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No to the Malaysia Deal! Rally for Refugees - Canberra
Time: Saturday, September 3 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Petrie Plaza, Civic (in front of the merry-go-round)
A Facebook page for the September Rally http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=197478166980161 invite your friends! (if you are on facebook)
Tuesday 30th August 2011 6pm: at ANU Contact: Peter 0401 960467 or Farida 0412 109160
An email from Pamela Curr 3rd August 2011:
It is bad enough to see AFP officers practising assault in the jungle, but what is going on behind closed doors is equally disturbing.
Three men who in desperation were on the roof in Darwin and who have been receiving specialist Torture and Trauma Counselling, were forcibly removed to RED BLOCK on Christmas Island.
No expense to be spared to persecute and punish.
There they will be detained at the Minister's pleasure in isolation cells.
I have met one of the men. He bears scars on his face and neck from attacks and beating by the Taliban but of course he was found not to be a refugee.
Last week he sent this plea
With due resepect i pay my best regards to you and wish that my email will find you happy and healthy. I am sending a an open letter by the name of "A voice of persecution in human Cage". It is about to show the people, the kind people of Australia, the loving people of Australia, The sincere people of Australia that we are in very bad conditions. We the Hazara Afghan Asylum seeker have been detained in side the cage for about 15 to 22 months. So we humble request, we humbly beg a assist from the kind people of Australia that please come and help us. We are waiting for you and looking for you assistance. So please, please.
I hope you will read this and understand about our compulsion that we have now.
Wish you all the best and may the blessing of the God be upon you.
Now he is a sound proof cell where no one will hear his cries.
Pamela Curr Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003 ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075 "NO ONE CHOOSES TO BE AN ASYLUM SEEKER"
http://tinyurl.com/3o88xt9 A refugee reconnects. A story in The Age 2nd July 2011.
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2782310.html Mandatory Detention. Expensive and unnecessary. Pamela Curr in The Drum. (ABC)
Boat arrivals in 2010 = 6502
Boat arrivals so far in 2011 = 1621 people. SEE THE DROP in number in the same year that we are planning to export people.
Policy based on the politics of hate and prejudice not evidence
Boat arrivals to Lampedusa (island off coast of Italy) so far in 2011=40,000 -
http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/goback "Go Back to Where you came from!" was on SBS from 21 June. Read the comments, join the conversation.
An article in The Age (Raye Colbey) Thank you Raye
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2770450.html The Drum, ABC comment from Helen Razer 24June2011
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/25/3253374.htm Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has slammed the Federal Government's refugee swap deal with Malaysia in a scathing critique.
Malcolm Fraser highlights the plight of asylum seekers arriving by plane. in The Age 13th June 2011. They are in the community, but have no access to work, to healthcare or welfare.
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2011/s3240886.htm Malaysian Deal is illegal says Refugee expert.
"Professor James Hathaway says Australia's current Government and the previous one have acted with extraordinary callous disregard for the rights of asylum seekers.…
…The difficulty is there is no gate keeper. Having denied the courts the right to apply the treaty the Government effectively knows that it can act effectively in disregard of its obligations and no-one has the power to stop them."
(reported in The World Today Friday 10th June, 2011 on the ABC)
Mandatory Detention is no deterrent. Canberra Times 11th June 2011.
Distressing reading: The June 2011 newsletter from ChilOut. (Children out of Detention)
we have returned to older ways.
Breaking Point. A death in Villawood. TV report on Dateline May 29th 2011.
See photos on our Facebook page (Canberra Refugee Action Committee).
FREE THE REFUGEES
12pm Sat 30th April
Petrie Plaza Civic
(near the merry-go-round)
Last October, when the government announced it would release children seeking asylum from detention, they held 742 children; today, there are 1084. The government continues to detain over 1000 refugees whose claims they have already accepted while they await 'security clearance', some for as long as 20 months. Instead of incarcerating asylum seekers as a last resort in accordance with the government's stated policy, PM Gillard has insisted on demonising them, sending riot police to Christmas Island to shoot nonviolent protesters with tear gas and beanbag bullets. Three weeks ago, we witnessed the fifth suicide in immigration detention in just seven months. Now, desperate refugees have torched their prison at Villawood while over 100 are on hunger strike at Curtin.
in Sydney Morning Herald 25th March 2011 David Marr on the violence on Christmas Island.
"Now we are shooting them. Tear-gas, batons and water cannon were used years ago when unrest swept detention centres. But a fresh line was crossed on March 13 and crossed again a few nights later when Australian Federal Police at Christmas Island's North West Point detention centre fired on asylum seekers. Then the place was torched.…"
In The Australian, 30 March 2011 from the inquest into the shipwreck on Christmas Island on December 15, 2010. "there was no surveillance of boats approaching Christmas Island …"
We remember with sadness the death on Monday of Mohammad Asif Atay, a 19yr old Hazara man who committed suicide in Curtin detention centre. There have been five suicides in seven months in detention centres.
See also: http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/45750.html In ABC's The Drum unleashed 30 March 2011.
Newsletter_March2011.pdf March 2011 Newsletter. (48Kbs)
Twenty people came:
Close Christmas Island detention centre; End mandatory detention
Tuesday 22 March, 5-6.15pm Dept of Immigration and Citizenship, 6 Chan St Belconnen
Organised by the ACT Refugee Action Committee
Call Peter on 0401960467 or Harry on 0433375501
Just in the past week we have seen…
*The use of tear gas and "bean bag rounds" on Christmas Island to subdue peaceful protests
*Yet another suicide by an asylum seeker (this time on the remote, inaccessible Scherger air force base in the Gulf of Carpentaria)
*More repressive practices in Curtin detention centre
*The near suicide of a boy in Boradmeadows detention centre
*Promises that ASIO will finally clear the backlog of security checks by the end of April
*Renewed calls by the Uniting Church and HREOC for the closure of Christmas Island
WE NEED TO KEEP THE PRESSURE ON, and force a change in government policy.
OPEN THE GATES!
Articles in Eureka street. Worth reading: Blame Detention Centres, not detainees by Andrew Hamilton (21 March 2011); also the Lenten Podcast series. Who is welcome at our table? Australia's response to refugees.
Christmas Island protests were peaceful until the police and Tactical Response Group arrived from the mainland with a level of force which has not been seen in Australia before. (but also, see on the blog, the story of a SERCO guard caught in the mayhem on Thursday night.) Read more on the blog at http://refugeeaction.blogspot.com/
CHRISTMAS ISLAND: Tear Gas AND Rubber Bullets
We are hearing that a man has gone to hospital with a broken leg --- caused by a rubber bullet…
Detainees heard shooting last night. These are men who know that sound.
When were rubber bullets last used in Australia? Have they ever been used before?
Lateline has the story: [http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/ the AFP Tactical Response Group were using modified shotgun pellets. (little "balloons filled with pellets") wouldn't it be so much easier and cheaper to keep the gate open? to run a bus into the town… this is an island community. We are not talking about criminals. Why incarcerate them?
http://www.rran.org/ Western Australian Refugee Rights Action Network. A useful site.
A new Myths and Facts sheet for March 2011 Myths&factsMarch2011.pdf
It's true that there are no children in the six designated IDCs. But as of 4 February 2011, the Immigration department held 1027 children under the age of 18 in other immigration detention facilities, many more than in October when the government announced children would be released.
Click below to tell the Government that it's time to deliver on the promise to truly release refugee children from detention. https://www.getup.org.au/campaign/NoChildrenInDetention
The Greens (Senator Hanson Young) has proposed the Government establish a special commissioner to conduct a six month independent review on how we can safeguard the rights of children in our immigration system.
Please write to ask Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to support the independent review on children in detention.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen
(02) 9726 4100
Prime Minister Gillard
(03) 9742 5800 - electorate office
email via this link http://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm
http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/castaway-kids/ An ABC special report about unaccompanied minors. (early 2011)
What is it like in the Leonora Detention Centre? Read about it on the Chilout web site: http://www.chilout.org/index.php?p=1_23
What this debate is doing to this nation. Kon Karapanagiotidis received an Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day. He is the founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne. After the floods in Queensland, he was receiving hate mail. See his article in 7 News. (use this as yet another reason to write, and send, a letter!)
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/07/3131513.htm ABC News on the return of people to Afghanistan. Safety cannot be guaranteed. (there are a lot of resources on this page.)
Watch this video. http://www.one80project.com.au/view_entry10.php?id=83. This is the story of one of the detainees on Christmas Island. His wife, 4 year old son, and baby daughter could not wait in Iraq and came on the boat. All three died on December 15th 2010. His son and wife are lost; the baby's body was still in the morgue/fridge when the film was made. Thanks to Colman Ridge for alerting us to it. View this video. Let your local member know about it (and the Prime Minister!)
1065 children in detention - 1040 under lock and key. Pamela Curr [25 in community detention on mainland (not required to be accompanied by a designated person)] 14 January 2011
"The High Court's decision last Thursday [20Jan2011] to reject Sister Brigid Arthur's case for releasing four young Afghan asylum seekers suggests that Australia has lost its way."
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42532.html ABC Unleashed examines what really lies behind refugee policies.
From the department:
"The potential for the experience of immigration detention to compound psychological damage caused by previous torture and trauma demands a carefully considered response by health services and other personnel working in the immigration detention environment."
In a 2009 report from the department that can be read at:
http://www.safecom.org.au/siev221-lessons.htm from Project Safecom a list of articles and reflections on the tragedy on Christmas Island and the lessons to be learned.
The Pacific Solution myth. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/42486.html
Got lots of questions? Download information (lots of it!) from Project Safecom's documents: http://www.safecom.org.au/ref-documents.htm
What will we be returning people to in Afghanistan?
http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/back-to-the-danger-zone-20110118-19v7b.html Phil Glendinning of the Edmund Rice Centre writes about the dangers to civilians. On Monday, (17th Jan 2011) a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Australia and Afghanistan which will allow the repatriation of unsuccessful asylum seekers. He writes:
"Many Afghans have now been made vulnerable by this memorandum of understanding, including members of the persecuted Hazara ethnic minority and women who will be perceived as having departed from acceptable cultural norms.
The memorandum even explicitly lays out the groundwork for the deportation of separated and unaccompanied children back to the war zone that is Afghanistan."
Detention Centres in Australia. Statistics from Immigration Department:
http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/82detention.htm#e (fact sheets with details of types of detention.)
http://refugeeaction.org.au/ Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney); Ian Rintoul is spokesman, (phone: 0417 275 713)
Stay informed. Sign up for the ASRC newsletter at http://www.asrc.org.au/signup/
Why they don't stay in Indonesia: http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/11/22/beaten-and-bruised-graphic-photos-of-a-detention-escapee/
Around midnight on 15th of November 2010 a father of three, … in lonely desperation ended his life. His claim for asylum has been rejected twice and he faced possible deportation to Iraq where he feared he would be killed. He had been in Immigration detention for over 12 months.
This is the second death at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in less than two months. Teenagers are cutting themselves in distress and threatening to end their lives.
The question for this government is how many must die for their brutal mandatory detention policy. When will Labor and Liberal stop this vicious race to the bottom in the competition to prove themselves tough on asylum seekers?
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/larrc/news-events/seminar-items/seeking-asylum-in-the-region Seminar at La Trobe University on "Seeking asylum in the region". the website is useful for articles and ideas.
The Law Report on Radio National on the 23rd November 2010 reports on the High Court decision:
Judgement was given on the High Court cases on Thursday, 11 November, 2010, at 9.30am. (these were the landmark cases … challenging the Government's offshore processing regime for asylum seekers.)
The court found for the asylum seekers. The government was ordered to pay costs.
The Judgement is available at: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2010/41.html [the cases were: M61/2010E v The Commonwealth & Ors and M69 of 2010 v The Commonwealth & Ors]
Is this in essence what the High Court decision means for refugees?
From careful reading of the situation it seems that since 2008 the Minister's Directives to those hearing applications for protection stated that their appeals were not being heard under Australian law but that Australian law should be used as a guide only. So Australian law was not necessarily followed exactly in hearings since 2008. The High Court has now said that all persons have a right be heard under Australian Law. This means that any cases where the law was used only as a guide and not as a directive should now be able to appeal any negative decisions.
The Parliamentary Library has produced a document on refugee law. It is available at http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/BN/law/RefugeeLaw.pdf (813Kbs)
Mother Fish the story of four refugees fleeing Vietnam in a tiny boat, is at the National Film and Sound Archive for a limited season.
Thurs 25 Nov: 2pm & 7 pm; Sun 28 Nov: 7pm; Thurs 2 Dec: 2 pm; Sat 4 Dec: 2 pm http://tinyurl.com/23qua3b
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released its 2010 Report on calling for an end to mandatory detention on Christmas Island: http://www.humanrights.gov.au/about/media/media_releases/2010/106_10.html
See what the overcrowding on Christmas Island means. Aren't there more tents in Australia? more washing machines? http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human_rights/immigration/idc2010_christmas_island.html#Heading613 40 bunk beds (close together) in the tent "dormitories". As the report says, it may be ok for one or two nights emergency accommodation, but not for weeks or months on end!
Latest newsletter Newsletter_March2011.pdf (48KBs)
Get Children out of Detention. http://www.chilout.org/
Join in the ASRC campaign at http://www.asrc.org.au/campaigns/1-get-kids-out-detention/ Get Kids Out of Detention!
Facebook page (Canberra Refugee Action Committee)
Self Harm in Detention. It is happening again; The Age 4th October 2010
Write a letter (hard copy) to Minister Chris Bowen letting him know we have seen this before.
We do not want to see a repeat of the harm that we do to detainees.
Address details here
See our resources and links on mental health in detention, at mental_health.htm
The Pacific Solution by Susan Metcalfe
When we engage with the stories of the people held under the Pacific Solution policy
and acknowledge our shared humanity, can we justify what we have done?
An interview with Susan about Nauru in The Age. http://tinyurl.com/2frgba5
Order Form (available here during August/September 2010. 1MB pdf download)
The Pacific Solution Susan Metcalfe ISBN 978 1 921509 94 0 PB $24.95
AUSTRALIAN SCHOLARLY PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 299 Kew, Vic 3101 www.scholarly.info
7 Lt Lothian St North, North Melbourne 3051 email@example.com p 03 93296963 f 03 93295452
Overturn the freeze on the processing of Afghan asylum seekers, particularly ethnic minority Hazaras. (William Maley)
Children in Detention arrangements in Australia.
Life Matters on Radio National, 13th September 2010
Kerry Murphy in Eureka Street "A modern approach to refugee resettlement"
"…John Howard did not stop the boats, he sent them to Nauru. The immigration department was ordered to stop recording the boats on the annual totals, because they never reached Australia but were shipped to Nauru. They never stopped coming, not in 2001, not in 2002 and not in 2003." from Project Safecom (Jack Smit).
March 2011 newsletter now at
as pdf file (48KBs)
At http://freilich.anu.edu.au/node/73 Pene Mathews (Freilich Foundation Professor at the ANU) comments on the opposition's policy:
"The majority of asylum-seekers do arrive in Australia lawfully (eg on a tourist visa) and then apply for refugee status."
"The world offers a mere 79,000 odd resettlement places — less than one percent of the world's refugee population…" Australia resettles 13,000 refugees every year. (we had 177,600 immigrants in 2006-07)
The Freilich Lecture from Professor Penelope Mathew, Listen at http://freilich.anu.edu.au/ Also on ABC The Drum.
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.