Refugees

Rohingya Recount Atrocities: ‘They Threw My Baby Into a Fire’

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COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh — Hundreds of women stood in the river, held at gunpoint, ordered not to move. Jeffrey Gettleman A pack of soldiers stepped toward a petite young woman with light brown eyes and delicate cheekbones. The New York Times  Her name was Rajuma, and she was standing chest-high in the water, clutching her baby son, while her village in Myanmar burned down behind her. “You,” the soldiers said, pointing at her. She froze. “You!” She squeezed her baby ... Read More »

George Brandis slaps down Peter Dutton over ‘un-Australian’ lawyers attack

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Australia’s first law officer has delivered a sharp rebuke to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and reminded government ministers of the need to respect the rule of law and authority of the courts In a Sunday night speech to the International Bar Association in Sydney that initially flew under-the-radar, Attorney-General George Brandis delivered a full-throated defence of the rule of law and the legal profession. James Massola The Sydney Morning Herald While he did not name Mr Dutton, Senator Brandis’ comments have been interpreted as a repudiation of his cabinet colleague, who ... Read More »

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee

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TORONTO — He arrived in Toronto, an exhausted 16-year-old, carrying nothing but a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes. As a Somali, he applied for asylum and was jettisoned into adulthood. Catherine Porter The New York Times  He registered for high school, learned to cook and landed his first job all on his own. Over the next 25 years, he put himself through college and law school, worked his way up from pouring coffee to advising one ... Read More »

As Europe’s focus shifts to integration, the humanitarian refugee crisis is still not over

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Hellinikon Olympic Park looks like yet another derelict and forgotten space – sad but unsurprising, given how often Olympic venues fall into disrepair and abandonment. Gemma Nird Amanda Russell Beattie Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik Patrecja Rozbicka The Conversation But this baseball stadium on the outskirts of Athens is the site of a very different story. In 2015, the abandoned park – which had been built on the site of an old airport – was repurposed to house refugees entering Athens along with ... Read More »

British captain honoured for rescuing 907 refugees in Mediterranean

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Captain Jamie Wilson’s crew found two dead children during harrowing rescue operations A British sailor has been honoured for helping rescue more than 900 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Lizzie Dearden  The Independent  Jamie Wilson is the captain of a commercial ship that was checking a pipeline off the coast of Libya when it was drafted to rescue nine overcrowded migrant dinghies over a… Neither he nor his ship’s crew had any previous experience of search and rescue work but ... Read More »

Manus Island: PNG authorities stop refugees leaving centre to give evidence in compensation case

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Papua New Guinea authorities have stopped two refugees from Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island from travelling to Port Moresby to give evidence in the Supreme Court. By Papua New Guinea correspondent Eric Tlozek ABC Behrouz Boochani and Aziz Adam were summonsed to appear in a compensation case against the PNG Government, which was found to have illegally detained the men on Manus Island between 2013 and 2016. But security staff at the island’s airport said the men did ... Read More »

Donald Trump: US to slash refugee intake to 45,000

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The Trump administration has defended its decision to sharply curtail the number of refugees allowed into the United States to 45,000 next year, as global humanitarian groups decried the move and said the number was far too low. ABC The 45,000 cap, to be formally announced by President Donald Trump in the coming days, reflects the maximum the US will admit during the fiscal year that starts on Sunday (local time), although the actual number allowed could be far lower. ... Read More »

Grattan on Friday: Careful, Mr Dutton, Donald Trump might hear you

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It’s the tiniest start. But the first offshore refugees leaving Papua New Guinea and Nauru for the US this week represented a new life for more than 50 people and a glimmer of hope for others. Michelle Grattan  The Conversation So it was a nasty, jarring note when Immigration Minister Peter Dutton marked their departure with a derogatory spray. Dutton, appearing in his regular spot with 2GB’s Ray Hadley was asked about a newspaper photo of departees from PNG, which ... Read More »

Courageous quests: Keats, art and refugees

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The great sensualist Romantic poet John Keats arrived in Rome in late 1820 with his friend, painter Joseph Severn This was not to be a grand tour of Italy in the typical sense. Amanda Frances Johnson  The Conversation Fortune did not smile on Keats’s lungs or his bank balance; one year later he was dead. Passionate letters from sweetheart Fanny Brawne lay unopened and were buried with him, as he requested, in the tranquil oasis of the English Cemetery in ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality

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The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Kevin Rudd * The New York Times Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental ... Read More »

What Awaits the Rohingya in Bangladesh?

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s moral conscience has seemingly taken a backseat to cold, hard politics. Michael Kugelman  The plight of the Rohingya community is truly one of the saddest stories of our times. The National Interest It is a tragic tale of perpetual persecution, major marginalization and mass migration. In Burma, where this Muslim community’s numbers are the highest—about a million, according to most estimates—its members are denied citizenship and land. They also live on the fringes of society in India and ... Read More »

Religion is not the only reason Rohingyas are being forced out of Myanmar

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Recent weeks have seen an escalation of violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine, the poorest state of Myanmar. Giuseppe Forino  Jason von Meding  Thomas Johnson  The Conversation A tide of displaced people are seeking refuge from atrocities – they are fleeing both on foot and by boat to Bangladesh. It is the latest surge of displaced people, and is exacerbated by the recent activity of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Religious and ethnic differences have been widely considered the ... Read More »

Australia offers to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar

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Exclusive: Rohingya sent to detention island in Papua New Guinea pressured to return to Myanmar, where thousands have fled ethnic persecution Oliver Holmes and Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority. Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, ... Read More »

Processing centres in North Africa are not the answer for EU refugees

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Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron invited his counterparts from Libya, Niger, Chad, Italy, Germany and Spain to Paris to discuss ways of stopping the flow of irregular migrants and refugees through transit countries. Azadeh Dastyari  The Conversation  The leaders explored the possibility of establishing processing facilities in North Africa to identify refugees and turn back anyone who does not qualify for resettlement. The talks come two years after approximately one million people arrived by boat in Europe, 75% of ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: UN sees ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar

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The security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, the UN human rights chief says. BBC Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the “cruel military operation” in Rakhine state. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted there late last month. The military says it is responding to attacks by Rohingya militants and denies it is targeting civilians. The violence began on 25 August when the Rohingya militants ... Read More »

Avoiding detention of stateless persons: UNHCR’s new tool for identification and enhanced protection of stateless persons in detention

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When carrying out detention monitoring visits, monitors may come across persons whose statelessness situation has not been properly identified or not identified at all. Melanie Khanna European Network on Statelessness  Many of these persons generally do not possess identity documents or valid residence permits, or are unable to return to their country of origin, they can be at high risk of arrest and repeated and prolonged detention. To help prevent such situations, UNHCR developed – the tool “Stateless persons in ... Read More »