Refugees

Cuts on 1 April will leave asylum seekers homeless, advocates warn

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Ninety-five groups send joint statement warning government risks creating destitution Australian Associated Press The Guardian Federal government cuts could mean homelessness and destitution for vulnerable asylum seekers in Australia on temporary visas, refugee advocates are warning. Ninety-five advocate groups spoke out on Monday to oppose cuts to a program that provides an allowance, casework support, housing assistance and counselling to potential refugees. “Many still have years before a… Cuts on 1… Read More »

Palestinian refugees lament as Trump funding cuts create job insecurity and a pension crisis

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The livelihoods and long-term futures of thousands of Palestinian refugee families across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank are at risk due to Donald Trump’s catastrophic decision to cut the American donation to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh The Conversation The US president’s decision to contribute only US$60m to UNRWA in 2018 – instead of US$125m – has been widely denounced as a brutal form of collective punishment for the Palestinian ... Read More »

Sweden’s Örebro City Council: “End the invasion of Afrin”

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Örebro city mayor and municipal commissioners condemned the Turkish state bombings and invasion and stated that they stand in solidarity with the people of Afrin and YPG/YPJ forces. ANF Örebro City Council administrators from various political parties came together to condemn Turkey’s bombings and invasion in Afrin, standing next to each other with signs that read “AFRIN”, and read a… Mayor of Örebro Kenneth Nilsson from the Social Democratic Workers’ Party and municipal commissioners Murad Artin from the Left Party, ... Read More »

Manus Island: PNG wants Australia to put deadline on refugee resettlement

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The Papua New Guinea Government wants Australia to set a deadline to get refugees from Manus Island out of the country. By Papua New Guinea correspondent Eric Tlozek ABC PNG has formed a special team to negotiate with Australia’s Home Affairs Department to ensure all refugees from Manus Island are resettled in a third country, soon. So far, only 84 of the roughly 600 refugees on Manus Island have been sent to the United States under the resettlement deal between ... Read More »

Refugees out of sight, out of mind two years on from EU-Turkey deal

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An agreement between the European Union and Turkey that came into force two years ago on March 20 2016, has reduced the number of migrants arriving on the shores of Greek islands and, however precariously, salvaged the integrity of the… Katy Budge The Conversation But while the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan was justified as a measure that would reduce deaths at sea and protect human dignity, the dramatic increase in the death rate of those crossing the Mediterranean in 2016 ... Read More »

Court orders that boy, 10, at risk of suicide on Nauru be treated in Australia

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Exclusive: Home affairs department argued against move but judge cites ‘significant risk’ he would die if left on island Ben Doherty The Guardian A 10-year-old refugee boy who has made repeated attempts to kill himself while held on Nauru has been ordered moved to Australia for acute psychological care, with a judge saying the boy would be at imminent risk of dying if left in the regional processing centre. In the federal court this month, lawyers representing the boy – known in court documents ... Read More »

24 March: Global Action Day for Afrin

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The international campaign in defense of Afrin declared 24 March as Global Action Day for Afrin and urged all supporters to protest Turkish invasion. AFN The signatories of the campaign released a statement entitled “Supporting the resistance is an historical imperative” and called all to join the first Global Action Day for Afrin on 24 March 2018. The statement read as follows: “The criminal assault on Afrin constitutes a new phase in the Turkish state’s war on the Kurdish people. ... Read More »

Aung San Suu Kyi: lawyers seek prosecution for crimes against humanity

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Australian lawyers file private case against Myanmar leader over treatment of Rohingya while she attends summit in Sydney Ben Doherty The Guardian Lawyers in Melbourne have filed a private prosecution application against Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is in Australia, on charges of crimes against humanity. The private prosecution application faces significant barriers to proceeding – a universal jurisdiction prosecution in Australia requires the consent of the attorney general. Aung San Suu Kyi, who is state counsellor and ... Read More »

Syria war: Thousands flee twin offensives in Afrin and Ghouta

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As many as 50,000 people have fled separate offensives against rebel forces in northern and southern Syria in recent days, activists say. BBC About 30,000 have left the northern town of Afrin as Turkish forces and their allies stepped up a siege. In the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus, some 20,000 have left areas targeted by Syrian government forces. The mass movements come seven years into a war which has driven nearly 12 million people from their homes. At least ... Read More »

After the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi will come to the ASEAN summit with her reputation tarnished

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Two years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy (NLD) into government in Myanmar amid a global outpouring of support and goodwill. Authors.. The Conversation When she arrives in Australia for this weekend’s ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the welcome will be cooler, tempered by her government’s limited progress on a range of political and economic issues. In particular, concerns will be raised over the Myanmar military’s appalling treatment of the Muslim Rohingya, and Suu Kyi’s refusal to ... Read More »

Malcolm Fraser’s ‘white farmers’ prophecy is now a reality

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A year before he died in 2015, former prime minister Malcolm Fraser agreed to meet me at his Melbourne office to discuss Australia’s treatment of sea-borne refugees. Rob Burgess The New Daily The cruelties of the offshore detention system, he said, made it look, “from outside Australia … as if the white Australia policy battles are still raging”. There was no way, he said, that a boatload of “white South African farmers would be treated that way if they sailed ... Read More »

UN: Israel settlements in West Bank, Jerusalem ‘war crime’

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein has described Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem as “war crimes”, Quds Press reported yesterday. MEM According to local media, Al-Hussein’s warnings would be part of a report he is to introduce to the UN Security Council on 19 March. “Building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including the social, economic and security facilities given to their residents with the aim to move Zionists to forcefully occupied lands, is a violation ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei: Chinese dissident artist critiques Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers ahead of Sydney Biennale

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He is one of the world’s most famous artists and China’s best known dissident, and 60-year-old Ai Weiwei has a message for Australia when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Philippa McDonald ABC “I struggle with Australia’s record towards refugees,” he said. “Australia is a nation of migrants and its culture accepts and tolerates difference. “But Australia’s refugee record is quite poor internationally. This is a very bad position for a state because people judge states on their ... Read More »

Greece frees German journalists detained at Turkish border

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Greece on March 10 freed two German journalists who had been detained at the border with Turkey for allegedly entering a restricted area, a judicial source stated. Agence France Presse Hurriyet Greece on March 10 freed two German journalists who had been detained at the border with Turkey for allegedly entering a restricted area, a judicial source stated. The pair, a 31-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, were working for regional German television channel NDR on a documentary about refugees, ... Read More »

Syrians yes, Iraqis no: the startling disparity in Britain’s asylum decisions

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Collateral, a new TV mini-series on the BBC written by David Hare, revolves around the murder of a young man working as a pizza delivery driver in London. Jason Hart The Conversation One of the main themes running through the drama series is the situation of asylum seekers in the UK. We soon learn that the murder is linked to events that occurred while the victim and his two sisters were crossing by boat from Turkey to Greece. Initially pretending ... Read More »

Bangladesh sees failure in Rohingya repatriation

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A senior Bangladesh cabinet minister has accused Myanmar of obstructing efforts to repatriate roughly 750,000 Rohingya refugees, saying it was unlikely the displaced Muslims would ever return to their homeland. DHAKA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Finance minister A.M.A Muhith said the repatriation deal signed between Myanmar and Bangladesh in November would likely fail despite his government’s official stance that the refugees must eventually go back. “I do not believe the Rohingya can be sent back,” Muhith, an outspoken minister from ... Read More »