asylum seekers

In brief

Remand prison riot over smoking ban

First Nations Liberation organised an action on June 30 in solidarity with the inmates, at the Metropolitan Assessment Prison, colloquially known as Metropolitan Aboriginal Prison because so many of the inmates are Aboriginal, following the riot that took place there in response to smoking bans due to commence on July 1.

The action included a smoking ceremony.
The ABC reported that about 300 prisoners were involved in the disturbance, which included breaching a “secure inner perimeter”.

Asylum seekers dealt a cruel blow by 11th hour legislation

Asylum-seekers and their supporters have been dealt a cruel blow this week thanks to the shameful, bipartisan support for offshore detention within the Australian parliament.

A High Court challenge to the legality of Australia’s offshore detention of asylum seekers has been undermined by an eleventh hour bill rushed through the House of Representatives and Senate, unamended and with ALP support, on June 24 and 25.

Tony Abbott’s latest cruel act in his ‘stop the boats’ pantomime

The Tony Abbott government’s illegal “Turn Back the Boats” policy is under further scrutiny, following media revelations that in late May, Australian customs officials paid $US30,000 to six crew members on a boat carrying 65 asylum seekers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, which was heading to New Zealand, from Indonesia.

Whistleblower: Nauru and Manus detention centres can't be fixed and should be closed down

A small symbolic protest in the rain was held outside the Commonwealth government offices in Bligh St, Sydney on June 16.

The action marked the submission of a petition to the Senate with 65,000 signatures calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru asylum seeker detention centres.

These Australian offshore asylum seeker detention centres were disasters that could not be fixed, Nicole Judge, a whistleblower and former worker at both centres, told the protest which was organised by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition.

Australia transfers refugee families back to Nauru

Early this month the federal government transferred its first infant back Nauru.

The five-month-old baby girl known as “Asha” (not her real name), her mother and father were forcibly transported from Melbourne's detention centre to Darwin detention centre and then to Nauru.

Refugee activist Siobhan Marren has been campaigning for Asha and her family’s return.

She told Green Left Weekly: “Asha is the first baby to be transferred back to offshore detention since the amendment to the Migration Act last December.

Sydney Rally Supports Manus and Nauru Closure Petition

Thirty refugee rights activists rallied outside Commonwealth offices in Sydney, to coincide with the June 17 presentation of a 65,000 strong petition to the Federal Parliament in Canberra, calling for the immediate closure of Manus Island and Nauru detention centres.

The petition is here and can still be signed.

Nicole Judge, Manus Island detention centre whistleblower, and Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) spoke at the rally.

Secrecy hides abuse of refugees and government criminality

Reports of physical and sexual violence, including against children, continue to emerge from Australian refugee detention centres in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Allegations have also emerged that Australian authorities had paid people smugglers to take a boat of asylum seekers away from Australian waters.

But the government has continued to respond with secrecy, vilification of critics and increasingly draconian government measures to prevent information coming out.

Ecuador says 'no one is illegal' in proposed law to help asylum seekers, migrants

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa announced radical plans to support asylum-seekers and stateless people. Ecuador’s socialist government is proposing a new law to make all migrants legal in the country.

Correa said during his weekly address: “The right to migrate is guaranteed in the rules. No human being will be considered illegal.”

Asylum seeker solidarity shown at Vast Supper

Newcastle based group Hunter Asylum Seeker Advocacy (HASA) held a successful fundraiser for the asylum seekers who have been given so-called 'residency' on Nauru.

Earlier this year one of the asylum seekers had opened up a Pakistani restaurant in Nauru. HASA asked The Love Tree Cafe in Newcastle if they could host a solidarity dinner there, following the recipes of the Pakistani restaurant.

To their astonishment, The Love Tree not only agreed to do it, but did so gratis. Staff volunteered their time, and the venue and food were provided free to maximise the returns.

War, ecocide and poverty turning millions more into refugees

If you listen to most Western politicians you could be forgiven for thinking that refugees are a pesky annoyance, greedy “economic refugees” from the Third World illegitimately trying to break into this wealthy country.

Their now monotonously routine scapegoating of refugees for the pain and insecurity that more and more people feel, even in the richest countries in the world, translates into plain abuse out there in the public.

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