Law & Order

Beaten, abused, humiliated and filmed by Victoria Police

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John’s psychologist was worried about his mental health. She asked the police to check on him. CCTV footage shows they did much more. Nick McKenzie The Age John’s fleshy torso tumbles earthwards as police swarm around him. There are six officers in all, two on his back like wolves on injured prey. The disability pensioner is pinned down. He is in his own front yard and he is helpless. Minutes earlier, the police have arrived at John’s home in Preston ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

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Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi urges nation to stay united amid ‘challenges’

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Yangon:  Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has called  for her people to remain united, saying the South-east Asian country faces “challenges” at home and abroad, as she marked two years since her party swept to power in a… Shoon Naing WAtoday In a televised speech, Suu Kyi made only a passing reference to the crisis in Rakhine state, where her government faces mounting international condemnation for a military operation against Rohingya Muslims that has sent nearly 700,000 ... Read More »

Fears for asylum seekers as Nauru moves to cut ties to Australia’s high court

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Legal experts say end to long-standing arrangement could leave asylum seekers held in detention with ‘virtually no rights’ Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Nauru has severed a long-standing arrangement to allow appeals to the high court of Australia, impacting on the rights of asylum seekers to challenge the refusal of refugee status. The high court is the final appellate court for Nauru, under an agreement between the two countries that has been in place since 1976. It can be terminated by either government ... Read More »

Mali jihadist faces war crimes charges at International Criminal Court

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The International Criminal Court in the Hague has taken into custody a man wanted for war crimes in Mali, after the authorities there handed him over. BBC Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud headed the Islamic police in Timbuktu when it was under the control of jihadist militants five years ago. He is accused of victimising women and girls by approving their forced marriages to Islamist fighters. He is also alleged to have helped destroy ancient mausoleums ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

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Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Amal Clooney to defend Reuters journalists held in Myanmar

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Amal Clooney asserts the innocence of Reuters journalists on trial for reporting Rohingya massacre in Rakhine state. Al Jazeera Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has said she would represent two Reuters journalists on trial in Myanmar for reporting the massacre of the Rohingya people in western Rakhine state. Wa Lone, 31, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 27, were arrested last December, and have been charged under the Official Secrets Act, which could see them jailed up to 14 years. “Wa Lone and… Amal Clooney to… Read More »

Mauritania court gives toughest sentence for slave owners

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Two slave owners in Mauritania have been jailed in a country where slavery remains widespread but convictions rare, activists say. BBC The sentences of 10 and 20 years are said to be the toughest-ever for the crime in the West African country. Slavery was outlawed in 1981 but 1% of the population are still living in bondage, human rights groups say. Black people of certain ethnic groups are often enslaved as domestic workers by lighter-skinned Mauritanians. The country has jailed ... Read More »

Criminal code bill will leave Indonesian migrants’ children in Malaysia in legal limbo

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There are thousands of stateless children in Sabah, Malaysia. The estimates vary between 30,000 and 52,000 as there has been no census or statistics collected on them. Clara Siagian The Conversation Most of them are children of Indonesian migrants. These children face the risk of being stuck in legal limbo if an Indonesian bill to amend the criminal code is passed in its current state. Criminalising private activities Indonesia is deliberating the bill to change the country’s 100-year-old criminal code. ... Read More »

Why Europe shouldn’t follow Australia’s lead on asylum seekers

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Australia’s harsh asylum policies have been touted as a possible solution to Europe’s so-called refugee crisis. Daniel Ghezelbash The Conversation Politicians in the UK, France, Holland, Denmark, Austria and Belgium have advocated for an Australian-style approach aimed at blocking asylum seekers from accessing Europe. But there are a few reasons Europe should be wary of following this lead. Australia’s practice of turning back boats and offshore processing have attracted the most interest. When Australia can’t safely turn back a boat, ... Read More »

German far-right activist held in Hungary over arms sales

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A German far-right activist was arrested in Hungary on March 28 on suspicion of illegally selling weapons through a website that urged citizens to defend themselves against migrants, Berlin prosecutors said. BERLIN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The suspect, 34-year-old Mario Roensch, was detained in an early morning raid on his Budapest home by Hungarian anti-terror officers. Prosecutors said he is “strongly suspected” of running the far-right website Migrantenschreck (Migrants’ fright) between May and November 2016, which according to German media ... Read More »

SMH editorial: Defamation laws long overdue for overhaul

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Australia’s defamation laws were built for a different age. The last comprehensive national review of defamation laws was in 1979, almost 30 years before Facebook was launched in February 2004 and the first tweet was sent in March 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald The laws are increasingly unworkable and in desperate need of overhaul as slurs on social media and other digital platforms take off as a growing source of defamation claims. A five-year review of Australian defamation cases covering ... Read More »

Australian gun control advocates call for federal intervention to save firearms pact

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Report finds the national firearms agreement is ‘haemorrhaging’, with more than 50 breaches of the code by states and territories Ben Smee The Guardian Gun control advocates have called for federal intervention – and even a referendum – after commissioning a damning report that shows states and territories have trashed the historic 1996 national firearms agreement. The agreement, which led to the surrender and destruction of more than 1.1m firearms, was signed by all states and territories after the Port ... Read More »

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us

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What does it say about the state of our democracy when it falls upon everyday people to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere? Julian Burnside * The Sydney Morning Herald And what does it say about our politicians that they will let Adani’s mine proceed when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? This month, nine ... Read More »

Nicola Sturgeon: Scots government have ‘no power’ to stop Catalan arrest

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she cannot intervene to stop the arrest of a Catalan leader in Scotland who is now subject of a European Arrest warrant. The Scotsman Police Scotland are seeking to arrest Clara Ponsati, who was the education minister in the Catalan government, after she returned to work at St Andrews University. It follows a European Arrest warrant being issued against her last week. The exiled Catalan President Carles Puigdemont has already been arrested in Germany as the ... Read More »

March For Our Lives: Hundreds of thousands of people protest against US gun laws in rallies around the world

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The demonstration of global solidarity comes after 17 children were massacred at a school shooting in Florida – and the UK is taking part too Ian Simpson & Jamie Bullen Mirror Student survivors of the Florida school massacre are among the half a million people expected to march through Washington DC calling for tighter gun laws. Across the USA alone, 800 separate marches are taking place where hundreds of thousands more are expected to take part, according to organisers. Protests ... Read More »