archipelagos, offshore sites where struggles over entry and exclusion transpire and where the infrastructure of border enforcement and detention are growing. ... [VIDEO - Centre for International Governance Innovation - 12/11/15]
Mountz: image showing #Australia's onshore and offshore #detention sites ...
Image: @AudraLMitchell [12/11/15]
Refugees and people smuggling: What the Australian media refuse to challenge, Marilyn Shepherd [Independent Australia - 26/10/14]
PEOPLE ARE DYING.
Will the media continue advertising Australia's violence as a "deterrence" message around the world, or will they start speaking truth to power?
... "The Australian government put us in this hell prison for political aims and they have used our bodies to send a violent message around the world. This is our right that Australia pay us money or compensation." ...
Behrouz Boochani [RNZI - 7/5/16]
Update from Behrouz Boochani - journalist illegally imprisoned by the Australian government on Nauru [5/5/16]:
Some main information about our court cases:
We will have a court meeting in PNG court on 13 May. it is a hearing with a single judge who will consider the motions from our lawyers regarding joining the Australian government and explicit orders for release , and return to Australia.
The judge will then convene the full bench for a full hearing, hopefully the start of the week of the 16th.
Also we will have a court on Australian high court.the court will sit with one judge to give directions about the hearing of the case on 23 May.
The main purpose of this court is to prevent our transfer from Manus to Nauru
They honour a political prisoner at their Press Freedom dinner, but can't - or won't interview him? ---> @ThuyOng [6/5/16]: #vote4pressfreedom honours Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani
Her party imprisoned Behrouz, and is instrumental in keeping him imprisoned, yet she perceives she can exploit him for political advantage? ----> @PennySharpemlc - NSW Labor MP [6/5/16]: Recognising Behrouz Boochani a Kurdish Iranian writer detained on Manus Island. #PressFreedom @withMEAA
Australia's refugee policies are NOT an exercise in denial, and Australia has NOT "stopped the boats".
Australia tortures, murders and disappears refugees, while also facilitating regional genocide.
I refuse to endorse a fascist cartel. I will #VOTEINFORMAL at this federal election.
Australia’s hidden, deadly migrant crisis [Huffington Post - 7/5/16]:
... Somali refugee Hodan Yasin, 21, remains in a critical condition after setting herself ablaze on Monday.
She fled al-Shabaab and has spent over three years on Nauru, according to refugee advocates. Yasin was forcibly returned to the camp last week after spending six months in Australia to treat a head injury.
Friends told The Guardian that she was a “gentle soul” who was “destroyed” by her experiences in the camp.
Yet the Australian medical establishment have maintained a resolute silence, thus tacitly endorsing the policy. ----> “The consensus among medical experts is that conditions of detention and offshore processing do immense damage to physical and mental health,” the Australian office for the U.N.’s refugee agency said this week, adding that refugees should be moved to “humane conditions.” ...
During last month's UNHCR visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".
Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation:
"We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"
The UNHCR have NOT called on Australia to close the Nauru and Manus concentration camps, or to respect the refugee convention.
By only stating that refugees should be moved, the UNHCR are assisting Australia with its abandon hope anti-refugee policy, and twisted interpretation of "resettlement".
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]
Al Jazeera holds refugee to account for being exiled by Australia from Nauru concentration camp to Cambodia [VIDEO - 1/4/16]
"I feel that I will die here": Refugee tricked by Australia and the IOM into exile from Nauru to Cambodia [Sydney Morning Herald - 12/3/16]
Report examines status of Rohingyas (and also includes analysis of the regional impact of Australia's anti refugee policies) [The Hindu - 11/2/16]:
The Rohingya refugee crisis has become a “regional issue involving countries of South and Southeast Asia,” a recent report on the community said, putting the number of Rohingyas living in India at 40,000-50,000.
The report, ‘Rohingyas: The Emergence of a Stateless Community,’ prepared by Calcutta Research Group, an independent research organisation, says that the number of families settled in different Indian States is 10,565.
According to the latest data, 6,684 families of the community have settled in Jammu and Kashmir, 1,755 in Andhra Pradesh, 760 in Delhi and 361 in West Bengal.
It says 32,000 Rohingyas registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are residing in Bangladesh, and three-five lakh people of the community live outside the formal camps in that country.
“At a time when the refugees crisis is spreading over Europe, we, in Southeast Asia, are not aware of a similar crisis closer to home involving the Rohingyas,” Sabyasachi Basu Ray Choudhury, Vice-Chancellor of Rabindra Bharati University and one of the editors of the report, told The Hindu. Ranabir Samaddar, an expert in migration and post-migration, is also an editor of the report.
Interviews with the community members recorded in the report suggest the Rohingyas crossing over from Bangladesh to India prefer the camps in Jammu, Hyderabad and Delhi for better economic opportunities. “In West Bengal, there is no fixed settlement area for Rohingyas. The largest identifiable number is concentrated in correctional homes,” the report says.
Researchers who have painstakingly interviewed those from the families incarcerated have listed the “disintegration of the refugee family” and the accompanying trauma as one of the major observations of the report.
Even refugee cards issued by the UNHCR are not accepted as a valid document in West Bengal, and Rohingyas are put behind bars.
Major Observations and Recommendations
Taking Cognizance of the Following:
1. That vide the 1982 Burma Citizenship Law in Myanmar, the Rohingyas have been deprived of citizenship in the country as a result becoming de jure and de facto stateless.
2. That a long-term and durable solution to the situation can only be through the willing participation of the Government of Myanmar.
3. That this issue has turned into a regional issue involving the countries of South and Southeast Asia.
4. That UNHCR, as the apex body dealing with all issues of asylum seekers, refugees and stateless people internationally, has an important role to play in the resolution of the crisis.
5. That regional organisations, like ASEAN, SAARC and APEC, cannot ignore or overlook the enormity of the humanitarian crisis.
6. That since 2012 Rohingyas in large numbers have taken to the sea to seek refuge in Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and taken the land route into India.
7. That there are about 30,000 registered and an estimated 200,000 Rohingyas living in abject or uncertain conditions in Bangladesh.
8. That there are significant numbers of Rohingya people detained in the Correctional Homes in India under the Foreigners’ Act 1946 and the Passport Act 1967.
9. That the disintegration of the refugee family unit upon incarceration, particularly the separation of children from their mothers, is a cause of ongoing trauma, loss of identity and is against all humanitarian principles.
10. That Rohingya women and children are the most vulnerable amongst this population and are a target of sexual violence at the hands of the troops manning the borders between Myanmar and Bangladesh and Bangladesh and India, traffickers and smugglers as well as military in Myanmar.
11. That UNHCR issued refugee identity proofs are not accepted as valid documents by the police in West Bengal.
12. That Bangladeshi migrants and Rohingyas have constantly been conflated together in this mixed and massive flow of population in the region, making it difficult for the Rohingyas to access refugee rights.
13. That Australia does not allow refugees and asylum seekers to come to their shore, instead detaining them at offshore facilities and thereby weakening the international regime of refugee rights and the fundamental tenet of non-refoulement and directly affecting the boat people, particularly Rohingyas taking to the seas, in the region.
The Report Recommends:
1. That the other Southeast Asian and SAARC countries have to engage with Myanmar to find durable solution to issues of the Rohingya people.
2. The UN system, including UNHCR, must prevail upon the global community and the countries in the Asia-Pacific region, in particular, to resolve the crisis within and without Myanmar.
3. That UNHCR has to see the crisis itself as a manifestation of the growing crisis of statelessness around the world as well as connected to the mixed and massive flows of populations across borders.
4. That regional and international bodies like SAARC, ASEAN, APEC and UNHCR should actively pursue a durable solution to this issue with the local and non-local stakeholders.
5. That Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia should stop their policy of pushback of boats, warehousing, offshore internment and take the necessary rescue, relief, and rehabilitation measures and humanitarian aid.
6. That Bangladesh has to sustain a policy of protecting the refugees and the stateless and discontinue the policy of forcing the Rohingyas to exit.
7. That India has to discontinue the policy of putting asylum seekers and unwanted migrants in jails or severely restricted places.
8. That local authorities, particularly the police and paramilitary personnel, should be sensitized about the refugees carrying UNHCR issued refugee identity cards to prevent their detention and incarceration.
9. That the Rohingya people currently incarcerated in West Bengal should be provided with free and quality legal aid by the state.
10. That Indian Navy should be directed by the Government of India to proactively rescue boat people and provide humanitarian assistance in the Bay of Bengal.
11. That there should be presence of women paralimilitary/police personnel in case of detention and arrests of Rohingya women at the border and due process of presenting those arrested before the Magistrate should be followed.
12. That after serving their term, the state is responsible for the reunification of the incarcerated refugees with their children and other family members and a due process should be established in all such cases.
... But , according to the New York Times, her [Aung San Suu Kyi] government recently made an official request to the US Ambassador to Myanmar to not even use the term “Rohingya.” ... [QUARTZ - 7/5/16]
8 May 2016