asylum seekers

When refugees are being killed and injured by thugs hired by the Australian government to run its offshore refugee detention camp in Manus Island, PNG; when Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop pressures Cambodia (one of the poorest countries in the world) to take asylum seekers off Australia (one of the world's richest countries) surely it is time to say: NOT IN OUR NAME! And this is what thousands of people did over the weekend of February 22-23 in more than 750 vigils, called by internet campaigning network GetUp.
Immigration minister Scott Morrison has circumvented the Senate block of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) by making use of a different type of visa — Temporary Humanitarian Concern visas (subclass 786) (THC). Labor and the Greens blocked Morrison’s attempt to reintroduce TPVs in December when they voted it down in the Senate. Morrison initially tried to cap permanent protection visas in response, but was later forced to lift the cap.
As a 65-year-old Afghan Hazara man fights to avoid deportation, refugee rights advocates grow increasingly alarmed by reported “round ups” of hundreds of asylum seekers who are being threatened with imminent deportation. Immigration minister Scott Morrison confirmed last month that the government was re-detaining people who had been denied refugee status and have apparently exhausted their appeals. Refugees reported from detention centres across Australia that those who have been “screened out” were being told to pack up and prepare to be removed.

As a mother and her baby fight to avoid the “rat-infested” Nauru refugee camp, a Fairfax-Nielsen poll showed half of Australian voters disapprove of the Coalition government's refugee policy. The poll also showed Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come to the end of what has been described as the shortest “honeymoon period” of a PM in history. Abbott's popularity took an unprecedented dive — with a personal approval rating of 1%, believed to be fuelled by his attitude to the “diplomatic stand-off” with Indonesia over substantial spying allegations.

IED EP Pataphysics Out November 8 www.pataphysics.com Multi-lingual multi-instrumentalist Pat Marks fronts the multi-faceted Melbourne band Pataphysics. As the critically-acclaimed "guerilla hip-hop" outfit prepare to launch their new EP, Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to Marks about his multifarious pursuits, from refugee rights to juvenile justice. *** You've worked with refugees for a long time. Tell us a little about the work you do.
The two big parties have long considered refugees’ rights forfeit. This election year has been a time of unprecedented sacrifice of refugees, as each “policy” idea from Labor and the Liberals becomes more extreme than the last. After signing up Papua New Guinea and Nauru to bogus resettlement deals, PM Kevin Rudd has most recently sent families to Nauru and continues to oversee legally dubious deportations.
As asylum seekers face years of detention in the Nauru and Manus Island detention camps, where not a single claim has been assessed, the Australian government refuses to answer to scrutiny or calls for human rights oversight. The ABC’s Four Corners and SBS’s Dateline have now tried to investigate the conditions inside each “regional processing centre”. The camps are believed to be abysmal, inadequate and places of widespread physical and psychological breakdown among detainees.
It was almost a simple formality. Rejecting any attempt by the Greens to introduce rudimentary protections, the Australian Senate voted on May 16 to excise the entire country from the migration zone. It will most likely be given approval by the lower house soon. If implemented, it will mean that for all asylum seekers who arrive by boat, Australia -- and by proxy the Refugee Convention -- will legally not exist.
The federal Labor government is desperate for you to believe that its “no advantage” refugee policy is working. And from offshore detention to impoverished “living in the community”, children and teenagers will be no exception to its increasingly cruel measures. Immigration minister Brendan O'Connor derided the mounting calls to have children and families removed from the Manus Island detention camp after its appalling conditions were exposed by the ABC’sFour Corners.
The Refugee Action Coalition Sydney released this statement on April 8. *** At 2am on April 8, 28 ASIO-negative refugees — 24 Sri Lankan, two Iranian and two Rohingyas — began a hunger strike at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) detention centre. They have gathered on the playground inside the detention facility.

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