Asylum Seekers

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 »

Churches offer sanctuary to asylum seekers affected by welfare crackdown

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Australia’s Christian churches are offering sanctuary to 100 asylum seekers caught up in a Government welfare crackdown affecting those who were originally transported to Australia for medical treatment. Lexy Hamilton-Smith ABC Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has said those whose treatment had been finalised would no longer receive financial assistance from the Government. The asylum seekers have been meeting with Immigration officials over the last two days to discuss cuts to their assistance. However, if they can find a way to ... Read More »

‘Extraordinary attack’: Lawyers angry at Peter Dutton’s ‘Un-Australian’ remark

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The Law Council of Australia has labelled as “truly extraordinary” the Immigration Minister’s remarks about lawyers representing asylum seekers. Rashida Yosufzai SBS  The nation’s peak legal body has hit out at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for claiming lawyers who represent certain asylum seekers are un-Australian. Mr Dutton’s comments around the issue came while discussing the federal government’s plans to kick off dozens of asylum seekers brought to Australia for medical treatment off welfare and social housing. In an intervew with ... Read More »

Tamie Fraser to continue legacy of late husband and former Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser

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The ASRC is thrilled to announce that Tamie Fraser, widow of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, stands beside us as a Patron. Mr Fraser, who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Australia between 1975 and 1983, was himself an active ASRC patron until his death in March 2015 (and he is still honoured as a Patron now). Mrs Fraser has long been an advocate for the rights of people seeking asylum, and a critic of offshore detention and other ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs labels Turnbull government ‘disgraceful’, accuses it of peddling ‘alternative facts’

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Gillian Triggs has unloaded on the Turnbull government, labelling its actions “disgraceful”, and accusing it of abusing executive power and manipulating the truth. Eryk Bagshaw The Age In her first public speech since stepping down as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission in July, Professor Triggs attacked Coalition government ministers for interfering with the judicial system and for destroying the integrity of Parliament by peddling “alternative… ” A culture of post-truth has allowed politicians and Parliament to reject evidence ... Read More »

Governments that pay people smugglers should face legal action, Indonesia’s UNHCR rep says

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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) representative in Indonesia, Thomas Vargas, has warned people smugglers remain active in the region and said legal action should be taken against governments that make payments to smugglers. By Indonesia correspondent Samantha Hawley ABC An Australian official is alleged to have given six crew members $US30,000 ($37,000) to turn a boat carrying 65 asylum seekers back to Indonesia in May 2015. In an interview with the ABC, Mr Vargas said any nation that ... Read More »

Malta ‘denies’ Defend Europe anti-migrant boat

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Aid groups applaud Maltese government, saying snub sends ‘a clear message against the politics of hate and extremism’. Al Jazeera Malta has said a vessel carrying anti-migrant and anti-refugee activists was “not welcome”, allegedly denying the boat from docking on its shore. Far-right members of the Defend Europe group, who were aboard the C-Star vessel, said they were denied port access and a request for water sent out to the vessel, according to a statement on the group’s Facebook page. ... Read More »