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24 June 6:15 PM
Coombs Lecture Theatre, ANU
A public screening, brought to you by the ANU Law Students' Society ...
Renowned UK producer, Callum Macrae, tours Australia for the premiere of his documentary "No Fire Zone: In The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka".
For those of you with a passion for social justice, international law, war, conflict, human rights or journalism, come along to this screening - one of just a few around Australia.
Join us after the 90 minute film for a Q&A discussion with producer, Callum Macrae.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yn08h90Ue8
Find out about the film: http://nofirezone.org/about
For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warning: this film contains disturbing images depicting death, injury, execution and evidence of sexual abuse and murder.
Tuesday 25 June 6PM, Baldessin Building W120 or thereabouts
see map at http://tinyurl.com/8gc44gt
[Peter 0401 960 467 or Harry 0433 375 501]
Write your own protest email or letter to a coalition MP. The opposition is planning draconian legislation if they are elected to government this year.
The Coalition want ASIO to have unfettered power to indefinitely detain refugees and their families - with no option to review these decisions.
We know that not all Coalition MPs support this controversial and cruel new policy. We need to give dissenting coalition MPs and Senators cover to speak out in the party room and change this policy before the Federal Election.
[from Get Up]
Papua New Guinea opposition leader Belden Namah issues a challenge to Australia's immigration detention centre on Manus Island: 22 Jan 2013 Manus Legal Challenge Is Bad News For Canberra by Ben Eltham
"The legality of an Australian detention centre is on trial - in the court of another nation. It is another obstacle faced by a government on a quest to deprive innocent people of their human rights, writes Ben Eltham
The difficult art of government has many challenges, and its practitioners know many failures. But there is something about asylum seeker policy that seems especially corrosive to Australian democracy.
… Namah plans to challenge the legality of the centre in PNG's Supreme Court. He argues that the PNG Constitution protects individuals against detention without charge, and that asylum seekers being held there have not been charged with any crime."
see more at New Matilda: http://newmatilda.com/2013/01/22/manus-legal-challenge-bad-news-canberra
Manus Island conditions, photos in The Age 4th January 2013
on the 13th January this morning around 11.30am, an Iraqi asylum seeker attempted to hang himself on Manus Island.
On Saturday (12th Jan 2013) Pamela Curr reported: "Today around 35 men were extracted from NIDC in Darwin and transported to Manus Camp to live in tents and share eating facilities with families and children already there.
… Dumping vulnerable people into a jungle camp and calling in local police who have no language skills or cultural knowledge of the trauma of refugees is asking for trouble."
Australia's Deadly Game
by Aubrey Belford December 12, 2012
The Global Mail investigates how Australian authorities are co-operating with corrupt local authorities who bend the law to keep would-be refugees trapped in a country that they desperately want to escape.
Frank Brennan writes in Eureka Street. Worth Reading to get a clearer understanding of the offshore project of the government and complete absence of any legal or human rights protections
Canberra Times: 'Asylum seeker adviser quits' December 14, 2012 (Michael Gordon)
Professor Harry Minas, "one of Australia's leading mental health experts has quit the Gillard government's advisory council on asylum seekers and detention after more than a decade, citing plans to indefinitely deny work rights to thousands of recent arrivals as ''the last straw''.
Petition to the Salvation Army on Nauru not to limit internet access:
The Salvation Army has told asylum seekers on Nauru it will limit their internet access to 30 minutes every two days, not allow swapping of allocated time between them, or even allow one friend to help another with the internet, and spare computers cannot be used. Previously asylum seekers had been allowed to swap with each other which helped them communicate their families at times they were contactable.
From the Freilich Foundation site: UNHCR Public Forum: Boats, asylum and public perceptions http://freilich.anu.edu.au/
Watch the forum. with questions from RAC members.
Bowen's asylum line is illegal William Maley, Penelope Mathew November 27, 2012
"We are bound by international law to treat refugees as we do other foreign nationals".
Cruelty, in the name of all of us. Graham Thom reports from his inspection of Nauru. (November 26, 2012) "What is happening on Nauru is an affront to humanity. People who asked for our help are being broken." Read more: http://tinyurl.com/bq386y6
Sydney Morning Herald, Bianca Hall
UN gives Canberra deadline to address refugee health fears. November 20, 2012
"THE United Nations has given Australia a month to show how it will ensure the mental and physical safety of two refugees, one of whom tried to commit suicide this month."
Julian Burnside on the latest asylum seeker issue:
23 November 2012, 6.37am AEST
Bridging visas send refugee policy further down the wrong track
"In 2002, the boats stopped, some months after the Pacific Solution was first introduced. The supporters of the policy said that it was the Pacific Solution that stopped the boats: post hoc, ergo propter hoc. In 2012, boat arrival rates increased after the revamped Pacific Solution was introduced. By the same logic we could then argue that the Pacific Solution caused arrival rates to increase."
…"Almost everything that has happened in refugee policy over the past 11 years has been informed and supported by dishonest rhetoric."
…The poison was started by John Howard, but it is still streaked through the Coalition rhetoric. Earlier this week Tony Abbott shamelessly referred to boat-people as "illegals", and spoke of them entering Australia "illegally". Either his policies are founded on a gross misunderstanding of the facts, or he is being dishonest. With him, it's hard to tell.
The number of boat people arriving here are tiny, by any measure. This year, total boat people arrivals will amount to less than 8% of our annual migration intake.
Boat people do not represent a failure of border control. Around 4 million people cross our borders with permission each year (mostly for tourism, business or study). If 20,000 boat people get here this year without authority, it will mean that border control is successful 99.5% of the time."
A letter from a detainee about 1 December 2012
Dear Mr Bowen,
I am writing as an 18 year old. I have been on Christmas Island for 41 days then they transferred me to Manus Island. Before I came to Australia I had a different view about the Australian government. I was under the impre ssion that Australia is a developed country and observed human rights. Unfortunately they don't seem to care about us and it seems like they are just pretending. The Australian government would like to appear to the world that they observe human rights but they don't. As a human being I have the right to know about my future and make decisions about it. I have the right to not let people treat me in a bad way. I have the right to have the same life as other 18 year old girls. I have the right to choose. I have the right to not let people put videos of me on the Internet or on tv. I just turned 18. I have lots of hopes and visions but now they are all ruined by you. People like you destroyed my future because of your political position. You sacrificed me just to show the whole world that you observe the human rights. If you don't want people to come by boat, why would you sacrifice me? You can close the sea boarder, but you don't care about me. It's about 3 days that I haven't eaten anything. I am doing this because maybe you care. I want a clear future. I didnt find any justice in your country. Everything is fake.
From, [Name removed]
Amnesty visit to Nauru: ABC News 20th November 2012
"Amnesty International inspectors have described the conditions at the Nauru detention centre as appalling.
Two inspectors spent several hours at the centre and visited two detainees who have reportedly been hospitalised after going on a hunger strike.
One of the inspectors, Dr Graham Thom, says overcrowding and a sense of hopelessness are contributing to physical and mental problems.
"These conditions are very cramped. We are talking about 14 people to a tent. In summer, in the heat, it's always hot," he said."
See more at http://tinyurl.com/ckp7nou
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, says hunger strikes at Australia's Nauru detention centre indicate that conditions for asylum seekers there are unbearable.
Asylum seekers on Nauru say hundreds of people there are refusing food and one man has not eaten for more than a month."
Petition: No return to the Pacific Solution
The film, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, which was screened by the Refugee Action Committee and the local branch of Amnesty International at ANU on Tuesday 13 Nov, was made by Jessie Taylor and Ali Reza Sadiqi who travelled across Indonesia and interviewed asylum seekers in jails, detention centres and hostels.
The film highlights several serious issues to do with asylum seekers in Indonesia:
- The system run by UNHCR to process asylum seekers who want to register with them in order to be recognised as refugees is inefficient, inhumane and corrupt. People sleep in the street overnight in the hope of being interviewed the next morning, often being disappointed and told to return a month or two later. Only 20 are interviewed on any one occasion. -The conditions in which asylum seekers and refugees live in detention centres and other facilities are over-crowded, often inhumane and almost always lacking in basic hygiene. Medical care is totally inadequate and in many cases virtually non-existent.
-The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to which Australia pays, according to the film, $2 million a year, is inefficient and corrupt and it is clear that a lot of the money is not reaching the people it is supposed to be helping (according to the IOM website, asylum seekers in Indonesia "receive basic accommodation, medical care, allowance for food, and counseling from IOM field staff").
[The IOM web site is at: http://tinyurl.com/a96payg]
-According to the film, 2,500 people in Indonesia have been recognised by the UNHCR as refugees but are still waiting months or years for resettlement (the number now is probably higher now). Some people who get on boats have already been recognised as refugees but are desperate because there is no progress on their resettlement. Australia has been taking refugees from Indonesia at the rate of about 50 to 150 per year. Although this is set to rise to 600 in the coming year, that leaves 2,000 (probably more) recognised refugees not knowing when they will be resettled.
-Many of the asylum seekers interviewed were fully aware of the risks of getting on a boat, but felt that they had no choice, even if the risk of drowning was as much as 80-90%, because there was no future for them otherwise.
-The end of the film packed a punch as we learned the fates of the people we had just seen talking: in 2011, 2 years after the filming in Indonesia in 2009, some were living in Australia, some were known to have drowned and some were 'missing' presumed drowned.
[and a reminder. Heard on 666 local ABC radio. Jon Stanhope The new Administrator of the Christmas and Cocos Islands spoke of watching the asylum seeker boat come in to Flying Fish Cove, then later towed out and burnt. These boats are unseaworthy because they are destroyed when they arrive in Australian waters. They certainly do not return to Indonesia.]
Nauru hunger strike day 12 (November 12th 2012)
More from the Refugee Action Coalition (in Sydney)
Imogen Bailey is using her experience from "Go Back to Where you came from" Join her in the Call to Action.
Download Amnesty's Refugee Facts and Myths from http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/28141/
When people ask why asylum seekers don't fly in - show them this…
You Heard We're Stopping The Boats? You Heard Wrong. Mike Steketee Global Mail
A long article, very revealing, telling of recent experiences of people who do fly in.
The expert Panel on Asylum Seekers has handed down its report.
RAC_submission_to_Expert_Panel.doc RAC's submission to the "Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers"
The Panel web page is http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/
The Asylum Seeker Centre submission is here
Refugee and Asylum Seeker policy. A third way. (from GetUp)
The RAC submission from last year might be useful to read as we attempt to find new ways.
Submission by ACT Refugee Action Committee to Senate Legal
and Constitutional Affairs References Committee concerning
refugee 'transfer' arrangements between Australia and Malaysia
INDONESIA: Asylum seekers take to boats out of frustration
and on 25th June 2012: "Australia has taken only 59 refugees from Indonesia from January this year."
from the MANDATORY_DETENTION_forum9May2012.pdf
Speaker's notes: Amanda Bresnan's (Word document). (or as a pdf)
Our main index (home) page accumulates a lot of resources and links as events unfold.
see older home pages in the archive..
The home page as it was in October 2012:
Index page October 2012
(see earlier home pages in the archive.)
Want to help refugees?
Try this site: www.asrc.org.au
This Melbourne based Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is the largest provider of aid, advocacy and health services for asylum seekers in Australia.
Join in Amnesty's action for asylum seekers: http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/
http://tinyurl.com/23y8vnm The Edmund Rice Centre August newsletter. With words of encouragement: "In monitoring public debate in the past months we've seen a marked improvement in public discourse. Within the asylum seeker debate, there is a new wide-spread 'human rights literacy' at the broad grass-roots level. For the first time on this issue there is an ascendant strong community voice empowered to readily debunk the myths."
Previous home pages are in the archive. archive.htm
A Just Australia's June Newsletter. http://content.enewslettersonline.com/14352/37917.html
Submissions to the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Committee enquiry into people smuggling are available here: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/antipeoplesmuggling/submissions.htm
Old newsletters are in an archive: newsletter_index.html
News about books: books.html
Subscribe to the Refugee Action Committee Newsletter.
SEARCH THIS SITE with
Join the groundswell of public opinion:
at: GetUp.org.au Make your views known. Join the Get Up campaign to End Mandatory Detention!
Project Safecom newsletter will keep you up to date on issues of human rights and climate change. Subscribe at http://www.safecom.org.au/newsletter-subscribe.htm
EFA lobbying tips How to get politician's attention. A very useful site with links for addresses and tips.
From Electronic Frontiers Australia.
HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR ASYLUM SEEKERS AND REFUGEES HELD IN IMMIGRATION DETENTION CENTRES AND LIVING IN THE COMMUNITY (2005)
available as a .pdf
download from this site. (337Kbs)
Dr Aamer Sultan believes the three years he spent in detention changed the core of his identity. The director of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, Dr Louise Newman, assists some of those critically disturbed by their incarceration. In this radio programme first broadcast on 8/10/2005 they offer insight into the impact of long-term detention on men.
Asylum Seekers have been traumatized by their treatment in detention centres. The trauma continues after release. A page on mental health issues gathering items on this issue.
A collection of articles and links on Temporary Protection Visas: TPV.html
http://www.unhcr.org to find the full statistical report by UNHCR's Field Information and Coordination Support Section about numbers of people seeking asylum in industrialised countries.
Amnesty's refugee campaigns: http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees
Full details of phones, faxes and addresses for the minister and the Prime Minister.
Write letters to the editor. The Australian Christian Lobby has the email list of editors. http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=295
How to prepare and lodge a petition to the Australian Parliament.
http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees Amnesty's page on refugee issues.
Books A page for the books which come out on these topics.