Civil Liberties

‘Drug pushers in suits’: Why the ACT’s bid to ‘legalise heroin’ failed

Michael Moore 1a Jamila Toderas

It was the bold idea that began in the ACT Legislative Assembly, rattled the prime minister of the day, and raised the hackles of one of the… Katie Burgess The Canberra Times And almost 20 years since Prime Minister John Howard scuttled a scientific trial into the effectiveness of providing prescription heroin to addicts, former ACT independent MLA Michael Moore believes its time to start the… Mr Moore was the chair of an ACT parliamentary committee on HIV, illegal drugs ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs warns Dutton’s ‘super ministry’ endangers separation of powers

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Triggs also says campaign to change section 18C of Racial Discrimination Act has been exhausted due to public support Ben Doherty The Guardian The outgoing Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs, has said the creation of a new “super ministry” of home affairs was part of a hastening trend towards centralised and unchallengeable… In a wide-ranging valedictory interview on ABC radio in Melbourne, Triggs also said a concerted campaign to amend section 18C of the… Gillian Triggs warns… Read More »

China stands firm as pressure grows to release late Nobel laureate’s wife

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Liu Xia has been detained at home since Liu Xiaobo won the peace prize in 2010 Clifford Coonan in Beijing The Irish Times International pressure is growing to allow Liu Xia, the wife of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, to leave the country if she wants to go abroad. She has been under house arrest for years. Diplomatic sources in Beijing say intensive discussions are under way with Chinese authorities to grant permission to allow Ms Xia, a ... Read More »

Border Force: A threat to us all

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Human rights advocate and barrister Julian Burnside AO discusses Border Force’s increased interest in Australian citizens, as PM Malcolm Turnbull announces greater powers for the Australian Defence… IA NEVER FORGET the lesson of Martin Niemöller. The lesson is: when governments misbehave, it’s just a matter of time before they will come for you. Recently, two Australian citizens arrived back in Australia after a long overnight flight. They had nothing to declare and… Border Force: A… Read More »

Australia doesn’t have a constitutional right protecting freedom of the person – it needs one

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The recent wrongful detention of two Australian citizens by immigration authorities highlights that our Constitution offers inadequate protection for freedom of the… Bede Harris The Conversation This is not the first time Australian citizens have been unlawfully detained. In 2001, Vivian Solon, who had suffered a head injury, was deported even though she told immigration officials she was an… In 2004, Cornelia Rau, also an Australian citizen, was held in immigration detention after she was unable to identify herself because ... Read More »

Turkey’s free press on trial

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Reporter Canan Coşkun used to cover cases of corruption, assault and murder. Now it’s her fellow journalists who are facing charges. Zia Weise Politico In a small courtroom at the city’s gargantuan Palace of Justice, Canan Coşkun took the stand with her hands clasped nervously behind her back. As a journalist covering the courts for Cumhuriyet — the Turkish newspaper that has been most outspokenly critical of the government — Coşkun is no stranger to judicial… Turkey’s free press… Read More »

Turkey Uncensored: The Fate of Assyrian Christian Churches and Monasteries

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The Turkish government has recently seized numerous properties belonging to Assyrian (Syriac) Christians − such as churches, monasteries and cemeteries − and… Uzay Bulut Philos Project On June 23, the Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos reported, ”””Inquiries by the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation revealed that dozens of churches and monasteries have””” Kuryakos Ergün, the president of the Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation, told The Philos Project that the decision of allocating the churches and monasteries to the… Turkey Uncensored: The… Read More »

Slavery, child prostitution and sex tourism hit epidemic proportions

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It is estimated by the Global Slavery Index that around the world, there are up to 45.8 million people who are currently being held as slaves for either sexual or labour… Johanna Higgs IA Through my travels and work alongside my foundation Project Monma, I have come across slavery more than… From Mauritania’s descent-based slavery system, Argentina’s human trafficking rings and sex tourism in Madagascar, the horror of slavery can take multiple… Slavery, child prostitution… Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

March for ‘justice’ by Erdogan opponents in Turkey gains momentum and alarms government

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DUZCE, Turkey — The midday sun was roasting, their limbs were aching, and the protesters, from Turkey’s largest opposition party, still had 125 miles to march before Istanbul, their destination. Kareem Fahim The Washington Post The road had been hard: One elderly protester died of cardiac arrest, and another was hospitalized with heart spasms. But spirits were soaring as they walked through Duzce last week, holding banners that said “justice,” to protest a… March for ‘justice… Read More »

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

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Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong… On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong… The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last… Calls on surveillance… Read More »

‘We’ve lost democracy’: on the road with Turkey’s justice marchers

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Thousands are walking the 280 miles from Ankara to Istanbul to protest against a government crackdown on politicians, journalists and civil servants Kareem Shaheen and Gözde Hatunoğlu in Düzce The Guardian Hıdır Aydur rested his blistered feet under the shade of a tree on the side of the highway that runs between Ankara and Istanbul. The 57-year-old, from Erzincan in Turkey’s north-east, who has diabetes, had been marching for 15 days. He is one of thousands journeying by foot from ... Read More »

For Australia to prosper, free speech must be extended to all of us

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When I criticised representation in politics, Eric Abetz suggested I move to an Arab dictatorship. Yet a deep malaise exists in society and we need to talk about it Yassmin Abdel-Magied The Guardian Australia has all the ingredients for a flourishing, harmonious and inclusive society. We have incredible monetary wealth, with the longest streak of economic growth of any developed nation. We are home to the oldest continuous living civilisation, the source of millennia of… For Australia to… Read More »

Whither Japan’s Democracy?

Hiroji Yamashiro 1a Daniel Hurst

To some observers, retired civil servant Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy  attitude towards dissent Daniel Hurst Asia Times To some observers, protester Hiroji Yamashiro, 65, has become a symbol of modern Japan’s uneasy attitude towards dissent. The retired civil servant, a long-standing campaigner against the US military presence in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, was detained for five months from… Whither Japan’s… Read More »

Hitler-inspired Schemes of Partition Are Abolishing the Republic of Cyprus

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Turkey and the British Empire never forgave Cyprus for escaping their colonial brutality. WWI wrecked the Ottoman Empire. Evaggelos Vallianatos HuffPost Its successor state, Turkey, has been under the delusion that fomenting a zealous Islam can recreate its former power. WWII forced the diminution and abolition of the British Empire, now a weak and small version of its former self remains, known as the… Cyprus passed from the Ottoman to the British Empire in late nineteenth… Hitler-inspired Schemes… Read More »

“We won’t accept just any solution on Cyprus”

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On the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, we feel compelled to express our views on the Cyprus negotiations on behalf of the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Federation of Cypriot American Organizations (FCAO), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), the American Hellenic Council (AHC), the Hellenic Federation of New Jersey, and the Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH). Our community has worked with successive U.S. Administrations on behalf of a workable and ... Read More »