The oldest Afghan Hazara held on Nauru, 63-year-old Ali*, has advanced lung cancer and his prognosis, according to doctors familiar with his case, is “dire”.............There is also an acute and growing issue around child mental health, with Australian courts ordering acutely unwell children – some of whom are as young as 10 and who have attempted suicide repeatedly – to be moved to Australia.
I will not repeat how Australian politicians have inflicted pain and suffering on the innocent refugees locked up in these prisons. The incarceration of people seeking asylum, in particular the children on Nauru, is remarkably cruel and has been exposed in many compelling ways.
Nauru has not established an appellate court to replace the Australian High Court, meaning the protestors, other Nauruans and the detainees now have no access to a court of appeal. With the Waqa government’s evident distaste for media scrutiny combined with Nauru’s dependence on the detention centre and the legal opacity of who is responsible for the crimes against humanity which there is significant evidence to suggest are being committed there, the severance of High Court jurisdiction allows the Australian government to exert power and control on the island with even less accountability then before.
An Iranian refugee and her son have been returned to Nauru from Taiwan in a pre-dawn transfer which went against psychiatric advice that the son not be returned because his severe mental illness is caused by his detention............On Tuesday the pair’s caseworker had sought to renew their visas to stay in Taiwan but two days later officials arrived at their accommodation and told them to pack, Fatemah said. Their phones were taken from them and they were taken in two separate vans to a charter jet, with four guards accompanying each of them, she said......................Nauru sources and observers have reported a growing crisis of mental illness among the more than 140 refugee and asylum seeker children on the island.
Perhaps the most tragic are the families torn apart when they are expecting a new baby. Expectant mothers have been brought to Australia from Nauru to give birth, but authorities have decided the child's father must stay behind.
These mothers are forced to make an agonising choice: their babies can be free and safe, or they can know their father. But they know they will never ever have both.......Some of the babies born in Australia are now toddlers, walking and talking in the freedom and safety of our communities. But they have still never laid eyes on their dad. And they never will — unless Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has a change of heart.
Articles in both the Daily Telegraph (article by Charles Miranda - unfortunately can't post as the site has a Paywall) and the Guardian (Ben Doherty) highlight this soul destroying situation
- The 2018-19 Humanitarian Program will increase in 2018-19 to 18,750 places, although it is unclear whether there will continue to be a numerical target in future.
- Operation Sovereign Borders will continue with an extra $62.2 million, and another $294 million for border security at airports, and $6.9 million for two years to continue operation of the Airline Liaison Program to detect and prevent unauthorised entry to Australia.
- The Department of Jobs and Innovation will save $68.1 million over four years by making newly arrived refugees eligible for jobactive services after 26 weeks of income support payments, rather than 13 weeks.
Article by Spencer Zifcak, Allan Myers Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University and former President of Liberty Victoria provides chilling reading...........The former Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Roman Quaedvlieg, made a remarkable admission last week. It occurred in an exchange on Twitter with a former senior medical officer who had worked with refugees on Nauru. In a tweet, Quaedvlieg admitted that during his tenure the ABF had deliberately obstructed and thwarted the transfer of refugee detainees from Nauru to Australia for acute medical treatment.
The doctor’s finding – that the fact of being held on Nauru indefinitely is contributing to, and even causing, Hamid’s mental distress – has caused significant consternation within the Australian Border Force and Department of Home Affairs.
Taiwan was chosen by Australia as a suitable third country to which people held on Nauru could be sent for medical treatment largely because it was outside the protections of the refugee convention and the reach of Australia’s courts, while still providing high-level care.
Most asylum seekers and refugees brought to Australia for health treatment win court injunctions preventing their return to offshore processing centres in Nauru or Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Government has joined 44 other nations in delivering a scathing statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council overnight on the rapid deterioration of Cambodia’s human rights situation, expressing "deep concern about the recent serious decline of civil and political rights in Cambodia".
The statement comes only 24 hours after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop confirmed that the Government was persisting with its controversial Cambodia refugee deal, in which it paid the authoritarian regime $55 million to take refugees indefinitely detained by the Australian Government on Manus and Nauru.