Feb. 4th, 2017

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
For the usual tedious health reasons I can't make it to today's rally, so I'll have to do my activism from my keyboard.

Lots to catch up on. First, some great news:

Pregnant refugee to be flown from Nauru to Australia to give birth (GA, 3 February 2017) | Pregnant asylum seeker on Nauru flown to Australia (ABC, 3 February 2017). On a personal note, I finally broke through the social anxiety barrier and called PM Malcolm Turnbull's office about this. Twice!

Nauru had overruled Australia on the woman's need for urgent medical attention, but then changed their minds and said it was up to Australia. My impression is that they didn't try to stop her being transferred, but just blustered about their notoriously inadequate medical facilities.

The Australian government is playing Russian roulette with women's lives (GA, 3 February 2017). "Since 2015, the government’s policy has been to leave pregnant women, including those identified as extremely high risk, on Nauru. Not because there has been an adequate improvement in the facilities and specialist care available on the island for women diagnosed with high-risk pregnancies, but because the government is instead concerned that if returned to Australia, they may be able to access legal assistance... medical consensus remains that the island is unable to accommodate complicated deliveries. Local Nauran women, for example, are still routinely flown to Australia in complex cases."

On the subject of reproductive health, I think I missed this last year: Nauru scraps proposed abortion laws for refugees and asylum seekers (ABC, 11 November 2016). IIUC, abortion is legal for Nauruan women but illegal for refugee women on Nauru.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
(I apologise if you hit paywalls with any of these links. Most news sites let you view at least some stories for free.)

Conflicting messages from President Trump and the White House have left both the Australian government and refugees on Manus and Nauru bewildered about the fate of Australia's refugee deal with the US. Refugee advocates have called for the government to evacuate the camps immediately.

Close Manus and Nauru, bring refugees here say 70 organisations (GA, 3 February 2017)

Teen refugee attempts suicide on Nauru after Trump executive order (SBS, 29 January 2017)

'Although we are alive, we are dead inside': Refugees despair at on-off US resettlement deal (SMH, 2 February 2017)

Uncertainty over US deal 'torturing' refugees in Australian camps (GA, 3 February 2017)

Donald Trump refugee deal comments spark anger among Manus refugees and residents (ABC, 3 February 2017)

Manus refugees await US resettlement deal (The Saturday Paper, 4 February 2017) "After three years, those in our offshore detention camps have learnt to distrust the news. On their phones, it comes in waves. The waves are many and contradictory – bringing hope and despair; clarity and confusion. The sum is a permanent disorientation."

US could resettle zero refugees from Manus and Nauru and still 'honour' deal (GA, 31 January 2017): "Terms of agreement do not commit US to taking a single refugee, and Trump’s ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries exclude majority of Australia’s detainees."

Malcolm Turnbull should walk away from refugee deal (ABC, 3 February 2017) "... the road Mr Turnbull now has Australia travelling — that of the supplicant — is against our national interest."

President Trump's executive order temporarily suspending the intake of refugees and indefinitely prohibiting entry by Syrians will have terrible consequences, particularly for families who were poised to enter the US and safety. (A nation-wide stay on the order was granted by a judge yesterday.)

Refugees are already vigorously vetted. I know because I vetted them. (Washington Post, 1 February 2017) "A former immigration officer describes the long, grueling process of gaining refugee status in the United States."

Systematic racism, dehumanisation and Islamophobia (The Saturday Paper, 4 February 2017). "Donald Trump's executive order is the active exoneration of the role that the United States has played in creating dangerous precedents in eroding the civil liberties and human rights of particular sections of society, as well as the responsibility for destabilising a whole region and creating the refugee crisis we see today. This instant memory loss will hurt some of the most vulnerable people in this world, people who have fallen victim to decades of ineffective military strategy."

The Statue of Liberty Weeps as President Trump Targets Mexicans and Muslims (Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, 25 January 2017) | Anne Frank and her family were also denied entry as refugees to the U.S. (Washington Post, 24 November 2015)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Loghman Sawari fled Iran as a minor after his brothers were imprisoned and tortured. Despite his age, he was sent to the detention centre on Manus Island. He was resettled in Papua New Guinea, where he faced violence and homelessness, and attempted suicide. Last week he fled to Fiji to seek asylum, but, perhaps due to a negative press reaction, he was arrested, beaten, and deported back to PNG. At last report (4 Feb) he is being held incommunicado in PNG.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
And by the way:

Government pays compensation to sacked Nauru Save the Children staff (GA, 31 January, 2017)

Family of refugee who took her own life calls for improved access to disability pension (ABC, 18 January 2017). A refugee woman with serious mental and physical health problems was hounded by Centrelink, with unsurprising results.

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