World Refugee Day – Rally and March this Sunday

WORLD REFUGEE DAY

Rally and march for refugee rights

End the freeze on asylum seeker claims.

End mandatory detention.

Say no to another Tampa election.

1pm, Sunday June 20

Brisbane Square, at top of Queen st Mall, George St, City

Speakers:
Chair, Frederika Steen, refugee advocate.

Father Pan Jordan, Tamil community

Chaman Shah Nasiri, Hazara Afghani community

Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition

Andrew Bartlett, The Greens

Sonia Caton, human rights lawyer

David Forde, Labor 4A Just Palestine

Dr Alison Stewart, refugee health

Organised by the World Refugee Day Committee, a broad coalition of groups that has come together as a voice for justice in this election year.

Supported by: Australian Tamil Congress, Taj (Hazara) Association of Australia Inc, Refugee Action Collective, Labor for Refugees, Catholic Justice & Peace Commission, The Greens, Dean of St John’s Anglican Cathedral, Rally for Peace & Nuclear Disarmament, St Mary’s Community in Exile, Eritrean Women’s and Families’ Network.

Further info: Paul, Ph. 3392 3843; email andrewpaulmac

naan4ayabYGAWbnpQ6Lc

One response to “World Refugee Day – Rally and March this Sunday

  1. DISTURBING NEWS FROM AFGHANISTAN

    Apologies for unitidy formatting- I left my reading glasses in Canberra- bit of a struggle without

    Following the threats to Wikileaks because of there proposal to provide evidence of civilian casualties occasioned by reckless aerial bombardments is this report below directly from Afghanistan from the AIHRC. This was sent tonight after i sent Professor Maleys report (posted earlier).

    Yes, Garani was one of the villages affected by US air strikes on Balabalook
    district in Farah province in May of last year.

    I have attached the AIHRC press release which also has the preliminary
    findings of our investigation there.

    FURTHER DISTURBING NEWS LATE TONIGHT
    In other news you may have heard that Taliban has closed the Jaghuri-Ghazni
    road, no getting in or out of Jaghuri. Now this may be precursor to a
    Taliban attack upon Jaghuri and a push into Hazarajat. In any case they are
    blockading the area and life is going to get difficult for people pretty
    quickly if they don’t supplies in…

    MEANWHILE AUSTRALIA SUSPENDS VISA PROCESSING OF AFGHANIS on the basis that conditions are improving there. It is worth noting that many of the recent Afghan boat arrivals have come from Ghazni- There will be some very distressed teenagers and Afgghan men and women in Australia’s camps tonight as they worry about family members under seige and attack. It is to be hoped that the Western Forces will attempt to protect these civilians but this is unfortunately not their appointed task.

    READ ON FOR THE REAL Situation
    Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
    Press release:
    Balabolook incident
    KABUL, 26 MAY 2009

    On 14 Sawre 1388, (4 May 2009) fighting between insurgents and pro-government forces
    resulted in high civilian casualties in the Balabolook district of Farah Province. The
    Commission hereby shares its sympathy and presents its condolence to the families of
    those killed.
    This statement briefly summarizes the findings of the Afghanistan Independent Human
    Rights Commission’s weeklong, independent investigation into the incident. A more
    detailed report on the complete findings will be released in the future. The AIHRC is
    concerned that (AGE (anti-government elements) actions knowingly or recklessly placed
    civilian lives and objects at risks. Preliminary findings also raise questions as to whether
    greater precautions might have been taken in the way that air power was deployed by
    international forces to respond to the AGE threat.
    Methodology of the investigation:
    An initial investigation team from the AIHRC regional office in Herat traveled to Farah
    on 18 Sawr 1388 (8 May 2009). Following this, a three-member team of investigators
    specifically trained in international humanitarian law was deployed to Farah to fully
    investigate the incident. In connection to concerns that white phosphors might have been
    used in Balabolook, the AIHRC, in cooperation with the Forensic Department, deployed
    two forensic doctors to conduct medical examinations on those injured persons in the
    Balabolook incident.
    The AIHRC investigation team conducted 20 interviews with witnesses including
    community elders, aid workers who visited the site immediately following the incident,
    local government officials, and government representatives involved in investigations.
    They also collected video and photographic evidence from the incident site, and any other
    available physical information. AIHRC continues to gather evidence from those in the
    region as well as from other government and military actors involved in their own
    investigations to supplement its final analysis of the incident.
    2
    Summary of the incident:

    On 14 Sawr 1388 (4 May 2009) at 12 pm, an estimated 300 armed men affiliated with
    anti-government elements (AGE) attacked a series of police check posts along a highway.
    Local officials and residents said the AGE’s intent was to gain control of the highway in
    order to collect an Ushur (Sherai tax) on any traffic from the opium harvest, and to bring
    the neighboring villages under their control. They used both light and heavy weapons. In
    response to heavy fire, the police posted on the site requested support from the ANA and
    IMF, who were immediately involved. Fighting between these pro-government forces
    and AGE lasted for six hours and ended at 6 pm of the same day, according to witnesses.
    At approximately 8 pm, air bombardments on Garani and Ganjabad villages began,

    according to survivors. There are conflicting reports as to whether AGE were still present
    in the villages at this time, however, according to one senior Afghan military official two
    insurgent bodies were seen after the incident. AIHRC continues to investigate the issue.
    During the bombardment, three houses where civilians had taken shelter were hit in the
    air bombardment. Reportedly, most of the civilian casualties resulted from the targeting
    of these three compounds. According to reports from survivors of the incident, crosschecked
    with aid workers who arrived soon after on the scene and the records of the
    government departments (e.g. department of Education on enrolled children), AIHRC
    believes that as many as 97 persons may have been killed in the air strikes, the vast
    majority civilians. Available records suggest that 21 were women and 65 were children
    (31 of whom were girls and 34 boys.) This raises the presumption that as many as 86
    civilians were killed. Witnesses and other sources reported that the 11 other adult males
    reported killed in these three compounds were also civilians.
    Additionally, witnesses and government officials reported to AIHRC that anywhere
    between 25 and 30 insurgents were killed. It is not clear whether they were killed in the
    initial fighting or in subsequent air strikes.

    Follow-Up and Investigation:

    The Government of Afghanistan immediately sent a government delegation to the site to
    investigate. The government announced that more then 140 civilians were killed in this
    incident; however, the government has yet to produce any detailed report or findings
    supporting these allegations. The government investigation appears to have been
    conducted in haste and the AIHRC is concerned that the accuracy of the government
    delegations’ figures has not been rigorously investigated or analyzed.
    US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) conducted their own independent investigation into
    the incident and released their findings on May 20, 2009. They concluded that 20 to 35
    civilians were killed in Balabolook incident. A detailed report of the incident by the
    USFOR-A yet to be made public too.
    3
    The Government of Afghanistan provided immediate financial assistance to the victims’
    families, providing 100,000 Afs to families per each person killed and 50,000 Afs per
    each wounded person. There are some indications that the rushed verification and
    identification of victims may have negatively impacted the credibility of these payments.
    Conclusion and legal analysis:
    AIHRC continues to investigate this incident and to gather any available information
    from all involved parties and sources. Preliminary investigation suggests that AGE posed
    an initial threat to the civilian population, and that at least one motivation of progovernment
    forces was to defend the civilian population from this threat. AIHRC
    continues to explore whether AGE were still in the villages at the time of the incident,
    and allegations of human shielding. At a minimum, reports from the villagers suggest that
    AGE knowingly (if not deliberately) placed civilians at high risk of attack.
    Despite that, their response was motivated out of self-defense and defense of the
    population, AIHRC believes that the level of force used by pro-government forces,
    particularly in the follow-up air strikes, was disproportionate. Dr. Sima Samar the
    chairwomen of the AIHRC, said “the AIHRC is concerned of the use of excessive airpower
    by the Pro-government forces, that consequently causes high number of civilian
    casualties.” The fact that the air strikes were deployed in populated civilian areas is an
    additional cause for concern. Nader Nadery a Commissioner at the AIHRC commented:
    “The AGE can not be absolved of their responsibility for knowingly putting civilians in
    danger by launching attacks form populated areas.” further he added, “No military
    objective can justify the loss of lives of large number of women and children.”
    AIHRC did not find any evidence that white phosphorus was used in the Balabolook
    incident.
    Recommendation for International Military Forces:
    AIHRC welcomes the immediate and timely acknowledgement of potential civilian
    causalities in the Balabolook incident by US Forces, and it is encouraged by US
    Ambassador Eikenberry’s announcement that international forces would carefully review
    the Rules of Engagement and military tactics with a view to minimizing the risk of
    civilian causalities in the future.
    • International military forces should take further necessary measures to ensure that
    it is able to distinguish between combatants and civilians in conducting air strikes,
    and otherwise to refrain from deploying air strikes in populated areas or against
    civilian objects.
    • Minimize the civilian causalities by reducing reliance on air power. Air power
    should be deployed as a measure of last resort, and only when it can be
    guaranteed that the potential risk to civilian persons and objects is minimal.
    • The international community must develop rules and procedures that facilitate
    rapid payment of compensation in the event of civilian loss of live and property,
    4
    and should work to coordinate such efforts more closely with the Afghan
    government.
    Recommendation for the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan:
    • The Government of Afghanistan should take more responsibility in intelligence
    gathering and in building the capacity of its armed forces to respond to any threats
    in a way that minimizes the risk to civilian communities.
    • To better investigate cases of civilian casualties and to provide credible and
    accountable follow-up, the Government should train a professional investigation
    team;
    • The Afghan government should review its policy of providing financial assistance
    to survivors of such incidents. Any assistance should be made only after credible
    and transparent investigatory findings are available. Where international forces
    are involved in such incidents, any Afghan government assistance should also be
    coordinated with assistance by the international community.
    Recommendation to Anti-Government Elements:
    • AGE should refrain from fighting in residential areas and using civilians as
    human shields. Such practices are in contradiction to all principals of national and
    international laws.
    • AGE should facilitate and guarantee the safe passage of independent investigators
    such as the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and stop
    attacking humanitarian aid organizations who are assisting affected areas.
    • AGE should refrain from applying illegal taxation and demanding food and other
    support from the civilian population.
    For further information please contact:
    Phones: +93 20 2500676
    Fax: +93 20 2500677
    Email: aihrc@aihrc.org.af
    Website: http://www.aihrc.org.af

    Pamela Curr
    Campaign Coordinator
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    12 Batman Street, Melbourne
    ph 0393266066 / 0417517075

    The most important aspect of this legislation is that it provides that a court cannot interfere with the period of custody. I repeat: the most important aspect of this legislation is that it provides that a court cannot interfere with the period of custody. No law other than the Constitution will have any impact on it.17 Gerry Hand MP then Immigration Minister, Migration Amendment Bill 1992, Second Reading Speech, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 May 1992, p. 2370.
    http://www.asrc.org.au

    ——– Original Message ——– Subject: [Fwd: WikiLeaks may be under attack]
    Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 12:58:13 +1000 (EST)
    From: Sergio Andres Mariscal
    To: pcurr@internode.on.net

    —————————- Original Message —————————-
    Subject: WikiLeaks may be under attack
    From: “WikiLeaks”
    Date: Wed, June 16, 2010 1:12 am
    To: mariscal@unimelb.edu.au
    ————————————————————————–

    WikiLeaks may be under attack.

    You were generous enough to write to us, but we have not had the labor
    resources to respond.

    Your support is important to us. Please read all of this email to
    understand what is going on. We apologize for not getting back to you
    before. It is not through any lack of interest on our part, but an
    enforced lack of resources.

    One of our alleged sources, a young US intelligence analyst, Bradley
    Manning, has been detained and shipped to a US military prison in Kuwait,
    where he is being held without trail. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted
    according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video
    and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at
    Garani.

    The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over 100
    people, mostly children.

    Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us 260,000 classified US Department
    cables, reporting on the actions of US Embassy’s engaging in abusive
    actions all over the world. We have denied the allegation, but the US
    government is acting as if the allegation is true and we do have a lot of
    other material that exposes human rights abuses by the United States
    government.

    Mr. Manning was allegedly exposed after talking to an unrelated
    “journalist” who then worked with the US government to detain him.

    Some background on the Manning case:

    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/06/11/transcript-daniel-ellsberg-says-he-fears-us-might-assasinate-wikileaks-founder/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Manning
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/leak/
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/wikileaks-chat/
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/state-department-anxious/
    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2010/06/143011.htm

    [ note that there are some questions about the Wired reportage, see:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2010/06/13/video-wikileaks-foun.html#comment-809677
    ]

    WikiLeaks a small organization going through enormous growth and operating
    in an adverserial, high-security environment which can make communication
    time consuming and the acquisition of new staff and volunteers, also
    difficult since they require high levels of trust.

    To try and deal with our growth and the current difficult situation, we
    want to get you to work together with our other supporters to set up a
    “Friends of WikiLeaks” group in your area. We have multiple supporters in
    most countries and would like to see them be a strong and independent
    force.

    Please write to friends@sunshinepress.org if you are interested in helping
    with Friends of WikiLeaks in your area. You will receive further
    instructions.

    We also have significant unexpected legal costs (for example flying a
    legal team to Kuwait, video production. Collateral Murder production costs
    were $50,000 all up).

    Any financial contributions will be of IMMEDIATE assistance.

    http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Special:Support

    Please donate and tell the world that you have done so. Encourage all your
    friends to follow the example you set, after all, courage is contagious.

    Julian Assange
    Editor in Chief
    WIKILEAKS

    Like

Please keep comments brief (moderated for spam only)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.