When the US-led coalition invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, several pretexts were given.
Imprisonment is still mandatory for refugees arriving by boat — despite the ALP government’s promise to mitigate the harsh anti-refugee policies of its predecessor. In the latest incident, the navy intercepted a boat carrying 52 refugees and three crew on August 29 and took them to the Christmas Island prison camp.
On August 12, ALP federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced a discussion paper that foreshadowed a new raft of draconian “anti-terror” laws. The proposed new laws would give police the power to enter premises without a warrant and create new “terrorist” offences.
On August 4, theatrical pre-dawn raids in Melbourne by more than 400 Victorian, NSW and federal police and ASIO agents — including paramilitary units armed with sub-machineguns — launched Australia’s latest terrorism scare.
Afghan prisoners of war at the US military-run prison at Bagram, outside Kabul, have refused to wash or leave their cells in protest at their indefinite imprisonment since at least July 1, the Sydney Morning Herald said on July 17.
The Sydney Nuclear Free Coalition organised a protest at the Marrickville office of Federal ALP MP Anthony Albanese on the morning of July 15. They called on Albanese to call for a repeal of a bill that allows radioactive waste dumps in the Northern Territory.
US President Barack Obama used his African heritage in his July 11 speech to the Ghanaian parliament in Accra as justification for proceeding to blame Africa’s problems on its own people.
On July 5, hundreds were killed in the East Turkestan capital, Urumqi, after protests by Uyghurs against racism and discrimination were attacked by Chinese security forces.
“The situation for women in Afghanistan today is like hell”, Afghan feminist, pro-democracy activist and illegally suspended parliamentarian Malalai Joya told Green Left Weekly."The situation for women in Afghanistan today is like hell", Afghan feminist, pro-democracy activist and illegally suspended parliamentarian Malalai Joya told Green Left Weekly. For Joya, who is currently touring Australia to promote her political autobiography Raising My Voice, it is a familiar situation.
Daily protests have continued in Iran against alleged vote-rigging in the June 12 presidential elections, despite an intensification of violent repression.
Saharawi refugee and preschool teacher Fetim Sellami is a central character in the Australian documentary Stolen, a film set in the refugee camps in south-west Algeria that have been home to 165,000 Saharawi refugees since their country, Western Sahara, was invaded by Morocco in 1975. However, when she and her husband, Baba Hocine Mahfoud, attended its June 11 premiere at the Sydney Film Festival, they did not receive red carpet treatment, despite the long distance they had travelled.
Since the June 12 Iranian presidential election, and the almost immediate announcement of a landslide victory for incumbent Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, Iran has been convulsed by mass protests alleging electoral fraud.