Asylum Seekers

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality

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The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Kevin Rudd * The New York Times Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental ... Read More »

What Awaits the Rohingya in Bangladesh?

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s moral conscience has seemingly taken a backseat to cold, hard politics. Michael Kugelman  The plight of the Rohingya community is truly one of the saddest stories of our times. The National Interest It is a tragic tale of perpetual persecution, major marginalization and mass migration. In Burma, where this Muslim community’s numbers are the highest—about a million, according to most estimates—its members are denied citizenship and land. They also live on the fringes of society in India and ... Read More »

Australia offers to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar

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Exclusive: Rohingya sent to detention island in Papua New Guinea pressured to return to Myanmar, where thousands have fled ethnic persecution Oliver Holmes and Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority. Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

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Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: UN sees ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar

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The security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, the UN human rights chief says. BBC Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the “cruel military operation” in Rakhine state. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted there late last month. The military says it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians. The violence began on 25 August when the Rohingya militants ... Read More »

Avoiding detention of stateless persons: UNHCR’s new tool for identification and enhanced protection of stateless persons in detention

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When carrying out detention monitoring visits, monitors may come across persons whose statelessness situation has not been properly identified or not identified at all. Melanie Khanna European Network on Statelessness  Many of these persons generally do not possess identity documents or valid residence permits, or are unable to return to their country of origin, they can be at high risk of arrest and repeated and prolonged detention. To help prevent such situations, UNHCR developed – the tool “Stateless persons in ... Read More »

Massacre at Tula Toli: Rohingya recall horror of Myanmar army attack

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Exclusive: Villagers who fled attack and crossed border into Bangladesh recall seeing their family and neighbours killed by Oliver Holmes in Cox’s Bazar The Guardian It was the fast-flowing river that doomed the inhabitants of Tula Toli. Snaking around the remote village on three sides, the treacherous waters allowed Burmese soldiers to corner and hold people on the river’s sandy banks. Some were shot on the spot. Others drowned in the current as they tried to… Zahir Ahmed made a ... Read More »

What I saw when I went undercover

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The 21-year-old whistleblower at the immigration removal centre Callum Talley was so shocked by the chaos, violence and abuse he saw as a detainee custody officer in an immigration removal centre, he decided to become a whistleblower. Alison Holt BBC Putting on hidden cameras for a BBC Panorama investigation, the 21-year-old exposes a toxic, brutal and failing environment, where self-harm and drug abuse are commonplace. Ten staff and former staff have been suspended as a result of his allegations. Callum ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: Suu Kyi says ‘fake news helping terrorists’

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Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has claimed that the crisis in Rakhine state is being distorted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation”. BBC In her first comments on the latest Rohingya crisis, she said tensions were being fanned by fake news promoting the interests of terrorists. Ms Suu Kyi made the comments in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her office said. More than 123,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh in two weeks. The latest ... Read More »

Brutality of British immigration detention system laid bare

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An exposé of an immigration removal centre has uncovered shocking levels of violence and abuse directed at detainees awaiting potential deportation from the UK. Victoria Canning Monish Bhatia The Conversation While some staff at the Brook House centre for men near Gatwick Airport, run by the company G4S, tried to control the “chaos”, others were clearly seen mocking and assaulting detainees. In one incident caught on undercover camera as part of the BBC Panorama documentary, an ill and vulnerable man ... Read More »

In the pages of Kon’s notebooks, there are stories for all Australians

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In the pages of Kon’s notebooks, there are stories for all AustraliansThere are two notebooks. The covers are blue, and worn at the edges. One book is falling apart, the spine held together by tape. Both are 168 pages long, and each contains lists of names, one to a line, numbered and dated. Arnold Zable The Age The first entry, back in 2001, records the name of the first person who sought help from the newly-founded Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. ... Read More »

World leaders have failed refugees. Can ordinary citizens teach them a lesson?

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Two years ago an image of a little boy in a red T-shirt, face down on a Mediterranean beach, brought home the full horror of the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Europe’s shores. Charmain Mohamed World Economic Forum Alan Kurdi, from the Syrian town of Kobani, was just three years old when he, together with his mother and his older brother, drowned on the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece. While the crisis was not news, it briefly seemed that the ... Read More »

Tougher German Rules Leave Refugee Families in the Lurch

Portrait of Tabarak Karakouz, a 21 years old Syrian refugee, inside her home outskirts Tripoli.  Lebanon. She got married 3 years ago. Her husband is in Germany. Her daughter died. She spends all the day watching old pictures and dreaming with a better life with her husband in Europe. July 2017.  Diego Ibarra Sánchez / MeMo for DER SPIEGEL

Left Behind When German Chancellor Angela Merkel allowed hundreds of thousands of men into the country, many of the refugees believed they would be able to bring their families later. Now the rules have changed, and countless women and children are trapped in perilous situations. Katrin Elger and Asia Haidar Spiegel She stands at the window in a floor-length dress, with a blue headscarf, and looks out at the Mediterranean. A fan hums in the next room. Children play soccer ... Read More »

Violent evictions of refugees in Rome reveal inhumanity of modern democracy

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“If they throw something, break their arm,” a police officer was overhead on video saying to anti-riot police on August 24 who were running after refugees and migrants near Rome’s central train station. Mariangela Palladino The Conversation The migrants were gathering there after police violently removed a group who had been occupying the city’s Piazza Indipendenza. Five days earlier, when around 800 Eritrean and Ethiopian migrants and refugees were forcibly evicted from a nearby squat on via Curtatone, some emptied ... Read More »

Turkish Airlines pilot refuses to fly failed Kent asylum seeker

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A failed asylum seeker remains in the UK after the pilot of a plane on which he was to be deported to Afghanistan via Istanbul refused to fly him. ABC Samim Bigzad, 22, had been living in Ramsgate, Kent, after entering the UK illegally two years ago in order to join his father who was granted asylum. The Turkish Airlines pilot refused to fly Mr Bigzad when he became hysterical as he was put on the plane at Heathrow. He ... Read More »

Dutton should learn to live with lawyers helping in matters of life and death

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Mandatory detention and boat turn-backs have been proposed – and rejected – in the past. How have we moved from a humanitarian approach to this cruelty? Claire Higgins The Guardian <linkrel=”stylesheet”type=”text/css”href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/4c4e9fc6f6275cf538d9f9f274cb7afd/content.css”/> Lawyers who defend asylum seekers, the immigration minister believes, are ”un-Australian”. Peter Dutton is not the first minister to level criticism at asylum seeker advocates. But history shows that things could – and should – have turned out very differently. Speaking in the wake of news that the Turnbull ... Read More »