dreamer_easy: (refugees)
These damn bookmarks. I just can't keep up. I don't know what else I can do. Let me tell you, if you really want to get a head of steam up about this stuff, read about the Holocaust. You can't parallel the situations directly or simply, in intent or numbers or context. But the individual misery, the bureaucratic horror, the bigotry and cruelty, the visceral outrage - those will be familiar.

500 asylum seekers face deportation for missing protection deadline (GA, 29 September 2017) The sudden tight deadline was, of course, intended to create this situation - to get rid of some of the government's embarrassment by sending people, including families with young children, back to their deaths.

In better news, the Asylum Seekers Resources Centre reports that the movement to #LetThemStay is working: the government has eased back the throttle on its attempt to force asylum seekers back to Nauru and Manus with the threat of homelessness and starvation and sometimes I can't believe I am typing sentences like this why doesn't the Earth fall into the sun right now.

Peter Dutton Is Being Asked To Explain Why He Just Lost His Chief Medical Officer (Buzzfeed News, 15 September 2017). I would like to think Dr John Brayley quit as Australian Border Force's surgeon-general out of shame and embarrassment, perhaps over the death of Hamed Shamshiripour. The problem is: "Brayley's departure effectively leaves asylum seekers and refugees without a medical advocate in the immigration department."

Peter Dutton introduces bill to ban phones from immigration detainees
(GA, 13 September 2017). Purportedly this is to stop detained criminals from organising crimes. "If the minister is concerned about the criminal use of mobile phones then he needs to separate vulnerable individuals who come to Australia for protection from those alleged criminals,' said George Newhouse, human rights lawyer and principal solicitor for the National Justice Project."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has attacked the decisions of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which overturned 39% of his decisions in the first four months of this year, and is replacing more than fifty of its members. Meanwhile, the Refugee Review Tribunal made an incredible cockup in the case of a disabled Hazara man.

Syrian, Iraqi refugees' trauma levels 'highest I've seen', says advocate (5 October 2017, 10 am)

Detention no place for kids: Church abuse survivors (Newcastle Herald, 8 June 2015)."We've got vulnerable children being used by our politicians in a game that's about political gain and clinging on to power and authority, and that's completely contrary to what Australia ought to represent."

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Manus Island refugees offered transfers to Nauru while US resettlement applications processed (ABC, 10 October 2017). Who the hell came up with this one?! Seriously. You might be able to go to the US and safety; say, would you like to go to Nauru instead? The Greens are probably right: this is utter desperation, because Papua New Guinea seems to be saying it refuses to resettle the refugees: PNG tells Australia it can't shut Manus Island detention centre and leave asylum seekers behind (ABC, 25 August 2017)

ETA: from the Combined Refugee Action Group on Facebook, 13 October 2017: "Letter by the men held on Manus Island, to the PNG authorities. The letter contains an attachment of 324 signatures."

Gay detainees on Manus fear for their future (RNZ, 1 September 2017) "Every time a local attacks us, I see death in front of my eyes."

The Tortuous Demise Of Hamed Shamshiripour, Who Didn't Deserve To Die On Manus Island (Huffington Post, 14 August 2017) | What happened to make Hamed go from 'a good guy' to a man to be avoided? (ABC, 19 August 2017)

Manus Island detention centre demolition must stop – detainees' lawyers (GA, 14 August 2017)

Manus Island: Asylum seekers moved to Port Moresby 'for treatment' suspicious of timing (ABC, 30 September 2017) | Manus refugees given ultimatum as Turnbull government comes under pressure (SMH, 30 August 2017) "We are scared ... that they [will] leave us homeless in the street in PNG. That's what they are planning to do, it's just obvious."

Four years on, still a “major or critical” incident nearly every day on Manus - new report finds (Human Rights Law Centre, 19 July 2017)

Imran's story: arriving on Manus was 'one of the most excruciating days in my life' (SMH, 18 July 2017)

A couple of older links:

Australia's Brave Whistleblower Nurse (The New York Times, 20 December 2016). Lynne Elworthy lost her job and risked prison by telling the truth about Manus. "Lynne Elworthy should receive one of Australia’s highest civilian honors. She has stood up for the values of her country against a policy that has dragged those values into a tropical swamp. She has raised her voice when so many have been silent." This op-ed went on to quote Hannah Arendt and break my heart: "Under conditions of terror, most people will comply but some people will not. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation."

The monstrous failure of our bipartisan asylum seeker policy (The Age, 28 April 2016). "But here's the problem: [the Manus Island detention centre] was always illegal. It didn't suddenly become illegal when Abbott took power. Marles is right it was botched from day one, but that was Labor's day. It takes some special level of gall to establish an illegal detention centre, then insist it's the Coalition's mess"

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Some analysis. Some of these items date back a couple of years. Horribly, they're still relevant.

What's Driving the Merciless Asylum Seeker Policies in Australia? (Truth Out, 17 March 2015)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Why We Torture Asylum Seekers, But Were Too Afraid To Ask (New Matilda, 27 May 2015)

'Queue jumpers' and 'boat people': the way we talk about refugees began in 1977 (GA, 5 June 2015)

Neither helpless nor silent (Overland, 20 August 2015). About the Behind the Wire project, which collects the personal accounts of people in, or survivors of, mandatory detention.

These are the people Australia didn't want — the controversial Tampa refugees reveal life now
(news.com.au, 12 June 2016)

Northern Territory abuse reflects Australia's detention culture, says Gillian Triggs (GA, 26 July 2016) | Into the dark heart of the Don Dale Detention Centre, focus of NT abuse claims (SMH, 29 July 2016) Discusses abuse on the part of youth detention centre guards, with obvious parallels to immigration detention. | Spit masks used against asylum seekers in Australian detention centres (SMH, 4 August 2016) The hoods are used in all kinds of institutions, including immigration detention.

The plight of the Hazara: we can't bear any more tragedy (GA, 5 August 2016)

'Non-people', the bounds of humanity, and one person's story of survival (GA, 10 February 2017). "In another era this refugee – with his work ethic, his skills, his excellent English and his bravery – would have made Australia proud."

We can stop the boats and also act decently, fairly and transparently (GA, 14 February 2017)

Asylum seeker boat turnbacks illegal and don't deter people, report finds
(GA, 2 May 2017)

25 years of mandatory detention – from 'interim measure' to immovable policy
(GA, 25 May 2017)

Asio head tells Pauline Hanson there is 'no evidence' of link between refugees and terrorism (GA, 26 May 2017)

Australia's Refugee and Humanitarian Program 2017-18: Community views on current challenges and future direction. Refugee Council of Australia report, June 2017.

ETA: How Europe's far right fell in love with Australia's immigration policy (GA, 12 October 2017). "European nativist parties have embraced Australia’s hardline tactics for managing asylum seekers and refugees – but their true agenda is to keep Muslims out."

Yearning for the end of the world (GA, 25 August 2017). A remarkable piece by an Iranian refugee, a Christian who eventually escaped to the US. "The Rapture story offers a known future that you don't have to build yourself. It happens in an instant: before you're done with one life, you're whisked into another. And that is everything – skipping that in-between space, the country of purgatory where the refugee lingers. 'If you've ever been a refugee,' my mother says, 'you know how much that matters.'"

Finally, Autopsy, a poem by Sherman Alexie. It's about President Trump's immigration ban, but it resonates painfully.

dreamer_easy: (*sympathy)
Sri Lankan Tamil refugee found dead on Manus Island (GA, 2 October 2017) He had been formally found to be a refugee. He had been seriously mentally ill for months, and had survived a recent suicide attempt. The Refugee Action Coalition reports that adequate psychiatric care is not available on the island and two other detainees are in a similarly dangerous condition.

ETA: The refugee was due to face court over a sexual assault charge the day he was found dead. The failure to prevent his death means that there is now no chance his alleged victim seeing justice done.

Thank gods, some of the men from Manus have survived and are now starting their new lives in the US - hopefully just the very first of many more, despite Immigration Minister Dutton's bizarre attack on them."He has presided over torture," The Saturday Paper writes, "and he does not care." I assume Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop was trying to undo the damage he caused by explaining that the men were genuine refugees who had been additionally vetted by the United States.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Why is Peter Dutton trying to undermine the US refugee swap, which must have come as such a relief to his government? I still think it's because the rescued refugees are going to spill the beans, and he wants to get his blow in fust.

I wonder if the remarkable man who loves ducks has now left Manus for safety in the States. I wonder if this poor bastard on Nauru will chose the US deal over reunion with his wife and infant daughter, who are currently in Australia.

Still on Manus: PNG authorities stop refugees leaving centre to give evidence in compensation case (ABC, 28 September 2017). They were stopped at the airport despite being summonsed to court in Port Moresby. Not that they're under detention or anything. That would be illegal.

Australia's $10 satellite program will help detect asylum seeker boats. It would be nice if the intention was to prevent loss of life at sea.

I call this stuff Kafkaesque, but it'd give Kafka nightmares.
dreamer_easy: (*hooray!)
Doctors4Refugees on Facebook posted yesterday that the first group of refugees "swapped" with the United States have arrived safely. Refugees from Manus and Nauru will be settled in the states of California, Texas, Arizona, Oregon, and New York.

I assume Peter Dutton's talkback radio attack on the refugees who have at last escaped Manus is a pre-emptive strike; surely now the full story of the detention centre will come out via the US press.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
First group of refugees on Manus and Nauru to be resettled in US (GA, 20 September 2017). One of the detainees, Abdul Aziz Adam (of The Messenger podcast), has posted on Facebook that some of the detainees have already been told they will be moved within a week. (I haven't posted much about the refugee swap with the US because of my scepticism. Never been happier to be wrong!)

Victoria steps in to help 100 asylum seekers cut off by Coalition (GA, 9 September 2017) More states could help asylum seekers denied welfare by Coalition (GA, 11 September 2017). Only NSW ruled it out.

Manus Island: judge approves $70m compensation for detainees (GA, 6 September 2017). "Lawyers hope to have sum paid before offshore detention centre closes next month in what is Australia’s largest human rights class action settlement." Most of the refugees have signed up for the compensation, though some may have done so in the belief that they have no other options, and some have lodged objections and want a trial instead.

Nauru President indicates $8,000 visa fee for journalists will be waived next year (ABC, September 2017)

Australia's refugee capital 'shows what the country can do' (GA, 23 June 2017). "Fairfield in Sydney’s west has resettled roughly half of all humanitarian migrants to arrive in the past 10 years. ‘We’ll always open our arms,’ its mayor says."

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
So many bookmarks...

The Refugee Council of Australia has advice on How you can help people who’ve been to Nauru or Manus (#letthemstay), who have been abruptly denied the welfare they are entitled to. You can also donate to Sydney's House of Welcome.

Government to relax secrecy rules for detention centre workers in 'humiliating backdown' (ABC, 14 August 2017) Whistleblowers will no longer risk two years' jail if they talk out loud about abuse and neglect.

Federal Government broke promises over refugee resettlement deal with US, UNHCR says (ABC, 24 July 2017) | UN says immigration officials helped screen Manus and Nauru refugees for family reunions (SMH, 26 June 2017). "The agency said it only agreed to help administer the deal between Canberra and Washington to resettle refugees from Nauru and Manus Island in the United States on this understanding so that families were not separated."

ACT offers to resettle refugees held in 'inhumane' offshore detention centres
(GA, 24 August 2017)

Three pregnant refugees and nearly 50 others denied medical transfers from Nauru (GA, 21 August 2017) | Pregnant refugees refused abortions on Nauru must be brought to Australia, says AMA (GA, 23 August 2017)

Australia's offshore detention centres 'terrible', says architect of system
(GA, 16 August 2017) "Paris Aristotle says ‘what has been put in place is not what was recommended’ and there is not a ‘skerrick of evidence’ it deters asylum seekers from boarding boats."

And the boats keep coming: Five people smuggled to Australia by boat, Australian Federal Police alleges (ABC, 27 August 2017) | Boat carrying alleged people smugglers and Chinese men landed on Queensland island (GA, 30 August 2017). It's not clear if the people on board, who have been returned to China, were seeking asylum (the guvmint says they weren't, which leaves us none the wiser).

Peter Dutton loses appeal over detention phones (SMH, 17 August 2017) "The federal government has lost an appeal over a court ruling that determined guards don't have the right to confiscate the mobile phones of people being held in immigration detention." | High court upholds Australia's right to send asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea (GA, 17 August 2017)

Unwelcome visitors: Challenges faced by people visiting immigration detention (Refugee Council of Australia report, 2 August 2017)

We're quick to label refugees as either 'good' or 'bad', but they're all entitled to protection (GA, 28 June 2017) "Despite what he told the court, he knew full well that hitting his wife was a serious crime (as it is in Syria)... The family wouldn’t have come without him, so do you deny them all asylum? How, exactly, would that have protected Raghda?"

A little heartening news: Samim Bigzad: UK Government's attempt to deport Afghan asylum seeker fails after pilot refuses to take off (The Independent, 29 August 2017). Activists had a quiet word with passengers, who had a quiet word with the cabin crew, who had a quiet word with the pilot. Thank you all. Unfortunately, Australian activists did not have the same success in the case of a sick Iraqi man deported last month.

Many of those seeking asylum in Australia are Rohingyas from Myanmar. After recent massacres, many more will try to engage Australia's human rights responsibilities. Elsewhere: Sri Lanka leads the world for torture, again (Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka, 19 August 2017)

Australia has 'golden opportunity' to help shape world refugee debate, says report (GA, 31 August 2017) "... if there are large environmental issues, if there’s a war in Papua New Guinea, if Isis takes root in in the Philippines, there could suddenly be large numbers of people trying to come to Australia, and it should be in your interest to make sure that the international refugee regime responds more effectively."

Australia resettles Cuban refugees found clinging to lighthouse off Florida Keys (GA, 22 August 2017) Welcome!

'Benefits on both sides': Armidale revealed as new home for Iraqi and Syrian refugees
(SBS, 11 August 2017)

The latest ABF bungle: Border Force illegally sent two Australian citizens to Christmas Island (GA, 5 July 2017). It'd be funny if they weren't playing with people's lives.

From the invaluable Snopes: Are Refugee Tuberculosis Rates in San Diego 'More Than 100 Times Greater' Than the National Average? SPOILER: no. Meanwhile, President Trump's "Muslim ban" has left refugees, including about 100 unaccompanied children, stranded. (The President's general hostility to migration is already damaging the US economy.)

When Hospitality Was the Norm and Multiculturalism Was a Good Thing (Yes!, 20 June 2017)
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Recent events have meant a lot of news coming out of Manus Island. More on that later, but I wanted to catch up on my Nauru bookmarks first. Under Nauruan law, peaceful protests are illegal, but refugees continue to protest despite beatings and jail time.

Nauru security guard charged, sacked after alleged attack on refugee
(ABC, 5 August 2017)

Women of Nauru: seeing my sons in a school uniform is my only dream (GA, 17 February 2017)

Nauru blocks Australia's immigration department releasing data requested under FOI  (SMH, 15 February 2018) "Fairfax Media used freedom of information laws to request incident logs for the Manus Island and Nauru facilities between August 2015 and April 2016. However, after eight months, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advised the records for Nauru had been blocked to protect 'international relations'."

Nauru refugee says medical treatment withheld after he had heart attack (GA, 21 December 2016) | Refugee on Nauru claims medical treatment for severe heart problems delayed without reason (ABC, 21 December 2016). More life-threatening bureaucratic bungling. I wish I could find more recent news on this refugee.

‘Cutting it fine’: Questions raised over future of Nauru detention contracts (SBS, 12 April 2017) Another thing I'd like to find more news on - the current contracts run out at the end of October.

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Federal government to launch crackdown on asylum seekers (SMH, 27 August 2017) "Under the new visa conditions, income support of about $200 a fortnight will cease on Monday and a three-week deadline to move out of government-supported accommodation will be imposed... It is understood about 400 asylum seekers and their children are living in Australia at present after medical transfers from offshore processing and all of these people could be hit with the new visa conditions."

Coalition to cut income support for 100 asylum seekers in Australia (GA, 27 August 2017)

Family faces uncertain future after government's visa crackdown on asylum seekers (Brisbane Times, 28 August 2017) "

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre needs donations to support asylum seekers cut off by the government, and asks us to call Senators and MPs to ask them to oppose the policy.
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
GetUp! petition to #bringthemhere.

This point scoring and deal making with refugee's lives is absurd (The Age, 8 August 2017). Journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani writes from the camp: "Peter Dutton has reiterated that the Manus detention centre will close by October 31. This does not reflect any concern for the 800 or so refugees still housed here. Instead, it means a kind of ruthlessness has been formed in the government and the minister is utterly determined to shut down the facility despite us having nowhere safe to go."

UNHCR warns of escalating crisis on Manus Island (UNHCR media release, 10 August 2017)

Driven to death on Manus Island (The Saturday Paper, 12 August 2017)

'Trash left in limbo': Fears for refugees on Manus after detention centre closes (SMH, 13 August 2017) "'We are harassed on the road and robbed on the road... Police say they can't do anything. They say "we don't want you to come to our community".'"

Border force doctor knew of Manus asylum seeker's deteriorating health before death (GA, 9 August 2017) | These Emails Show The Government Was Repeatedly Warned Before Hamed Shamshiripour’s Death (Junkee, 12 August 2017) | Angry Labor MPs confront shadow minister in secret meeting over 'silence' on refugee death (SMH, 11 August 2017) |
Manus Island asylum seeker death: family want inquest in Australia (GA, 9 August 2017)

As others see us:

Australia’s Desperate Refugee Obstinacy (New York Times, 8 August 2017)

Trump said the Australians were 'worse than I am' on immigration. A tragedy may prove his point. (Washington Post, 9 August 2017)

'They don't care': Refugees shocked by leaked Trump-Turnbull call (CNN, 7 August 2017)

You Probably Missed the Big Story Buried in the Latest Trump Leaks (Time, 10 August 2017). "While the last Administration strongly pressed the Australian government to change its policy toward asylum seekers, we also sought to immediately relieve the suffering of these refugees and agreed to resettle up to 1,200 after they went through the U.S. government’s rigorous refugee screening processes."

dreamer_easy: (refugees)
The illegal camp is being closed. The refugees are being forced out to the transit centre in Lorengau. Power, phones, water, and medical treatment have been withdrawn. Outside the camp, they are subject to constant violent attacks by the locals. The refugees continue to protest. An Iranian refugee, Hamed Shamshiripour, has been found dead near the transit centre; it's not clear yet whether he was murdered or took his own life.

A transcript has been leaked of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's phone conversation with US President Donald Trump, in which they discussed the Australia-US refugee swap deal. First Dog On The Moon comments on this more effectively than I could.

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)
Deadline for asylum seekers in Australia impossible to meet, lawyers say (Guardian Australia, 23 May 2017). "Experts say 1 October deadline for 7,194 asylum seekers to apply for refugee status ‘arbitrary, unnecessary and unfair’ and ‘the slip of a pen could be a death sentence’."

Sign for a #FairProcess - Asylum Seekers Resource Centre petition against the 1 October deadline
dreamer_easy: (refugees)
Child asylum seeker wins government payout over Christmas Island detention trauma (GA, 26 April 2017). The girl, "suffered recurrent dental abscesses and recurrent allergic reactions while in detention on Christmas Island and was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, major depression with anxiety, separation anxiety, stuttering and bed-wetting." | Children are being damaged in detention – Australia's day of reckoning will come (GA, 27 April 2017)

Catching up on links.

At What Cost? The Human, Economic and Strategic Cost of Australia's Asylum Seeker Policies and the Alternatives. Report from Save the Children and UNICEF, September 2016.

Detention abuse inquiry did not interview children so as to not 'traumatise them further' (GA, 6 March 2017) IIUC the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is due at the end of this year.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Report on Christmas Island (August 2016). From the introduction: "The Christmas Island detention centre holds around 30 men seeking asylum mixed in with about 200 men exiting prisons from across Australia after serving sentences of varying length for crimes of varying severity. This places the men seeking asylum at significant risk of harm due to the simmering resentment of some of the ex-prisoner population. The effects of the extreme isolation, fear of violence, uncertain future, and lack of adequate mental health care has had a deeply dehumanising effect on these men. The detention centre on Christmas Island is run as a high security military camp where control is based on fear and punishment and the extensive internal use of extrajudicial punishment by force and isolation is evident." | 'I do not deserve this,' pleads asylum seeker detained with violent criminals on Christmas Island (SMH, 27 September 2016) | Australia's forgotten detention centre: the peculiar torture of Christmas Island's asylum seekers locked up with hardened criminals (SMH, 17 September 2016)

This is the most recent news I can find on the boat that sank off Christmas Island: Siev 221 tragedy: class action adjourned as asylum seeker boat survivors seek documents (GA, 28 September 2016)

Going even further back in time: Christmas Island detention centres to close as part of immigration savings (GA, 12 May 2016) They won't be mourned (the shire president describes them as having been "a disaster" for the community.)

End Immigration Detention of Children is a worldwide organisation; their Australian branch is the End Child Detention Coalition.

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:

Contact Peter Dutton and ask him to either produce the evidence he says he has, or resign:

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)


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