Refugees

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Australia’s human rights record attacked in global report for ‘serious shortcomings’

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Human Rights Watch criticises Indigenous incarceration rate, counter-terrorism laws and detention centre abuse Helen Davidson The Guardian The Australian government must act on the “serious shortcomings” in its human rights record if it wants to be a credible leader on the global stage, Human Rights Watch has said in its annual world report. The Australian chapter of the HRW world review said that despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, “Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems” ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s Austrian frenemy

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Sebastian Kurz is the leader many German conservatives wish they had By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Angela Merkel pursed her lips and smirked. “Many people in your own ranks are excited about the Austrian chancellor, who is young, dynamic, direct, out of the ordinary,” a German journalist said to Merkel Wednesday as she stood next to Austria’s political boy wonder. “Is this the type of politician that’s missing here?” At 63, Merkel is twice as old as Sebastian Kurz, the new ... Read More »

Deadly ‘long-lost disease’ diphtheria rages through Rohingya camps

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In a makeshift bamboo clinic, small children struggle to draw breath through surgical masks, victims of a forgotten but deadly disease that has torn through the teeming Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. UKHIA, Bangladesh Hurriyet Diphtheria had been all but eradicated in Bangladesh until last year, when more than 650,000 Rohingya poured across the border fleeing a bloody military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar. Packed into an area meant for a much smaller number of refugees and with little sanitation or ... Read More »

Understanding the Global Refugee Crisis: A Tale of 3 Myths

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The refugee problem is universal and growing; it needs to be addressed clearly. Arie Kruglanski The National Interest According to UN sources, we are witnessing these days the largest refugee crisis since World War II, as approximately 65 million refugees roam the planet in search of a safe haven and a respite from bedlam. Their massive relocation sends tremors across continents fomenting a “refugee crisis,” and fueling the politics of fear across the globe. I recently returned from a visit to Uganda where I ... Read More »

Sanctions, refugees and the marginalised: Iran uprisings are Australia’s concern too

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Tehran’s response to this week’s anti-government protests in Iran has been harsh and reminiscent of the state response to the post-election uprising of 2009 Omid Tofighian ABC Back then, Iranians contested the re-election of former ultra-conservative president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by taking to the streets in support of reformist candidate Mir-Hussein Mousavi, and decrying election fraud. A key difference this time around is that the leader of Iran’s reformist movement — former president Seyyed Mohammad Khatami — has joined centrist President ... Read More »

Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.

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You can be sure that this weekend at the Golden Globes, Hollywood celebrities, not exactly known for their independent thinking, will turn the red carpet into a #MeToo moment replete with designer duds. Daphne Merkin The New York Times Many have promised to wear black dresses to protest the stream of allegations against industry moguls and actors. Perhaps Meryl Streep will get grilled — again — about what she knew about Harvey Weinstein. The rest of us will diligently follow ... Read More »

Israel: African migrants told to leave or face imprisonment

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The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment BBC The migrants will be given up to $3,500 (£2,600) for leaving within the next 90 days. They will be given the option of going to their home country or third countries. If they do not leave, the Israeli authorities have threatened that they will start jailing them from April. The UN refugee agency said the controversial plan violated international and ... Read More »

When it comes to refugees, Abbott, Turnbull, Morrison and Dutton are hypocrites

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They claim to be Christians but seem to forget the fundamental tenets of its teaching: compassion and treating others as you would want to be treated Julian Burnside The Guardian Ιn 1974 the parliament passed the Trade Practices Act which, by section 52, decreed that a corporation should not “engage in conduct which is misleading or deceptive”. But parliamentarians are not subject to similar restrictions. We accept without questioning that norms of conduct, which parliamentarians set for commerce, do not ... Read More »

Italy’s ‘minister of fear’

TOPSHOT - A migrant tries to board a boat of the German NGO Sea-Watch in the Mediterranean Sea on November 6, 2017.
During a shipwreck, five people died, including a newborn child. According to the German NGO Sea-Watch, which has saved 58 migrants, the violent behavior of the Libyan coast guard caused the death of five persons.

 / AFP PHOTO / Alessio Paduano        (Photo credit should read ALESSIO PADUANO/AFP/Getty Images)

Interior Minister Marco Minniti credits his ‘desert diplomacy’ with stopping the flow of migrants to Italy. By GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico To his admirers, Marco Minniti, Italy’s powerful interior minister, is the mastermind who solved Europe’s migration problem. To his critics, he’s the unscrupulous architect of a secret deal with North African militias and thus responsible for severe human rights violations of refugees trapped in Libyan detention centers. Since he took office in December 2016, the 61-year-old former communist from Calabria, ... Read More »

Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely to receive schooling in 2018

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A humanitarian organisation has warned of a “lost generation” with more than 500,000 Rohingya refugee children in Bangladesh unlikely to receive schooling in 2018. AlJazeera The International Rescue Committee (IRC) said unless interventions are “urgently funded”, the humanitarian needs of children will only increase. “Education in emergencies is a life-saving and life-changing intervention – helping children recover and cope with the continuing adversity they face,” said Sarah Smith, the… “This is incredibly urgent for Rohingya children; no… Rohingya: 500,000 unlikely… Read More »

‘This republic breaks all borders’: a dialogue with Behrouz Boochani on Manus

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I have known Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani since 2014. Arnold Zable He fled Iran in fear for his safety as an advocate for Kurdish rights and culture. The Age He has been detained on Manus Island since August 2013. Over the years we have often discussed his predicament, and how it has changed the way he views the world. Behrouz combines political insight with philosophical reflection, but at heart he is an artist: a writer and poet with an eye for both ... Read More »

Myanmar: UN human rights investigator barred from entering country amid Rohingya crisis

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The UN independent investigator into human rights in Myanmar has called for stronger international pressure to be exerted on Myanmar’s military commanders after being barred from visiting the country for the rest of her… ABC Reuters Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur, had been due to visit in January to assess human rights across Myanmar, including alleged abuses against Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. But Myanmar had told her she was no longer welcome, she said, adding in a statement that ... Read More »

Tamil asylum seeker to be deported after failing to meet deadline

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Detainee struggled to fill out 41-page application form in English – and was not able to access legal assistance in time Ben Doherty The Guardian A Tamil asylum seeker has become the first person slated for deportation – without having his claim for protection even assessed – after falling foul of the ministerial deadline of 1 October to apply. The man, who has been given the pseudonym Rajah because he remains at risk of being deported, was placed in handcuffs ... Read More »

Human Rights Of Those Detained By Australia On Manus Have Been Breached, PNG Court Rules

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“This will cost the Australian government, politically and financially,” advocates say. Gina Rushton BuzzFeed Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ruled the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers detained by the Australian government on Manus Island have been breached. The court found in April last year that asylum seekers were illegally detained on Manus Island but it has now dismissed an attempt by the PNG government to stop the detainees making compensation claims for…<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/static-assets/css/enhanced.dae4f976df2b092a196fc7f20d2a0912.css”> Refugee Action Coalition ... Read More »

Calls to adopt child abuse inquiry’s recommendations on immigration detention

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Government urged to implement child safety standards after royal commission makes several recommendations relating to immigration department Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty The Guardian The federal government must immediately heed recommendations by the royal commission to protect children currently in its immigration detention system, human rights lawyers have said. On Friday the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse delivered its final report, primarily focused on religious institutions and state-based care homes – many of which have long… ... Read More »