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)
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)


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)
(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)
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)
A pregnant woman on Nauru will die if she's not brought to Australia for an immediate Caesarean Section. Please call Malcolm Turnbull's office on 02 9327 3988 (I just did(!) and spoke to a nice lady. Whole thing probably didn't take thirty seconds.)

The Pregnant Refugee On Nauru Is Now In A Critical Situation (Buzzfeed, 30 January 2017)
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."
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
The refugee swap deal with the US is dubious, but getting at least some people out of offshore detention can only be a good thing. However, it looks increasingly unlikely that the swap will go ahead.

What do we know about the Central American refugee deal between the US and Australia? (GA, 25 November 2016)

Senior US Republicans criticise 'secret' refugee deal with Australia (GA, 25 November 2016)

Nauru refugees sceptical of resettlement deal with US, Sky reporter says after visit (GA, 29 November 2016) "...some are so weary about there being a solution to their situation that they’re managing expectations."

US will reportedly take only up to 400 refugees under Australia deal (GA, 29 November 2016)

Trump administration could scuttle refugee resettlement deal with US, White House concedes (ABC, 3 December 2016)

Turnbull insists US deal to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus will survive Trump's inauguration (SMH, 4 December 2016)

Immigration boss Michael Pezzullo flies to America to sell refugee deal to Donald Trump officials (The Age, 13 December 2016)


Racism against non-white and/or non-Anglophone immigrants is of course inextricably entwined with Australia's refugee policies. Here's some recent news and some historical context.

I've been told to 'go back to my country' my whole life. First in playgrounds, now by Peter Dutton (GA, 25 November 2016) | Lebanese-Australians speak out over Peter Dutton's comments: 'That's not us' (ABC, 26 November 2016) | Meet with us or be quiet: Lebanese community issues demand to Dutton (SMH, 25 November 2016) | Peter Dutton isn't wrong, but that doesn't make him right (SMH, 23 November 2016) (Informed and nuanced commentary from Jacinta Carroll, head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Counter Terrorism Policy Centre.)

Muslim immigration: new research throws doubt on the poll that shocked the nation (SMH, 22 November 2016) | There isn't a 'silent majority' of racists in Australia (SMH, 22 November 2016)

Enemy aliens: How my family's lives were changed by Australia's wartime internment camps (ABC, 28 November 2016)

Calling Australia home: stories of Australia's boat people (SMH, 24 November 2016)

ETA:

If Australia had its current refugee policy in 1939, we wouldn't be alive today (GA, 19 September, 2016). '"Refo" was a straightforwardly racist, pejorative term. Now Australian governments use more sophisticated language like "unlawful boat arrivals"... Regardless of the terminology, the underlying racist logic is the same.'

A powerful opinion piece from the New York Times, Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis?, reminds us of the parallels between then and now: 'The vitriol in public speech, the xenophobia, the accusing of Muslims of all of our problems — these are similar to the anti-Semitism of the 1930s and '40s.'

And last but not least: Fact Check One Nation
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Chip in to take Peter Dutton's cruelty to court #Season4Justice: Mums 4 Refugees and Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children NSW fundraiser for the National Justice Project, who provide urgent pro bono legal help to people on Nauru and Manus.

Broken Men in Paradise (New York Times, 9 December 2016). "The world's refugee crisis knows no more sinister exercise in cruelty than Australia's island prisons."

Norway pension fund told to get out of Australian offshore detention business (SMH, 27 November 2016) "The Australia Institute claims the pension fund's investment in Ferrovial is at odds with its commitment to high ethical standards and is not widely known in Norway." (Here's their press release.)

Existence of 'pivotal' letter from Scott Morrison on boat turnbacks revealed (GA, 28 November 2016): "Document sought in FoI case purports to authorise possibly unlawful return of asylum seekers to Indonesia."

Nauru blocking release of information about asylum seekers, court documents show (GA, 30 November 2016): "Documents filed by the immigration department to the Administrative Appeal Tribunal cite Nauru's objection as a key reason to block a freedom of information request."

'We are still suffering': detainees on Manus and Nauru speak – in pictures (GA, 7 December 2016)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
The big news is that Australia and the United States have made a deal in which the US will take some of the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. There are many questions about the deal, including whether President-Elect Trump will honour it, as it will take months for anyone to be resettled. (Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he knows but can't say whether Trump will accept the deal?!)

Anything that gets people out of those hell-holes and to safety is a positive thing IMHO. But then there's this: Refugee deal: Sex assault victims must return to Nauru, Manus for chance at US resettlement (SMH, 15 November 2016): "Asylum seekers and refugees who have left Nauru and Manus for medical treatment in Australia, including sexual assault victims and mental health patients, will have to return to the islands if they are to have any chance of being accepted under the US resettlement deal. However, they risk being forced to stay on Nauru if they are rejected by US authorities or the deal is scrapped."

GetUp have responded to the deal with a petition demanding Safety For All.

More: What we do and don't know about the refugee resettlement deal with the United States (ABC, 13 November 2016) | Refugee deal: United Nations to determine numbers to be resettled in US from Manus Island, Nauru (ABC, 17 November 2016) | Asylum seeker deal: US officials arrive in Australia to assess refugees for resettlement (ABC, 19 November 2016) | Nauru and Manus Island refugees and asylum seekers sceptical of US deal (GA, 14 November 2016): "Some greet news with joy while others concerned about Donald Trump’s ban on Muslim immigration and not being able to join family in Australia." It’s hard for me to leave Manus Island without justice: Behrouz Boochani on the US refugee deal (GA, 13 November 2016)

Will the US resettlement deal restart flow of boats? (SMH, 19 November 2016) SPOILER: no. This article mentions the reason for the boats: our offshore humanitarian intake - that is, our intake of refugees who haven't reached Australia - excludes those waiting in Indonesia.

Lifetime ban on refugees visiting Australia in trouble as crossbenchers voice opposition (GA, 14 November 2016). Senators David Leyonhjelm, Derryn Hinch, Stirling Griff, and Skye Kakoschke-Moore all expressed concern. Contact them to let them know you oppose the proposed ban.

Iranian refugee says he was attacked by a group of men on Manus Island (GA, 10 November 2016)

Asylum seekers who came on boats to Australia jailed in Vietnam, advocacy group says (ABC, 14 November 2016)

Australia's immigration measures are keeping families apart, study says (GA, 19 November 2016)

Lawyers want PMs from John Howard to Malcolm Turnbull in dock over asylum detention (SMH, 14 November 2016) "The group of seven British, American and Australian lawyers, which includes high-profile barrister and refugee advocate Julian Burnside, has petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate the treatment of asylum seekers by successive governments, beginning with John Howard's." Go for it!

APEC Summit: Malcolm Turnbull plays down possible refugee resettlement deal with Malaysia (ABC, 19 November 2016)

Perhaps emboldened by Mr Trump's success in the US election, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has made another broad swipe at immigrants. Because that went down so well before the Australian election.

This must also apply to Australian politicians: How to Make Your Congressman Listen to You. So many things that are beyond my reach.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
The government continues to try to get a lifetime ban on refugees arriving by boat through:

Senator Nick Xenophon said this am he may support the government's proposed lifetime ban. Contact him!

Senate looks for compromise on legislation to ban refugees from ever entering Australia (ABC, 9 November 2016) "Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said he wanted a vote in the Lower House by the end of the week. With Labor and the Greens opposing the legislation, the Government needs the support of eight out of 10 Senate crossbenchers."

Analysis: Labor's confidence to break ranks on refugee policy sign of Malcolm Turnbull's troubles (ABC, 9 November 2016)

In other news:

Where asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru could be resettled (ABC, 8 November 2016)

Refugee deported to Nauru had arrived in Australia on cruise thinking he had valid visa (GA, 8 November 2016). Legal experts say case of African man, who was secretly deported from Melbourne last week, 'exposes the lie that the government's policies are some sort of humanitarian crusade'. You know, I'll bet you a buck it was a valid visa.

Syrian held on Nauru lands in Cambodia as sixth refugee to take up resettlement offer (GA, 8 November 2016)

If you want to support refugee women on Nauru, let us speak (GA, 7 November 2016). "I was yearning for justice in a country which claims to uphold women's rights but all I have experienced is terror and panic."

Australia's people smuggling ambassador hasn't been to Nauru since appointment: FOI documents (ABC, 9 November 2016)

Major parties' taxpayer-funded pre-election campaigns criticised by audit office (GA, 20 October 2016) including Labor's 2013 'If you come here by boat without a visa' campaign.

And finally some much-needed relief: Syrian refugees share excitement and nerves while journeying to new home in Australia (ABC, 8 November 2016)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Debate continues on the proposed lifetime ban on asylum seekers arriving by boat settling in Australia. Refugees in Australia bridging visas may or may not be affected, depending on which Coalition member you ask; they could be deported. Some ALP MPs and Senators are critical of the proposed legislation, but Bill Shorten has stopped short of opposing it.

Contact your Member and Senators and ask them to oppose the proposed ban.

Nauru prosecutors under fire from judiciary in asylum-seeker cases (GA, 30 October 2016). The magistrate's scathing criticisms "call into question Australian government’s insistence that Nauruan system is capable of properly administering justice to the people it sends there."

However, the Nauruan police have finally managed to actually charge someone for assaulting a refugee - in this case, for sexually abusing a six year old boy.

UN human rights investigator to visit Australia's immigration detention centres (ABC, 1 November 2016) An 18 day trip, starting today. Have fun, mate.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Asylum seekers face lifetime ban on entering Australia if they arrive by boat (GA, 30 October 2016) "New law to include genuine refugees and will apply to any adult sent to Manus Island or Nauru since July 2013... The government plans to amend the 1958 Migration Act to achieve its goal when parliament sits next week."

PNG court rejects asylum seekers' application to go to Australia on technicality (GA, 28 October 2016) "Judge throws out application because court documents were signed by lawyer not applicants held on Manus Island."

Broadspectrum reported to be taking over refugee welfare services on Nauru (GA, 26 October 2016)

Nauru, detention, the ABC and us: putting misconceptions about Australia and refugees to rest (GA, 24 October 2016) FAQs on offshore detention and the law.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
A lot happened this week:

The ABC's current affairs program Four Corners (18 October) ran an expose on Nauru, The Forgotten Children, in which child refugees were secretly asked to speak about their experiences of detention. Politicians and the media pushed back hard. Teacher Tracey Donehue responded powerfully, and the ABC stood by its reporting.

Amnesty International released a new report, Australia: Island of Despair: Australia's "processing" of refugees on Nauru, on 17 October, telling the Guardian Australia: "What we see in Nauru essentially amounts to torture – a system set up to cause deliberate harm to people." The SMH summarised some of the refugees' stories. A New York Times editorial, Australia's Stranded Refugee Prisoners, responded to the report, calling Australia's 'ruthlessly efficient policy' a 'disgrace'.

Doctors freed to speak about Australia's detention regime after U-turn after Amendment signed into law on 30 September (GA, 20 October 2016) | Teachers, social workers demand right to talk about offshore detention centres (GA, 21 October 2016)

'Fear, censorship and retaliation': United Nations rapporteur slams Australia's human rights record (GA, 18 October 2016)

'Trauma and tragedy': Australian detention centre staff to get 'resilience training' (SMH, 18 October 2016)

Nauru files dominate Senate hearing as third detention facility in PNG revealed (GA, 17 October 2016) | New transfer centre for detained asylum seekers set for construction, PNG Government says (ABC, 18 October 2016)

Looking for more information about the suicide of Omid Ali Avaz in March last year brought me to something I didn't know existed: the Australian Border Deaths Database, which "maintains a record of all known deaths associated with Australia’s borders since 1 January 2000".

Catching up on links:

Villawood: Notes from an Immigration Detention Centre (The Shipping News, 5 March 2015)

Police investigate alleged gang-rape inside Villawood detention centre (SMH, 16 August 2016)

Australia's shameful treatment of Sayed Abdellatif (GA, 8 December 2015) Have I used the word 'Kafka-esque' lately?

One man's journey to despair (The Age, 8 June 2014) "Refugee Leo Seemanpillai's journal opens the pages to a gentle, tortured soul."

How Mohammad Nasim Najafi died in a detention centre (The Saturday Paper, 8 August 2015). "Overcrowded prisons mean half of the detainees at the [Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre] are convicted criminals rather than asylum seekers."
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
We Care Nauru is preparing to send another load of goods to the refugees on Nauru, this time with Christmas in mind, and are seeking donations. Scroll down their FB feed for images of the previous deliveries.

Meet the forgotten children of Nauru (Four Corners, 17 October 2016) The episode will be shown tonight at 8.30 pm, Eastern Daylight Savings Time - lots of repeats and an e-version too.

Nauru files: review confirms 19 police referrals over abuse claims, yet no prosecutions (GA, 5 October 2016)

Three Nauru refugees volunteer to be resettled in Cambodia (GA, 15 October 2016)

Masoud, the Somali refugee with a dangerous head injury, is still on Manus, where he can't receive adequate medical treatment. His friends have been refused permission to see him.

Catching up on links:

Nauru refugee who set herself alight 'denied basic social support' in Brisbane hospital (GA, 22 September 2016)

The American solution: Could Malcolm Turnbull's promise see an end to Manus and Nauru? (SMH, 21 September 2016)

Newly leaked Nauru reports detail harrowing accounts of sexual abuse and self-harm (GA, 19 September 2016)

Nauru support workers to leave before Christmas after decision not to retender (GA, 19 September 2016) "It is understood the employees [of Connect Settlement Services] were told the services required on Nauru were beyond the capabilities of a settlement agency. The agency is believed to have consistently raised concerns about insufficient mental healthcare and child protection services on the island." Will this strand Nauru refugees without support, or will it force Australia to bring them here?
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Get me off Manus Island: Assaulted Somali refugee and aid worker's plea for medical treatment (SMH, 10 October 2016). Masoud Ali Shiekh, 27, fomer UNHCR worker who fled death threats in Yemen only to end up being stoned by seven men on Manus Island. "The thing is there is no X-ray. It is broken. There is no scan. There is no anything. The injury is deep in the head and I can't open my eyes. When I stand up I feel like I would fall."

He should be brought to Australia at once for treatment. If you've got a minute, look over the article, then send a short, polite note to:

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton

UN tells Nauru to take urgent action to investigate abuse of refugee children (GA, 7 October 2016)

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton spends $8 million on spin doctor army (SMH, 1 October 2016)

Wilson Security hired investigator to find sources of stories about detention centres (29 September 2016)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Leaked UNHCR report: Manus Island world’s worst (The Saturday Paper, 8 October 2016). The UNHCR visited Nauru and Manus in April and May, and provided their interim reports to Australia, which was "dismissive". UNHCR doctors and officials meet with the Department of Immigration next week to discuss the final reports.

Manus Island staff told deportations will begin this month (GA, 6 October 2016) | 'It’s simply coercion': Manus Island, immigration policy and the men with no future (GA, 29 September 2016): "Detention centre staff say refugees are being encouraged to return to places where they face arrest, persecution or torture."

Papua New Guinea has asked the international community for help in resettling the men found to be refugees (98% of them). The Refugee Transit Centre on Manus will not be closed, and I have a horrible feeling that's where a lot of the men are going to be stuck.

Meet the men Australian policy keeps imprisoned on Manus Island at bringthemhere.org.

For refugees kidnapped and exiled to the Manus prison, hope is our secret weapon, writes refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani (GA, 3 October 2016).

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