Asylum Seekers

Bavaria’s man in Berlin pushes Merkel to brink

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and leader of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) prepares to take an elevator during a day of wrangling at the Bundestag between the CSU and the German Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is at odds with Seehofer over migration policy. While Merkel wants a European-wide approach to migration, Seehofer is insisting that Germany be able to unilaterally turn away asylum seekers when they first reach the German border should they not meet asylum criteria.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Horst Seehofer puts home state election first in clash with chancellor. Janosch Delcker Politico BERLIN — Horst Seehofer may be Germany’s interior minister but he’s doing Bavaria’s bidding. The 68-year-old’s career looked to be on the slide when he was ousted as premier of the southern state at the end of last year. Yet he is center stage once again after pushing Angela Merkel’s government into crisis with his plan to toughen Germany’s asylum policies. By threatening to implement his plan even without Merkel’s ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

Asylum seekers are now political pawns in a disharmonious EU

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The fate of the Aquarius, a Doctors without Borders rescue ship left stranded for hours in the Mediterranean carrying 629 African migrants, is a stark reminder of the EU’s ongoing stalemate on asylum policy. Ruvi Ziegler The Conversation The new Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, ordered ports to refuse docking to the ship, prompting a rhetorical revolt by several Italian mayors. Malta also refused docking, claiming that the rescue occurred in the Italian search and rescue zone. As the ship’s ... Read More »

The legality of off-shore detention

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In 2002 Australia, along with more than 80 other nations, acceded to the Rome statute by which the International Criminal Court was created.  The court is the first permanent court ever established with jurisdiction to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators and regardless of the place where the offences occurred. Julian Burnside John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations As part of the process of implementing the International Criminal Court ... Read More »

Italy’s Matteo Salvini shuts ports to migrant rescue ship

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A rescue ship carrying 629 migrants is stranded in the Mediterranean after Italy’s new interior minister refused permission for it to dock. BBC Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League party, promised during Italy’s recent general election to take a tough stance against migration. He says Malta should accept the Aquarius, but it refused, arguing that it falls under Italy’s jurisdiction. Italy is the main entry for migrants crossing from North Africa to Europe. German charity SOS Méditerranée says the ... Read More »

Dying refugee on Nauru barred from coming to Australia for palliative care

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Border force tells 63-year-old with advanced lung cancer he can go to Taiwan or return to Afghanistan Ben Doherty The Guardian A dying Afghan refugee held on Nauru will not be allowed to come to Australia for palliative care. The Australian Border Force has told 63-year-old Ali*, who is suffering advanced lung cancer, he is deemed to have “refused treatment” because he declined to be moved to Taiwan to die. He told the ABF he did not want to go to Taiwan because he ... Read More »

Bavaria plans tougher approach to asylum-seekers in Germany

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Bavarian State Premier Markus Söder has unveiled new measures to speed up the asylum process and deport rejected applicants. Christoph Hasselbach DW He believes the rest of Germany should follow his lead. With Bavaria’s elections only a few months away, State Premier Markus Söder of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) is advocating a tougher stance on asylum-seekers. The CSU, which has traditionally dominated Bavarian politics, fears large numbers of voters could turn their backs on the party and support the far-right ... Read More »

Syrian refugees in America: The forgotten psychological wounds of the stress of migration

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War in Syria and the refugee crisis have been the subject of a heated debate in United States politics, leading to a travel ban and drastic reduction in the number refugees to the U.S. this year. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation We occasionally hear about brutal deaths and starvation of civilians in Syria from the news, as a far concept happening in another world. This is a group of people who may justifiably feel betrayed by the world. But what do ... Read More »

A plea from Nauru: ‘No one can understand the conditions here’ – video

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Nauru A refugee held in offshore immigration detention speaks about her experiences on Christmas Island and Nauru that have left her ‘helpless and broken’. She pleads with the Australian public for more compassionate treatment instead of a ‘clenched fist’ The Guardian Video Read More »

Super Saturday: Greens attack Josh Wilson over offshore detention

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Greens Fremantle candidate Dorinda Cox has attacked Labor’s Josh Wilson over his party’s support for the offshore detention of asylum seekers, accusing him of lacking compassion after a… Nathan Hondros WAtoday Ms Cox urged Mr Wilson to support closing offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru and “bring the refugees to Australia”. “I know Fremantle,” Ms Cox said. “This is a progressive and caring community and we are absolutely horrified by the organised suffering going on in offshore camps that ... Read More »

Biloela residents bring fight to return ‘loved’ asylum seeker family home to Q&A panel

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At dawn on March 5, Nadesalingam and Priya and their two Australian born daughters were taken from their home in Biloela and placed into custody by Border Force officials. Rebeka Powell ABC Almost three months later, the family remains in a detention centre in Melbourne. Now Biloela locals Marie and Margot have made a public plea on Q&A to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, to allow the family to stay in Australia. “Our town loved this ... Read More »

Pacific Solution has become a mess for Coalition and a point of division for Labor

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It’s more than passingly ironic that the newly elected Member for Batman, Ged Kearney, espouses the principle of solidarity in her maiden speech to parliament. Roman Quaedvlieg Brisbane Times It’s no surprise that the accomplished former trade unionist would echo the rallying call of the Labor movement in her first formal utterances in the house, however she would do well to heed her own call in Labor’s approach to the vexed issue of border protection. Her speech, following the familiar ... Read More »

Victorian Labor urged to back calls for an end to offshore processing, bring Manus and Nauru detainees to Australia

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Victorian Labor delegates will be urged to end offshore processing and bring refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia. Lucy Barbour ABC The “urgency motion” to be debated at a state ALP conference this weekend, obtained by the ABC, calls for Labor to “close the offshore detention centres, transit centres and other camps on Manus and Nauru within the first 90 days” of a Shorten government. It goes on to propose that Labor should “bring all ... Read More »

Asylum seekers ‘face destitution’ as income support and housing cut off

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Refugee advocates describe cuts, which will affect up to 100 people, as ‘calculated cruelty to vulnerable people’ Helen Davidson The Guardian The federal government is taking away income support and housing from up to 100 refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru who are currently in Australia for medical treatment. The group, which includes families, elderly people and pregnant women, are among the more than 400 known as the “Let Them Stay” group, and the more than 260 that were party ... Read More »

The Long Haul Ahead for Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugee Crisis

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More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from brutal military operations in Myanmar are stuck in Bangladesh, with returns to Myanmar unlikely soon and Bangladeshi goodwill being tested. ICG In Myanmar, international partners must be allowed access to northern Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, donors must help both refugees and their local hosts. What’s new? Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s brutal military operations in Rakhine State to Bangladesh, joining tens of thousands who left earlier in 2017. The two ... Read More »

Manus Island detention horrors hidden to ‘numb public into submission’: lawyer

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Award-winning Australian human rights lawyer Daniel Webb says there has been a “deliberate” ploy on both sides of politics to “numb the public into submission” and hide the horrors of offshore detention from their view. inkl The Australian-funded detention centres in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and Nauru have made multiple headlines over the past fortnight as conditions worsen. Hollywood star Russell Crowe called Manus “a nation’s shame” and said the cruelty it inflicted on its inhabitants was “f***ing disgraceful”. ... Read More »