Migration

Nauru blocks transfer of mentally ill refugee to Australia despite Federal Court order

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The Government of Nauru has blocked the medical evacuation of a refugee needing urgent treatment for depression and trauma-related conditions, despite court orders stipulating she must be brought to… Exclusive by Emma Younger and Sarah Farnsworth ABC An urgent Federal Court hearing this evening was told the failure to transfer the woman to Australia left Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and the Commonwealth in breach of court orders made on… The court heard Nauru’s secretary for Multicultural Affairs refused to ... Read More »

Time to limit ministerial discretion in the immigration system

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Peter Dutton’s use of ministerial discretion to grant visas to two foreign au pairs raises large questions about the propriety of his actions as minister for immigration. Shawn Rajanayagam The Age But, more importantly, the ongoing debate presents Parliament with an opportunity to introduce real limits on ministerial discretion in the immigration system so as to prevent those discretions from being used inequitably and… In granting visas to the au pairs, it seems that Mr Dutton exercised a power under ... Read More »

Dutton, the au pair affair and the question of abuse of power

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Kim Wingerei questions why it’s necessary for ministerial positions to have such overarching powers of discretion that they can overrule established protocols. IA FROM WAVING AU PAIRS through the immigration queue, throwing money at unsuspecting charities and denying medical treatments for children, to ignoring climate change and the bullying culture that is endemic to Liberal Party politics, the Government has shown power but… It happens all the time, mates calling mates asking for favours. But when AFL CEO Gillian McLachlan emailed ... Read More »

German far right fuels Muslim ‘takeover’ fears

Supporters of the Seebruecke (sea bridge) movement pile up life vests during a demonstration for unhampered sea rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea and for secure escape routes for migrants that was titled "Seebruecke creates safe harbours" on September 2, 2018 in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Kay Nietfeld / dpa / AFP) / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read KAY NIETFELD/AFP/Getty Images)

A series of violent crimes committed by refugees is unsettling the nation. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Can Germany survive Islam? That question is once again at the center of the country’s public discourse amid the violent protests that followed last week’s brutal killing of a German man, allegedly at the hands of two Muslim refugees, and the publication of a new book titled “Hostile Takeover, how Islam halts progress and… On Saturday, about 11,000 people (8,000 right-wing and far-right protesters ... Read More »

Lessons from Chemnitz: Eastern Germany’s right-wing protesters awash in anxiety

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The resentments at play over migrants in Germany have reached a dangerous level following the stabbing of a German man. In Chemnitz DW’s Jefferson Chase also saw how the far-right protesters are co-… Jefferson Chase DW There’s hardly a more eerie sight anywhere in Germany than the 7-meter-high, 40-ton sculpture of Karl Marx’s head on one of downtown Chemnitz’s main streets, Brückenstrasse. Indeed, it’s hard not to feel a… So perhaps fittingly it was here that police on Saturday halted the “march ... Read More »

Refugees in Indonesia don’t want to get on boats. They want basic rights

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If they get access to a fair resettlement process, refugees won’t be interested in anything people smugglers are trying to sell Asher Hirsch The Guardian This week, home affairs minister Peter Dutton again reiterated the false claim that “there are 14,000 people in Indonesia waiting to get on to boats now”. I’ve just returned from a research trip in Indonesia, where I spoke to many refugees. Such a claim is not only disingenuous, it also highlights the double standards of ... Read More »

Explainer: why the UN has found Myanmar’s military committed genocide against the Rohingya

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The UN Human Rights Council released a new report last Monday, which calls last year’s violence against the Rohingya “genocide”. Anthony Ware The Conversation Released almost exactly a year after the start of devastating violence that drove 671,500 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh within a matter of months, the report found conclusive evidence that Myanmar’s armed… Using the strongest language to date, the report calls for the Myanmar commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing, and five generals to be prosecuted. What was the ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett urges UN to act on Rohingya Muslim refugees

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Oscar-winning actor Cate Blanchett has told the UN Security Council that nothing prepared her for “the extent and depth of suffering” she saw when she visited camps in Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled a… The Australian AP In her very different role as a goodwill ambassador for the UN refugee agency, Blanchett said she heard “gut-wrenching accounts” of torture, rape, people seeing loved ones killed before their eyes, and… “I am a mother, and I saw my children ... Read More »

Nauru’s asylum seeker tents demolished ahead of Pacific Islands Forum

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Sources say move intended to spare visiting leaders the sight of people living in notorious camp Helen Davidson, Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Nauru’s government has moved asylum seekers out of the detention centre and demolished the tents ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum next week. The tents at regional processing centre 3 (RPC-3) were erected five years ago, and at least 100 people have continued to live in them since the facility was deemed “open” in 2015. ... Read More »

Book Review: Behrouz Boochani’s unsparing look at the brutality of Manus Island

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It is a matter of wonder that Behrouz Boochani was able to write No Friend but the Mountains at all. Alex Reilly The Conversation He did so while in Manus prison, using text messages in Farsi on smuggled mobile phones. Egyptian and Australian academic Omid Tofighian worked closely with Boochani to translate the text into English. In a detailed introduction to the book, Tofighian explains that Boochani’s writing contributes to a Kurdish literary tradition. He describes his style as “horror ... Read More »

Much-loved Melbourne artist Mirka Mora dies aged 90

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Mirka Mora, one of Melbourne’s best-known and most-loved artists whose distinctive works have adorned the city like no other, has died at the age of 90. Debbie Cuthbertson The Sydney Morning Herald Mirka, one of Melbourne’s most famous bohemians, transformed the culture of her adopted home town since emigrating to Australia in the 1950s from war-torn France. Mirka’s son, William Mora, confirmed his mother’s death on Monday night. “It’s with great sadness that the Mora family announces the passing of ... Read More »

‘Darkness surrounds me’: Nauru child refugee paints pictures of despair

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Medicated, terrified and traumatised, seven-year-old Ahoora has been held for five years on the island. Experts say his drawings reflect a broader, familial deterioration Saba Vasefi and Ben Doherty The Guardian Given pens, Ahoora draws. They are not the conventional drawings of a seven-year-old child: he draws pictures of children on fire, of sharks circling small terrified boys, of crying faces behind bars. Seven-year-old Ahoora, a refugee, has spent most of his life on Nauru. He arrived on the island as ... Read More »

Australia’s barbaric policy confronted by Boochani’s prison memoir

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Kurdish-Iranian journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani has been exiled on Manus Island since August 2013. Arnold Zable The Age He fled Iran in fear of his safety, as a result of his advocacy on behalf of Kurdish people. I was introduced to Boochani in late 2014. His acclaimed book No Friend but the Mountains was published on July 31. Arnold Zable: Behrouz, for years you have been defined as a refugee, and for a time, as a number – MEG 45 – reduced, as ... Read More »

Explainer: what is resignation syndrome and why is it affecting refugee children?

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Reports from Nauru are raising concerns about an outbreak of a severe trauma-related mental disorder known as traumatic withdrawal syndrome, or resignation syndrome. Louise Newman The Conversation Recent legal action resulted in urgent medical evacuation of a child in an unconscious state following a progressive social withdrawal and failure to speak, eat or drink. The child was unresponsive, dehydrated and at risk of death from the physical complications of this extreme state. Medical experts noted there are no adequate medical ... Read More »

Q&A: John Marsden says he would not have written the Tomorrow series today

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A string of questions centred around race relations and immigration were directed at a panel of authors on Q&A’s panel on Monday night. ABC On the desk with host Tony Jones were John Marsden, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Sofie Laguna, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Trent Dalton. Marsden was asked whether his Tomorrow series, starting with the 1993 novel Tomorrow When the War Began, helped raise a generation of Australians who feared foreign invasion. “I hope not,” Marsden said. “It was written ... Read More »

Why the EU can’t outsource its migration crisis

TOPSHOT - Migrants from Afghanistan arrive after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey with a dinghy on the Greek Mediterranean island of Lesbos on August 6, 2018. - More than 1,500 refugees and migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in the first seven months of this year, over half of them in June and July, the UN refugee agency said on August 3, 2018. (Photo by Aris MESSINIS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Brussels’ proposal to create processing centers in North Africa creates more problems than it solves. Melanie Ward Politico LONDON — When disagreements over how best to share the responsibility for asylum seekers and migrants in the European Union flared up earlier this summer, EU policymakers reached once again for a familiar proposal. Rather than seek out a compromise over how best to protect people seeking refuge from conflict or persecution, Europe’s leaders agreed to explore creating so-called “regional disembarkation platforms” — centers outside ... Read More »