If the UNHCR were consistent in applying the principles of the Refugee Convention to all countries equally - and certain regional representatives weren't such neocon apologists - perhaps Austria wouldn't have the cover to do this ---> The UN refugee agency said Wednesday Austria is in danger of breaking a decades-old tradition of helping those in need, after Vienna moved a step closer to potentially shutting its borders to migrants.
On Tuesday, the governing coalition agreed on a draft emergency decree that, once it enters into force, would allow Austria to block the entry of migrants directly at its borders.
Chancellor Christian Kern said Tuesday that the decree would be applied once the government's upper limit of 37,500 asylum applications for this year is reached. ... [Yahoo - 7/9/16]
Are the men who have been jailed really people smugglers? Who gives the authorities this intelligence? [ANSAmed - 8/9/16]:
Siracusa's illegal migration task force (GICIC) arrested six suspected human traffickers Thursday following an investigation.
The six were detained in connection with five rescues on Wednesday in the Strait of Sicily that picked up a total of 362 migrants, including the dead bodies of five women and two men who were travelling on a rubber dinghy with 132 other migrants.
The migrants and dead bodies were brought to the port of Augusta aboard the Topaz Responder, a rescue ship operated by Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS).
Investigators said the migrants had departed from Libyan shores.
The suspected traffickers are an Egyptian, a Tunisian, a Senegalese, two Sudanese and a Gambian, all of whom were taken to the Siracusa district jail.
Day 173 refugee protests, Nauru
Always fight for your #freedom ... @SuchNigel
Image: @elahe_zivardar [8/9/16]
@yourAMSA - Australian Medical Students' Association [8/9/16]: This week AMSA is calling every MP calling for the closure of Manus and Nauru. Join us ...
The UNHCR told refugees on Nauru to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years". Then Omid self immolated. So yes Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, Australia does deserve condemnation, but PLEASE don't help cover up the UNHCR's complicity in this horror.
A few 1,000 handpicked Syrians does not cancel out Australia's dirty, anti-refugee policy and ongoing atrocities [Peter "protected and unaccountable" Dutton Media Release - 8/9/16]
They taught me no matter who you are, no matter what you have, sometimes a little courage can change the course of history.
How Snowden escaped [National Post - 7/9/16]:
... The fugitive was disguised in a dark hat and glasses and transported by car at night by two lawyers to safe houses on the crowded and impoverished fringes of Hong Kong.
Snowden hunkered down in small, cluttered, dingy rooms where as many as four people shared less than 150 square feet.
Batteries were removed from cellphones when they gathered, burner phones were used to place calls, SIM cards were exchanged and sophisticated computer encryption was used to communicate when face-to-face meetings were not possible.
Snowden rarely ventured out, and only at night where he could easily be lost among the many other asylum seekers.
“Nobody would dream that a man of such high profile would be placed among the most reviled people in Hong Kong,” recalled Tibbo, a Canadian-born and educated barrister who has practiced law for 15 years.
“We put him in a place where no one would look.”
Perhaps more importantly, added Jonathan Man, another Snowden lawyer who worked alongside Tibbo: “We knew (the asylum seekers) because we had helped them on their (immigration cases). And we knew they would not betray us.”
For the vulnerable people back in Hong Kong who helped him escape to safety, the danger is potentially more palpable.
According to Tibbo, Snowden sent them each US$1,000 when he realized he may have unwittingly put them at risk by revealing their role for the Hollywood movie.
“They had a hundred chances to betray me while I was amongst them, and no one could have blamed them, given their precarious situations. But they never did,” Snowden said.
“If not for their compassion, my story could have ended differently. They taught me no matter who you are, no matter what you have, sometimes a little courage can change the course of history.”
Report shows diabetic prisoner at Long Bay Jail died after being held face-down and sedated [ABC - 8/9/16]
... Although the company [James Hardie] was aware of the dangers of asbestos and its link to cancer for many decades, the Aboriginal people from Baryulgil say they were never warned. ... [ABC - 8/9/16]
Image: @clayton_dixon [14/12/14]
Constitutional Recognition Survey [Conducted by IndigenousX]
'Recognising' the artful con that is the constitutional reform debate, Amy McQuire [New Matilda - 12/12/14]:
The great academic Noam Chomsky once wrote: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”.
This quote perfectly encapsulates the current debate around constitutional reform – where there is a bipartisanship backed by reams of PR spin as a “positive”, while in reality it demonstrates one of the most insidious developments in black policy today – a dangerous “Canberra consensus”, as described by Indigenous policy expert Jon Altman.
How can two white leaders agreeing on the best way to shortchange blackfellas, at the expense of Aboriginal opinion, be a good thing?
The debate around ‘Recognise’ is made worse by the fact even the Greens are snuggly in the fold, leaving the opposition to a growing chorus of disenchanted and disenfranchised Aboriginal people, who are vilified for their justifiable and commendable cynicism. ...
AIJAC congratulates Mark Leibler on his appointment as Co-Chair of the Referendum Council [Media Release - 9/12/15]
Australians should be proud of the fact that our Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister have consistently supported a genuine, negotiated two-state
resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
This is why Australia wisely voted against the admission of Palestine to UNESCO and why Australia should vote against Palestinian ''statehood'' if and when it comes to the United Nations General Assembly. ... Mark Leibler [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/11/11]
Israel bombs Syria after shell lands in Golan-army [Reuters - 7/9/16]
Risking death by drowning to escape Gaza siege [Electronic Intifada - 7/9/16]
Trade unions, water movements urge European Commission to withdraw patronage from Israeli Water Conference [PNN - 7/9/16]
Another day for the dogwhistling Australian media - protecting politicians as they bask in their policies of Apartheid [ABC - 8/9/16]
Without a hint of irony ---> Even a little bit of exercise can offset the ill-effects of alcohol, lower the risks of cancer, and keep you alive longer.
That's the reassuring new finding that gives hope to those of us for whom drinking is a guilty pleasure. ... [ABC - 8/9/16]
Police have charged a man after a boy was assaulted in Normanton yesterday.
It will be alleged that around 8.30pm, a 10-year-old boy was struck with a wooden post causing lacerations and head injuries.
He was conveyed to the Normanton Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries before being flown to Mount Isa Hospital as a precaution.
A 39-year-old man has been charged with one count of assault occasioning bodily harm and possession of a dangerous drug.
He is due to appear in Normanton Magistrates Court today.
The man and boy are known to each other. [QPS Media - 8/9/16]
Queensland "Greens" welcome spin and damage control as racist and violent detention of young people continues [Media Release - 7/9/16]
Ms Dhu coroner reopens application to release CCTV footage [Guardian - 7/9/16]
... "I think Australia and the world need to see how my granddaughter was treated," Ms Roe said.
"Dragged around like a [dead] kangaroo.
"They need to look at it, let the world see. Shame, shame on Australia." ... Protesters march through Perth calling for action to prevent Aboriginal deaths in custody [ABC - 15/4/16]
About 300 people gathered at a rally in Perth at lunchtime yesterday to protest the death of Kalgoorlie teenager Elijah Doughty. ... [West Australian - 6/9/16]
Rally against murder of Indigenous children [Gnangarra - 5/9/16]
A cousin of Boulder teenager Elijah Doughty has been fined $1000 and ordered to pay $499.35 in compensation for his part in smashing up a police car during Tuesday’s riot in Kalgoorlie. ... [Kalgoorlie Miner - 6/9/16]
And those who try to seek safety in Australia are pushed away or imprisoned in concentration camps ---> Nearly 12 million child migrants live in Asia says UNICEF [Yahoo - 7/9/16]
Day 62, refugee protests on Nauru: "LET'S STOP TORTURE! FREEDOM FOREVER!" via @InsurrectNews [20/5/16]
Image: @SuchNigel [20/5/16]
The UNHCR "facilitated" the return of over 3.9 million registered Afghan refugees from Pakistan since 2002 [Daily Times - 6/9/16]
Still no justice or citizenship for the Rohingya, Azad Essa [IOL - 7/9/16]:
... In fact, not only are the Rohingya disenfranchised in Myanmar, the international community has also done little to help.
Malaysia and Indonesia have both refused boats full of Rohingya community fleeing their persecution.
Bangladesh, while home to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, routinely turn boats away.
There is a reason for the international apathy to the persecution of these people.
Myanmar is has one of the biggest oil and gas reserves in the world.
Under the guise of “democracy”, the stage has been set for Myanmar to become a major pivot in the rush to secure energy resources in the region in an attempt to ward off rising Chinese influence.
By doing so, the western world is willing to “forgive” Myanmar for some of its shortcomings. Companies like the UK, US, The Netherlands, Australia, and Italy have already signed contracts with Myanmar.
For others like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Myanmar is seen as the entry point into Asia.
The China-Myanmar pipeline - the first overland pipeline to China from the Middle East opened in 2015.
It allows gas and oil to be transported to China at a fraction of the cost and minimal risk and travels through both the Rakhine and Shan states, where locals have been aggrieved for scant compensation for the appropriation of land impacted by the construction of the pipeline.
No surprise then that it is precisely these two states where the Rohingya have been killed, maimed, persecuted and driven from their homes.
The international community is not about to sacrifice possible political influence over Myanmar by forcing the Rohingya issue.
Neither, in these harsh economic times, are they willing to forgo the rich deposits in pursuit of justice.
And as it happened under apartheid, everyone who turns a blind eye, risks complicity in the crimes committed against these people.
Nope Nope Nope ----> Last year, the ALP and LNP voted against a Senate motion for Australia to provide SAR assistance and to help resettle some of the abandoned Rohingya refugees [Senate Hansard - 24/6/15]
The CEO of Australian company Woodside, Mr Peter Coleman, and Australian Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Nicholas Coppel, met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss Woodside's investment in Myanmar on 12 May 2015. Australian Embassy in Myanmar
Rights groups demand end to indefinite detention of 1,000s of Rohingya refugees in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia [Bangkok Post - 12/3/16]
... After five days at sea, their boat reached Australian waters, but the engine failed as they struggled to make their way closer to Christmas island.
The Rohingya desperately waved to the crew of a passing Australian Navy vessel, which Mr Abdul said did not respond. ... [The Straits Times - 1/2/16]
Sri Lankan army’s 53 Division leader denies war crimes [Tamil Guardian - 8/9/16]
As the unrest in Kashmir entered its third month, fresh violence left over 60 protesters injured during four massive rallies on Wednesday.
Heavy deployment of forces continued in all major towns of Kashmir valley and capital Srinagar.
Normal life remained suspended as schools, private businesses and petrol pumps continued to be shut for the 61st day.
Locals alleged that a civilian, Zahoor Andrabi, 72, a resident of Kulgam’s Chawalgam village, died of cardiac arrest after a tear-smoke shell exploded near him. ... [The Hindu - 7/9/16]
END THE POLICY ---> "WE ARE ASKING THE WORLD TO TAKE US FROM THE HELL" @InsurrectNews [7/9/16]: Day 172 of protests Day 172 of protests ... on #Nauru ...
"HUMANITY NEEDS TO STAND UP AGAINST POLITICS" @racvictoria [7/9/16]: Day 118 of peaceful protests on #Manus ...
Sleep deprivation, sadistic mind games and indefinite detention: US physician explains how the US punishes refugees [Democracy Now - 7/9/16]:
... DR. ALLEN KELLER: It’s called sleep deprivation. Yes. So, there are women who I’ve spoken—who I spoke to—and I went at the request of the attorneys to prepare affidavits and conduct objective evaluations.
And my findings are really awful, that the women, one, are suffering from sleep deprivation, one, because lights are shined in their room as part of a prison-like, you know, routine, and then also because they have suffered horrific things, and their prolonged imprisonment is exacerbating that.
And as you mentioned, it’s so ironic because all of these women and children have family that they could and should be staying with.
And the impact on the children, I’ve heard from many of the mothers that the children are regressing.
Children who had been normal and happy are now bed-wetting, are clinging to their moms.
And it’s not surprising, because, as was mentioned, many of the women told me, who are on the hunger strike—and they’re doing this for their kids—to the women, they told me, that they are informed that if they become weak, their children can be taken away from them. ...
... These mothers are taking the most desperate act they can take –one usually reserved for political prisoners in countries like Iran or North Korea – and I believe we should listen. ... [American Immigration Lawyers Association - 7/9/16]
Activists sit in at Vice Presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine's office to demand release of families detained at Berks for 1+ year [Democracy Now - 7/9/16]:
... JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And you’re picking these particular senators because there are folks detained who are from their states?
MOHAMMAD ABDOLLAHI: Absolutely. We have families that are from Boston, and we have families that are from Vermont.
We have families from California. And yeah, these are offices that they’re not doing what they are saying in the press that they’re doing, that they stand behind these families.
You know, words are great, but when you can introduce a private bill that will stop their deportation this very moment and you’re refusing to do that, you know, people need to know. ...
The Cuban Council of Churches denounced the U.S. government on Wednesday for threatening to strip tax exempt status from Pastors for Peace, a group that has delivered humanitarian aid to Cuba for decades in defiance of Washington's sanctions.
Last month, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notified the group’s parent organization, the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization, that its status was in jeopardy because it had never requested permission from the U.S. Treasury Department to send aid. The IRS said it had been investigating the group since 2009.
Since 1992, well before the thaw in relations with Cuba under President Barack Obama, Pastors for Peace has run caravans through U.S. cities to collect donations, then crossed the border with Canada or Mexico and sent school buses, computers, medicines, and other goods on to the Communist Party-ruled Caribbean island.
The organization has refused to ask permission from the U.S. government to deliver the aid or travel to Cuba in protest of the U.S. trade embargo. ... [Reuters - 7/9/16]
Former El Salvador president granted asylum in Nicaragua, government says [Guardian - 7/9/16]
Comments insisting that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces no threat should he be extradited to Sweden are “ridiculous,” Sarah Harrison, a WikiLeaks editor and Assange’s advisor, told RT following a press conference by Swedish prosecutors on Wednesday.
According to Harrison, who was present at the hearing, the prosecutors wanted just to restate their position on the Assange case once again ahead of a documentary that looks into this case and the prosecutors’ handling of it.
She added that the documentary will be aired by the Swedish SVT channel later Wednesday.
She also said it is “sad” that the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office continues to dismiss a report by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which ruled that Assange had been subject to arbitrary detention by the UK and Swedish authorities. ... [RT - 7/9/16]
Political prisoner Nabeel Rajab hit with another Kafkaesque charge for writing NYT piece about harsh repression by US ally Bahrain [Salon - 7/9/16]
Surveillance video 'shows Kentucky juvenile detention staffer watching 16-year-old girl's dying gasps before walking away and doing nothing', lawsuit claims [Daily Mail - 7/9/16]
A prominent tenured professor at Northwestern says she’s been banned from campus—a move she says is retaliation for her activism.
Professor Jacqueline Stevens is a scholar focused on private prisons, deportations and militarism.
She has criticized U.S. universities’ increasing ties to the military-industrial complex.
In a 2015 article last year, she criticized her own university, Northwestern, for its corporate ties. She also led a successful campaign to block retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry from being named the head of one of Northwestern’s research centers.
Northwestern has so far refused to comment on the ban. [Democracy Now - 7/9/16]
At least 23 people were killed when fire broke out at a prison housing political prisoners in the Ethiopian capital, the government said on Tuesday.
The blaze erupted on Saturday at Addis Ababa’s high security Qilinto prison.
An earlier government statement said just one person had died and six were injured in the fire, but the official toll was updated later in the day to 23 people dead, a figure more closely reflecting local media reports. ... [Daily Nation - 7/9/16]
2nd Ethiopian athlete crosses arms in protest against government after winning race in Canada [Africa News - 29/8/16]
@addisstandard [23/8/16]: The ever articulate #Ethiopia/n intellectual @awol_allo talking the significance of #FeyisaLilesa's act ...
US spy planes intercepted near Russian border had transponders off – Russian MoD [RT - 7/9/16]
Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Hussam Eddin Ala called on the United Nations and its affiliated organizations to stop ignoring the impacts of unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian people and the terrorism which is responsible for the difficult humanitarian conditions in Syria.
Ala, in a statement at a meeting organized by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to discuss the humanitarian conditions in Syria and the neighboring countries, said that the politicized approaches of the humanitarian situation in Syria have become a consistent pattern in the reports and statements of the UN officials in harmony with the acts of states that adopt a hostile attitude towards the Syrian people.
He added that last Monday was a bloody day as tens of the Syrian citizens had lost their lives while many others got injured due to six terrorist bombing attacks on the provinces of Tartous, Homs, Damascus Countryside and Hasaka.
Ala affirmed that such attacks are examples of the crimes against the Syrian people by the armed terrorist groups, backed by the governments of neighboring, regional and international countries which support these groups and insist on describing them as “moderate groups”. ... [SANA - 7/9/16]
Moscow voices profound concern over Turkish troops’ movement into Syrian territory [TASS - 7/9/16]
Syrian army denies chemical attack claims [Press TV - 7/9/16]
On Syria, British and American policymakers tend to assume that their governments are chiefly motivated by a concern for civilian life and peace in the region.
But that is not the whole truth: a lengthy trail of internal government documents exposes the US, the UK, and their allies as both “the arsonists and the firefighters” in Syria.
These now publicly available intelligence memos confirm that the US, the UK, and their allies were never interested in protecting civilians, but in orchestrating a violent push for regime change at all costs. ... [The Canary - 6/9/16]
United States continue bombing everyone, especially in Iraq and Syria [US Department of Defense - 7/9/16]
Official sources in Mosul revealed that ISIS has released an order, based on which no woman is allowed to be wearing niqab or burqa when entering the security and military centers. ... [IraqiNews.com - 7/9/16]
Blast near Baghdad kills, wounds 5 policemen [IraqiNews.com -7/9/16]
A security source in Salahuddin province reported on Tuesday that 12 displaced persons have been either killed or wounded in a bomb blast north of the province.
Sharing further details with Iraqi News, the source revealed, “An explosive device emplaced by ISIS members in an area located between al-Zawiya and Sharqat (50 km north of Salahuddin), exploded, targeting families while they were fleeing from the areas controlled by ISIS in Sharqat and surrounding villages,” pointing out that, “Four civilians were killed and eight others were injured due to the explosion.”
“The ISIS is planting bombs in the path of the displaced families to hinder their escape attempts,” the source added. [IraqiNews.com - 7/9/16]
Pentagon’s new ICBM nuke to cost at least $85 Billion [Antiwar.com - 6/9/16]
8 September 2016