Detainees on Nauru may have been ‘released’, but they are not free

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News of the Nauruan government’s decision to turn its Australian-funded detention centre into an “open centre” started circulating among detainees on Sunday afternoon. Their immediate response was one of deep anxiety and foreboding. The Conversation – Suvendrini Perera * and Joseph Pugliese * A wave of fear swept through the women in the camp in particular. Several immediately turned to the thought of ending their lives as the only option. Despite Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s spin, the undeniable truth is ... Read More »

EU leaders ask Erdoğan to back radical refugee plan

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Turkish president will extract high price for agreeing to proposals to tighten up Europe’s borders hatched by Germany and the EC The Guardian – Ian Traynor in Brussels EU leaders have pleaded with Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to join forces behind a radical plan aimed at stemming the flow of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants to Europe. The Europeans are offering eventually to take half a million Syrians from new refugee and asylum-processing camps they would ... Read More »

Refugee raped on Nauru begs Malcolm Turnbull to let her come to Australia for an abortion

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A 23-year-old “vulnerable and traumatised” Somali woman who was raped on Nauru is pleading with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to allow her to come to Australia to have an abortion. The Sydney Morning Herald – Latika Bourke, National political reporter The woman, “Abyan” (not her real name) is one of two female Somali refugees who have requested help from Australia after being raped on the island. Last week the ABC’s 7.30 broadcast distressing footage of the other victim, a 26-year-old woman ... Read More »

Europe’s Reality Check

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Until a few weeks ago, Europeans believed they lived in a kind of sanctuary, insulated from the world’s current conflicts. Certainly, the news and images of drowned migrants were dreadful; but the tragedy occurring south of Italy, Greece, and Malta, seemed a long way off. By Joschka Fischer Syria’s brutal civil war, which has been raging for years, seemed even farther away. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad deployed poison gas and later barrel bombs filled with nails and metal fragments against ... Read More »

Resettlement delay putting Manus Island asylum seekers at risk, causing social problems, officials say

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Authorities on Manus Island say delays in resettling asylum seekers is leading to social unrest, including marijuana dealing, excessive drinking and prostitution. ABC – The World Today By PNG correspondent Eric Tlozek Police and the island’s local government said the temporary placement of about 50 refugees on the island was causing problems because there was no timeline for their permanent resettlement elsewhere in Papua New Guinea. “Once they don’t know how long they will be here on Manus for, they ... Read More »

The Two Faces Of Greece’s Response To The Refugee Crisis

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Greeks have a mixed response to migrants and refugees. HuffPost Greece – By Angeliki Kougiannou ATHENS, Greece — The two pictures above were shot on the same day in the Greek capital. They could well carry the title “before and after.” The photo on the left was taken by SOOC photographer Alexandros Michailidis in Victoria Square, where many migrants and refugees stop before continuing their journey across Europe toward a better life. It’s a photo like countless others, depicting the despair of people ... Read More »

Aust refugee record ‘risks rights seat bid’

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Australia’s recent treatment of asylum seekers could cruel its bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council, the nation’s top rights watchdog warns. But Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs concedes Australia does have a long history of leading on human rights issues. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop launched Australia’s first bid to join the 47 members of the council for a 2018-20 term while she was in New York for the UN’s General Assembly. Australia would use ... Read More »

Simshar: Malta’s first Oscar contender a harrowing tale of high-sea drama

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Trailer: Simshar Video ””” Based on astonishing true events, ‘Simshar’ tells two parallel stories of survival at sea which unravel on and around the Maltese islands.””” The Age – Philippa Hawker, Film and arts writer When it comes to movie-making, Malta has blockbuster connections. Hollywood comes calling because it’s an ideal location for films set in the ancient world – Gladiator, Troy, Alexander – and there is a huge water tank available for movies that have dramatic ocean scenes. But ... Read More »

How you can offer a home to a refugee

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Refugees welcome in the bush Video Could in the extra intake of refugees from Syria be a boon for regional areas? Nationals MP Andrew Broad gives his view. The Age – Michael Short, Journalist As millions of refugees are displaced across the world, many Australians have been left asking what they can do to help. As pictures of a small boy dead on a beach left us heartbroken and governments struggled with a political solution to an overwhelmingly problem, some ... Read More »

Magistrate resigns after paying destitute asylum seeker’s court fine

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Nigel Allcoat says he contributed £40 because court was at an impasse due to mounting charges imposed on man who could not work in the UK The Guardian – Jessica Elgot A senior magistrate who pulled £40 from his own shirt pocket to pay the court fine for a destitute asylum seeker has resigned his position, after being suspended by authorities for the good deed. Professional organist Nigel Allcoat, a magistrate for 15 years, said he was despairing at the ... Read More »

Turkey’s Refugee Scam

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Turkish government allows African migrants easy access to Europe’s borders. FrontPageMag – Stephen Brown As if Europe’s refugee burden wasn’t crushing enough, the British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, reported recently that Turkey is deliberately adding fuel to the spreading fire. According to the Telegraph, the European Union border agency, Frontex, is claiming that Turkey is responsible for an upsurge in African migrants illegally crossing the Turkish border into the Balkans. The agency noted “a threefold increase in Africans” arriving by ... Read More »

Rape allegations show Nauru too dangerous: refugee advocates

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There are renewed reports of violence and sexual assault on Nauru with a Somali refugee alleging she was raped by two men on the island last month. SBS – Audio The woman’s allegations were aired in Australia last night – by lunchtime today there were reports she had received death threats for going public. A 26 year-old Somali refugee recorded her own harrowing cries for help after the alleged assault and provided them to the ABC. “I listen your shout ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: What sort of country are we?

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This piece is based on the 2015 Hamer Oration, delivered by Julian Burnside on September 28, 2015. The Conversation – Julian Burnside, Adjunct Professor, Australian Catholic University  Disclosure statement: Julian Burnside is a patron of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He does not accept any fees when acting for asylum seekers, and any offers of payment for other services in this area are politely declined. It was with some surprise that I found myself engaged in such a hotly political ... Read More »

Malcolm Turnbull’s conundrum: stop the brutalising but don’t start the boats

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PM urged to fix ‘weeping sore’ of Manus, Nauru detention Did Abbott stop the boats? New analysis casts doubt Special report: Inside life on Manus Island Malcolm Turnbull is confronting two ugly realities as he responds to his own instinct and the pressure of others to end the suffering of asylum seekers in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru. The Sydney Morning Herald – Michael Gordon The first is that Australia is spending almost a billion dollars a year to ... Read More »

Transfield Services to change name to Broadspectrum as founders sever ties

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Transfield Services will ask investors to approve a name change to Broadspectrum Limited at its annual meeting in October, after its founding family withdrew its rights to use the Transfield name earlier in 2015. The Sydney Morning Herald – Jenny Wiggins and Michael Smith The name change comes as Transfield Holdings, a privately held company owned by the sons of Transfield’s founder Franco Belgiorno-Nettis, seeks to distance itself from Transfield Services because of the controversy over the company’s detention centre contracts on Nauru ... Read More »

Right-wing newspapers are leading anti-refugee agenda, but politicians should know better.

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A week ago, David Cameron capitulated to humanitarian rather than political instinct. Twenty thousand places in Britain are to be offered to Syrian refugees over the next five years. From a leader who had previously called off boat rescues in the Mediterranean, possibly allowing hundreds of migrants to die unnecessarily, this was gob-smacking generosity. For anyone with a heart, it was gesture politics. MEM – Alastair Sloan This was only partly a response to public pressure. According to a BBC ... Read More »