Asylum Seekers

How Australia ended up taking in Rwandans accused of killing tourists

Australia’s government faces questions over secret deal with US in which the men were granted humanitarian visas Helen Davison The Guardian Just hours out from a federal election, the Australian government is facing questions over its decision to grant humanitarian visas to two Rwandan men accused of the brutal 1999 murder of tourists in Uganda. The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has said that the men were subject to – and cleared – security checks, and on Friday distanced himself ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett to star in Stateless, a new TV series about immigration detention in Australia

Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi and Yvonne Strahovski sign on to appear in ABC six-part drama series The Guardian Cate Blanchett has co-created and will star in a new television drama about Australia’s onshore immigration detention regime. Stateless, a six-part drama series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, will focus on four characters whose paths cross when they are caught up in Australia’s immigration system and held in one of Australia’s desert-based detention centres. The characters include a flight attendant fleeing a ... Read More »

Charging asylum application fees is the latest way the US could make immigrants pay for its red tape

The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Conversation As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, ... Read More »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... Read More »

Why Assange and Ecuador Fell Out

Seven years ago, Julian Assange seemed at the height of his powers—a superstar information warrior behind the biggest leak in history—when he faced his first major legal blow. Dan Collyns NYR Daily He had lost a long fight against extradition to Sweden, where two women had accused him of rape. The possibilities for the rootless WikiLeaks founder, who was used to working from other people’s sofas and hotel rooms around the world, narrowed rapidly. Fearing that the Swedish investigation could ... Read More »

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail by a London court on May 1 for skipping bail to enter the Ecuadorean embassy where he was holed up for almost seven… LONDON- Reuters Hurriyet Judge Deborah Taylor read out the sentence as Assange, in a black jacket and grey sweatshirt, looked on. Taylor said Assange had exploited his privileged position to flout the law and express… He was convicted last month of skipping bail in June 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over ... Read More »

Three months on from the medivac bill, refugee and journalist says ‘nothing has changed’

Iranian-Kurdish refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani has criticised the federal government’s medivac bill three months after it came into effect, saying a list of sick refugees he… Hannah Barry The Age Speaking at Perth’s Curtin University’s fourth annual human rights lecture on Monday, Boochani delivered the keynote address via video link and spoke about colonialism’s impact on… Boochani spoke from Port Moresby, where he is temporarily based for an interview with United States officials, and said it was important for ... Read More »

Nauru counsellor escaped a refugee camp only to put himself back in a detention centre

Riziki Saidi has plenty of reasons to never want to set foot in a refugee camp again. Instead, he decided to return to work as a torture and trauma counsellor at the Australian Government’s detention centre on Nauru. Gabriella Marchant ABC He would like to go back there again after recently finishing a 12-month contract on the Pacific island. Mr Saidi spent eight years raising six children in a camp with his wife, Mwajemi, after a harrowing journey fleeing their ... Read More »

Morrison brings immigration centre stage with freeze on refugee intake

Scott Morrison will seek to bring the debate over immigration and refugees to the centre of the election campaign, with an announcement that a Coalition government would freeze the humanitarian… Michelle Grattan The Conversation He will contrast this with Labor plans for an increase in the humanitarian component, claiming this would cost many billions of dollars and challenging Bill Shorten to produce more detail… So far immigration has not had a prominent place in the campaign. The border security issue ... Read More »

Migrants and the media: what shapes the narratives on immigration in different countries

If you want to spoil a movie for yourself, wait for a nice dramatic moment and then imagine what it was like to shoot it: the cameras, sound and lighting crews all around; the portable toilets round the… Rob McNeil The Conversation If a film is to succeed, it needs us to suspend our disbelief and not think about the process. But when we consume news media, we need to do the opposite – and think carefully about how and ... Read More »

Central American women fleeing violence experience more trauma after seeking asylum

The number of Central American women who make difficult, often harrowing, journeys to the United States to flee domestic and gang violence is rising. Laurie Cook Heffron The Conversation I’m a social science researcher and a social worker who has interviewed hundreds of women after they were detained by immigration authorities for my research about the relationship between violence against women and migration. I find that most female asylum seekers experience trauma, abuse and violence before they cross the U.S. ... Read More »

Christchurch attack survivors to be offered New Zealand residency

Survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks and their families who had been living in the country will be offered New Zealand residency under a special visa. AAP – SBS New Zealand is set to grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques. Fifty people were killed and 50 others wounded at Friday prayers in the country’s worst peacetime mass shootings. Suspected white supremacist, Australian Brenton Tarrant, was charged with 50 counts of murder. The government ... Read More »

‘A beacon of tolerance, love and peace’: Jacinda Ardern mural to be painted on Brunswick silos

A silo in Brunswick will feature a large mural of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Tom Cowie The Age More than $11,000 was crowdfunded in just over a day for a street artist to paint the Tinning Street silos with a photo of the leader wearing a hijab and the Arabic word for peace written underneath. The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the sustainable Nightingale ... Read More »

Malta reaches deal to allocate 64 migrants in four EU countries

Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg agreed to share the responsibility Laura Kayali Politico Malta struck deals with Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg to welcome 64 migrants rescued at sea in early April, the Associated Press reported Saturday. “All 64 migrants onboard Alan Kurdi will be disembarked and redistributed between Germany, France, Portugal and Luxembourg thanks to effective coordination by the European Commission and Malta,” Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said. “None will remain in Malta, which cannot… Malta reaches deal to… Read More »

DLA Piper teams up with refugee advocates for access to justice

Global firm DLA Piper has partnered with the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre to deliver its first Australia-based Know Your Rights Legal Empowerment Program. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly DLA Piper‘s Know Your Rights program has been successfully delivered across a number of cities to date including Bangkok, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg, Cologne, Brussels, Milan, Luxembourg and Rome, and has now come Down Under. It is a “signature part” of the firm’s global pro bono practice that focuses on access to ... Read More »

The potential of refugee entrepreneurs is huge. But they need our help

Refugees are already equipped with the key skills to succeed in business and their contribution can be worth billions of dollars Philippe Legrain The Guardian Kinan Al Halabi arrived in Australia in 2016 as a refugee from the civil war in Syria. He spoke English, had a university degree, had taught computer science in Syria and had experience working for Swedish telecoms company Ericsson. Yet his qualifications weren’t recognised in Australia and obtaining an Australian degree would have taken three ... Read More »