Manus Detainees Seek Witness Protection

  • In other news – Major upgrades to security at the Manus Island detention centre, including the installation of CCTV cameras and better fencing, had been recommended by the commander of Operation Sovereign Borders three months before the deadly riots in February, but were not acted on, new documents show.

“It is clear the Minister failed to act.”

image
image: Despina Kiriakidis from the site the the arrivalists: writing from within detention
By Michael Gordan
Originally published in The Age

Lawyers acting for asylum seekers who say they witnessed the killing of Reza Barati at the Manus Island detention centre in February have launched a High Court action to have them placed in protective custody in Australia.

The asylum seekers, who are still to be interviewed by Papua New Guinea police investigating Mr Barati’s death, say they have received death threats and fear for their safety while they remain in the centre.

A writ issued on Wednesday also accuses the Australian and PNG governments of committing crimes against humanity by exposing asylum seekers to arbitrary and indefinite detention in “tortuous, inhuman and degrading conditions”.

The action is aimed at securing the return of the asylum seekers to Australia for processing and preventing any more being sent to PNG. It will be vigorously defended by the Abbott government.

The legal action coincides with renewed tensions at the facility, amid speculation that several asylum seekers will be told their claims for refugee status have been rejected.

One Iranian was told on Wednesday that he had received a “positive initial assessment” and “may be eligible to participate in more activities in the PNG community”. But a letter to the asylum seeker said this did not mean he was a refugee, and a final decision would be made by PNG immigration minister, Rimbink Pato.

Mr Barati was killed and more than 60 others were injured when PNG nationals entered the centre on the night of February 17 armed with machetes, guns and other weapons.

Lawyers acting on behalf of 354 of around 1300 asylum seekers being held in the Manus Island facility have also called for a royal commission-style inquiry into arrangements, events and conditions at the centre.

They are seeking an urgent hearing on the application for the asylum seekers to be given witness protection. One of the witnesses, who says he can identify most of those involved in Mr Barati’s death, has already told a PNG court that he fears for his life if he reveals what he saw on February 17. He says PNG guards, PNG locals and expatriate Australians were involved in the death.

Lead counsel Jay Williams took detailed statements from the witnesses before being deported from PNG last month, but the asylum seekers have refused to speak to police investigating Mr Barati’s death until their safety can be guaranteed.

Instructing solicitor Ruth Hudson, who is senior associate with the Sydney law firm Stacks Goudkamp, said the action by the PNG government to shut down a human rights inquiry initiated by PNG judge Justice Cannings underscored the case for an inquiry to be established in Australia. She proposed that former High Court judge Michael Kirby head the inquiry.

Among the claims made in the writ filed on Wednesday are that the asylum seekers were forcibly deported from Australia in violation of international law and have been detained without access to legal representation, judicial review or a fair hearing.

They say they have been exposed to murder, attempted murder, threats of cannibalism, grievous bodily harm and other “gross humanitarian violations”. A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said it would not be appropriate to comment on matters before the courts.

INTO THE WILDERNESS

This program is dedicated to the memory and work of Michael C Ruppert, whistler blower, investigative journalist and author.

Murray Carew and I were both disappointed to hear that Michael had passed away and having been influenced and informed by him wanted very much to contribute to this show.

LISTEN ONLINE

DOWNLOAD FROM RADIO4ALL

During this show as well as hearing us speak you’ll hear clips from Michael’s radio show The Lifeboat Hour and the documentary film about him Collapse.

We play one caller from the tribute show which Lifeboat Hour co host Carolyn Baker hosted the Sunday following his death.

Murray reads out the poem which he emailed to Carolyn and others’ before he took his own life.

Apocalypse, Man
Apocalypse, Man

MUSIC

Ani DiFranco – Self Evident

Resident Anti-Hero – Your Planet is at War

Miriums Well – Big House

Insurge – Political Prisoners

 

Ruppert and his dog

 

 

How safe are the nuclear facilities of Australia’ uranium customers? Jim Green Reports

Antinuclear

Green,JimNuclear security and Australia’s uranium exportJim Green, 8 April 2014 ,   http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=16197 “………Australia’s uranium customers   Nuclear security standards are demonstrably inadequate in a number of Australia’s uranium customer countries. Nuclear security risk factors in  Russia  include political instability, ineffective governance, pervasive corruption, and the presence of groups determined to obtain nuclear materials. A March 2014 report  by Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs notes that Russia has the world’s largest nuclear stock­piles stored in the world’s largest number of buildings and bunkers, and that underfunding raises serious questions about whether effective nuclear security and accounting systems can be sustained.”

In a 2011 report, the US Director of National Intelligence discussed nuclear smuggling in Russia: “We assess that undetected smuggling of weapons-usable nuclear material has occurred, but we do not know the total amount of material that has been diverted or stolen since the…

View original post 747 more words

Systems of Control

Listen Online

Download from Radio4all

This week on Tweet Back Radio which airs on 4ZZZ before The Anarchy Show the crew asked the question – who do the police serve?

So we continued this discussion into the beginning of the show and our discussion is included in this episode of Autonomous Action Radio.

Following this Peter reviews Thomas Kineally’s book Shame and the Captives which centres around another system of control – the army.

We also take a look at the ‘black bloc’ tactic with The Stimulator in the latest episode of It’s the End of the World as we Know it and I feel fine!!

And the coal industry

Music

99 Posse – Rigurgito Antifascista info
Fugees – The Score info
The Saints – Securty City info
The Pogues – The Band Played Waltzing Matilda info
The Great Shame – Police State

NYPD Happy Snaps Unlikely

In a move which shows how disconnected public relations staff can be from reality, the New York police department Twitter account posted this suggestion –

“Do you have a photo w/ a member of the NYPD? Tweet us & tag it #myNYPD. It may be featured on our Facebook,” the department posted on its NYPD News Twitter feed, hoping to fuel a feel-good, low-cost public relations campaign.

As could easily have been predicted given the history of the NYPD instead of feel good images, images of police brutality filled the Twitter profile.

Images and tweets of many arrests went viral, including  an officer pulling the hair of a handcuffed young black woman and another of the bloodied face of an 84-year-old stopped for jaywalking.

One image showing police after striking a protester brought the remark “Here the #NYPD engages with its community members, changing hearts and minds one baton at a time.”

Also largely criticized was the unpopular “stop and frisk” policy, which  unfairly targets minority youth.

NYPDs ‘finest’ moments include –

1999 – 4 officers shoot Amadou Diallo a total of 41 times outside his apartment

2006 – 3 men shot at a total of 51 times by plain clothes and undercover police. Sean Bell was killed the morning before his wedding

2012 – Cop fatally shoots unarmed black teen in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother in their Bronx home.

2012 – unarmed Noel Polanco fatally shot by officer after being pulled over while driving home.

More information on NYPD murders here.

Bl2frUMIIAIppdw

nypd23n-2-web nypd-three

 

 

 

 

Manus Island Update

  • Sunday an Iraqi man escaped from Manus Island Detention Centre by jumping over the fences. When he escaped, he ran into the ocean and tried to drown himself. He is still incredibly distressed and wants to kill himself, he is under constant watch with 2 officers with him at all times.
  • 62 days since the Syrians on Manus Island have been on hunger strike.

 

"G4S utilised personal protection gear but no batons or otherweapons were i situ":  Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Supplied

“G4S utilised personal protection gear but no batons or otherweapons were i situ”: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Supplied

Papua New Guinea nationals attacked asylum seekers on Manus Island

Papua New Guinean nationals employed as security guards on Manus Island attacked asylum seekers at the detention centre more than 24 hours before Iranian Reza Barati died in a night of shocking violence, new footage shows.

The footage, obtained by Fairfax Media, shows the security guards attacking a group of asylum seekers who had absconded from the centre after being told they had no prospect of being settled outside PNG if their claims for refugee status were eventually recognised.

There are also images that show no action was taken to rope off the scene of Mr Barati’s killing before evidence was either compromised or completely cleared away, including the rock that witnesses say made sure he was dead.

The footage and images raise new questions about what was done to reduce the risk of violence at the centre and the adequacy of the subsequent investigation.

Location of Australia's off shore detention centres

The morning after the violence, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison reported that the centre would resume “normal operations” and maintained: “G4S utilised personal protection gear but no batons or other weapons were in situ and were in control of the centre for the entire period.”

But the footage clearly shows security guards throwing stones and other objects at asylum seekers seeking refuge in a room after being chased back into the centre by the guards.

Fairfax Media has also obtained images that show how the fence at the compound was pushed in by PNG nationals who entered the centre, allegedly enraged by offensive chants by asylum seekers.

They also show bullet holes within the complex at “stomach” level, challenging the assertion that the only shots fired were warning shots in the air; and they show damage to an asylum seeker’s door from a machete as asylum seekers say they were hiding inside.

Interviews with security guards support the emails of an Australian who warned colleagues that the detention centre was “totally unprepared” for any major incident, such as the violence of February 16 and 17, when Mr Barati died and more than 60 others were injured.

“The incidents at Manus Island are the subject of an independent review and police investigation”: Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Leigh Henningham

It was reported on the weekend that Paul Skillen, who worked as a G4S security supervisor at the centre, emailed colleagues in November expressing concerns that poorly trained workers were staffing the centre, which was “a tinderbox ready to ignite”.

The emails have been submitted to a Senate inquiry set up to investigate the violence at the centre.

Security guards who asked that they not be identified also claimed those managing security at the centre had been urged to develop a “dedicated investigative capacity”, but had failed to act.

They also accused security contractor G4S, since replaced by Transfield, of failing to conduct a skills audit of its staff. “They didn’t know who they had on the ground and who could do what,” one source said.

They also claimed:

  • The training of PNG nationals employed as security guards was totally inadequate, with the nationals unprepared to perform many of the duties assigned to them, including being part of an emergency response team.
  • Command and control on the night of the extreme violence was hampered because many security guards did not have radios. “Hardly anyone had a radio, regardless of what they say,” one said. “They ordered new radios in and they forgot to order spare batteries, so they get used for four or five hours then on charger for four or five hours. How can you control a riot when you’ve got no communications?”
  • Control on the night was also hampered because of a lack of torches when the power was cut to two compounds.
  • Acts of self-harm and attempted suicides were common at the centre. “The fortunate thing was that they are that crammed in that someone would raise the alert,” a source said.

Security guards and local residents also criticised the failure of those managing the centre to allow for interaction with locals that, they say, would have built a level of trust and goodwill and dispelled damaging rumours.

They also say the refusal to allow detainees any capacity to humanise their environments by growing plants contributed to the tensions. Asylum seekers were not allowed to have brooms to sweep their quarters because of concern that they could be used as weapons, a source said.

The decision to cover the view of the ocean with a screen to prevent media from taking pictures was also cited as a contributing factor.

A spokesman for G4S said the company would not comment in detail on individual allegations.

‘‘Suffice it to say it is not G4S’s role to investigate any crimes that may have been committed on Manus Island; that is the role of the PNG police, which has jurisdictional authority.’’

The spokesman said: ‘‘We are and will continue to fully co-operate with all investigations and reviews by the governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea.’’

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said he would await the outcome of an independent review and the police investigation before commenting further on the Manus incidents.

Rejected Tamil Asylum Seeker Self-Immolates

Janarthan the Tamil refugee who set himself on fire in Sydney after his appeal for refugee status was rejected by the Australian Government. Tamil diaspora speak out. Australian Government is murdering Tamil refugees.
Janarthan the Tamil refugee who set himself on fire in Sydney after his appeal for refugee status was rejected by the Australian Government. Tamil diaspora speak out. Australian Government is murdering Tamil refugees.

 

A young Tamil asylum seeker is fighting for life in a Sydney hospital after setting himself on fire because his application for a protection visa was rejected by the Immigration Department.

Reports are the man finished a three-hour cleaning shift at Balmain’s shipping yards last night, then went outside, doused himself with petrol and tried to take his own life.

Tamil Refugee Council spokesman Trevor Grant says the man is in a critical condition in Sydney’s Concord Hospital, with burns to most of his body.

“There is some hope that he may survive,” he said.

“They’re trying desperately to get his 65-year-old mother to Australia to be at his bedside, along with his brother.

“But he’s already had a number of surgeries, skin grafts etc., and he’s apparently going to have more today.”

According to the government  the young man had arrived in Australia in June 2012 and was released into the community on a bridging visa in October.

In July 2013 he was found not to be owed protection and this decision was affirmed on appeal by the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) earlier this month.

Mr Grant says the young man is one of many asylum seekers terrified of being sent home.

“This is really an inevitable outcome of a policy that is purposely designed to create suffering in order to deter people,” he said.

“This man has been one of some 20,000 in the community.

“They’re undergoing psychological torture not knowing what’s happening to them, living in fear every day of being returned to danger.”

WAR

The civil war in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 after almost 26 years.

As is often the case around the world the roots of the conflict lie with the colonisation of the area known as Sri Lanka by the British.

The Tamil ethnic minority were fighting for an independent state Tamil Eelam, against the Sinhalese majority.

The Tamils lost the war and are still persecuted today.

“Three deceptive years after the first LLRC based US resolution, Tamils from the occupied homeland and the diaspora, with the support of the Tamil Nadu solidarity movement, clearly defined our problem as genocide and called for total liberation. We are changing the terms of the debate imposed on us and unambiguously call for a political solution that respects our peoples sovereign nationhood. In the coming year we will need to intensify our efforts and work closely with global civil society to end the occupation, the settlements, and secure the release of political prisoners/prisoners of war. Our work is cut out for us. We will assert our peoples rights. We will win.” ~ Krisna Saravanamuttu

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in September 2013 that there had been no comprehensive Sri Lankan effort to properly and independently investigate allegations of war crimes. The High Commissioner said she would recommend the Human Rights Council to set up its own probe if Sri Lanka does not show more “credible progress by March 2014.

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted for a resolution paving the way for an inquiry into rights abuses at the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

The United States and the United Kingdom were among the countries, which sponsored a resolution that is for the first time calling for an international probe.

The Australian government (Labour and Coalition) continue to deny the genocide of Tamil people.

They have adopted the position that the Tamils were the aggressors, they lost the war and must now accept life among the Sinhalese majority.

However the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal found –

“On the strength of the evidence presented, the tribunal reached the consensus ruling that the state of Sri Lanka is guilty of the crime of genocide against Eelam Tamils and that the consequences of the genocide continue to the present day with ongoing acts of genocide against Eelam Tamils”, or those living in the north and east of the country.

 

Melbourne Tamils and activists came together in solidarity with the people of Tamil Eelam who are subject to physical and psychological torture by the Sri Lankan state.
Melbourne Tamils and activists came together in solidarity with the people of Tamil Eelam who are subject to physical and psychological torture by the Sri Lankan state.

 

Channel Four documentary revealing the truth which the Sri Lankan government tried to cover up.

‘Five years ago Dr Varatharajah Thariajah was given his freedom in exchange for refuting war crimes allegations against the Sri Lankan government. Today he tells Channel 4 News a different story.’

‘I cried every day’: inside Sri Lanka’s ‘No Fire Zones’

The experience of Tamil Refugees