Showing posts with label asylum seekers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asylum seekers. Show all posts

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Government of Nauru: Turnbull's will comes first


Image of Nauru at abc.net.au

The small island Republic of Nauru’s official motto is "God's Will First.

I strongly suspect that Nauru has unofficially changed it to “Turnbull's Will First” ahead of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to the Pacific Islands Forum, with an eye turned towards protecting annual funding coming from the Australian Government.

Australia is Nauru’s largest trade, investment and development assistance partner, providing development assistance worth $26.1 million in 2017-18 and $25.9 million in 2018-19.


That particular multimillion dollar revenue stream is said to financially benefit some of Nauru’s most powerful families.

So banning ABC employees from entering the country would have been an easy decision for the Government of Nauru to make given the current Australian prime minister’s well known animus towards the Australian Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Statement from Republic of Nauru – Update for media attending Sept 2018 Pacific Islands Forum

Published by  NauruNews at  July 2, 2018

The Government of Nauru looks forward to welcoming media from across the Pacific region and further afield, to cover the upcoming Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in September. Due to very limited accommodation we have had to place restrictions on the number of people from all sectors who are able to attend, including government delegations and the media. There has been no restrictions placed on media attendance for any reason other than this indisputable fact of accommodation and facility availability. We are confident that a wide cross section of media will attend, as they have for previous forums. Of course, as is the case for anyone entering Nauru – and indeed every other sovereign nation – all are expected to abide by their visa guidelines (in this instance a specific PIF media visa will be issued with no associated fees), respect the laws of our country, and not engage in activities that cause or encourage disruption or civil unrest.

We recognise that media from Australia have a unique interest in Nauru due to our partnership with Australia as part of its border security operations. While we will ensure that some media representatives from Australia will attend along with other Pacific and wider media, we will be requesting they follow all guidelines and directions of authorities in order to ensure the safety and security of citizens and residents of Nauru. There are unique security and safety issues in Nauru that must be considered and respected, and the Government reserves the right to revoke the visa of any person that breaches their visa conditions.

We are ensuring that along with other media from Australia, at least one Australian TV news outlet will be able to cover the PIF and footage will be available to other outlets who are not able to attend.

It is important that media representatives travelling with national political leaders or heads of state – specifically from Australia and New Zealand – are aware that they still must apply for accreditation and an appropriate visa through the website of the Government of Nauru, as per normal procedures. No person can enter Nauru without a valid visa and anyone attempting to do so, irrespective of who they are travelling with, will not be allowed entry. Accreditation applications have now closed as per PIF guidelines, however applications will still be accepted until 5pm Nauru Time on July 3, 2018, from any representatives who wish to travel to PIF as part of a ‘pool’ with their national leader and has not yet applied. Again, these spots are limited (particularly by accommodation) and will be included in (not separate from) the overall media numbers which are still to be finalised. Media that have been issued accreditation will be advised soon, as will those applicants who we could not accommodate.

It should be noted that no representative from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation will be granted a visa to enter Nauru under any circumstances, due to this organisation’s blatant interference in Nauru’s domestic politics prior to the 2016 election, harassment of and lack of respect towards our President in Australia, false and defamatory allegations against members of our Government, and continued biased and false reporting about our country. It is our right, as it is the right of every nation, to choose who is allowed to enter.

ABC News reported on 2 July 2017:

ABC News Director Gaven Morris responded, saying the broadcaster "vigorously defends our role in doing independent reporting on our region".

"The ABC does not intend to vacate our position in the media pool covering the Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru," Mr Morris said.

"The Nauruan Government should not be allowed to dictate who fills the positions in an Australian media pool.

"It can hardly claim it is 'welcoming the media' if it dictates who that media will be and bans Australia's public broadcaster."

For the cameras Malcolm Bligh Turnbull pretends he has no power to intercede.
Even if Turnbull didn't want to make a personal approach to the President of Nauru - for heaven's sake - we have gone to the expense of maintaining a High Commission on that 21 km² slip of an island since August 2009. 

If he so wished Malcolm Turnbull can make the High Commissioner earn her generous salary by having her present a formal request from the Australian foreign minister to allow ABC jounalists and a camera crew to attend the Pacific Islands Forum.

However, as it is highly likely that Nauru's ban is only an anticipation of Turnbull's wishes I won't be holding my breath.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Australia’s Border Farce lives down to its nickname


Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton’s poor oversight and lack of managerial skills is on display for all to see…….


The benefits of the merger of the Immigration and Customs departments and creation of Australian Border Force  haven't been proven and promised increased revenue hasn't materialised, a damning audit report has found.

While the Department of Immigration and Border Protection did achieve the merger effectively, it "is not in a position to provide the government with assurance that the claimed benefits of integration have been achieved," the report said.

The merger of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service took place in 2015, with its functions now covered under the Department of Home Affairs. Controversial at the time, it heralded a move to focus more on guarding the country's borders over resettlement and migration.

In the business case for the merger, the department committed to a "Benefits Realisation Plan," but because the plan was not implemented, the claimed benefits have not been measured and can't be demonstrated, the report said.

While the business case for the integration of the departments promised an increase in revenue from customs duty, less than half of the promised revenue increase has materialised. At the end of 2017, just 42.2 per cent of the extra revenue committed to had been achieved, and the report predicted that at the current rate just 31.6 per cent of the additional revenue promised would be delivered.

When the merger was announced, then immigration minister Scott Morrison promised "hundreds of millions in savings" would be reinvested back into the agency.
Auditor-general Grant Herir slammed the department's record keeping, which the department admitted was in a "critically poor state," and said there was no evidence that the Minister Peter Dutton was given written briefings on the progress of the integration of the departments.

In its response, the Department of Home Affairs acknowledged it had issues with record keeping and committed to making improvements a priority. The report didn't look on this commitment favourably though, pointing to more than 10 years of audits and reviews that have made similar findings.

The problems and their solutions are known to the department, and it has an action plan to address them, although numerous previous attempts to do so have not been successful," it said.

The report also found that the department experienced a loss of corporate memory through the merger.

"Almost half of SES officers present in July 2015 [were] no longer in the department at July 2017," it said.

The report also found that out of 33 consultancy contracts with values of more than $1 million, just 2 were evaluated for value for money, meaning that it was unclear if the other 31 contracts had been value for money.

Spending on consultancy in the department more than doubled in the years after the merger, topping more than $50 million in each of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years…..

The Age, 19 June 2018:

The multimillion-dollar college that trains Australia’s border security personnel has “overpromised and underdelivered” and immigration and customs officials have repeatedly abused their powers, a scathing report has found.

The government-commissioned findings also said many department staff lack the training needed to perform their jobs and “jaws of death” have gripped officials struggling to complete more work with fewer resources.

In May 2014 the Coalition Abbott government controversially announced the creation of the Australian Border Force (ABF), as part of a merger of customs and immigration border operations. Crucial to the new super-charged agency was the establishment of the ABF College, with multiple campuses, to ensure recruits and existing staff “have the right skills to do their jobs”.

Under the former department of immigration and border protection, consultants RAND Australia were asked to evaluate the progress of the merger, ahead of the creation of the Home Affairs portfolio in December last year which combined immigration, border protection, law enforcement and intelligence.

The findings concluded that “clear and unequivocal” progress has been made towards building a “modern border management capability”.

However, success had been “uneven” and in particular, the ABF College “largely remains a disappointment to senior leaders across the department”.

The report involved interviews with senior department officials, who cited concern that the college’s curriculum was “not adequate for actual training needs”.

The college’s use of technology was poor and, in many cases, was used to “automate bad learning environments” rather than improve training.

The college was supposed to train staff across the department, however many officials were not given time to attend courses.

Overall, the college and other training opportunities in the department “overpromised and underdelivered to the detriment of the workforce and the morale”.

One senior official was so frustrated at the problems that he suspended a board examining the issues “until new terms of reference and fresh ideas were developed”.
The report is dated 2018 but it is not clear exactly when it was finalised. The Department of Home Affairs did not answer questions from Fairfax Media on how much had been spent on the college and where its campuses were located. Officials have previously said the 2014-15 budget included $54 million to establish the college and other training measures, and that several campuses would be established including in Sydney and Canberra.

Across the department’s broader workforce, senior officials said staff in many cases lacked “the capability to do the work required of their assigned positions”.

This included customs and immigration investigators “not understanding the law, use of force protocols, and rules of engagement” which in some cases led to “abuse of power,” the report said.

One official said field compliance officers “were doing dangerous jobs without proper training” and another described a junior officer who was “unable to manage shipboard operations due to a lack of proper training and experience”.

Department staff described being held in the “jaws of death” as they juggled an increased workload and declining resources. Senior officials repeatedly raised concern that the ABF received more resources than other divisions but “has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny”….

As a local member it appears that Dutton is also having ‘workforce’ issues ahead of the forthcoming federal election…..

www.peterdutton.com.au as of 20 June 2018:

Peter is working hard but could use your help.
If you can spare an hour or two to help Peter in Dickson, please join the team.

The most shameful evidence of Peter Dutton's management style is found when one condiders that as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection since 23 December 2014, he currently has ultimate responsibility for the welfare of asylum seekers held in custody. 

Bringing the total number of deaths in onshore or offshore detention and in the community to est. 64 people since January 2000. 

That is the equivilant of almost four deaths each year on Peter Dutton's watch and around three deaths per year overall.

According to MSN on 21 June 2018; There are nearly 700 men currently in detention on Papua New Guinea, and more than 900 men, women and children on Nauru.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Being political tzar of all one surveys does not always mean that the world will bow down before you


There is no disputing that since becoming the ministerial head of that new 'super' federal government department, the Department of Home Affairs, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Craig Dutton has enjoyed a level of political power not shared by his ministerial colleagues. 

However he is obviously not happy that this power does not intimidate Australian courts and tribunals.

Perhaps this is because his Migration and Refugee Division and Character Assessments and Cancellations Branch are not always winning Dutton's war against orphans, refugees and those under threat of torture.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal decisions1 in 2018:

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused the applicant’s Protection visa. The applicant claimed he could not return to Malaysia due to his homosexuality as he would be subject to discrimination and abuse. The Tribunal set aside the decision. 

An application made by a family of three for Protection visas was refused by a delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. The applicant seeking protection claimed he was at risk of torture if returned to Pakistan. The Tribunal remitted the decision with the direction that the applicant satisfied section 36(2)(aa) of the Migration Act 1958.

The review applicant sought two Orphan Relative visas for his younger siblings on the basis that their only existing carer, their mother, was incapacitated and could not care for them. The applications were refused by a delegate under section 65 of the Migration Act 1958 and the Tribunal remitted the applications for reconsideration with the direction they met the criteria for the visas.


The Department of Immigration and Border Protection refused the visa applicant's Student visa. The visa applicant was a child residing in Somalia and both of his parents were deceased. His maternal aunt, an Australian citizen, was his carer and was attempting to return home to Australia to her family with the child. The Tribunal set aside the decision. 


Footnote:

1. "The review of decisions to refuse or cancel a visa on character grounds is a small component of the broad range of decisions about visas reviewed by the AAT, and an even smaller component of the overall caseload managed by the AAT. 
To put these matters in context, in 2016–17, the Tribunal finalised 42,224 reviews, of which 168 decisions (or less than 0.4 per cent), related to visa cancellations and refusals on character grounds
In considering and deciding these matters, Tribunal members are bound to apply Ministerial Direction No. 65 which sets out three primary considerations which must be taken into account. These include protection of the Australian community; the best interests of minor children in Australia; and expectations of the Australian Community.  The Direction also sets out five ‘other considerations’ which must also be taken into account, including: international non-refoulement obligations; the strength, nature and duration of ties; impact on Australian business interests; impact on victims; and the extent of impediments if removed.  These decisions are routinely published and contain an explanation of the Members’ evaluation of each of these considerations." [AAT appearance at Senate Estimates, 25 May 2018]

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Another asylum seeker death on Manus Island


There have been three deaths of asylum seekers held in Australian off shore detention in the last nine months - one on Nauru and two on Manus Island - according to Border Crossing Observatory.

This recent death brings the count to four.

UNHCR: The United Nations Refugee Agency, media release, 22 May 2018:

UNHCR Statement
By UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra  22 May 2018

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is profoundly saddened by the death of a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, today. The tragic loss of yet another vulnerable person under Australian ‘offshore processing’ again underscores the need for proper care and immediate solutions.

“With the passage of too many years and the withdrawal or reduction of essential services, the already critical situation for refugees most in need continues to deteriorate,” said Nai Jit Lam, UNHCR’s Deputy Regional Representative in Canberra. “Australia’s responsibility for those who have sought its protection remains unchanged. Our thoughts and condolences are with the man’s family today.”

UNHCR renews its call for the Government of Australia to take immediate action to provide assistance and solutions, and to avert further harm and tragedy. Comprehensive, intensive support for refugees and asylum-seekers remains desperately needed in both Papua New Guinea and Nauru. The national authorities of both countries lack the means and infrastructure to address growing needs.

UNHCR is continuing to seek further information from the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea respectively.

UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra
UNHCR’s Regional Representation is based in Canberra, and is responsible for the promotion and protection of refugee rights in Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


The Guardian, 22 May 2018:

A Rohingya refugee has died in a violent motor vehicle incident on Manus Island.

The man was witnessed “coming out of a moving vehicle”, according to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and suffered “very serious head injuries”.

He died at the scene, the organisation said. “It is not know who else was in the vehicle.”

The man, whose identity is not being released until his family is notified, had a long history of physical and mental illness and had been on Manus for more than five years.

A few years ago he was sent to Australia for medical treatment but was returned, according to the journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani.

Boochani said the other refugees had been aware of his illness. They were “deeply saddened and horrified at the news of another friend’s death”.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The growing cost of Australian Government policy concerning asylum seekers


Its asylum seeker policy is costing Australia more than a loss of international reputation......

Financial Review, 5 January 2018:

Maintaining Australia's hardline immigration and border policies cost taxpayers more than $4 billion last financial year, including nearly $1.6 billion on compliance and detention.

Treasury figures provided to a Senate estimates committee showed in 2017, the largest spending component for immigration and border protection activities was onshore compliance and detention, followed by $1.083 billion for the management of irregular boat arrivals and $1.059 billion on border enforcement……

a near $5 billion price tag for five years of Australia's offshore immigration detention program, including the total operational and infrastructure costs for Australia's detention facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, peaking in 2015-16.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

A professed 'Christian' man named in at least one human rights complaint to the International Criminal Court vows to defend Christianity in 2018


The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December 2017:

Scott Morrison says he will fight back against discrimination and mockery of Christians and other religious groups in 2018, in comments that position him as one of the leading religious conservatives in the Turnbull government. 

Mr Morrison also promised to play a leading role next year in the debate about enshrining further "protections" for religious freedom in law, which will be informed by a review currently being led by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

For overseas readers who may not know this man, he is enthusiastic Hill Song Church devotee, Liberal MP for Cook, former Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, former Minister for Social Security and current Australian Treasurer Scott John Morrison.

On his ministerial watch alleged human rights abuses occurred in overseas detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. These incidents included deaths of asylum seekers such as that of Reza Berati.

Alleged abuses continue to be reported to this day.

In a 2016 communique to the International Criminal CourtScott Morrison, along with Malcolm TurnbullTony AbbottKevin RuddJulia GillardJohn HowardPeter DuttonTony BurkeBrendan O’ConnorChris BowenChris EvansKevin AndrewsAmanda VanstonePhillip RuddockBaron Waqa and Rimbink Pato, was named as administrating authority having responsibility in relation to the offence of unlawful confinement.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Five Australian Prime Ministers & Nine Immigration Ministers Named In Communique To The International Criminal Court in 2016


“Perpetrators – Individual responsibility
40. On the basis of the brief factual outline provided above, there are a number of persons who have, or would have had whilst elected, knowledge of the relevant facts outlined in the elements detailed below, and played a considerable role in the implementation and enforcement of the Immigration Policies. Further, these people have, or would have had whilst elected, the requisite intent to cause a particular consequence or were aware that the consequence would occur in the ordinary course of events (for example, that the implementation and enforcement of the Immigration Policies would result in Immigration Detention, or deportation and Immigration Detention, of boat people).” [In The Matter Of A Prosecution Of The Australian Government In Relation To Indefinite Detention And Forcible Removal Of Asylum Seekers (2016), p.]

In a communique to the International Criminal Court, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, John Howard, Peter Dutton, Scott Morrison, Tony Burke, Brendan O’Connor, Chris Bowen, Chris Evans, Kevin Andrews, Amanda Vanstone, Phillip Ruddock, Baron Waqa and Rimbink Pato were all named as administrating authorities in relation to the offence of unlawful confinement.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Human Rights Law Centre & OECD Watch lodge international complaint over Australia's failure to investigate abuses by Manus Island contractor


Human Rights Law Centre, 27 November 2017:

Australian companies need to be held to account for human rights abuses they commit overseas, but Australia’s complaints system is woefully inadequate and in desperate need of reform.

The Human Rights Law Centre and OECD Watch have today requested the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to investigate the Australian Government’s handling of a complaint against its former security contractor G4S in relation to alleged abuse of refugees on Manus Island.

Keren Adams, Director of Legal Advocacy at the HRLC, said Australia’s OECD National Contact Point, managed by Treasury, has a history of rejecting complaints against companies on spurious grounds.

“When accountability mechanisms fail, injustices flourish. The National Contact Point is a toothless tiger that rarely investigates and has never made a finding against a company. It needs a total overhaul,” said Ms Adams.

The OECD appeal centres around an earlier complaint brought in 2014 against G4S for its role in the violence on Manus in which Reza Berati was killed and 77 other men were injured. A G4S security guard was one of two men subsequently convicted of the murder.

The Australian National Contact Point declined to investigate the complaint, stating that it was not its role to comment on Australian government policy. It also concluded that G4S had limited ability to influence the safety and security of the men in detention, given control of the facility was the responsibility of PNG.

“The handling of the G4S complaint was appalling. We are talking about an incident in which a company’s employees are known to have beaten a man in their care to death and attacked others with crowbars and machetes. For the National Contact Point to have found the matter didn’t even warrant investigating raises serious questions about its credibility,” said Ms Adams.

The appeal challenges these findings as a direct breach of Australia’s international responsibilities under the OECD’s Guidelines. It is the first time a country’s handling of a complaint of this kind has been appealed to the OECD.

Ms Adams said she hoped the OECD would compel Australia to lift its game in its handling of future complaints.

“We are asking the OECD Investment Committee to find that the National Contact Point failed in its obligation to operate accessibly and without bias. Even more importantly though we are asking them to make recommendations as to how Australia can improve this complaints body going forwards,” said Ms Adams.

The appeal coincides with the start of the United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva, where experts from around the world will gather to discuss how governments can better address human rights abuses by business.

Download the HRLC's original complaint here: OECD Guidelines-specific instance-G4S

Monday, 20 November 2017

The depths to which xenophobia and bigotry has reduced Australia


Australia began to ignore its obligations under international law in 1992 and its determination to turn back asylum seeker boats and reduce the number of refugees accepted into this country grew apace until this is the situation in November 2017.

The New York Times, 18 November 2017:

Veteran United Nations officials said this month they had never seen a wealthy democracy go to such extremes to punish asylum seekers and push them away.

Papua New Guinea officials and local leaders, enraged at how the camp’s closure was handled, have demanded to know why Australia is not doing more to help the men.

HuffPost, 18 November 2017:

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's main medical association called on Saturday for the government to allow independent doctors and other health experts to help more than 400 asylum seekers languishing inside a recently closed detention center in Papua New Guinea.

The asylum seekers have shut themselves inside the Australian-run Manus Island Centre for the past 18 days, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to close it in a standoff the United Nations describes as a "looming humanitarian crisis".

Australia has shut access to the center, and staff, including doctors, have left, leaving the men without sufficient food, clean water, power or medical care.

Members of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) voted unanimously on Saturday to call on the government to grant access to the center so doctors could assess the men's health, wellbeing and living conditions.

"The AMA has made many representations on this matter, both publicly and in private but, with a worsening and more dangerous situation emerging on Manus, the federal council strongly believes that urgent action and answers are needed," AMA President Michael Gannon said.

The Australian, 17 November 2017:

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has warned New Zealand it may damage its relationship with the government if it chooses to take Manus Island refugees without the approval of Australia.

Mr Dutton said New Zealand and Papua New Guinea “would have to think through” the impact it would have on their relationship with Australia if they made a unilateral agreement to resettle refugees from the offshore detention centre.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put pressure on the Turnbull government to accept its offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus Island. The PNG Supreme Court ruled last week the asylum-seekers and refugees were probably the responsibility of PNG, opening the door for an agreement to resettle refugees without permission from Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 November 2017:

As the Manus Island detention centre stand-off entered its fifth day, Mr Turnbull held talks with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Sydney, where she formally extended to Mr Turnbull the offer to take in 150 people. "The offer is very genuine and remains on the table," she said.

But Mr Turnbull said Australia remained focused on the US refugee resettlement deal, which has so far resulted in 54 people being resettled. The US deal covers up to 1250 people but US President Donald Trump dislikes it and vetting is taking a long time.

"In the wake of that deal obviously we can consider other ones," Mr Turnbull said. "We thank New Zealand for making an offer – we are not taking it up at this time."

New Zealand first made its offer to Julia Gillard's government in 2013 but it has been rejected by both Labor and the Coalition. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has now called on Mr Turnbull to accept it, saying it is similar to the US deal.

Sky News, 4 November 2017:

The United Nations human rights office has called on Australia to restore food, water and health services to about 600 interned refugees and asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea, which Canberra cut off three days ago.

The detainees in the Manus Island Centre have defied attempts by the governments of Australia and PNG to close the camp, saying they fear violent reprisals from the local community if they are moved to other 'transit centres'.

'We call on the Australian government ... who interned the men in the first place to immediately provide protection, food, water and other basic services,' UN rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing on Friday.

Australia has an obligation to do so under international human rights law and the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, he said.

There was no immediate comment from Australia or its representatives in Geneva. Its government has said the camp had been ruled illegal by PNG authorities and it had committed to supply other sites for 12 months.

Colville joined the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in warning of an 'unfolding humanitarian emergency' in the centre where asylum seekers began digging wells on Thursday to try to find water as their food supplies dwindled.

The remote Manus Island centre has been a key part of Australia's disputed immigration policy under which it refuses to allow asylum seekers arriving by boat to reach its shores, detaining them instead in PNG and Nauru in the South Pacific.

'We repeat our overall concerns about Australian offshore processing centres which are unsustainable, inhumane and contradictory to its human rights obligations,' Colville said.

Around 500 of the men have still not had their asylum claims processed, he said.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Asylum seekers in Australia forbidden to have 'unauthorised' pets. Sound familiar?

 
Department of Immigration and Border Protection Directive – Australia 2017

SBS News, 19 October 2017:

People [asylum seekers] receiving government payments while they wait to see if they will be granted protection have been told they must seek permission from the immigration department and their landlords before buying an animal.

ABC News, 20 October 2017:

The policy change specifies taxpayer money cannot be spent on pets or their "vaccination, equipment, toys and bedding"



Jan. Collection of fur coats or any furs from Jews. Also any woollen clothing or shoes.
Feb. 17 Jews may no longer subscribe to newspapers or magazines.
March 26 Jews must mark the entrance doors to their apartments with a black “Jewish Star”.
April 24 Jews forbidden the use of public transportation.
May 15 Jews forbidden to have dogs, cats and birds. [my yellow highlighting]
May 29 Jews are no longer permitted to visit barber shops.
June 9 Jews must surrender all dispensable clothing.
June 11 Jews no longer receive smoking coupons.
June 20 All Jewish schools closed.
July 17 Blind and deaf Jews may no longer wear armbands identifying their condition in traffic.
Aug. 24 Jews forbidden to perform religious services during Jewish High Holidays.
Sept. 18 Jews can no long buy meat, eggs or milk.
Oct. 4 All Jews still in concentration camps in Germany are to be transferred to extermination camps.
Dec. 24 Economics Ministry orders the confiscation of all metal from Jewish cemeteries (including graves, fences, and gates).

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Deaths caused by Australian immigration policies in 2017


Monash University, Border Crossing Observatory:

The Australian Border Deaths Database maintains a record of all known deaths associated with Australia’s borders since 1 January 2000.
The database was begun by Professor Sharon Pickering and Associate Professor Leanne Weber as part of BOb’s Deaths at the Global Frontier project, culminating in the publication of the book Globalization and Borders: Death at the Global Frontier in 2011.
The Border Crossing Observatory continues to periodically update The Australian Border Deaths Database in line with the methodology detailed in Globalization and Borders: Death at the Global Frontier
The most recent version records deaths at the Australian frontier for the period 1 January 2000 – August 2017, with a recorded 1,995+ border deaths. [my yellow bolding]

Deaths in 2017 to date:

8-Mar-17 New Zealander, male - suspected suicide by hanging in Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre.

7-June-17 Matthew Taylor, New Zealander, male - committed suicide in New Zealand, a year and a half after his deportation under s501 of the Migration Act. He was in a desperate situation in New Zealand with limited support and ties to the country following his return. He moved to Australia with his family as a toddler and had never left Sydney until his deportation following his prison sentence for a string of minor offences. He has a young child in Sydney and his immediate family still live there.

3-July-17 (week beginning) Majid Hassanloo (brother of Saeed Hasanloo), 39 years old, Iranian, male - found dead in the house he was minding in Sydney from a suspected drug overdose. Majid was released from detention in December 2015 but was not offered adequate support. His psychological deterioration was profound.

7-Aug-17 Hamed Shamshiripour, 31 years old, Iranian, male - found dead in the forest near the Australian-run East Lorengau refugee transit centre on Manus Island. Suspected suicide.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

What Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull didn't say when he announced Australia's new space agency


ABC News, 30 September 2017:

Australia is building three new satellites that will conduct audio and visual surveillance for the Defence Force.

The Federal Government has given $10 million to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra space team to complete the project.

Work on the first satellite is already underway and is scheduled for lift-off next year.

The device, which is known as a Cubesat, is the size of a loaf of bread and weighs about four kilograms.

University of New South Wales Canberra space director Professor Russell Boyce said, while small, the spacecraft had a big task ahead.

"It's got an onboard capability to listen to objects on the surface of the earth, in particular we are interested in ships, so it's assisting the defence force in maritime surveillance," Professor Boyce said.

Another two satellites, each twice the size of the first satellite, are scheduled to be completed by 2019.

"They will not just have the software to find radio, but also some optical telescopes and cameras," Professor Boyce said.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the data collected from the satellites could assist military spy planes with their work, and help detect asylum seeker boats. [my yellow emphasis]

BACKGROUND


Friday, 22 September 2017

More wheels are falling off the Turnbull Government train


BuzzFeed News, 14 September 2017:

Australia's immigration detention regime is facing a crisis in healthcare staffing following the resignation of the surgeon-general of the Australian Border Force (ABF), and the departure of three senior medical staff on Nauru.

Rumours have circulated online for several days that the surgeon-general of the ABF, Dr John Brayley, who oversees the healthcare of asylum seekers in immigration detention, had resigned.

BuzzFeed News has now confirmed that the surgeon-general resigned last week. A senior immigration department source confirmed his resignation, although the department has declined to comment.

Brayley's department email now has an indefinite out-of-office message. His phone has been switched off and is no longer receiving voicemail. His Linkedin profile has also recently removed his position as surgeon-general as his current occupation.


Brayley's resignation comes at a difficult time for the department. The ABF is continuing to face allegations of medical treatment failures at detention centres. A whistleblower on Nauru recently warned that pregnant women on Nauru were being denied terminations.

The department is also facing further internal changes in the lead up to the creation of the new Home Affairs department that will see the ABF merge with agencies including the Australian Federal Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Brayley's position — and extensive background in medicine — placed him uniquely to manage healthcare matters in the department and recommend appropriate clinical care for asylum seekers. But his position as surgeon-general also made him a focal point for criticism. He routinely received correspondence from advocates about asylum seeker healthcare matters.

Any decent federal government with an ounce of compassion would end this terrible situation on Manus and Nauru islands.