Posts Tagged ‘UN’

Will Australia finally face its own trial over refugees?

April 27, 2017

The court decision to award damages to a girl held in detention on Christmas Island when she was just five years old must send panic through our Government. The fact that the Government offered compensation on the first day of the trial speaks volumes. The Government must fear that many now will also seek compensation for having been held in detention. The case of the girl started as a class action but the Court refused on the grounds it was lacking in common or shared issues.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/iranian-asylum-seeker-wins-payout-detention-christmas-island/8472718

For some years now the Australian Government has been accused of criminal neglect in keeping asylum seekers in detention under harsh conditions. The UN and the UNHCR have repeatedly warned Australia it was in breach of Human Rights. All to no avail. This Government stubbornly sticks to its mantra  that;

1. It is all the fault of the opposition the Labor party, in setting up the detention centres in first place.

2. To stop the boats coming and prevent drownings we need to give a good example to those that are contemplating escaping the horrors of war.

It seems that those that did not drown are now being punished. The refugees are in their fourth year of detention!

Australia is now trying to trade with the US administration some of the refugees still held in Nauru and Manus Island in exchange for some Latin American refugees held in the US. It is all shrouded in secrecy. Donald Trump said the deal  ‘was the worst he ever heard of.’  The obvious solution is for those refugees to be accepted in Australia. This is being fought tooth and nail against by the architects of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru, Scott Morrison and now Peter Dutton. Our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is whipping us into a nationalistic fervour. ‘We must all stand-up and defend our ‘unique Australian Values’ . ‘He goes on about ‘the fair go and respect for law.’ The hypocrisy is just dripping so copiously from him it is actually showing.

I have reached the stage I try and not show my Australian passport. How can I keep my head up high?  How can I be proud of a country that has done such a terrible deed  and continues to do so, on the most vulnerable?

I hereby copy a recent post on my Oosterman blog by a man who worked as a guard on Manus;

Beau Mitchell Says:

“It is not a military run operation although its no coincidence that the vast majority of the workers, including myself were ex military and like myself ex special forces. unfortunately you can mistreat people like this when its off shore like this. There have been 2 companies that worked in Manus G4S and Wilson Security, I worked for both. This ABC story was the 2nd story I actually spoke to 10 Eyewitness news first. There was a media injunction slapped on me within 48 hours of speaking to 10 and in that 48 hours I spoke to ABC with the above report. No we do not have freedom of speech in Australia, you have watched to many American TV shows if you think this. in the event this message gets traced back to me I face up to 15 years in a federal prison for the crime of empathy. On Manus the Security company Wilson is the Judge, Jury and Executioner when it comes to discipline of the refugees located there. In the event a refugee does something wrong there is a make shift prison made from shipping containers, there is no trial or interaction with the local police, Wilson management makes the decision on the punishment one particular incident I recall a refugee lost his temper and started trying to hit people with a lump of wood (did not actually hit anyone) his punishment was a week in the Chauka (name of secret prison) where he was beaten each night (6 times in total) until unconscious during this time period, I was given the task of guarding the prison, I was posted at the main gate, and did not go in the Chauka. The smell was terrible of human feces and urine but being that I was on the outside I did not know why. I eventually saw”

LikeLikeBeau Mitchell Says:

 

 

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Go and figure this one out!

February 5, 2017

 

Most of the world knows about  refugees. Italy alone took in 180 000 during 2016. More than three years ago anyone trying to reach Australia by boat would from then on be locked up. Manus and Nauru were the places agreeing to house refugees. Australia vowed never to let those into Australia.There are  more than 1200 refugees still on those Islands. Most have been granted refugee status.

The cost in housing refugees has been in the billions. Private contractors are the main beneficiaries as well as New Guinea  and Nauru. The idea in not letting the refugees ever into Australia was that letting them in would result in an armada of refugees coming to Australia, clamber over our dunes, take our jobs or bludge of welfare! They would covet our  women and make cliterectomy compulsory for all.

The idea of locking the refugees up had to be seen as harsh enough to deter the so called ‘people smugglers.’ At present refugees trying to flee to either Europe or elsewhere in primitive boats have a chance of 1-100 in drowning. We know that many are desperate enough to take that gamble. The Australian Government knew that risk of drowning wasn’t enough a deterrent. The idea was born that the punishment for not drowning had to be far more severe. Teach the survivors a lesson they won’t forget. More importantly, the message would go out. “Don’t think of coming to Australia.”

That’s why the conditions for refugees locked up  indefinitely had to be far more stringent and better thought out. The refugees were not charged with any crimes. They just had to be kept locked and deprived of the most essential need of all. A future to look forward to. For children not to grow up in freedom and get an education. Teach them a lesson.  After several suicides and many incidents of self harm, even by children, the Government rejoiced and proudly stated that no boat had arrived. The prime minister Turnbull was jubilant; “We are the envy of the world dealing with refugees,.” he announced proudly.

It was decided that after the UNHCR, the UN, and Amnesty International had become vocal in condemnation that Australia tried to fop off the refugees elsewhere. Forty million dollars was spent to bribe Cambodia in taking just three refugees. Two have since left.

Now Trump and Turnbull ( Trumble) have locked themselves into horse -trading over allowing 1200 refugees from Manus and Nauru  into America. The vetting will be extreme. Americans are justly asking why Australia can’t take them in. It must be a mystery. Per capita Australia has far more space than the USA. So what about that deterrent?

If you dare to come to Australia you might go to America?

More importantly, what about those people? You know the people on Manus and Nauru?

Go and figure!

Australian Human Rights.

March 21, 2015
Nauru refugee camp

Nauru refugee camp

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-21/australian-bid-for-un-human-rights-council-under/6337616

Australian bid for UN Human Rights Council under scrutiny over asylum seeker policyLawyers are urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider Australia’s current performance on human rights issues as the nation bids for a council seat in 2018. The Human Rights Law Centre delivered a statement to the Council in Geneva overnight raising concerns about the Federal Government’s policies on asylum seekers and its attitude to the UN, claiming the Government’s stance on human rights at home is incompatible with its pronouncements on the world stage.

Moss review heard evidence of sexual abuse

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-21/moss-review-confirms-forgotten-children-report/6337576

The Moss review heard evidence of rape, sexual assault of minors and guards trading marijuana for sexual favours.

Former integrity commissioner Phillip Moss detailed allegations that at least three women had been raped inside the centre and he raised concerns that assault was likely to be under-reported because detainees were worried about their refugee status.

Mr Moss detailed one allegation that a female asylum seeker was asked to expose herself in return for longer showers.

 Morrison and Abbott. Alleged  perpetrators of  crimes against humanity.

FRTL Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Living in a Hell called Nauru.

October 26, 2014

untitled Nauru Detention Camp

Open letter: Living in the hell called Nauru.
Identity withheld

I am writing as a mother in Nauru house of detention. After 10 months of being detained on Christmas Island, my three-member family was brought here: myself and my husband and my son who is not yet three. As I knew we were going to be forcefully taken to Nauru, I felt sadness and spent all the night crying in misery. Any time I looked into face of my son, I asked myself, what is his sin to be punished harshly like this? What wrong we have done to receive such treatment? Just as I heard an officer saying that we were going to be transferred to Nauru, I suddenly felt all the miseries in the world. I kept crying all the time we were leaving.

We were put in isolation on Christmas Island. They checked us for nearly 10 hours with no break – they kept searching our bags and threw half of our items away. We were not allowed to wear shoes. They did not let us to tie our hair. They checked behind ears, inside nose, beneath tongue and hair. Big bully officers. My little son was scared and kept crying.

Do you know what the meaning of hopeless and helpless is? Do you know what is the meaning of I got tired of being alive?

After 10 hours of inspection, we were put into a bus accompanied by a large number of officers and then onto an airplane. The journey took eight hours. My son neither ate nor slept for 24 hours. You may not believe that my son really didn’t sleep for 24 hours, but he felt such anxiety.

For the complete article, press the link.

http://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2014/10/25/open-letter-living-the-hell-called-nauru/14141556001165#.VExu5elxmcx

A tragedy

July 18, 2014

daffodils

http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/07/dutch_death_toll_on_ukraine_cr.php

“Dutch death toll on Ukraine crash plane rises to 173, flags half mast

Friday 18 July 2014

The number of Dutch nationals killed in Thursday’s plane crash in Ukraine was revised up to 173 on Friday morning, as Malaysia Airlines published more details about those on board the doomed flight.

Public buildings in the Netherlands have their flags at half mast on Friday in the wake of the crash and hundreds of people have been leaving flowers outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev.

Many of those aboard the plane were on their way to an international Aids conference in Melbourne and are thought to include several renowned researchers.

Television programming has been adjusted and celebrations to mark the end of the four-day Nijmegen march have been toned down as a mark of respect, Dutch media report. The planned summer holiday photo session with the Dutch royal family has also been cancelled.

Missile

It is increasingly likely that the Malaysia Airlines plane which crashed close to Ukraine’s border with Russia was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, experts said on Friday.

US officials have told CNN radar has confirmed the Boeing 777 was hit by a surface-to-air missile. The United States is analysing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from, the official said.

Black box

News agency Reuters reports the second black box has been found at the crash site. The first is thought to have been handed over to Moscow on Thursday evening. One black box records plane details such as speed, the other cockpit conversations, Nos television said.

So far over 120 bodies have been recovered, the Ukraine rescue services have told Russian news agency Interfax.

Reuters also states Russian president Vladimir Putin has telephoned Dutch prime minster Mark Rutte promising him a full and independent inquiry. According to nu.nl, Putin also said the tragedy emphasised the need for a speedy end to the conflict.

Rescue workers

The plane was shot down over an area of Ukraine currently controlled by separatists who have given open access to rescue workers. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has described the apparent shooting down of the plan as ‘an act of terrorism’.

US president Obama has reportedly spoken to Poroshenko to discuss the tragedy and has told him US experts will help any way they can with the investigation.

The UN security council is expected to hold an emergency session later on Friday to discuss the latest events in Ukraine.

Journalist Noah Sneider tweeted from the scene on Thursday night: ‘At crash site of #MH17. Bodies everywhere, organs splayed out. Too gruesome to post photographs. This is an absolute disaster. #ukraine.’

Lucky escape

A family from Zeeland who were booked to fly on Malaysian Airlines MH17 had a lucky escape when they turned up to board the aircraft and found it had been over-booked.

Gert Jansen, his wife Pudji and son Pasha were given alternative seats on a KLM plane flying via Dubai, brother Bert told the Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant.

The Ukraine crash is the biggest air disaster to affect the Netherlands since the 1977 Tenerife air crash when 248 people aboard a KLM flight were killed in a collision with another plane.”

© DutchNews.nl

.dpuf

Why does Australia imprison innocent women, children and men?

October 23, 2013

120813_03_Immigration-620x349https://newmatilda.com//2013/10/21/echoes-white-australia

What motivates a democratic, peace-time government to imprison innocent men, women and children? Former Liberal MP Judi Moylan looks at the divisive history of Australian border policy.

Few matters have been more fiercely debated in the Australian Parliament or more unsparingly ventilated in the media than the recent and ongoing treatment of asylum seekers arriving by boat.

To understand what motivates a democratic government in peace-time to implement policies that imprison indefinitely thousands of men, women and children who have not been charged with or convicted of any crime we must turn to historical, social and political attitudes.

Though countries around the world guard their sovereign powers jealously to determine who may enter, the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia has been particularly high profile and divisive. This article seeks to understand why.

The White Australia Policy

Immigration has been contentious in Australia since the early days of European settlement. It was an issue during the establishment of the Federal Parliament in 1901 when two early bills underpinned what became known as the White Australia Policy.

The Pacific Islanders Act prohibited islanders from entering Australia and the Immigration Restriction Act imposed an English language test, effectively barring entry for most non-English speaking people. One Member of Parliament said: “No matter what measures are necessary, Australia must be kept pure for the British race who have begun to inhabit it.”

Between 1945 and 1955 one million immigrants came to Australia. Even after the Menzies government signed up to the 1951 UN Convention, refugees continued to be selected according to the colour of their skin.

(You can read on clicking above link.)

Treatment of Asylum seekers by Sayomi Ariyawansa

October 2, 2013

UNExtract byimagesCAEF97OG Sayomi Ariyawansa From Future Leaders

Detention-centre advocates tell us that our tough attitude towards “boat people” is a deterrent for others who may consider seeking asylum here. They tell us these people are a burden that we don’t want, and the best way to stop them is to show them that Australia is not an open country and will not accept everyone. However, there is a line between tough and inhumane, a line that is blurred in terms of our refugee policy. Our current system humiliates and psychologically damages innocent people and goes against UN conventions.

There must be a better way to treat this issue, and we should consider the systems in place by other countries. The UN International Refugee Convention requires host countries to treat asylum seekers with dignity and respect while
Australia’s Treatment of Refugees is Unnecessarily Harsh

their claims for asylum are processed. There is increasingly more and more evidence that detention centres hold asylum seekers in conditions harsher than those felt by convicted criminals. After Baxter detention centre held a mentally ill Australia citizen for nine months, an investigation showed the harsh conditions within detention centres. There are beds without mattresses, toilets without doors and showers without curtains. Is this how Australia treats asylum seekers with dignity and respect?

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has said that conditions in Australia’s detention centres are “offensive to human dignity”. Not only are detention centres stripping innocent people of their dignity, there are increasing claims that the harsh condi- tions within the centres are psychologically damaging. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have said that Australia’s detention centres are “worse than prisons” and saw “alarming levels of self-harm”.

Australia is not alone in using detention centres for processing refugees, but its callous treat- ment of refugees within the centres, their harsh conditions and the unnecessary time spent in detention have brought upon much criticism from multitudes of human rights organisations, such as Amnesty International. This criticism apparently has no effect on the Australian Government which continues its appalling treatment of people who seek refuge and acceptance here.

The spirit of the survivors of the most ruthless political regimes is often destroyed by the harsh environment they are placed in. Their resilience is tested, and the psychological damage done makes it extremely difficult for them to rejoin society as healthy, productive citizens. These people can enrich our community greatly, but in order to do so they deserve a fair go.

Detention-centre advocates tell us that detention is neces- sary in order to determine the asylum seeker’s identity. They also believe that detention centres are the best way to deter other arrivals. However, many countries need to deal with asylum seekers, and many of these countries do so with policies that are far more humane and concur with UN conventions.

Sweden is a country that has a policy that Australia should consider. If asylum seekers arrive in Sweden without appropriate documentation, they are placed in a detention centre. Their stay in the detention centre does not exceed six months and children may not be detained longer than six days. The detention centres in Sweden do not resort to barbed-wire fences, and all detainees have full access to legal advice, counselling and have the right to appeal their being held in detention. Asylum seekers are only required to remain in deten- tion centres for the time it takes to ascertain their identities and not the entire procedure.

Once their identities are confirmed they are released into Refugee Reception Housing or move in with friends whilst they await the decision. The Swedish system allows for all proper processing, ensuring national security as well as maintaining the asylum seeker’s right to being treated with dignity and respect. This is in comparison to many genuine refugees held in detentions centres for several years in Australia, regardless of their age. Asylum seekers are virtually stripped of their basic human rights, and do not have access to legal advice. Australia can learn from the Swedish policy.