Asylum Seekers

Politics with Michelle Grattan: Kerryn Phelps on medical transfer numbers

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps, who set the ball rolling for the medical transfers legislation, says its passage is “a remarkable exercise in cooperation”. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Phelps says that of the about 1000 people on Manus and Nauru “around 70 people require urgent medical evacuation” and “another couple of hundred will require transfer but not as urgently”. She describes Scott Morrison’s proposal to reopen the Christmas Island detention facility as a “political statement”. “What we need to do is ... Read More »

Nine facts about the medical evacuation bill

With all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts Katharine Murphy The Guardian With the medical evacuations bill now cleared by the Senate, and with politicians coming off the long run with all kinds of misleading claims about what this package does, let’s spell out some basic facts. How do the medical evacuation procedures work? The new legislation sets out the conditions by which sick people on Nauru and Manus Island can ... Read More »

‘He’ll be killed’: Fears for UK asylum seekers threatened with deportation under alleged deal with Zimbabawe

Exclusive: ‘I’m shocked that they want to send me back to a place where all those terrible things are happening. I won’t be able to walk out of the airport terminal without being interrogated by the police. There will be brutal beatings. I won’t be spared’ May Bulman Independent Zimbabwean asylum seekers who were forced to attend meetings with officials from their home country have been threatened with removal, in a move believed to be part of an agreement to “repatriate” thousands of… At least two people who ... Read More »

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talks down threat to Coalition after loss in Parliament vote

The future of the Coalition’s hold on power is at risk with the Federal Government becoming the first to lose a vote on its own legislation in almost 80 years. By political reporter Brett Worthington ABC The majority of the crossbench and Labor joined forces in the House of Representatives to pass amendments to give doctors a greater say on refugee medical evacuations. But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has so far refused to buckle to calls for an early election ... Read More »

We don’t know how many asylum seekers are turned away at Australian airports

The immigration department doesn’t keep a record of how many people apply for asylum at Australian airports, and how many are turned away. Authors: The Conversation Documents released under Freedom of Information show a lack of accountability and oversight by Australian immigration officials with regard to people who request asylum at airports. This means the ultimate decision to admit or deny an asylum seeker entry into Australia rests with the Border Force official who interviews them. Without oversight, an asylum ... Read More »

Cave diving heroes call for Hakeem Al-Araibi’s release from Thai prison

The cave divers who rescued a Thai football team have written to Thailand’s prime minster asking him to free refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi from prison. SBS AAP Cave diving heroes and Australians of the Year Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen have joined the campaign to save refugee footballer Hakeem-al Araibi, writing to the prime minister of… According to the ABC a letter was sent a few days ago to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha asking him to consider freeing ... Read More »

When unaccompanied young asylum seekers turn 18, many face an immigration cliff edge

Every year, 2,000 to 3,000 children arrive in the UK alone, without parents or guardians, to seek asylum. Kelly Devenney The Conversation They are provided with an education, support from social workers and often live with foster families. If they aren’t granted refugee status upon arrival, they’re normally given a temporary period of leave to remain until they are 18. But as many of these children aren’t granted refugee status before they turn 18, they face an immigration cliff edge ... Read More »

‘Death is more merciful’: Manus detainee’s desperate plea amid ‘worsening’ medical crisis

Amnesty International has warned that the medical ‘crisis’ on Manus Island has reached “alarming” levels, as one long-term detainee says he’s losing hope of ever leaving. Heba Kassoua SBS Sudanese man Abdul-Aziz Adam has been held in Manus Island since 2013, but he said the conditions for refugees and asylum seekers in 2019 were the worst he’d experienced. He said access to mental health and medical services for refugees and asylum seekers on the island were “next to nothing”. Amnesty ... Read More »

Australia can’t be allowed to play politics with refugees’ lives any more

There is an urgent medical crisis on Nauru and Manus. It needs an urgent medical solution, not a political one Freya Dinshaw The Guardian I have seen up close how six years of abject hopelessness can viciously conquer a person’s body and mind to the point where they are a shadow of a human being. A man, barely in his 30s, left catatonic, unable to speak, unable to eat, wasting away in a bed. A woman attempting to take her ... Read More »

McGowan remains tight-lipped about refugee legislation despite removal of children

The government has finalised the removal of the last children from Nauru, as it battles to head off a parliamentary defeat on legislation to facilitate medical transfers from offshore. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Sunday: “There are now only four asylum seeker children on Nauru and they have all been approved for departure to the United States of… When parliament rose for its summer break a government filibuster had prevented amendments reaching ... Read More »

No kids on Nauru is a milestone worth marking – but it’s hardly one for the trophy cabinet

Within days, no refugee child will be left on the island of Nauru. That this is a milestone worth marking – or even celebrating – should be a shock and a shame. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times These kids and their families had been there more than five years. Two thousand days. It had been so long that many people here in Australia finally seemed to agree enough was enough. Peter Dutton has always proclaimed – rightly – that he didn’t ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani’s literary prize acceptance speech – full transcript

Asylum speaker accepts $125,000 Victorian premier’s literary prize via video from Manus Island, where he has been held for six years Behrouz Boochani The Guardian This is a transcript of the speech Behrouz Boochani delivered via video link on 31 January 2019 Behrouz Boochani wins Australia’s richest literary prize When I arrived at Christmas Island six years ago, an immigration official called me into the office and told me that they were going to exile me to Manus Island, a ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani wins $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature

The winner of this year’s $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature couldn’t be at the awards presentation on Thursday evening. Jason Steger The Sydney Morning Herald He was unavoidably detained elsewhere – on Manus Island, where he has been incarcerated for more than five years. Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani’s​ poetic memoir, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (translated by Omid Tofighian), not only won Australia’s richest writing prize, but also the $25,000 non-fiction prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Samos: grim winter leads to protests by refugees living in limbo on Greek island

As winter took its toll in January on the Aegean island of Samos, the refugee population stuck there have held peaceful protests against their conditions. But tensions are rising. Authors: The Conversation The weather on Samos, a Greek island off the Turkish coast, is chaotic and ever changing. When we were there in July 2018, we experienced temperatures in the high 30s with limited protection from the sun and the heat. Now, the winter weather alternates from freezing cold, to ... Read More »

‘Children are the real victims of conflict’

The global refugee crisis through the lens of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen Words: Argyro Vourdoumpa, SBS Greek | Production: John Dexter  Jordanian photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen aims to bring to life the stories of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, as well as the challenges they face settling in new countries. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been documenting refugee crises across the Middle East, Asia and Europe for over a decade. “Not everyone is aware of what is happening in our world,” Muheisen ... Read More »