dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Vigils will be held nationwide on Wednesday 19 July 2017 to demand the detainees on Manus and Nauru be safely evacuated to Australia. The United Nations has called for the immediate evacuation of both camps.

The illegal detention centre on Manus Island will close on 31 October. Services are being closed down in an effort to force refugees out, including food and the gym, which is critical to detainees' mental health. The refugees are being told to go to the Lorengau Transit Centre, where they fear attack from Papua New Guinean locals - with plenty of good reason, given four violent robberies of refugees in the last month. Some refugees are in danger of refoulement. Essentially, the men are being punished for having been illegally imprisoned.

Doctors for Refugees tell the story of a maintenance worker at the Manus Island detention centre who saved a refugee's life by defying the government's gag order.

"The Australian Border Force admitted internally that it failed to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual assault and abuse on Nauru but did not disclose these findings to a parliamentary inquiry."

Despite being recognised as a refugee, Pari, the partner of Omid Masoumali, has been indefinitely detained in isolation in Australia since Omid's terrible death in April 2016. "He was ambitious, intelligent, invincible. But after three years, even Omid was broken." As many as fifty similar suicide attempts and threats of suicide followed his death.

In an excerpt from a compilation of Nauru detainees' stories, They Cannot Take the Sky, Benjamin describes the three years since his arrival with his family at age eighteen. "I wasted all of the best time in my entire life, the time that I was about to make my future happen, the time that I promised myself I would study hard and become the best." He also describes Omid's suicide attempt, which he witnessed.

A severe outbreak of dengue fever on Nauru affected at least one in ten refugees.

The savage damage done to the mind of a five year old refugee girl imprisoned with her family on Nauru has resulted in an out of court settlement. Her family is currently in community detention in Brisbane. Another five year old girl was compensated for similar damage done on Christmas Island.

Meanwhile, a refugee family have been split by detention for three years, with father and son left on Nauru while mother and daughter receive medical treatment in Australia

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor faces deportation after visa denied (GA, 20 June 2017)

Call Peter Dutton's office on (02) 6277 7860 to say you're concerned and to ask that Mojgan be allowed to stay in Australia with her husband.


We were overseas for six weeks, so I'm sure I missed a ton of stuff, but it was great to come home to some good news: the largest compensation payment in Australia's history, totalling over $90 million ($70 million plus $20 million in court costs), has been awarded to the men subjected to false imprisonment, neglect, violence, and torture, in our detention centre on Manus Island.

Commonwealth agrees to pay Manus Island detainees $70m in class action settlement (ABC, 14 June 2017)

Manus Island: Why asylum seekers sued the Commonwealth (ABC, 21 June 2017)

Despite what Peter Dutton says, the Manus Island payout is momentous (SMH, 14 June 2017). "Immigration Minister Peter Dutton can assert there is no admission of liability, but you don't agree to a payout of more than $90 million if you are confident you can defend your position in open court." Perhaps the Immigration Minister calls the settlement a "prudent outcome for the Australian taxpayer" because of how much more the government would have had to pay - on top of already wasting billions in taxpayer funds on detention - if all the details had been heard in open court.

It's not all good news. The government settled out of court to avoid a finding on the legality of offshore detention. And, of course, the men are still bloody there. Safety more important than settlement - Manus detainee Behrouz Boochani (RNZ, 15 June 2017). ""We came to Australia legally seeking protection under international laws but were exiled by force to this island and imprisoned for four years. This compensation is not enough to cover all of the crimes that the government has committed against us. It is important that the government is condemned."

Also good to hear: Coptic Christians who were refused refugee status in Australia will have their claims for protection reconsidered (GA, 1 June 2017)

More from Manus Island:

Revealed: year-long campaign to make conditions harsher for Manus refugees (GA, 17 May 2017). "Documents show how the Australian government sought to drive refugees and asylum seekers from its detention centre in Papua New Guinea."

Self-harm, suicide and assaults: brutality on Manus revealed (GA, 18 May 2017). "Secret papers show 16 self-harm and suicide attempts in one week at Australia’s offshore detention centre."

Four birthdays in Manus Prison (Honi Soit, 14 June 2017) Rohingya refugee Imran Mohammad describes how has so far survived the nightmarish conditions.

Scale of surveillance in Manus Island detention centre laid bare (GA, 19 May 2017). "But while everything inside detention is scrutinised, of perhaps even greater concern is an all-pervasive fear over outside eyes looking in. Prime among the Australian camp manager’s concerns about the Manus immigration detention centre is the risk of 'reputational damage'."

Manus Island shooting left nine injured, immigration department admits (GA, 22 May 2017)
| Australian government downplayed risk of shots fired on Manus Island, analysis shows (GA, 15 May 2107)

US to notify Manus Island detainees about their fate within six weeks (SMH, 16 June 2017) | Australian refugee deal with US costs Turnbull government additional $22m (GA, 3 May 2017)

Refugee Trial Begins (Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 19 June 2017). Loghman Sawari, who fled Manus Island to Fiji to seek asylum, has pled not guilty to charges of falsely representing himself obtaining a fraudulent passport.

Catching up on old bookmarks:

Detention centre interpreters need more training for 'hazardous' work – report (GA, 17 April 2017). I'll have to try to find out if this situation has changed: the training and support given others working under stressful and dangerous conditions in Australia's offshore detention centres was not being offered to translators, who were treated like "outsiders", resulting in a high turnover of these highly skilled staff.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Manus refugees who fed child lodge complaint about Dutton's 'false allegations' (GA, 27 April 2017). "All of these incidents is recorded by your CCTV cameras. We are requesting for the immediate release of the footage of this incident. We didn’t do any wrong except helping a poor boy. We need investigation ASAP."

Manus Island shooting: PNG MP labelled 'discredited witness' by Dutton reinstated by court (GA, 26 April 2017). So much for that dodge.

On my lengthy outing today I read all of Sean Dorney's short book The Embarrassed Colonialist, which discusses Australia's relationship with its former colony, Papua New Guinea. Dorney argues that Australia's lack of interest in our neighbour is to our detriment: a stable PNG is both an important trading partner and strategically significant, as it was in WWII. However, politicians take little interest and the media's attention has dwindled to little beyond sensational stories. Dorney is clear on the fact that PNG does have serious problems with violence, corruption, and general lawlessness, but also asserts the country's strengths: it is struggling, but not failing, to progress. Amongst the ways forward that Dorney suggests is for Australia to contribute training of police, officials, teachers, etc. The book is easy to read, and if anything, too brief; I'm left wanting to know a lot more, which I guess means the author has succeeded! (For me the only wrong note was the use of "political correctness" to explain why Australia's history as a coloniser isn't taught in our schools, which only underlines how meaningless that phrase is.)

Dorney touches briefly on the detention centre on Manus Island, and the promises of aid which helped Kevin Rudd sell its "resurrection" to PNG PM Peter O'Neill. "While there has been some employment created on Manus and a few business opportunities there is real annoyance within the host province that many of the extra aid benefits went to the mainland." (Perhaps there is schadenfreude at the resulting mess.) "Assimilating the mostly Muslim people who are classified as genuine refugees into PNG's strongly Christian communities adds yet another challenge for a country with no shortage of challenges already." Dorney also reminded me of something I'd forgotten: Nauru was also once an Australian colony.





dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Contact Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ask him to replace Peter Dutton as Immigration Minister:
https://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/contact

Contact Peter Dutton and ask him to either produce the evidence he says he has, or resign:
http://www.peterdutton.com.au/Contact.aspx

Peter Dutton says his claims about Manus violence came from 'classified information' (GA, 27 April 2017) and he won't release it. *headdesk*

Manus Island police chief says he has not been contacted by Peter Dutton or his staff (GA, 25 April 2017) "He also said police are not investigating the incident, in further direct contradiction to Dutton’s claims."

Manus Island controversy: who said what and when (GA, 25 April 2017)




dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Peter Dutton demands apology from media over Manus controversy (GA, 25 April 2017)

The incident a week or more ago in which a ten-year-old boy approached the detention centre on Manus Island, was given food, and returned safely to his parents, did not spark the violent attack on the centre. However, there's a danger that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's insistence that it was a factor, and his innuendo that the boy was taken there to be sexually abused, could trigger further violence. I firmly believe this should be the end of Peter Dutton's time as Minister for Immigration. He should either produce the evidence he says he has, which contradicts the statements of the police, navy, and witnesses, or he should resign. When even Andrew Bolt says you should put up or shut up, it's time to put up or shut up.

Contact Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ask him to replace Peter Dutton as Immigration Minister:
https://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/contact

Contact Peter Dutton and ask him to either produce the evidence he says he has, or resign:
http://www.peterdutton.com.au/Contact.aspx


Dutton's Manus Claims Could Inflame Community To Murder, Manus MP Claims (Huffington Post, 24 April 2017) MP Ron Knight is also furious at Dutton's continued insistence that he has better information than those "on the ground". (Interestingly, Dutton claims Knight is a "discredited witness" as he has been dismissed from the Papua New Guinean Parliament for corruption. How about the police commander and the navy, Mr Dutton? Are they also "discredited witnesses"?)

How Dutton comes out of dispute about Manus claim goes to the question of character (The Conversation, 23 April 2017)

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Peter Dutton defends comments over 'five-year-old' boy and Manus shooting incident (ABC, April 23 2017) | 'I have facts you don't': Immigration minister Peter Dutton stands by Manus claims in fiery interview (SMH, April 23 2017) Dutton overboard? We live in hope. ETA: Turns out the ten year old's approach to the centre took place two weeks before the attack. | 'Ridiculous': Peter Dutton contradicted for third time over Manus Island brawl explanation (SMH, 24 April 2017) Manus MP Ron Knight: "His comment that he knows more than we do is ridiculous."

Government dismisses shootings on Manus Island (The Saturday Paper, 22 April 2017). Iranian refugee Behnam Satah: "I know for sure that there was a few real Wilson heroes that night in security which did many things to stop navy from entering compounds. But people don’t trust them because we know for sure Australia can extract all his citizens whenever it wants. They could just go and leave us." Behrouz Boochani: "Some refugees feel better with the officers because some of them protect them on that night. I don’t think this make relationship better between refugees and guards because the refugees have lost four friends in this island and also the officers during the big hunger strike on January 2015 beat the refugees and put them in Lorengau jail. The refugees have had very bad experiences with this system."

Waiting for America (SMH Interactive, April 2017) "As the fate of the US-Australia refugee deal hangs in the balance, Michael Gordon and Alex Ellinghausen visit Manus Island to find out who might be gifted a new life, and what will happen to those left behind."

I posted a while back that International Health and Medical Services had been kicked off Manus for practising unlicensed, leaving refugees with only basic and emergency healthcare. Here are earlier links from the lead-up to that: Manus Island: IHMS accused of running medical centre without a licence (GA, 3 March 2017) | Manus Island medical clinic may be shut down, PNG Government says (ABC, 4 March 2017)

An audit of IHMS held last year showed dangerous incompetence: Immigration healthcare provider failed to run police checks on staff on Manus (GA, 16 February 2017) They also lost the working-with-children check run on one staff member, and "failed to provide evidence it provided appropriate vaccination coverage for children, child health milestones or specialist referrals".


dreamer_easy: (refugees)

 

Serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre - the Senate Committee's report.

Australia must end 'fiction' it does not control Nauru and Manus centres, Senate inquiry finds (GA, 21 April 2017)

Human rights groups demand closure of Manus and Nauru after scathing Senate report (GA, 22 April 2017)

Catching up on links:

Australia's detention centres a crime against humanity, says submission before ICC (ABC, 14 February 2017)

Immigration Department spent more than $1 billion without proper authorisation, independent audit alleges (ABC, 17 January 2017) "The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been accused of mismanaging offshore detention centre contracts, with an independent audit alleging more than $1 billion was spent over the last four years without proper authorisation." | Immigration spent unauthorised $2.2bn on offshore detention, says auditor (GA, 17 January 2017) "The auditor found the department failed to get 'value for money' in running offshore detention: contracts were signed 'in great haste to give effect to government policy decisions and the department did not have a detailed view of what it wanted to purchase'. In some cases, private contractors tendering for contracts were invited to suggest elements they would like written into contracts, and contracts were signed before agreement on a price. In addition the auditor raised safety concerns, finding massive gaps in the video recordings taken within the island detention camps."
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Contradicting refugee, police, and navy accounts, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton stated that the armed attack on the Manus Island detention centre was sparked when locals saw refugees leading a five-year-old boy towards the centre. Papua New Guinea police say that a ten year old boy approached the centre to ask for money, without being led there, and this was entirely unrelated to the attack. The boy was safely returned to his family. Manus MP Ron Knight: "Dutton should get his facts right and stop inflaming the situation."

I am too gobsmacked to comment.

While I'm here: refugees will be among those hardest hit by the new White Australia policy the proposed changes to the citizenship test.

Rohinhya refugee Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque, detained at the centre, writes: 'I have never experienced safety since I was born': Life in the Manus 'death centre' (SMH, 21 April 2017)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
PNG authorities investigate allegations soldiers shot at Manus Island detainees (ABC, 18 April 2017)

Detained refugee Abdul Aziz Muhamat's podcast The Messenger

Iranian refugee Loghman Sawari who fled PNG granted bail (ABC, 15 February 2017)

'The torture in my country is transparent, in Australia it is not obvious' (The Age, 12 January 2017). Rohingya refugee Imran Mohammad writes from Manus.

Manus Island refugee who had breakdown found 'hungry and homeless' (GA, 11 January 2017) He is severely mentally ill and cannot be treated on the island; instead, he has been jailed multiple times.

Fear deliberately spread on Manus Island (The Saturday Paper, 28 January 2017) The detainees were told that the locals were cannibals; the locals were told that the detainees were terrorists. Janet Galbraith reminds readers not to simplistically regard the Manusians as villains; they, too, are the victims of Australia's detention policy, lied to and used as a dumping ground for our problems. (I have here a slender tome by Sean Dorney, The Embarrassed Colonialist, about Australia's colonial history with PNG, to which I must apply myself.) | The detainees, too, should not be "stereotyped", writes Michael Gordon: "The truth is the Manus detainees are a mixed bunch, including writers, artists and professionals; men so traumatised they still refuse to leave their rooms after the violence that engulfed the centre in 2014; and some who drink too much and chase women; those who consider themselves the walking dead and those who retain the capacity to dream and hope."

As well as criticising Australia's offshore detention regime, Human Rights Watch is critical of Papua New Guinea's failure "to protect women and children, or to respond to corruption and police violence".


dreamer_easy: (refugees)
But before we land on that unlucky island, I wanted to pass on Dreamwidth's request for donations to All Out to help gay men escape Chechnya.

And also to share some good news: Iranian-born asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor granted bridging visa (GA, 17 March 2017)

On with the motley.

Drunk soldiers blamed for Manus rampage (SMH, 16 April 2017). "Provincial police commander David Yapu has slammed the 'unethical and unacceptable behaviour of the drunken soldiers' who went on a violent rampage at the Manus Island detention centre on Good Friday. Inspector Yapu said the soldiers assaulted refugees, his policemen, PNG immigration officers and service providers and caused extensive damage to property and vehicles."

Refugee court challenge to be streamed live on Manus Island (SMH, 9 April 2017). Refugees are suing the Australian government for false imprisonment. The case begins in May and is expected to run for 6-7 months, "the largest and most forensic public examination of events and conditions at the Manus Island detention centre".

Harrowing allegations at Senate refugee inquiry (SBS, 14 March 2017)

Manus refugee Faysal Ishak Ahmed, who collapsed and died, sought medical help 13 times in two months (GA, 10 February 2017)

Port Macquarie journalist Nikala Sim says she wasn't arrested or detained on Manus Island (Port Macquarie News, 18 April 2017)

Manus Island centre to close by year's end (Sky News, 8 April 2017). According to Papua New Guinea, it's already closed. Or it isn't. Australia says it's still open, and so, confusingly, does PNG, who plan to close it by October. Hell is bureaucracy.

Manus Island refugees' fate uncertain if not settled in PNG, US (ABC, 8 April 2017) Neither government has a plan. PNG has had little success in resettling refugees, but one journo argues we'll consider it their problem anyway: "I can tell you what the Australian Government is going to do about the refugees on Manus Island who won't be resettled in the United States. Nothing". Unsuccessful asylum seekers are already being refouled. (The Prime Minister did not discuss the forcible return of Hazara asylum seekers when he met President Ashraf Ghani earlier this month.)

I haven't posted much about the refugee swap deal with the US because, tbh, I don't know what to believe. Neither do the refugees. Amnesty has called the resulting psychological damage frightening.

Asylum seeker deported from Manus fears for his life in Lebanon (The Age, 22 March 2017) | Nepalese asylum seeker 'in hiding' after shock deportation from Manus Island (ABC, 3 March 2017) | The UN is concerned that some of the decisions about whether the refugees are legitimate may have been made in error.

Manus Island refugee arrested for alleged sexual assault of 10-year-old girl (GA, 7 March 2017). The MP for Manus, Ronnie Knight, threatens both a lawsuit against the Australian government (fair enough) and the massacre of the refugees by locals (wait, what?). ETA: Manus Island asylum seeker charged with rape (GA, 24 January 2017)

Satire, free speech and Mehdi Savari (The Saturday Paper, 31 March 2017) "Censorship and persecution of comedians is one indicator of a repressive regime. So why is Australia detaining a comedian on Manus Island?"

Immigration department suppressed detention contractor's name due to boycotts (GA, 29 March 2017)

Port Moresby hospital staff failed to attend to dying Hamid Kehazaei, inquest told
(GA, 13 February 2017)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Locals and navy personnel have attacked the detention centre on Manus Island, beating refugees and firing rounds and throwing rocks into the compound. Guards and refugees have been injured. Bullet holes are visible in images from the compound.

Shots fired as armed mob tries to storm Manus detention centre, reports say (GA, 14 April 2017)

Sustained gunfire breaks out at Manus Island detention centre (SMH, 14 April 2017)

At least one Manus Island asylum seeker injured after group tries to storm facility (GA, 15 April 2017)

Churches demand Manus Island asylum seekers be evacuated (GA, 16 April 2017)

No one safe at Manus detention centre, say refugees (SMH, 15 April 2017)



dreamer_easy: (refugees)


newwavefeminism's posting on Tumblr, above, sums up the contradictory response of the West in general, tbh - certainly Australia's. This challenging essay by Dina Nayeri explores the gratitude expected of refugees - how we begrudge and resent giving the help we promised, how we expect to be rewarded for it - which I think connects directly to this hypocrisy.

Manus healthcare provider forced to leave for practising unlicensed (GA, 3 April 2017) "International Health and Medical Services replaced by skeleton staff from PNG company Paradise, providing detainees only basic and emergency medical care... Some detainees requiring medication for chronic conditions have been left without medication during the changeover." If those "chronic conditions" include mental illness, I can tell you from personal experience that a lot of people are going to get very sick very suddenly. As a diabetic, I shudder to think what other diseases are being left untreated. Behrouz Boochani: "The refugees are happy that IHMS left Manus, not because they think Paradise will provide medical treatment for them, but because they hate IHMS. IHMS was one of the main tools for torturing people in Manus during four years of suffering."

US officials fingerprint refugees on Manus Island as part of US-Australia resettlement deal (ABC, 5 April 2017)

Amnesty International report says billion-dollar offshore centre contracts should be made public (ABC, 5 April 2017)

Amnesty warns any company taking over Manus and Nauru camps complicit in 'abuse' (GA, 5 April 2017)

Filming 'Chauka' at Manus Island's detention facilities (The Saturday Paper, 8 April 2017) | Iranian refugee's film shot on mobile phone shows life inside Manus Island detention centre (ABC, 3 April 2017)

Former Australian journalist detained on Manus Island by PNG immigration officials (ABC, 7 April 2017)

Amnesty calls for release of refugee Loghman Sawari in Papua New Guinea (GA, 5 April 2017)

Offshore detention may hurt Australia's bid for UN Human Rights Council seat (GA, 7 April 2017) | Australians who blew the whistle on offshore detention to speak at global Women in the World Summit summit (SMH, 2 April 2017)

Details of Australia's asylum seeker boat turnbacks released in FoI battle (GA, 3 April 2017)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Asylum seekers living Australia, prevented from applying for refugee status, are suddenly faced with intricate paperwork which must be completed at once or they risk deportation. The Asylum Seeker Resources Centre urgently needs donations to provide legal help.

Dengue fever outbreak on Nauru threatens health system (GA, 25 February 2017)

Manus Island asylum seeker with cardiac condition flown to Australia (SBS, 17 February 2017)

Refugee Loghman Sawari granted bail in Papua New Guinea after charges (GA, 17 February 2017)

Lawyers to argue Manus Island detention is false imprisonment (Radio New Zealand, 22 February 2017)

Most agree, keeping refugees on Manus and Nauru is cruel: pollster (SMH, 21 February 2017)

Asylum seekers detained in Australia can keep phones for now, court rules (GA, 19 February 2017)

State of the Nation 2017: Refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia (Refugee Council of Australia report, February 2017)

The dubious hope of Australia's refugee deal with the US continues to taunt those on Manus and Nauru. The PM yet again turned down an offer from New Zealand to take 150 refugees from our offshore detention camps. CNN interviewed child refugees on Nauru (6 February). Meanwhile, refugees are fleeing the US for Canada.

Hazara refugee Nabi Zaher's citizenship fight (The Saturday Paper, 25 February 2017) "The case of a Hazara refugee whose Australian citizenship was arbitrarily delayed and vexatiously questioned serves to highlight the Department of Immigration's continued administrative bungling." The question that constantly haunts me: incompetence or malice?
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)
(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)
On New Year's Eve on Manus Island, two Iranian refugees were severely beaten by police, then kept in custody without food or medical treatment for 36 hours without charge. The police claim that the refugees were drunk and disorderly. The refugees state that they were first approached by immigration officers, who told them they were not allowed to be outside the detention centre at night; police then arrived and attacked them. They claim they were sober and that the officials were drunk, and suggest the beating was retribution for an argument with police some weeks earlier.

The MP for Manus says that the refugees "deserved it" and claims that "the reality of keeping peace here with a small force is they have to be brutal" and that police treat locals equally violently. The incident appears to be part of a pattern of lawless, violent behaviour by both police and the military in Papua New Guinea.

The United Nations has called for an investigation into the incident.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
'They're trying to kill me, if they kill me take care of my son.'



Faysal Ishak Ahmed was tortured by Sudanese militias, who killed members of his family and raped his sister. They demanded that he join them; he fled to Australia. We sent him to Manus Island, where after more than three years of detention he died of medical neglect on Christmas Eve, 2016. His wife and infant son remain in a Sudanese refugee camp.

More than 200 detainees signed an open letter describing the failure to diagnose and treat Faysal despite his repeated requests and a plea from 60 of his fellow Sudanese refugees, which pointed out that he had been experiencing blackouts for months. The open letter also stated that 400 of the 900 detainees require urgent medical treatment. They also engaged in a peaceful protest at the detention centre.

The president of Doctors for Refugees states that, had Faysal been in Australia, his symptoms would have prompted urgent tests. "In Australia, after the requisite brain scans such as CT and MRI, he would normally have cardiac investigations, such as an echocardiogram... We have seen instances where basic tests have not been performed on people in offshore detention, and in the medical records the doctor has justified this by stating 'they often exaggerate their symptoms to get attention'." (This victim-blaming excuse - 'Oh, they just want attention' - will be horribly familiar to many of us.)

Faysal's death will be investigated by the Senate committee currently looking into abuse of refugees on Nauru and Manus. It is also under investigation by the Queensland Coroner.

Refugee cartoonist Eaten Fish's account of Faysal's death is harrowing. Iranian refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani spoke to Faysal's friend Omar Jack Giram about Faysal's life, illness, and death. Faysal is the fourth refugee to have died on Manus Island, and the second to die of medical neglect. Sudanese detainee Abdul Aziz Adam said: 'This system is designed to kill us one by one.'
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Let's have some good news!

Landmark win on citizenship provides hope for many thousands of former refugees (Refugee Council of Australia press release, 16 December 2016): "The Minister of Immigration... was found to have unreasonably delayed in making decisions on citizenship applications... The case... provides hope for 10,231 people that the department confirmed were in similar situations... For people who are recognised as refugees, it is extremely difficult to bring family members to safety in Australia without citizenship. As such, delays in processing citizenship applications have left many in prolonged situations of danger and persecution, despite having a parent, sibling or other close relative who has been recognised as a refugee in Australia." | Immigration authorities unreasonably delayed refugees' citizenship bids, court rules (GA, 16 December 2016) | 'Social time bomb': UNHCR's warning on the plight of 30,000 asylum seekers already living in Australia (SMH, 23 November 2016): "Australia faces a "social time bomb" over the failure to process and integrate around 30,000 asylum seekers who are in the community on bridging visas after arriving by boat during the term of the former Labor government."

Melbourne suburb Eltham welcomes refugees (The Saturday Paper, 3 December 2016) Good on them for standing up to the bigots who descended on their community. | Syria war: Peter Dutton open to expanding one-off refugee intake beyond 12,000 (ABC, 21 November 2016). Christians, obviously.

Well, that was nice. Now back to the usual:

Offshore detention report says half of child abuse cases receive inadequate response (GA, 16 December 2016) "Child Protection Board says less than 1% of cases result in criminal convictions and immigration department cannot be sure of number of incidents." This is the context in which Nauru charging a male refugee with sexually assaulting a Nauruan girl under 16 has to be seen: of the numerous reports of abuse of refugee children on Nauru, "Only one case at the Nauru detention centre was referred to the Nauru public prosecutor and the case did not proceed." Nauru's Deputy Police Commissioner, Kalinda Blake, said that reports of assaults against refugees were usually "fabrications", an attitude wearyingly familiar from many years of reading about police and sexual assault.

Offshore detainees' mental illness among highest of any surveyed population: UNHCR study (SMH, 21 Novembr 2016) | A glimmer of hope for damaged detainees on Manus Island (SMH, 21 November 2016)

Photographer Ashley Gilbertson writes in the New York Times: "I Am Ashamed to Be Australian" (12 December 2016). "I've seen people displaced by sub-Saharan African wars that dragged on for so long that their children and grandchildren were born in enormous, forgotten refugee camps. I've photographed the Kurds, who have known only persecution — an entire ethnic group that remains stateless. I've followed Syrian refugee families into the tumultuous Aegean Sea. I've witnessed people trapped at borders and beaten by the police; children separated from their parents, wandering on busy, unfamiliar roads; families literally running for their lives. Sometimes, when they were not fast enough, I've seen people murdered. And yet, in all that time, I have not seen the level of cruelty toward these vulnerable people that the Australian government is perpetrating against the refugees on Manus Island."

Where does Australia rank on its refugee intake? (ABC, 21 September 2016) SPOILER: 32nd.

Fake fishing boats used in asylum seeker turnbacks spotted off Cocos Islands (GA, 28 November 2016) | Vietnamese boats 'unseaworthy', government sources say (SMH, 12 March 2015)

Australian government concedes evidence against asylum seeker was obtained by torture (GA, 26 November 2016): "Sayed Abdellatif is still held in detention in Sydney even though immigration minister Peter Dutton was briefed 18 months ago that evidence used in Egypt to convict him was discredited."

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