Humanity

Secret recordings allege excessive force by guards in Australia’s detention centres

Leaked video and audio reveals tension as onshore detention centres become more like prisons and increasingly house people awaiting deportation Helen Davidson The Guardian Leaked video, audio and images have revealed allegations of excessive force and harassment inside Australia’s network of onshore detention centres. Last year the federal court overruled a ban on detainees having phones, which has allowed snippets of life inside the centres – long closed to media and cloaked in secrecy – to be recorded and leaked out. ... Read More »

Hagia Sophia might be reverted to a mosque, Erdoğan says

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday voiced the possibility of reverting the Hagia Sophia, which has been used as a museum since 1935 and is considered one of the world’s wonders, to a mosque. Daily Sabah “This is not unlikely. We might even change its name to Ayasofya Mosque,” Erdoğan said during a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TGRT. “This is not a strange proposal,” he said regarding the calls to convert the historical building to serve the purpose it ... Read More »

Mongolia: A toxic warning to the world

All over the world cities are grappling with apocalyptic air pollution but the small capital of Mongolia is suffering from some of the worst in the world. BBC And the problem is intrinsically linked to climate change. The country has already warmed by 2.2 degrees, forcing thousands of people to abandon the countryside and the traditional herding lifestyle every year for the smog-choked city where 90% of children are breathing toxic air every day. Population Reporter Stephanie Hegarty finds out ... Read More »

‘Nothing changed at all’ for ISIL sexual violence victims: Nobel laureate Nadia Murad

Despite finding widespread support globally, Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad has said she feels disappointed that none of the ISIL militants who raped and tortured Yazidiwomen have been… İpek İzci – ISTANBUL Hurriyet “I got e-mails from all over the world. Some people encourage me, some say that they embrace me and my people, some others offer help. I have been exhausted in the last two years. I work hard in the advocacy of vulnerable people, but nothing has changed at all. That makes me very upset,” she told daily ... Read More »

World’s tallest building lit up with image of Jacinda Ardern

The world’s tallest building has been lit up with a giant image of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern embracing a woman at the Kilbirnie mosque in Wellington. Joel MacManus The Sydney Morning Herald The Burj Khalifa, an 829-metre-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, beamed out a photo taken by Wellington photographer Hagen Hopkins, as well as the Arabic word “salam” and its English translation, “peace”. Sheik Mohammed, the prime minister and vice-president of the UAE, and ruler of ... Read More »

Chechen strongman silences last rights group

Ramzan Kadyrov has stabilized and rebuilt a ruined region, but citizens endure a harsh authoritarian rule. Giovanni Pigni Asia Times When I met human rights activist Oyub Titiev two years ago in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, I was investigating the propaganda tools used by the strongman leader of the republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, to promote his regime and… Titiev declined to be interviewed on the topic, saying information published by journalists had previously put members of his organization, Memorial, one ... Read More »

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

‘Do you mind if I give you a hug?’:

Waleed Aly and Jacinda Ardern embrace ahead of an emotional interview about the Christchurch mosque shootings after his tense debate with Scott Morrison. Mark Brook Daily Mail Waleed Aly and Jacinda Ardern have shared an emotional embrace ahead of a candid interview about the Christchurch mosque shootings. The Australian television presenter sat down with Ms Ardern in New Zealand to discuss the horrific terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers. In stark contrast to his fiery interview with ... Read More »

A Week On From The Christchurch Attack, Solidarity Is The Antidote To Race Hate

Denialism undermines our collective efforts to face down racism in all its forms – New Zealand shows we need international anti-racist solidarity Today is one week since the massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand. Baroness Chakrabarti HuffPost Once more Muslims and Jews the world over will assemble in prayer. Grief and recovery are surely partly about marking minutes, hours, days, weeks and years. It is also I think, about forging something new, strong, positive and enduring after the devastation. My mother ... Read More »

Condemnation of the assassination of Sergio Rojas in Costa Rica

Friends of the Earth Latin America and the Caribbean (ATALC) denounces and condemns the assassination of Sergio Rojas, an indigenous Costa Rican defender of Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the Bribri of Salitre territory in southern Costa Rica. Friends of the Earth International Throughout his life Sergio Rojas was unyielding in his fight for Indigenous Peoples’ autonomy and self-determination who took a stand against the land grabbers of communities’ territories. Sergio was murdered on the night of Monday 18th March at his home, in ... Read More »

Eminent Byzantinist Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr., Supporter of Armenian Studies, Dies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eminent Byzantinist and historian Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr. passed away on March 11 peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. Aram Arkun The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Vryonis wrote extensively on Byzantine, Balkan and Greek history. Secondarily, he contributed to the advancement of Armenology through his research in Byzantine history, his unwavering stand against shoddy scholarship and… Incongruously, or at least unexpectedly, combining a Southern twang and courtesy with ancient Greek aphorisms, Vryonis was witty and gregarious. ... Read More »

How a simple act of kindness from a stranger ended my career as a neo-Nazi

‘There was no defining moment that made me become a neo-Nazi – but there was one defining moment that made me stop,’ writes Tom Olsen who now helps police in Norway de-radicalise extremists. Source : SBS Insight Preview Above: Tom Olsen discusses the moment his neo-Nazi beliefs were challenged. Watch the full episode on On Demand. When news broke last week that a gunman had stormed a mosque in New Zealand, unlike most, I didn’t ask myself ‘How could someone do that?’ I ... Read More »

NT to pass new youth justice laws that contradict Don Dale findings

Northern Territory laws to clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and isolation on children Lorena Allam and Helen Davidson The Guardian The Northern Territory is set to pass controversial youth justice laws that clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and “separation” (isolation) on children in its two detention centres, Don Dale and Alice Springs. “This is about backing our frontline staff and their ability to make decisions under difficult circumstances,” the territory families minister, Dale Wakefield, ... Read More »

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database

When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Authors: The Conversation But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as “pagan” – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the… Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they carried ... Read More »

“Dear Prime Minister …”: An Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern

Dear Prime Minister Ardern, I am a 13-year-old Muslim girl from Australia and I would like to publicly share my appreciation with you. Summer Joyan ABC I belong to the generation that was born after 11 September 2001. I have never really contemplated how dark the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant language is that permeates Australian society, because it is all I have ever known. I guess I’ve become used to hearing political leaders use that same language. But then, after seeing ... Read More »