it sure aint justice

In amongst all the coverage about the return home of Mamdouh Habib, it is worth remembering the plight of Peter Qasim, a man locked up by the Australian Government for well over six years. Like Mr Habib, he has not been charged with any crime. Unlike Mr Habib, there is no suggestion that he has…

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Christmas Island Update

Regular readers of this blog may recall the piece I wrote about the Vietnamese asylum seekers currently being held on the Christmas Island Detention Centre (Archives: December 10th 2004). As a follow on from that I’ve received some wonderfully positive news that refugee baby Amy who was born on the island in February last year,…

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A gag lifts on gagging

I received this fascinating account of a woman who witnessed part of the apparent deportation of an asylum seeker out of Australia on a commercial flight. This is a part of the Govt’s asylum seeker policy that they like to keep shrouded in secrecy, so it is quite a significant account of one person’s experience….

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Baxter Hunger Strikers

I’ve just heard news that some, although not all, of the hunger strikers have written a letter to the Prime Minister announcing they wish to cease the hungerstrike and start eating again on Christmas Day. I’ll quote a bit from their letter: “We have thought much about the spirit of Christmas and how families and…

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fasting & media coverage

It’s been an interesting couple of days since I announced I would fast in support of the asylum seekers in Baxter. I’ve had a lot of feedback – some negative, the majority positive. I might gather together a sample of some of the emails (without identifiers) so people can see what sorts of things others…

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Catch 22s for detainees

If you haven’t read any books by Franz Kafka, I recommend you do – especially The Trial. Nothing I’ve read better portrays the bizarre, surreal, nightmarish torment refugees in detention have been subjected to by our Government – perhaps embellished with a dose of Catch 22 just to round off the horror. I saw a…

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Hunger strikes at Baxter

Tis the season to be taking things a bit easier – which is why it is so much greater a torment if you are someone who can’t. A large number of detainees at Baxter are now well into a second week of a hunger strike. Even though the situation at Baxter detention centre appears to…

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Balibo 5 and SIEV X

Two separate tragic events have their anniversaries around this time. Whilst unconnected, they have some things in common. They both serve as a reminder of the importance of openness in Government and ensuring that we always acknowledge that all human life should be valued. 16th October 2004 marks 29 years since the killing of five…

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Releasing refugee policy in Adelaide

Some OK articles in some of the papers about the Press Club speech, although nothing to suggest there’d been any major shift of consciousness in journalist land about the urgent need to give greater attention to the potential Senate outcome. Totally atrocious coverage in one paper who shall remain nameless and none at all in…

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Vietnamese refugees in Perth

It’s very late on Thursday night and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Adelaide city. (It will be Friday by the time this is posted.) Someone wrote to suggest I should just take some time out to watch crap TV – to show I’m always willing to listen to the people, I gave it…

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Albany WA & Refugees

In Perth at the moment – I’m actually spending more than 48 hours in the one place, which is a nice change. Flew down to Albany last night with Senator Brian Greig to meet with the Hazara refugees and others in the local community who have welcomed them so well. I’ve been wanting to visit…

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