Refugees

42 Fijians to provide security on Manus Island as tension mounts over imminent closure

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A Papua New Guinea company has hired Fijian personnel to work at the controversial Manus Island detention centre, scheduled for closure next Tuesday. NewsWire The group, recruited by PNG-based Paladin Solutions, will depart Fiji on Monday pending clearance from the employment ministry. Paladin’s local agent, Isireli Tamanituakula said his team would stay outside the detention centre fence and only patrol the outer boundary.“There are 42 personnel, partly military, ex-police officers, ex-prison officers, and civilians. They have been chosen to serve under Paladin Solutions Papua ... Read More »

Days before the forced closure of Manus, we have no safe place to go

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As refugees we are faced with the threat of either the navy occupying the detention centre if we stay or angry locals if we leave Only a few days remain until the Australian government meets its self-imposed deadline and closes the prison that it created on Manus Island. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian On 31 October the imprisoned refugees are supposed to be transferred from the regional processing centre (RPC) to the small town of Lorengau. It is a place that ... Read More »

After years in dangerous limbo the men on Manus must be brought to safety

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While my Australian friends share photos of weddings and work, the posts from Manus depict fear and mistreatment. We’re at a crisis point Georgie Bright “People have lost hope,” Aziz tells me. The Guardian “What energy they have – they want to use it to survive. They are desperate and powerless. They never think about their future.” I look across the table at the man in front of me – at 24 he is about my age, wearing the same ... Read More »

Will anyone protect the Rohingya?

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Since August, the Rohingya, an ethnic minority in Myanmar, has faced what a United Nations official called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Vincent A. Auger  The Conversation Recent reports describe a campaign by Myanmar security forces to drive the Rohingya from the country permanently. Hundreds of thousands have fled to camps in neighboring Bangladesh, creating a new refugee crisis. This is exactly the type of atrocity that the United Nations vowed to combat in 2005, when it asserted a ... Read More »

Cambodian refugee deal a ‘bad joke’, says former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans

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The $55 million deal to resettle refugees in Cambodia is a “joke in bad taste” that has undermined Australia’s diplomatic influence, says former Labor foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans. Liam Cochrane ABC Mr Evans said Australian diplomacy has been hobbled by the refugee deal at a time when something needs to be done to address Cambodia’s slide into authoritarianism. The deal with Cambodia was struck three years ago under then immigration minister Scott Morrison, but at last count, just three ... Read More »

582,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar: UN

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Some 582,000 Rohingya refugees have fled their homes in Myanmar and arrived in Bangladesh since late August, the United Nations said on Oct. 17, warning that thousands more were stranded at the border. Hurriyet The U.N. said 582,000 members of the Rohingya community had crossed into Bangladesh since Aug. 25, marking a jump of 45,000 from the 537,000 figure given at the weekend. Marixie Mercado, a spokeswoman for the U.N. children’s agency, told reporters in Geneva though that the hike ... Read More »

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 »