Jul. 5th, 2015

dreamer_easy: (*writing 2)
My original SF novel Strange Flesh is now under revision. I hope to finish a complete redraft by the end of the year, and be able to show it to potential agents early next year. Chapter One is now complete. The break from the book has given me just the perspective I need to improve it, and the writing I've done since polishing off that first draft has also taught me a thing or two. On to the next chapter!
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Busy week.

Petition! Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture

Outrage over new child abuse, mismanagement claims at Nauru detention centre. In this case, it's an asylum seeker who has been accused of sexually abusing young girls. He was bailed on condition he was kept isolated. One of the girls he had allegedly abused was promptly placed in isolation with him for a night. He continues to live in isolation with his wife and eight-year-old daughter. (SMH, 4 July)

It's disturbing to be reminded that some of the alleged abusers are themselves asylum seekers, rather than guards or service providers. It's tempting to think that intolerable psychological pressure is distorting the detainee's behaviour. It may be more likely that victimisers do what they can get away with - and on Nauru, we've created a lawless "Lord of the Flies" situation. I plan to go through the Moss report and the Senate inquiry submissions to date to get some sort of picture of who is responsible for the sexual violence on Nauru (other than our current and former governments, of course).

ETA: the Moss report includes an allegation of a rape; threats of rape; and the sexual abuse of two children by detainees. All the other allegations - sexual harassment (including of minors), indecent assault, the offer of extra shower time in exchange for being able to watch, the purchase of sexual favours with goods such as cigarettes, the sexual abuse of children, and a rape - involve guards or staff. (There were also physical assaults allegedly committed by both detainees and by guards or staff, but only guards were accused of physical assaults on children.)

Asylum seekers abused on Nauru may never get justice, says former adviser. (GA 9 June)

Asylum Seekers Lose Freedom Of Information Rights to government documents about themselves (New Matilda, 17 June). The Refugee Advice and Casework Service describes the ability of asylum seekers to obtain documents such as their entry interview as "invaluable" to their application. Or to put it another way, "inconvenient" for the guvmint determined to keep them out.

In light of the latest government attacks on Gillian Triggs, head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, a campaign is underway to have her named Australian of the Year.


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