Humanity

Julian Burnside: “NZ a moral superpower on Manus”

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There’s been a plea to refocus attention on the ethics at the heart of the Manus Island refugee crisis Newstalk ZB Staff , Audio Australia’s immigration minister has confirmed the refugees have all left the Papua New Guinea detention centre, after police moved in yesterday to clear them out Australian civil liberties lawyer Julian Burnside, QC, told Larry Williams New Zealand is the moral super power in our part of the world. He’s suggesting we look to history, to gain clarity ... Read More »

Myanmar and Bangladesh strike a shameful deal on Rohingya refugees

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Many Rohingya people who have fled the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar are now living as refugees in Bangladesh Rosa Freedman The Conversation And now, the two countries have reportedly struck a deal to return them home. Returning Rohingya people to the hands of their persecutors not only violates international law, but raises fundamental questions about how the world protects those fleeing the most heinous crimes and abuses. This deal comes just days after Ratko Mladic was sentenced to life imprisonment ... Read More »

Kim Kardashian, Rihanna throw support behind jailed teen Cyntoia Brown

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The story of a 16-year-old girl who in 2004 killed a man who picked her up for sex is spreading around the world, after a number of high-profile celebrities joined a campaign to free her. ABC Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison over the killing of 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen. Allen picked her up off the street after she was forced into sex work by her boyfriend, a pimp who went by the name “Kutthroat” ... Read More »

Boochani arrest is an attack on press freedom

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MEAA, the union for Australian media workers, stands in solidarity with Iranian-Kurdish journalist and regular contributor to Australian publications, Behrouz Boochani, who has reportedly been arrested today on Manus Island. MEAA Chief Executive Paul Murphy said Boochani appeared to have been deliberately targeted by Papua New Guinea police in today’s crackdown because of his high-profile as a journalist reporting from inside the detention centre. “Behrouz has been one of the main sources of factual information about conditions inside the Manus ... Read More »

‘Slow, painful death’ of Yazidi woman’s body and soul while enslaved by the Islamic State

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The Islamic State’s attempt to exterminate the Yazidi people of Iraq did not involve only murder Alia Malek When the militants swept through the north of the country after taking Mosul in the summer of 2014, they executed the religious minority group’s men and elderly women. The Washington Post The children and the other women they took captive. They brainwashed and conscripted the young boys and turned the women and girls into sexual slaves. This enslavement was justified by edicts ... Read More »

What Paul Keating And Tony Abbott Misunderstand About Voluntary Euthanasia

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They have it wrong in a very big way. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s extraordinary claim that warned against voluntary euthanasia has been debunked as unfounded. Luke Cooper HuffPost In October in the same week a controversial assisted dying bill was debated in Victoria’s lower house of Parliament, Keating argued euthanasia was a “slippery slope” — A claim which just doesn’t stack up. In a Fairfax opinion piece Keating claimed that “the experience of overseas jurisdictions suggests the pressures for ... Read More »

Victoria poised to become first Australian state to legalise assisted dying after historic vote

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Assisted dying bill passes upper house, paving the way for it to be confirmed by lower house and passed into law Gay Alcorn The Guardian Victoria is on the verge of becoming the first Australian state to legalise voluntary assisted dying, after the upper house finally approved the right of terminally ill people to request assistance to end their lives. The historic bill was passed by 22 votes to 18 after a gruelling and often bitter all-night debate. The chamber began ... Read More »

How spending time in city parks helps asylum seekers to feel at home

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Across Europe, unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers are currently waiting for a decision on their refugee status Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek Clare Rishbeth  Unable to legally work or study, and with very limited funds, many of them feel as though they’re in a state of limbo; like their lives have been put on hold. The Conversation With shrinking public sector funding, there are even fewer resources available to help asylum seekers in this position. But now, new research shows that urban parks ... Read More »

‘I cannot leave my neighbour hungry’: support for refugees from priest and major on Manus

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Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh are defying both the PNG and Australian governments Ben Doherty The Guardian Τhe major and the father seek salvation for the refugees of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Two Manusian men – Catholic priest Father Clement Taulam and retired army major Michael Kuweh – are defying the PNG and Australian governments in calling for assistance for the refugees and asylum seekers on Manus, and for a peaceable solution to the ... Read More »

Humanity in the age of neo-cynicism

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What keeps societies from falling apart is their members’ spontaneous and unforced compliance with unwritten laws, with principles that they do not even have to be reminded of in order to adhere to. Pantelis Boukalas ekathimerini Values such as solidarity, altruism and hospitality may be set out in charters or schoolbooks. But that is of little consequence if it is not in a person to empathize with a stranger’s suffering. And when we say empathize, we mean standing by another ... Read More »

Suu Kyi takes a populist, paranoid turn

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Myanmar de facto leader conflated illegal migration with terrorism in a keynote speech, adding her voice to the Islamophobia that has justified persecution of the Rohingya DAVID SCOTT MATHIESON Asia Times Myanmar’s increasingly internationally maligned de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi signaled a neo-populist turn in her speech on Monday to the Asia Europe Foreign Ministers (ASEM) meeting held at Naypyitaw. Echoing similar statements from Islamophobic populist leaders in Europe, the United States and Australia, Suu Kyi said, “conflicts around the ... Read More »

‘ISIS Opens Sex-Slave Market in Turkey’s Capital’

Haifa, a 36-year-old woman from Iraq's Yazidi community who was taken as a sex slave by Islamic State group fighters, stands on a street during an interview with AFP journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on November 17, 2016.
Haifa and her family were among thousands of members of the Yazidi minority shown no mercy by IS when it swept through areas north and west of the Iraqi capital in 2014. As the extremists advanced, they was singled out for especially cruel persecution in a campaign of violence and kidnapping which the United Nations has branded a genocide. Men were gunned down and thousands of women -- including Haifa and her younger sister -- were taken as sex slaves. / AFP / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

You may think ISIS’ demise in Iraq and Syria would mean an end to its sex-slave trading, but a new report says Islamic State has merely transferred its slave business into Turkey – including a market in Turkey’s capital Ankara. RAN MEIR  Clarion project This means ISIS is involved in the slavery industry in a European country. During its years of power in parts of Iraq and Syria, ISIS held slave markets both in private and public. With its loss ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

How a DNA revolution has decoded the origins of our humanity

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Mapping the genomes of our ancestors has allowed scientists to uncover secrets and discover new mysteries in our evolution Robin McKie, Observer science editor The Guardian cientists made a remarkable discovery at Trou Al’Wesse in Belgium earlier this year. Inside a cave that overlooks the Hoyoux river they found clear evidence it had been occupied by Neanderthals tens of thousands of years ago. Yet the cave contained no skull fragments, no teeth – nor any other skeletal remains of this extinct species ... Read More »

Varadkar’s homeless comments reveal his true colours

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The Taoiseach has betrayed a lack of empathy that is matched only by his contempt for our intelligence Áine Carroll The Irish Times  Controversy has erupted after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stood over his claim that “Ireland has one of the lowest homelessness (rates) by international standards compared with our peers.” He continued by saying, “[I]t is a good thing in Ireland, that we have a low level of homelessness compared to our peer countries”, quickly followed by, “but what’s better ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

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More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »