• Une conversation avec #Abdul_Aziz_Muhamat, lauréat du prix Martin Ennals 2019

    En février 2019, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, originaire du Soudan, recevait à 26 ans le prix Martin Ennals qui récompense chaque année les défenseurs des droits humains. Transféré sur l’île de Manus (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée) en septembre 2013, en vertu de la politique offshore australienne, Aziz s’est battu dès le début de son incarcération pour faire connaître les souffrances de milliers de réfugiés enfermés comme lui et pour défendre leurs droits à une procédure d’asile et à la liberté. Aziz est un communicateur hors pairs. Il parle presque couramment le français en plus de l’anglais et de l’arabe. Il y a trois mois, la Suisse lui accordait l’asile et le statut de réfugié (1). Il vit maintenant à Genève où vous le croiserez peut-être. Son rêve immédiat est de trouver un logement. Il aimerait aussi poursuivre ses études universitaires interrompues au Soudan. Mais plus que tout, il est déterminé à obtenir la réinstallation des 550 personnes encore bloquées en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée et sur l’île de Nauru (2).

    En revenant sur quelques événements marquants, j’ai cherché à comprendre comment Aziz a réussi à poursuivre son combat pour la liberté des personnes enfermées comme lui, malgré l’isolement et les mauvais traitements.

    Atterrir en enfer

    Aziz est né à Al-Genaïna, un grand village situé dans la région du Darfour à quelques kilomètres de la frontière tchadienne. Son père est un marchand de bétail renommé qui commerce au Tchad et en Libye. A 13 ans il part habiter à Khartoum pour ses études secondaires. En première année d’université il devient activiste politique au sein du mouvement Girifna dont les membres sont pourchassés par le régime en place l’obligeant à fuir le Soudan. Il décide de partir pour l’Indonésie en juillet 2013. Mais il ne peut pas y rester car la procédure auprès du HCR est bien trop longue et son visa ne permet pas l’attente.

    La seule option est la traversée vers l’Australie. Après une première tentative en août 2013 durant laquelle 5 personnes se noient, la deuxième lui permet d’atteindre les côtes après quatre nuits en mer. Malheureusement le bateau est intercepté par la marine australienne au large de Christmas Island. Là on lui explique que les personnes arrivant par bateau ne pourront jamais, quel que soit leur statut, s’installer en Australie. Ils seront donc tous transportés par avion vers Darwin puis vers l’île de Manus en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée.

    “On nous a alignés pour nous informer que le cannibalisme était actif là-bas et qu’il y avait beaucoup de maladies et qu’il fallait absolument éviter de parler aux habitants sans quoi nous serions agressés.”

    Aziz atterrit à Manus en septembre 2013 où déjà plus de 800 requérants d’asile sont détenus (3). Il est enfermé dans le camp de Foxtrot sur la base navale historique de Lombrum. Son dortoir est un immense hangar de 122 lits datant de la seconde guerre mondiale où il fait plus de 40 degrés.

    “ L’endroit était sinistre, loin de tout, nous étions totalement isolés du monde et nous n’avions accès à rien. Ce sentiment m’a donné envie d’agir, il fallait créer un mouvement de solidarité.”

    Sa rencontre avec Behrouz Boochani, un journaliste kurde iranien, lui donne beaucoup d’espoir. Ils décident ensemble de réunir en secret les représentants des différents groupes linguistiques (4) afin d’améliorer la communication entre les détenus et se mettre d’accord sur les revendications à faire, la première étant le démarrage de la procédure d’asile.

    Il constate que tout le monde est très affecté par les conditions de détention. Les gens souffrent d’un sentiment d’abandon et d’un processus de déshumanisation. Ils sont devenus des numéros, appelés selon leurs matricules. On exige d’eux qu’ils fassent la queue en ligne pour tout, ils ne sont informés de rien et ne voient aucunes portes de sortie à leur enfer quotidien. Afin de venir en aide à ses compagnons, Aziz s’intéresse à la psychologie, demande à son psychiatre- en prétextant de fausses raisons – d’emprunter des articles de psychologie. Ses lectures lui donnent des outils pour éviter de sombrer et aussi pour aider les autres. Il devient conseiller et passe des heures à écouter les personnes découragées.

    “Je pressentais que j’allais rester des années là-bas. Il me fallait conserver la mémoire et aider mes camarades plus fragiles. Je voulais qu’ils continuent d’espérer et calmer ceux qui étaient impatients ou dépressifs. Je sentais que j’avais un impact très positif sur eux. Bien sûr, je leur faisaient croire que les choses iraient mieux, que la société civile finiraient par nous entendre mais en réalité je n’en savais rien. ”

    Informer le monde extérieur

    Si Abdul Aziz Muhamat était fumeur peut-être ne serait-il pas parvenu à contacter le monde extérieur aussi rapidement. Chaque semaine les détenus recevaient trois paquets de cigarettes, alors il trouve une idée : corrompre un gardien pour obtenir un téléphone mobile et menacer de le dénoncer en cas de refus. Marché conclu : il parvient à troquer cent paquets de cigarettes en échange d’un téléphone mobile.

    “Le jour où j’ai reçu ce téléphone je me suis enfermé dans les toilettes. En cherchant sur internet, je suis tombé sur l’organisation Refugee Action Coalition à Sydney et j’ai noté le nom de Ian Rintoul. Je lui envoie un mail en lui expliquant ma situation et il me répond tout de suite. Quand je lui ai dit que j’étais enfermé à Manus, il ne m’a pas cru, il a demandé des preuves. Ian Rintoul m’a dit que ce que je faisais était extrêmement dangereux, il avait vraiment peur pour moi. Mais je lui ai dit que notre situation était tellement grave que je prenais le risque. Autour de moi à Manus, personne n’a jamais su que je cachais un téléphone. Ian Rintoul a été d’une grande aide pour moi, il a su utiliser intelligemment les informations que je lui donnais afin de sensibiliser et mobiliser la société civile.”

    Dans le courant du mois de janvier 2014, Aziz et ses compagnons organisent une manifestation exigeant le démarrage de la procédure d’asile. Des rencontres houleuses ont lieu avec le service d’immigration et d’autres intervenants dont l’Organisation internationale des migrations, mais elles n’aboutissent à rien de concret. Par contre ils sont avertis : les personnes qui refusent de rentrer au pays d’origine resteront éternellement sur l’île et surtout ils ne seront jamais réinstallés.

    Ces nouvelles provoquent le désespoir. Un soir de février 2014, la tentative de fuite de quelques requérants met le feu aux poudres. La répression est violente et des habitants locaux en profite pour rentrer dans le camp et attaquer des personnes jusque dans leurs chambres. Reza Barati (iranien) décède de ses blessures alors que 150 autres personnes sont blessées.

    En Australie et dans le monde, les violences à Manus font la une de la presse, les langues se délient, l’incompréhension gagne du terrain, le sort des prisonniers de Manus et Nauru inquiète une frange grandissante de la population. En avril 2014, Aziz recommence son travail pour renforcer les liens entre les personnes et tenter d’unir les différents groupes. Il y parvient et lance en janvier 2015 avec 400 autres personnes, une grève de la faim de 14 jours afin de protester non seulement contre les conditions abjectes et inhumaines de détention mais aussi contre l’absence de procédure d’asile.

    “Le quinzième jour, ils sont venus à 6 heures du matin, ils m’ont arrêté en premier et m’ont envoyé dans une prison appelée “CIS” avec d’autres prisonniers de droit commun dont des auteurs de crimes graves. J’y ai passé un mois. Etonnamment j’ai été très très heureux, j’ai appris leur langue, j’enseignais l’anglais et les autres prisonniers m’appelaient enfin par mon nom. Je garde un excellent souvenir de cette période.”

    Trois mois d’isolement

    Au bout d’un mois, Aziz est immédiatement placé dans un autre lieu et cette fois c’est en isolement complet. Après un mois, il est interrogé par un psychiatre et un psychologue qui le trouvent encore trop…combatif. Leur rapport incite les autorités à décider la prolongation de l’isolement pendant un mois supplémentaire.

    “On ma donné une carte rouge signifiant que j’étais un criminel contre l’Etat et on m’a dit que j’allais être renvoyé au Soudan. Après un mois de prison et deux mois d’isolement complet j’étais très fragile. Mentalement je n’allais pas bien du tout. C’est ce que le psychiatre et le psychologue voulaient voir. Je ne devais pas essayer de me montrer fort. Au contraire je devais sembler résigné, soumis aux règles du centre. Ça a marché, ils ont vraiment eu l’impression que j’étais cassé et ils m’ont libéré le même jour, après m’avoir fait signer un contrat. Bien sûr, dès mon retour au centre, j’ai fait trois entretiens avec ABC, SBS et une autre chaîne en Australie (…) Ils étaient furieux. J’ai été placé sur une liste noir. Les autorités m’ont informé qu’ils feraient en sorte que je sois la dernière personne à quitter Manus.”

    De janvier 2016 à décembre 2017, Aziz parvient à envoyer près de 4000 messages vocaux pour témoigner de son expérience. On peut les écouter dans le podcast passionnant The Messenger produit et raconté par le journaliste Michael Green et qui a remporté de nombreux prix. Le podcast est une immersion totale.

    Manus, purgatoire tropical

    Le 26 avril 2016, la Cour suprême de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée juge illégal et anticonstitutionnel l’accord permettant à l’Australie de placer en détention sur le territoire papouasien des demandeurs d’asile dont elle ne veut pas. Sous pression de la société civile en Australie après des attaques armées contre le camp de Manus en Avril 2017, les autorités australiennes annoncent en octobre 2017 leur fermeture sans proposer de vraies solutions, juste un déplacement des personnes dans d’autres lieux dangereux car ouverts. Le bras de fer durera 24 jours.

    Durant cette période il mène la protestation, coordonne l’aide sociale et l’assistance médicale et facilite les consultations téléphoniques avec des médecins. En novembre 2017, ils sont plus de 600 à être déplacés vers les centres de East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, West Lorengau Haus and Hillside Haus.

    En tout, Aziz est resté 5 ans et demi emprisonné à Manus. Pendant longtemps il a caché à sa famille où il se trouvait et il n’est pas le seul. Il pense tous les jours à ceux qui ont résisté avec lui : Behrouz Boochani, kurde iranien, Omar Jack (Soudan), Chaminda Kanapati (Sri Lanka) toujours à Manus, Amir (iranien) réinstallé en 2017 au Canada, Muhamat Darlawi (iranien), réinstallé la semaine dernière aux Etats-Unis et Muhamat Edar (soudanais) qui vient de recevoir sa décision de réinstallation aussi aux Etats-Unis.

    En mai 2019, la victoire de la coalition conservatrice lors des élections législatives australiennes a été une énorme déception pour les 500 personnes encore retenues sur les îles alors que les socialistes s’étaient engagés à accepter l’offre de réinstallation proposée par la Nouvelle-Zélande. Pour eux et pour tous les requérants d’asile et réfugiés dans le monde, Aziz a bien l’intention de poursuivre son travail d’information et de sensibilisation afin d’inciter les Etats à respecter la Convention relative au statut des réfugiés conclue à Genève le 28 juillet 1951.

    Pour conclure sur cette belle rencontre, laissez-moi partager avec vous les conseils d’Aziz sur la manière de survivre psychologiquement dans un camp. On ne sait jamais aujourd’hui, personne n’est à l’abris d’un tel traitement.

    “Dans mon expérience, le seul conseil que je te donne c’est de garder l’espoir. Il faut que tu résistes et en même temps essaye de t’exprimer contre les situations que tu détestes et contre les injustices ou les tortures. Ne penses pas aux conséquences de tes actes, oublie-les. Evite de dire que c’est impossible, il n’y a pas d’impossible, tout est possible, tu as seulement besoin de courage et de motivation et aussi il te faut un sentiment dans ton coeur qui te dirige et te dis que ce que tu fais pour les autres est aussi bon pour toi.”

    https://blogs.letemps.ch/jasmine-caye/2019/09/10/une-conversation-avec-abdul-aziz-muhamat-laureat-du-prix-martin-ennals
    #témoignage #Manus_island #Pacific_solution #Australie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #externalisation
    ping @reka
    via @forumasile

  • Opioid crisis goes global as deaths surge in Australia
    https://www.apnews.com/cfc86f47e03843849a89ab3fce44c73c

    Half a world away, Australia has failed to heed the lessons of the United States, and is now facing skyrocketing rates of opioid prescriptions and related deaths. Drug companies facing scrutiny for their aggressive marketing of opioids in America have turned their focus abroad, working around marketing regulations to push the painkillers in other countries. And as with the U.S., Australia’s government has also been slow to respond to years of warnings from worried health experts.

    In dozens of interviews, doctors, researchers and Australians whose lives have been upended by opioids described a plight that now stretches from coast to coast. Australia’s death rate from opioids has more than doubled in just over a decade. And health experts worry that without urgent action, Australia is on track for an even steeper spike in deaths like those seen in America, where the epidemic has left 400,000 dead.

    “If only Australia could understand how quickly this can get out of hand. We’re not immune to it,” says Jasmin Raggam, whose brother Jon died in 2014 of an opioid overdose and whose brother-in-law is now addicted to the opioid OxyContin. “I was screaming from the mountaintops after Jon died and I’d started doing my research. And it was like I’m screaming and nobody wants to hear me.”

    Opioids were once reserved for treating pain that was short-term, terminal or related to cancer. But in the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies began aggressively marketing them for chronic pain.

    Starting in 2000, Australia began approving and subsidizing certain opioids for use in chronic, non-cancer pain. Those approvals coincided with a spike in opioid consumption, which nearly quadrupled between 1990 and 2014, says Sydney University researcher Emily Karanges.

    A few years ago, a pharmacist at the hospital told her they needed to hire an extra person just to handle all the prescriptions they were handing out for Endone, a brand of oxycodone. Stevens discovered that the hospital’s Endone prescriptions had increased 500 percent in 8 years, with no decrease in other opioids dispensed. Further study revealed that 10 percent of patients were still taking opioids three months after surgery, even though the drugs are generally only recommended for short-term use.

    “We were just pumping this stuff out into our local community, thinking that that had no consequences,” says Stevens, a vocal advocate for changing opioid prescribing practices. “And now, of course, we realize that it does have huge consequences.”

    Just like in the U.S., as opioid prescriptions rose, so did fatal overdoses. Opioid-related deaths jumped from 439 in 2006 to 1,119 in 2016 — a rise of 2.2 to 4.7 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Most of those deaths were related to prescription opioids, rather than illegal opioids such as heroin.

    More than 3 million Australians - an eighth of the country’s population - are getting at least one opioid prescription a year, according to the latest data.

    In Australia, pharmaceutical companies by law cannot directly advertise to consumers, but are free to market the drugs to medical professionals. And they have done so, aggressively and effectively, by sponsoring swanky conferences, running doctors’ training seminars, funding research papers, giving money to pain advocacy groups and meeting with doctors to push the drugs for chronic pain.

    “If the relevant governing bodies had ensured that the way the product was being marketed to doctors especially was different, I don’t necessarily think we would see what we’re seeing now,” says Bee Mohamed, who until recently was the CEO of ScriptWise, a group devoted to reducing prescription drug deaths in Australia. “We’re trying to undo ten years of what marketing has unfortunately done.”

    Mundipharma, the international arm of Purdue, has received particular criticism for its marketing tactics in Australia. In 2018, addiction specialist Dr. Simon Holliday filed a complaint against the company over a marketing pamphlet for its drug Targin, a painkiller designed to prevent the constipation that is common with other opioids.

    The campaign, which encouraged people suffering painkiller-induced constipation to talk to their doctors, never mentions Targin by name, because it legally can’t. But the advertising agency Mundipharma hired described on its website how they worked around that regulation, by using print, radio and online ads to target regions where pain medication use was high. Google search data showed that people looking for information on constipation from painkillers used terms like “blocked up,” so the agency used the phrase “blocked pipes.”

    In a statement, Mundipharma said the campaign was a “disease awareness initiative” that did not violate the spirit of any law and did not market any medication.

    Stevens, the Sydney pain specialist, has pushed back against several drug companies over their marketing tactics. A couple years ago, she says, Mundipharma was marketing Targin to surgeons at her hospital, reassuring them that they could prescribe higher doses. Unlike pain specialists, surgeons are generally not well-educated on the intricacies of opioids, she says.

    In a statement, Mundipharma said it strictly adheres to the Medicines Australia code of conduct and has always been transparent about the risks associated with opioids. Still, in a submission last year to the TGA as it considered tougher restrictions on opioids, Mundipharma appeared to minimize the severity of Australia’s problem.

    “We acknowledge that there is an issue associated with opioid misuse,” the company wrote. “However to describe the Australian situation as a ‘crisis’ is alarmist and risks stigmatizing patients who have a legitimate need for opioid analgesics to manage their pain.”

    This is Australia’s poorest state, and like Appalachia, it is the country’s epicenter for opioids. Tasmania has the nation’s highest rate of opioid packs sold per person — 2.7 each. One region has the highest number of government-subsidized opioid prescriptions in Australia: more than 110,000 for every 100,000 people.

    Ten years ago, while working as a dairy farmer, Casey jumped off a truck and felt her knees give way. An operation provided temporary relief, but the pain came back. She was told she had osteoarthritis.

    A doctor prescribed her opioids to ease her pain. When she stuck the first patch on her skin, it felt like heaven.

    But the agony eventually returned, so the doctor upped the dosage. The side effects were hell — depression, anxiety, panic attacks. And her pain got worse.

    #Opioides #Australie #Mundipharma

  • Australian detention centre in #Port_Moresby is worse than Manus; worse than prison

    Refugee advocates have growing concerns regarding the conditions at the high security detention centre annexed to the Bomana prison.

    Information about the newly opened Bomana detention centre indicates that conditions at the centre are as bad as those in the first months of the opening of the Lombrum detention centre on Manus.

    The fifty-two men are being held in separate fenced compounds within the detention centre, unable to move freely between compounds. Like the early days on Manus Island, asylum seekers are forbidden to communicate between compounds. There are no phones and no means of communication with the asylum seekers being detained; they are cut off from family and any legal support.

    PNG immigration has been unable, or unwilling, to facilitate individual visits to any of the asylum seekers. They are unable to confirm that visiting is even possible.

    These conditions are worse than prison and are straight out of the Australian government’s play-book on punitive immigration detention.

    “The conditions at Bomana are intolerable. It is clear that the detention of asylum seekers in PNG is still being controlled by Australia. The Bomana detention centre is breaching the constitutional rights of asylum seekers being held there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

    “Reports indicate that medications are being withheld, and that men who have self-harmed are being held at police lock-ups for up to 24 hours before getting medical or mental health treatment.”

    “Bomana is a return to the most barbaric detention conditions for people who have committed no crime. Many of those being held in Bomana have never even had a refugee assessment. Like Australia, the PNG government is unable to return so-called ‘negatives’ to Iran or Pakistan. They should be freed.

    “Detention at Lombrum was found to be unlawful by the PNG Supreme Court in 2016. Yet, Australia is again pushing PNG into establishing a regime of indefinite detention. The brutality has to stop.”

    For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

    http://www.refugeeaction.org.au/?p=7955
    #Australie #rétention #détention_administrative #réfugiés #asile #migrations

  • Des agriculteurs écroués pour avoir introduit illégalement du sperme de porc en Australie Belga - 14 Aout 2019 - RTBF
    https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_des-agriculteurs-ecroues-pour-avoir-introduit-illegalement-du-sperme-de-

    Deux éleveurs de porcs en Australie occidentale, qui ont tenté d’importer illégalement depuis le Danemark du sperme de porc dissimulé dans des bouteilles de shampoing, ont été condamnés à deux et trois ans de prison.

    Torben Soerensen et Henning Laue, deux collaborateurs de la société GD Pork en Australie, ont été arrêtés mardi pour avoir enfreint les lois sur la biosécurité entre mai 2009 et mars 2017, a indiqué mercredi la ministre fédérale de l’Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie. Les faits, illégaux, constituent un « risque grave » pour l’industrie porcine australienne, a-t-elle ajouté.

    Le duo a plaidé coupable aux accusations de participation à l’importation illégale de sperme de porc durant de nombreuses années. Torben Soerensen, directeur de GD Pork, a été condamné à trois ans de prison, tandis que Henning Laue, manager de production, écope de deux ans d’emprisonnement.

    L’entreprise, qui est actuellement en liquidation, a, elle, été condamné à une amende de 500.000 dollars australiens, soit quelque 300.000 euros.

    Le sperme de verrat avait été introduit clandestinement dans le pays par des investisseurs danois et était utilisé pour le programme de reproduction artificielle de la société. Selon le diffuseur public ABC, ils ont utilisé au moins 199 truies reproductrices, ce qui aurait donné naissance à plus de 2.000 porcelets.

    « GD Pork a importé le sperme illégalement dans le but d’obtenir un avantage injuste par rapport à ses concurrents, grâce à une nouvelle génétique », a déclaré la ministre McKenzie. Elle a ajouté que cette affaire montre « un mépris inquiétant pour les lois qui garantissent la viabilité des 2.700 producteurs de porc australiens » et « que les violations des lois sur la biosécurité ne seraient pas tolérées ».

     #génétique #surveillance #élevage #animaux #agro-industrie #agrobusiness #cochon #cochons #animaux #australie

  • Oro e acqua minerale

    C’è una piccola regione in Australia, nella zona centrale dello stato di Victoria, che è molto ticinese. C’è un paese che si chiama Hepburn dove i cognomi degli abitanti sono Rodoni, Vanzetta, Scheggia, Vanina, Tinetti, Righetti, Crippa, Perini, Respini... Non parlano italiano, non parlano dialetto ticinese e sono veramente australiani.

    I loro antenati emigrarono in Australia dal Ticino, attorno al 1850, quando scoppiò la febbre dell’oro. Facevano i cercatori d’oro, ma piano piano si insediarono in quella regione e crearono una comunità molto unita, che presto diventò la loro nuova patria.

    https://www.rsi.ch/la1/programmi/cultura/storie/Oro-e-acqua-minerale-10879319.html
    #film #documentaire #émigration #Tessin #Australie #histoire #Suisse #Biasca #sureau #eau_minérale #Hepburn #or #ruée_vers_l'or #extractivisme #colonisation #châtaigniers #mines
    #Welcome_Stranger, une #pépite_d'or :


    https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welcome_Stranger
    #nugget

    –---

    Quelques commentaires :
    « L’Australia non ha una lunga storia, solo un paio di secoli »
    –-> dit un habitant de Melbourne qui a acheté une maison à Hepburn construite par une Scheggia, un émigrant tessinois autour de 1815...
    Et la présentatrice en commentaire après le documentaire :

    «La storia dell’Australia è molto molto giovane, lo si diceva nel documentario, 2 secoli di storia o poco più»

    ... comme si les #peuples_autochtones n’existaient pas avant l’arrivée des Européens, comme si l’histoire n’est écrite que depuis leur arrivée... Il y a un sacré besoin de décoloniser l’histoire...

  • Création de zones frontalières (au lieu de lignes de frontière) en vue de refoulements

    Je viens de lire dans un compte-rendu de réunion qui a eu lieu à Milan en juin 2019, ce commentaire, sur la situation à la #frontière italo-slovène :

    Gianfranco Schiavone :

    «Quello che sicuramente dovrebbe diventare una questione delicata é l’annunciato avvio delle pattuglie italo slovene in frontiera con l’obiettivo dichiarato alla stampa di bloccare gli arrivi. Con riammissione senza formalita’ delle persone irregolari intercettate nella fascia dei 5 km dalla frontiera . Queste sono le dichiarazioni pubbliche di questi giorni»

    Une #zone_frontalière de #5_km dans laquelle ont lieu des #refoulements directs.

    #Italie #Slovénie #frontière_sud-alpine #migrations #réfugiés #asile #frontière_mobile #bande_frontalière #frontières_mobiles

    Ceci me rappelle d’autres cas, en Europe et ailleurs, dans lesquels des procédures semblables (la frontière n’est plus une #ligne, mais une #zone) ont été mises en place, j’essaie de les mettre sur ce fil de discussion.
    Si quelqu’un a d’autres cas à signaler, les contributions sont bienvenues...

    #métaliste

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4 @isskein

  • Living in the shadows: Asylum seekers wait years for protection claims

    More than 7500 asylum seekers who have been in Australia for more than five years are yet to have their refugee claims assessed, with the Australian Human Rights Commission warning it has “serious concerns” about the impact of the prolonged delays on their mental health.

    The Commission has published the first comprehensive report on the human rights of the so-called “legacy caseload” - 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat before January 1, 2014.

    The report, Lives on Hold, finds this group has been “living in the shadows” in the Australian community and there has been little public attention about the human rights issues they face.

    “These people face prolonged delays in assessing their refugee claims, with limited government support to meet their health and other needs,” said Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow.

    He said even if found to be refugees, they are not eligible for permanent residency in Australia. “They risk severe deterioration in their living conditions and mental health, with many at higher risk of suicide.”

    The report says that since the beginning of 2014, at least nine people in the legacy caseload had taken their own lives, with researchers describing the phenomenon as “lethal hopelessness”.

    These included Mohammad Hadi, a Hazari asylum seeker, who died by suicide in western Sydney in 2016, after being released less than three years earlier on a bridging visa, with no work or study rights.

    Asylum Seekers Centre CEO Frances Rush said the centre had seen about 14 single men from Iran and Sri Lanka - who were part of the the legacy caseload - attempt suicide.

    “Increasingly people are presenting with ongoing psychological distress directly linked to the prolonged period of waiting for the outcome of their claim for protection,” Ms Rush said.

    The Department of Home Affairs said assessing the legacy caseload was complex, particularly as many people had arrived without documents.

    “In some cases, the circumstances in home countries have changed substantially since arrival and we have an obligation to consider this carefully on a case-by-case basis,” a spokeswoman said. “Despite these complexities, 74 per cent of the caseload has been resolved.”

    The Australian Human Rights Commission report notes some positive developments for the legacy caseload, including the release of most asylum seekers from detention and allowing those on bridging visas to work.

    However, when the government granted work rights to asylum seekers on most bridging visas last year, it said they would no longer be eligible to receive a living allowance of $247 a week, which was 89 per cent of Newstart.

    The Commission says while it welcomes the reinstatement of work rights, asylum seekers could struggle to find jobs due to language barriers and lack of Australian work experience.

    Employers were also often reluctant to hire people on short-term visas.

    Ms Rush said the Asylum Seekers Centre supported a number of people who had lost their living allowance. “With absolutely no income, many people, including children, face immediate destitution and poverty.”

    The Department of Home Affairs spokeswoman said individuals with specific barriers to employment or resolving their immigration status may be supported through the Status Resolution Support Services program, which offered housing, counselling, health services and income support.

    She said this was not a welfare program but provided a short-term, tailored approach, particularly for those unable to support themselves.

    She said bridging visa holders generally had access to Medicare and mental health services through the public health system.

    The asylum seekers in the legacy caseload arrived in Australia during the Labor years before the rules were changed to prohibit any asylum seeker who arrived by boat ever resettling in Australia.

    They had their claims for refugee status frozen for years, creating a backlog of claims.

    According to the Department of Home Affairs, 22,280 people in the legacy caseload have had their applications for protection either granted or refused as of May this year. (By far the majority of these - 15,553 - have been granted temporary protection.)

    However 7526 are still waiting for their protection visa applications to be assessed and a further 1209 are waiting for the outcome of a review.

    In 2016 the United Nation refugee agency’s most senior protection official, Volker Turk, warned Australia faced a “social time bomb” over the failure to process and integrate the legacy caseload. “It is something that is utterly preventable,” he said at the time.

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/living-in-the-shadows-asylum-seekers-wait-years-for-protection-cla
    #Australie #attente #procédure_d'asile #asile #migrations #réfugiés #limbe
    via @isskein

  • Australia promises national vote on recognition of indigenous people by 2022 | PLACE
    http://www.thisisplace.org/i/?id=1d1260ca-0496-4c0b-927d-2411268dc1e5

    Australia has struggled to reconcile with descendants of its first inhabitants, who arrived on the continent about 50,000 years before British colonists but are not recognised in the national constitution.

    However, with public support on the issue growing, Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt promised a referendum before 2022.

    “I will develop and bring forward a consensus option for constitutional recognition to be put to a referendum during the current parliamentary term,” Wyatt said in a speech in Canberra. [...]

    Indigenous Australians account for about 700,000 people in a total population of 23 million and have tracked near the bottom in almost every socio-economic indicator, suffering disproportionately high rates of suicide, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and imprisonment.

    Denied the vote until the mid-1960s, they face a 10-year gap in life expectancy compared with other Australians and make up 27% of the prison population.

    #Australie #peuples_premiers #Aborigènes #discriminations

  • Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Intern...
    https://diasp.eu/p/9276632

    Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Internierungslagern. Im @guardian geschildert von einem, der es nach 6 Jahren geschafft hat, dem zu entkommen. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/27/former-manus-island-detainee-tells-un-human-beings-are-being-destroyed …https://twitter.com/heldavidson/status/1144053463594094592 …

    Die Katastrophe der sog. »australischen Lösung« mit Offshore-Internierungslagern. Im @guardian.twitter-atreply .pretty-link .js-nav geschildert von einem, der es nach 6 Jahren geschafft hat, dem zu entkommen. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/27/former-manus-island-detainee-tells-un-human-beings-are-being-destroyed … https://twitter.com/heldavidson/status/1144053463594094592 … (...)

  • Voiture, #croissance et #climat
    http://carfree.fr/index.php/2019/06/13/voiture-croissance-et-climat

    Voici quelques réflexions à propos du livre de Clive Hamilton « Requiem pour l’espèce humaine, » publié en 2013 par Les Presses de Sciences Po. Clive Hamilton est professeur d’éthique à l’Université Lire la suite...

    #Fin_de_l'automobile #Livres #Réchauffement_climatique #australie #consommation #critique #publicité #société

  • Environnement. La #Malaisie va retourner à l’envoyeur des tonnes de #déchets plastiques

    Le ministère de l’Environnement malaisien a indiqué, mardi 28 mai, qu’il renverrait les déchets plastiques dont se sont débarrassés des pays plus développés. Les #États-Unis, le #Royaume-Uni mais aussi la #France font partie des destinataires.


    https://www.courrierinternational.com/revue-de-presse/environnement-la-malaisie-va-retourner-lenvoyeur-des-tonnes-d
    #plastique #it_has_begun #retour_à_l'expéditeur #résistance #UK #gestion_des_déchets

    Pour rappel, la Malaisie fait partie des pays envisagés pour y déposer les déchets des pays occidentaux que la #Chine refuse de prendre...
    https://seenthis.net/messages/777612
    https://seenthis.net/messages/777612
    (signalés par @aude_v )

    ping @ieva @reka

  • No Friend but the Mountains. The True Story of an Illegally Imprisoned Refugee

    In 2013, Kurdish journalist #Behrouz_Boochani sought asylum in Australia but was instead illegally imprisoned in the country’s most notorious detention centre on Manus Island. He has been there ever since. This book is the result.

    Behrouz Boochani spent nearly five years typing passages of this book one text at a time from a secret mobile phone in prison. Compiled and translated from Farsi, they form an incredible story of how escaping political persecution in Iran, he ended up trapped as a stateless person. This vivid, gripping portrait of his years of incarceration and exile shines devastating light on the fates of so many people as borders close around the world.

    No Friend but the Mountains is both a brave act of witness and a moving testament to the humanity of all people, in the most extreme of circumstances.


    https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9781529028485?gC=5a105e8b&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIncGnxfz84QIVFOd3Ch3PVAXdEA
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Nauru #Australie #réfugiés_kurdes #Kurdistan #livre #témoignage

    Une chose m’intrigue... pourquoi la #montagne dans le titre?

    • Australia’s Shame

      Let us suppose that I am the heir of an enormous estate. Stories about my generosity abound. And let us suppose that you are a young man, ambitious but in trouble with the authorities in your native land. You make a momentous decision: you will set out on a voyage across the ocean that will bring you to my doorstep, where you will say, I am here—feed me, give me a home, let me make a new life!

      Unbeknown to you, however, I have grown tired of strangers arriving on my doorstep saying I am here, take me in—so tired, so exasperated that I say to myself: Enough! No longer will I allow my generosity to be exploited! Therefore, instead of welcoming you and taking you in, I consign you to a desert island and broadcast a message to the world: Behold the fate of those who presume upon my generosity by arriving on my doorstep unannounced!

      This is, more or less, what happened to Behrouz Boochani. Targeted by the Iranian regime for his advocacy of Kurdish independence, Boochani fled the country in 2013, found his way to Indonesia, and was rescued at the last minute from the unseaworthy boat in which he was trying to reach Australia. Instead of being given a home, he was flown to one of the prisons in the remote Pacific run by the Commonwealth of Australia, where he remains to this day.

      Boochani is not alone. Thousands of asylum-seekers have suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Australians. The point of the fable of the rich man and the supplicant is the following: Is it worse to treat thousands of people with exemplary inhumanity than to treat a single man in such a way? If it is indeed worse, how much worse is it? Thousands of times? Or does the calculus of numbers falter when it comes to matters of good and evil?

      Whatever the answer, the argument against Australia’s treatment of asylum-seekers can be made as trenchantly on the basis of a single case as on that of a thousand, and Boochani has provided exactly that case. Under atrocious conditions he has managed to write and publish a record of his experiences (experiences yet to be concluded), a record that will certainly leave his jailers gnashing their teeth.

      Given the fact that the foundational event of the Commonwealth of Australia was the arrival on the island continent’s east coast of a fleet of uninvited vessels captained by James Cook; given further that since the end of World War II Australia has taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees, most of them from Europe but many from Asia and Africa too, it is hard to comprehend the dogged hostility of the Australian public to the latest wave of refugees fleeing strife in the Middle East, Afghanistan, the Indian subcontinent, and northeast Africa. To call their hostility racist or xenophobic explains little. Its roots lie further back in time, suggests the historian Jane Haggis:

      The sense of victimhood, of being exiled—unwelcome at home, by virtue of being a convict, an ill-paid worker or an economically precarious tenant farmer…and of having struggled too hard to earn the land…meant Australia never totally embraced the discourse of humanitarianism and of human rights that came to define one sense of the Western self during the twentieth century…. The sense of exile, of expulsion from Europe to the bottom of the world, of being victims rather than members of God’s elect, [shapes] Australia and Australians’ historic sense of themselves as a national community [and] feeds a hyper-vigilance to maintain…“First World privilege.”

      Hostility to refugees is clearly to be seen in the positions taken by both main political parties, which respond to protests against the way they treat refugees with the mantra “We will put the people smugglers out of business, we will end the drownings at sea,” refusing bluntly to address what is unique about their common policy: that people are to be punished for seeking asylum, and that the punishment will be and is meant to be as harsh as possible, visible for all the world to see.

      Poll after poll attests that a majority of Australians back stringent border controls. Fed by the right-wing media, the public has swallowed the argument that there is an orderly immigration queue that boat people could have joined but chose not to; further, that most boat people are not genuine refugees but “economic migrants”—as if fleeing persecution and seeking a better life elsewhere were mutually exclusive motives.

      Under the uniquely complex, quota-based system that Australia follows for dealing with humanitarian cases, there is indeed an orderly queue for applicants waiting to be processed in camps overseas supervised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and the system for processing these humanitarian cases does indeed function smoothly if somewhat slowly, though when we bear in mind that, by the latest count, there are 70 million persons displaced from their homes worldwide, Australia’s quota of about 12,500 humanitarian acceptances per year is modest, well short of Canada’s (28,000). As for the argument that boat people are trying to jump the queue, the fact is that—until the policy changed so that arriving by boat effectively nullified any future application for asylum—the actions of asylum-seekers who arrived on Australian shores without papers and were subsequently found to be “genuine” had no effect on the quota for acceptances from the camps. Simply stated, boat people have never been part of any queue.

      Most of those who head for Australia’s back door do so via Indonesia, where they spend as little time as they can: Indonesia routinely arrests sans-papiers and sends them back to their country of origin. At the height of the boat traffic to Australia in 2009–2011, some five thousand people a year were setting sail from ports in southern Indonesia, in leaky boats provided by smugglers. No official figures are available for deaths at sea, but Monash University’s Australian Border Deaths database estimates a total of some two thousand since the year 2000, with a spike of over four hundred in 2012.

      The preventive measures undertaken by the Australian navy to head off asylum-seekers are shrouded in secrecy; therefore we do not know how many of them have persisted in embarking for Australia since a harsh new policy of interning and processing them offshore was put into practice in 2013, but there is every reason to believe that the number has fallen drastically. It would appear that when the navy intercepts a refugee vessel, it immediately transfers the occupants to a disposable boat with a minimum of fuel, tows it back into Indonesian waters, and casts it off.

      Australia’s treatment of refugees is constrained by a number of treaties. First among these is the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, ratified in 1954 though with a number of reservations. This convention confirms the right (already enunciated in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948) of any victim of persecution to seek and enjoy asylum. It also binds signatories not to return asylum-seekers to the countries from which they have fled, a requirement known as non-refoulement.

      While adhering to non-refoulement, Australia has over the years exploited two lacunae in the convention, namely that it does not confer on an asylum-seeker the legal right to enter the country where asylum is sought, and that it does not oblige the country where asylum is sought to grant asylum. Successive Australian administrations have therefore taken the position—validated by Australian courts—that a person who enters Australian territorial waters without the requisite papers is in Australia illegally, whether or not that person has come to seek asylum.

      The question of asylum was repeatedly debated in the United Nations in the 1960s and 1970s. Australia voted alongside its allies the United States and the United Kingdom in favor of the right of asylum, while consistently reserving its position on the actual admission of asylum-seekers. In 1977 it spelled out that position: Australia “will wish to retain its discretion to determine ultimately who can enter Australian territory and under what conditions they remain.”

      Christmas Island, a sparsely populated island south of Java, was incorporated into Australia in 1958 despite being some nine hundred miles from the Australian mainland. It is to Christmas Island that most boat people seeking Australian asylum steer. To forestall them, the Australian parliament legislated in 2001 that for the purposes of the Refugee Convention, Christmas Island will be deemed to be not part of Australia. Once a refugee vessel has entered the waters of Christmas Island, its occupants are thus both illegally in Australia and also not yet in Australia. The Australian navy is empowered to detain such “illegal non-citizens” and remove them to a location outside Australia, where they may be held indefinitely, without recourse to judicial review.

      Because Australia does not have a bill of rights, challenges to its refugee policies on the basis of international law have tended to fail in the nation’s courts. They have succeeded only when it has been proved that provisions of the country’s Migration Act have not been met. However, such court rulings have typically been followed by appropriate adjustments to the Migration Act.

      As if this were not enough, the government legislated in 2014 to strike from the Migration Act almost all references to the 1951 Refugee Convention. The revised act states that “it is irrelevant whether Australia has any non-refoulement obligations in respect of an unlawful non-citizen,” i.e., an asylum-seeker. The legality of Australia’s asylum policy is thus, in the eyes of the government and, it would appear, of the courts as well, ironclad.

      Australia is a vast, sparsely populated continent. Since it became an independent nation in 1901, it has had to manage two contending forces: a need to increase its population and a fear that its way of life might be undermined or swamped or corroded (the metaphors are legion) if too many strangers are allowed in.

      In the early years, the latter fear expressed itself in frankly racial terms. The Immigration Restriction Act of 1901, the cornerstone of the policy commonly known as White Australia, was aimed in the first place at blocking immigration from Asia. A generation later the focus shifted to European Jews. When he came to power in 1933, Hitler declared that the only future for Germany’s Jews lay in emigration. But like other Western countries, Australia refused mass Jewish immigration. At an international conference held in Évian in 1938 to discuss the fate of Europe’s Jews, the leader of the Australian delegation made his country’s position clear: “As we have no real racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one by encouraging any scheme of large-scale foreign migration.”

      The truth is that Australia did have a racial problem, and had had one ever since British colonists established themselves on the continent. The problem was that the colonists held themselves to be intrinsically (in the language of the day, racially) superior to Aboriginal Australians, and did not regard this conviction as a problem. Their unproblematic racism—a problem that was not a problem—easily extended itself to Jews, who might be white but were not the right shade of white.

      The Évian conference confirmed that the traditional countries of settlement—the US, Canada, Australia, Argentina—would continue to the end to resist large-scale Jewish immigration. By the time the doors out of Europe closed in 1939, Australia had accepted some 10,000 Jewish refugees, a respectable quota by comparison with other Western countries, but minuscule in the larger picture.

      World War II, the redrawing of boundaries that followed it, and the flight of populations left millions of Europeans displaced. The 1948 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention of 1951 were intended to address the problem of these displaced persons (DPs). Between 1947 and 1952 Australia took in some 170,000 European refugees. At first the government gave priority to candidates who fit the physical stereotype of the white Australian, for instance people from the Baltic lands. But as the DP camps emptied, and as public opinion softened, migrants began to be accepted from Greece, Italy, Croatia, and other Southern European countries. Refugees from Communist regimes were looked on favorably: Czech dissidents fleeing the Russians in 1968; Vietnamese boat people after the fall of Saigon in 1975; Chinese students after the massacre on Tiananmen Square in 1989. Gradually a nation began to emerge that was no longer quite so Anglo-Celtic in its ethnicity.

      Since the 1990s, however, refugee policy has again hardened, and has been complicated by the rise of Islamist terrorism. On August 26, 2001, shortly before the attack on the Twin Towers, a Norwegian vessel, the Tampa, picked up 438 passengers (mostly Afghan Hazaras) from a foundering boat and anchored near Christmas Island. The Tampa was soon boarded by Australian commandos, while the Australian prime minister announced that backdoor asylum-seekers would from then on be processed not on the mainland but in offshore facilities run by Australia in yet-to-be-decided third countries. After September 11, the refugees on the Tampa suddenly became Muslim boat people, and as Muslims became suspected terrorists. From then on, in the politics of the right, asylum-seekers have been tarred with the brush of terrorism. From that date too, broad support for the doctrine of human rights began to wane, not only in Australia but in Western democracies in general—witness Guantánamo.

      The practice of offshore processing announced in 2001 was maintained until the number of boat arrivals had dwindled to such an extent that the camps could be closed. However, soon after this was done, in 2004, boats began to arrive again. Why? Because refugees had simply been biding their time, waiting for Australia to relax its guard? Or because as the civil war in Sri Lanka intensified, thousands of Tamils were fleeing for their lives? Which was the determining factor: the pull of Australia or the push of world events?

      As the number of boat arrivals grew, the authorities became more and more nervous. Australia had to be made a less attractive destination. A panel of experts recommended what it called a “circuit breaker”: the resumption of offshore processing together with an end to compassionate border control.

      Agreements were concluded in 2013 with Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the tiny island state of Nauru. The old camps would be reopened. These two countries would process the protection claims of people arriving in Australia by boat and would resettle them either on their own territory or in a third country. Australia could then argue that it was not responsible for the ultimate fate of the asylum-seekers, even though the camps would be financed and run by the Australian government through private contractors.

      Manus Island belongs to an archipelago that forms part of PNG. It lies 650 miles north of the Australian mainland; the entire archipelago has a population of about 60,000. Between 2013 and 2016, when the PNG Supreme Court ruled that imprisoning asylum-seekers had been illegal from the start, several thousand people passed through the camps on Manus. However, when in 2017 the PNG police tried to close the camps, most of the occupants—some six hundred men—refused to leave, claiming to fear for their safety. Water and electricity were cut off, and a siege commenced that is vividly described in Boochani’s book. After a month, resistance crumbled, and the detainees were moved into compounds elsewhere on the island, where they have freedom of movement though, without papers, they cannot leave PNG.

      Nauru, nearly two thousand miles from Australia, is one of the world’s smallest nation-states, with a mere 11,000 inhabitants. Since its deposits of rock phosphate gave out a decade or two ago, its economic viability has depended on money-laundering and on the largesse of foreign patrons. On Nauru, prisoners have been held in what are called “open facilities.” However, since the island is tiny (eight square miles), the advantage is slight.

      The UNHCR has been extremely critical of Australia’s offshore policies. In 2017 it concluded that PNG and Nauru were intrinsically unsuitable as resettlement homes, given “the impossibility of local integration.” In other words, Papuans and Nauruans do not want refugees living among them, and refugees do not want to live in PNG or Nauru. New Zealand has offered to take 150 of the inmates, but Australia has vetoed this offer on the grounds that former detainees might make their way from New Zealand to Australia, thereby weakening the deterrent power of Australian policy.

      The operation of the camps was shrouded from the beginning under a blanket of secrecy. Inmates were to be known not by name but by number; circulating photographs of them was forbidden. For information on life in the camps, we have to rely on prisoners like Boochani and on those Australian doctors and social workers who have defied legislation that made it a criminal offense to report what they had witnessed.

      On the basis of such evidence, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Manus and Nauru are not just processing centers but punishment camps where detainees—“clients” in the jargon of the bureaucracy—serve indeterminate or even indefinite sentences for the offense of trying to enter Australia without papers. The attitude of the Australian guards (“client service officers”), many of them veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, seems to be unremitting hostility, fueled by suspicions that among their clientele are Islamic terrorists masquerading as refugees. The local populations, Nauruan or Papuan, also seem to regard the refugees with an unfriendly eye. In 2014 the Manus camp was invaded by Papuan police and civilians who assaulted the inmates, killing one of them.

      In the first year and a half after the agreement with Nauru and PNG, over three thousand people, including hundreds of children, were consigned to offshore detention. A pediatrician visiting the island camps reported a range of troubled behavior among children there: bed-wetting, nightmares, defiant behavior, separation anxiety, withdrawal, regression in speech, mutism, stuttering. Australia’s human rights commissioner concluded that the camps were too violent and unsafe to house children. The entire practice of putting children behind razor wire was damned by a UN special rapporteur. In the face of public disquiet, the Australian authorities began to remove children and their parents to the mainland. By February 2019 the last of them had either been resettled in the US or brought to Australia on an explicitly temporary basis.

      Refugee policy was not an issue in the recent elections for the Australian federal parliament, which were won and lost on arcane issues in the tax code. News that Australian voters had returned to power the same set of jailers responsible for their misery provoked a spate of self-harm and suicide attempts among the remaining detainees. An Indian who tried to set himself alight was treated for burns, then charged with attempting suicide. Boochani reports that most of the refugees left on Manus have fallen into a state of despair and no longer leave their rooms. To date, fourteen prisoners, most of them in their twenties, have died on Nauru and Manus, some by their own hand. They died because the camps were unhealthy, dangerous, and destructive not only of their psychic stability but of their very humanity.

      For years there has been a drumbeat of protest from within Australia against the demonization of asylum-seekers. One appeal came from Tim Winton, among Australia’s most widely read writers:

      Prime Minister, turn us back from this path to brutality. Restore us to our best selves. Turn back from piling trauma upon the traumatised. It grinds innocent people to despair and self-harm and suicide. It ruins the lives of children. It shames us. And it poisons the future. Give these people back their faces, their humanity. Do not avert your gaze and don’t hide them from us.

      Not everyone shares Winton’s sentiments. After being shown a poster targeting aspiring asylum-seekers that showed a boat in rough waters with the caption “NO WAY. YOU WILL NOT MAKE AUSTRALIA HOME,” President Trump tweeted, “Much can be learned!” Australia’s practices of imprisoning refugees and turning back boats have been applauded by the European right and in some quarters mimicked.

      At the peak of the influx of boat people, Manus housed 1,353 prisoners and Nauru 1,233. For Nauru, the camp business has been particularly lucrative. For each detainee it houses on behalf of Australia, Nauru earns about US$1,400 a year in visa fees. Holding a prisoner offshore costs Australia about US$38,000 per year. If the same prisoner were brought to the Australian mainland while his or her claim was being processed, the cost would fall to US$7,000. Persisting with the offshore camps has clearly been a point of honor with the Australians, no matter what the expense.

      In the last days of the Obama administration, it was announced that the United States would accept up to 1,250 refugees from Manus and Nauru. When President Trump took office in January 2017, the then Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, called to pay his respects and apprise the new incumbent of the agreement. President Trump was understandably baffled. Why could Australia not house the refugees itself? Turnbull replied:

      The only reason we cannot let them into Australia is because of our commitment to not allow people to come by boat. Otherwise we would have let them in. If they had arrived by airplane and with a tourist visa then they would be here.

      As Turnbull artlessly reveals, there is something arbitrary in welcoming people who have papers while treating people without papers not only badly but with spectacular heartlessness. Commentators have pointed to the contrived quality of the distinction and hinted at a motive behind it: that the sans-papiers are being offered up to the xenophobes and nativists to vent their rage on, while government and business are left free to run an orderly system of importing skilled migrants.

      With evident reluctance, President Trump has honored the deal made by the Obama administration. As of April 2019, over five hundred refugees had been resettled in the US, with further departures expected, while 265 applications had been rejected on character grounds. According to Boochani’s recent count, there are still 370 asylum-seekers on Manus, seventy of whom had been accepted by the US and are ready to leave. Sixty men on Nauru have been accepted, leaving about two hundred on the island. The prisoners rejected by the US provide Australia with a legal headache. It cannot send them back to their countries of origin without violating its non-refoulement obligations, yet if no third country will accept them, they will find themselves in indefinite detention, in violation of international human rights law.

      As a youngster, Behrouz Boochani tells us, he wanted to join the Kurdish guerrillas in their war of liberation but was not brave enough to take the final step: “To this very day I don’t know if I have a peace-loving spirit or if I was just frightened.” Instead he turned to a career in writing.

      About the journalism that got him into trouble with the authorities and his subsequent flight from Iran he has little to say. At Tehran airport he masquerades as a casual tourist, carrying nothing but a few changes of clothes and a book of poetry. In Indonesia he spends a miserable forty days hiding from the police, waiting for a place on a boat. The boat that he boards is barely seaworthy: he and his fellow fugitives spend most of their time bailing out water. They are picked up by an Indonesian fishing vessel, transferred to a British freighter, then finally arrested by the Australian navy and flown to Manus Island.

      Boochani understands at once that he and his companions have become hostages, to be used “to strike fear into others, to scare people so they won’t come to Australia.” His first impression of his new home is that it is “beautiful…nothing like the island hell that [the Australians] tried to scare us with.” Then, as he steps off the plane, he is hit by the suffocating humidity and stifling heat. Mosquitoes buzz everywhere.

      No Friend But the Mountains provides a wholly engrossing account of the first four years that Boochani spent on Manus, up to the time when the prison camp was closed and the prisoners resettled elsewhere on the island. Just as absorbing is his analysis of the system that reigns in the camp, a system imposed by the Australian authorities but autonomous in the sense that it holds the jailers as well as the prisoners in its grip.

      The aim of the system is to break the will of the prisoners and make them accept refoulement. It works by fostering animosities among them, eroding solidarity and leaving them feeling isolated. The simplest of means are used to create paranoia. The electricity running the fans that provide relief from the insufferable heat is switched on and off for no reason. There is drinking water, but it is always lukewarm. Occasionally chilled fruit juice appears, but according to no detectable schedule. With nothing else to do, prisoners become obsessed with finding patterns in these random events: “A twisted system governs the prison, a deranged logic that confines the mind of the prisoner, an extremely oppressive form of governance that the prisoner internalises.”

      New rules and regulations are introduced from week to week, for which no one will accept responsibility: “No person who is a part of the system can ever provide an answer—neither the officers nor the other employees…. All they can say is, ‘I’m sorry, I’m just following orders.’” The daily routine includes four body-checks. The eyes of the Australian guards who carry out the searches are “cold, barbaric, hateful.”

      Boochani’s fellow prisoners come from all over the world: Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Iraq, Kurdistan. Having to live in close proximity with strangers becomes a torment. He withdraws further and further into himself.

      Moral standards deteriorate on all sides. Now and then the mango trees that surround the camp drop their fruit within the perimeter. Even Kurds, normally renowned for their hospitality, pounce on the fruit and devour it without sharing.

      The toilets become a place of refuge where a prisoner can be by himself and scream his lungs out. But they also become a place of self-harm and suicide. Boochani records a terrifying episode as the prisoners witness guards removing the body of a man who had slit his wrists with a razor. Among the onlookers he detects a pulsating excitement: “Their responses reveal an attraction to the thrills of a night of blood…. The scene is like a festival: a festival of blood, a festival of the dead.” For some prisoners, self-harm becomes “a kind of cultural practice,” a way of gaining respect. “The faces of those who have self-harmed show peace, a profound peace akin to ecstasy, akin to euphoria.”

      Boochani’s narrative reaches a climax when in October 2017 the PNG authorities try to close down the prison camp. Two weeks of nonviolent protest culminate in bloody warfare. Boochani is thrilled by the militancy of his comrades: “For the first time the prisoners did not feel oppressed by the fences. For the first time the rules and regulations meant nothing…. A bond of brotherhood emerged among the prisoners in this fierce movement, performed in the theatre of war for all to see.”

      A prefatory note to the book informs us that strict measures have been taken to conceal the identities of detainees. The characters “are not individuals who are disguised…. Their identities are entirely manufactured. They are composite characters.” Boochani’s wish to protect his fellow detainees from reprisal is understandable, but it is nonetheless a pity that we are given no reliable facts about them. Was Boochani an exception, for example, in having a university education? And what led these people to undertake the perilous voyage to Australia, of all places?

      Boochani is clearly a loner. Oppressed by the meaningless clamor of prison life, he longs “to isolate [himself] and create that which is poetic and visionary.” He flirts with the idea of himself as a poet-prophet, but it is not clear what he might be prophesying. By his own confession, he is not a brave man, yet it is clear that in those desperate days at sea he behaved with great courage. His motive for seeking asylum in Australia remains unexplored. As autobiography, No Friend is not the summing up of a life but a work in progress, the absorbing record of a life-transforming episode whose effects on his inner self the writer is still trying to plumb.

      It is significant that the medium Boochani chooses for his story is a mixed one: analytic prose on the one hand, traditional Kurdish folk-ballad on the other. He writes:

      The amazement and horror felt during the nights on Manus has the power to thrust everyone back into their long distant pasts. These nights uncover many years of tears deep in our hearts and open old wounds…they draw out the bitter truth; they force the prisoners to self-prosecute. Prisoners are driven to crying tears of bitter sorrow.

      Getting No Friend But the Mountains off the island and into the hands of readers in Australia was an achievement in itself. The text was typed in Farsi on a cell phone that Boochani kept hidden in his mattress, and then surreptitiously dispatched, one text message at a time, to a collaborator in the outside world.

      Boochani’s translator, Omid Tofighian, provides an afterword containing useful information about the genesis of the book and Boochani’s place in the Iranian and Kurdish literary traditions. It is as though, to save himself from the madness of the camp, Boochani had to draw upon not only his innate creativity, not only his immersion in Kafka and Beckett, but also submerged memories of “the cold mountains of Kurdistan” and the songs of resistance sung there. (Here the title of the book becomes relevant.)

      If we approach No Friend as if it were a conventional refugee narrative or refugee memoir, Tofighian tells us, we misread it profoundly:

      In contrast to the thriving “refugee industry” that promotes stories to provide exposure and information and attempts to create empathy…Behrouz recounts stories in order to produce new knowledge and to construct a philosophy that unpacks and exposes systematic torture and the border-industrial complex. His intention has always been to hold a mirror up to the system, dismantle it, and produce a historical record to honour those who have been killed and everyone who is still suffering.

      As for Tofighian’s own contribution, “translation [is] for me…a duty to history and a strategy for positioning the issue of indefinite detention of refugees deep within Australia’s collective memory.”

      Tofighian contrasts the greater island of Australia with the lesser island of Manus:

      One island kills vision, creativity and knowledge—it imprisons thought. The other island fosters vision, creativity and knowledge—it is a land where the mind is free. The first island is the settler-colonial state called Australia, and the prisoners are the settlers. The second island contains Manus Prison, and knowledge resides there with the incarcerated refugees.

      This is a bold and persuasive claim: that through their experience on the island the prisoners have absorbed an understanding of how power works in the world, whereas their jailers remain locked in complacent ignorance. The claim rests on an extended conception of what knowledge can consist in: knowledge can be absorbed directly into the suffering body and thence transfigure the self. The prisoners know more than the jailers do, even if they do not have words for what they know. As Boochani puts it, the prisoners

      have modified their perception and understanding of life, transformed their interpretation of existence…. They have changed so much—they have transfigured into different beings…. This has occurred for everyone…. They have become distinctly creative humans, they have unprecedented creative capacities…. This is incredible, it is phenomenal to witness.

      Tofighian’s afterword upends the image of the translator as the humble, invisible helpmeet of the author. Not only does he present himself, along with two other Iranian colleagues, as a full collaborator in the project, but he also—somewhat hectoringly—gives instructions on how to approach the book: not as an affecting record of suffering and tribulation but as a “decolonial intervention,” “a decolonial text, representing a decolonial way of thinking and doing,” written to spur us “to resist the colonial mindset that is driving Australia’s detention regime.” Boochani supports this mode of reading when he identifies himself less as a writer than as a political scientist who has chosen to employ the language of literature.

      The question is, how novel and how valuable is Boochani’s analysis of what he calls the “intersecting social systems of domination and oppression” that reinforce each other in the prison? That people who run prisons try to break down the solidarity of prison populations by encouraging mistrust of all by all and diverting the inmates’ attention to trivia is hardly news. What has not been done before, claims Tofighian, is to connect the warped psychic regime of the prison with “Australian colonial history and fundamental factors plaguing contemporary Australian society, culture and politics.”

      This is, to my mind, an empty claim. The book contains no analysis at all of contemporary Australia, a country that Boochani—and who can blame him?—wishes never to set foot in. No doubt the Australian guards at the camp detested the prisoners and wished them ill; but that is true of many prison guards vis-à-vis many prisoners. What is more of a mystery is why so many Australians wish refugees ill. To answer this question one needs to know a great deal more about Australian history, the tensions within Australian society, and the maneuverings of Australia’s political parties than Boochani, isolated on his island, has been able to inquire into.

      In May 1994, during the first session of the parliament of the newly liberated South Africa, Nelson Mandela read into the record a poem written in 1960 by the Afrikaans writer Ingrid Jonker (1933–1965). The poem mourns the death of a child shot by police during a protest meeting and foretells his resurrection. Mandela read the poem as a gesture of reconciliation with white Afrikaners, who were dubious about how welcome they would be in the new South Africa. “She was both an Afrikaner and an African,” Mandela said of Jonker.

      There is an aspect of Jonker’s poem that few of the parliamentarians listening to Mandela, or indeed Mandela himself, chose to take seriously. The poem ends with the lines: “The child, become a man, treks through the whole of Africa. The child, become a giant, travels across the entire world, without a pass.” The pass to which Jonker refers is the hated internal passport that black Africans were required to carry, without which apartheid as an administrative system would have collapsed. The meeting at which the child was killed was held to protest against having to carry passes; now, in 1994, the reborn child strides unstoppably across the world, disdaining a pass. Not only does Jonker’s poem look forward to the defeat of apartheid; it also looks forward to a day when the borders of the nation-state will crumble before the march of a free people.

      The new government headed by Mandela never for a minute considered abolishing or even questioning the nation’s borders, as defined years earlier by the erstwhile colonial power, Britain. Liberated or not, any child who treks through Africa without a pass will be stopped when he arrives at the South African frontier.

      Despite its teetering economy, South Africa remains attractive to migrants. Of the 58 million people residing within its borders, some three million are immigrants of various degrees of legality, half of them from Zimbabwe. To obtain a visa that entitles him or her to work in South Africa, a Zimbabwean needs a passport, a letter from an employer, an address in South Africa, and proof of funds. Most find these requirements impossible to meet. As for getting accepted as a refugee, this is complicated by the reluctance of the South African government to concede that political repression exists in Zimbabwe. Thus, papers or no papers, Zimbabweans have for years been crossing South Africa’s inadequately monitored northern border unannounced, at a rate of some seven hundred a day.

      Immigration is a burning issue in South Africa. Politicians blame foreign migrants for high crime rates, for overrunning the cities, for exploiting the social welfare system, for taking jobs from the locals. In 2008 there were outbursts of mass violence against foreigners that left scores dead. The South African authorities have responded to the challenge of undocumented migration with sporadic roundups and mass deportations. The exercise has been largely futile. Most of those expelled promptly turn around and come back.

      I mention the case of South Africa, not untypical in the postcolonial world, to illustrate what can happen when—unlike Australia—a country lacks the will and/or the means to close its borders to less affluent neighbors. Zimbabweans and other African migrants who find their way to South Africa reside there only precariously. They are at the receiving end of resentment and sometimes of violence from the locals. They are ill advised to appeal to the police for protection. On the other hand, they have yet to find themselves dispatched to a godforsaken island as punishment for entering the country through the back door.

      Cross-border migration is a fact of life in today’s world, and numbers will only increase as the earth heats up, former pastures turn to desert, and islands are swallowed by the sea. There are messy but humane—or at least human—ways of reacting to this world-historical phenomenon, just as there are neat but inhuman ways.

      https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/09/26/australias-shame
      –-----

      Et un peu plus sur le lien avec la montagne...

      It is as though, to save himself from the madness of the camp, Boochani had to draw upon not only his innate creativity, not only his immersion in Kafka and Beckett, but also submerged memories of “the cold mountains of Kurdistan” and the songs of resistance sung there. (Here the title of the book becomes relevant.)

  • L’Australie exporte ses réfugiés

    Au nom de la lutte contre les passeurs, Canberra sous-traite une partie de sa gestion des demandeurs d’asile à des pays tiers. Cette politique d’externalisation inspire les gouvernements européens et indigne les défenseurs des droits humains, tant les réfugiés s’y réduisent à une monnaie d’échange.

    C’est un petit restaurant dans une ruelle du sud de Phnom Penh, un comptoir, quelques tables et une odeur de falafels. Mideast Feast propose des spécialités syriennes et libanaises. Une rareté dans une capitale certes cosmopolite mais où les ressortissants du Proche-Orient ne sont pas légion. Du Cambodge M. Abdullah Zalghanah, le propriétaire, ne connaissait rien, jusqu’à ce qu’il y soit parachuté.

    M. Zalghanah est syrien. Il y a huit ans, il était encore boulanger et restaurateur à Deraa, où il vivait avec son épouse et leurs quatre enfants. Puis, comme tant d’autres, il a fui sa ville, devenue un champ de bataille, jusqu’au Liban. Il y a laissé sa famille pour se mettre en quête d’un pays d’accueil. « Je ne voyais pas d’avenir pour mes enfants au Liban, avec les milices de Bachar Al-Assad traquant les réfugiés, la situation économique et les conséquences de la guerre », raconte-t-il. En 2012 débute un long périple qui le mènera de l’autre côté du monde, porté par l’espoir de rejoindre l’Australie, un pays « paisible » où, lui a-t-on dit, « on peut se reconstruire une vie en six mois ». « Dans la communauté syrienne, il se disait que l’Australie était une meilleure option que l’Europe. Et j’avais un frère là-bas, qui y était parti avant la guerre », explique-t-il. On le met en contact avec des passeurs, qui l’expédient en Indonésie. Là, il doit prendre un bateau avec soixante et onze autres personnes. Une simple barque à moteur, pour une traversée de plus de quatre cents kilomètres jusqu’à l’île Christmas, territoire australien perdu au milieu de l’océan Indien. « Le voyage a été terrible. Au bout d’une journée, l’un des deux moteurs a cessé de fonctionner. Plus d’une fois, j’ai cru que nous allions mourir. » Quatre jours et une nuit d’angoisse, jusqu’à ce que les passeurs indonésiens les abandonnent sur une plage. Là, ils sont cueillis par des gardes australiens et menés dans un centre de rétention. En cet été 2013, plus de deux mille personnes s’y entassent : des demandeurs d’asile, en attente de transfert dans l’un des camps de détention sur l’île-État de Nauru ou en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée. Aucun ne pourra jamais rejoindre l’Australie. Car, quelques mois plus tôt, Canberra a réactivé et durci sa politique radicale de refoulement des boat people — ce qu’on appelle la « solution du Pacifique ».

    Lancée au début des années 2000, cette politique repose sur des accords passés avec ses deux voisins pauvres. En échange d’une compensation financière, ces États acceptent de recevoir les demandeurs d’asile arrivés clandestinement. Le temps que leur dossier soit examiné, ils sont détenus dans des camps extraterritoriaux construits aux frais de Canberra et gérés par des sociétés privées sous contrat avec le gouvernement. Officiellement, il s’agit de lutter contre les réseaux de passeurs en décourageant toute tentative de rejoindre les côtes par bateau.

    Selon les organisations de défense des droits humains, l’Australie s’arrange avec le droit international, notamment avec le principe de non-refoulement figurant dans la convention de Genève sur les réfugiés, dont elle est signataire (1). Et sa méthode a fait école au sein de l’Union européenne, qui a mis au point des politiques d’« externalisation des frontières », tel l’accord avec la Turquie.

    En Australie, les conservateurs qui ont conçu cette stratégie de sous-traitance notent une nette diminution des arrivées clandestines : moins de 150 par an entre 2002 et 2008, contre 3 000 à 5 500 par an entre 1999 et 2001 (2). Toutefois, en 2007, un rapport d’Oxfam estime son coût total — des interceptions de bateaux aux frais de gestion des camps — à plus de 1 milliard de dollars australiens (625 millions d’euros) en six ans (3), pour la prise en charge de moins de 1 700 personnes. Sous le feu des critiques, la « solution du Pacifique » a été suspendue en 2008 par le gouvernement travailliste qui arrivait au pouvoir. Les camps de Nauru et de l’île de Manus (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée) ont été vidés… pour être rouverts quatre ans plus tard.

    En réponse à un nouveau pic d’arrivées clandestines et de naufrages meurtriers (4), le gouvernement réactive les accords de coopération avec les deux États et durcit sa politique. Si l’Australie continue d’accueillir plusieurs milliers de demandeurs d’asile arrivés légalement sur son sol (5), elle affiche désormais une tolérance zéro vis-à-vis des clandestins. « Nul demandeur d’asile arrivé en Australie par bateau ne sera jamais autorisé à s’installer sur le territoire en tant que réfugié », assène le premier ministre Kevin Rudd (British Broadcasting Corporation, 19 juillet 2013). Peu importe la légitimité de sa demande de protection et les difficultés rencontrées pour la formuler. Un Syrien qui dépose une demande d’asile pour l’Europe ou l’Australie à partir d’un pays voisin où il a pu fuir, comme la Turquie ou le Liban, s’expose à un refus sous prétexte que la requête est émise d’un pays « sûr ». Obtenir un visa temporaire n’est pas moins ardu. Quant aux clandestins pris dans les filets de cette politique, ils auront le choix entre un vol retour vers leur pays d’origine et un transfert dans les camps extraterritoriaux — pour une durée indéterminée.
    Improbable accord avec le Cambodge

    Si l’accord passé avec la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée prévoit, en théorie, une installation permanente des réfugiés sur le territoire, dans les faits « les autorités ne leur octroient pas de statut légal », dénonce un rapport d’Amnesty International (6). Celles de Nauru refusent officiellement toute installation permanente. Les réfugiés reçoivent au mieux un visa de cinq ans, puis de dix ans, payé par les autorités australiennes. « Les camps extraterritoriaux, qui étaient à l’origine des lieux de transfert, sont ainsi devenus des centres de détention permanente, sans autre issue que le retour au pays », nous explique M. Ian Rintoul, porte-parole de la Refugee Action Coalition, une organisation non gouvernementale (ONG) australienne.

    Quand M. Zalghanah est transféré à Nauru, en avril 2014, environ 1 200 personnes y vivent. « Nous dormions à quarante dans de grandes tentes sales, sans aucune intimité. Il n’y avait que dix toilettes et dix douches sans porte. Nous n’étions pas des criminels, mais ce camp, c’était une prison. » Au-delà de ces conditions de vie insupportables, c’est sa situation, floue et sans issue, qui le détruit. « Nous étions tous sous antidépresseurs et sous somnifères pour pouvoir dormir. L’atmosphère n’a cessé de se dégrader, avec des rixes qui éclataient, mais surtout des suicides. Je me souviens d’un homme qui a avalé une boîte de pilules, d’un autre qui s’est immolé par le feu… » M. Zalghanah perd le compte, mais les disparus peuplent toujours ses cauchemars. En dépit des restrictions d’accès imposées par les autorités, plusieurs enquêtes successives dénoncent les conditions de vie des détenus. Le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR), dont une délégation s’est rendue à Nauru fin 2013, évoque une « détention systématique et arbitraire » contraire au droit international, et critique l’absence de solution à long terme pour des personnes maintenues dans l’incertitude (7).

    À partir de 2013, la campagne « Frontières souveraines », opération militaire de refoulement des navires clandestins vers leur point de départ, limite les arrivées. Mais il devient urgent de trouver une solution pour les quelque trois mille réfugiés entassés à Manus et Nauru. La Nouvelle-Zélande a bien proposé d’en accueillir cent cinquante chaque année, mais l’Australie a décliné l’offre, estimant qu’une telle perspective, trop alléchante, ne ferait que soutenir le commerce des passeurs. Canberra pense trouver son salut dans l’externalisation.

    Le 26 septembre 2014, M. Scott Morrison, alors ministre de l’immigration, annonce la signature d’un accord inédit avec le Cambodge. Négocié en secret, il prévoit l’installation sur le territoire cambodgien d’une partie des réfugiés parqués à Nauru, Phnom Penh recevant en échange 40 millions de dollars australiens (25 millions d’euros) sous forme d’aide au développement. Le voyage, l’accueil et l’installation des réfugiés sont également à la charge de l’Australie, laquelle prévoit d’y consacrer un budget global de 15 millions de dollars (9,4 millions d’euros), sans plus de précision.

    « L’un des pays les plus riches du monde a convaincu l’un des plus pauvres d’accueillir les réfugiés dont il ne veut pas », résume le magazine américain Foreign Policy (8), tandis que M. António Guterres, l’actuel secrétaire général de l’Organisation des Nations unies, alors haut-commissaire des Nations unies pour les réfugiés, critique une « inquiétante dérogation aux normes internationales (9) ». S’il ne viole pas explicitement le droit international, l’accord n’en constitue pas moins « un dangereux précédent qui porte atteinte à l’intégrité du système de partage des responsabilités à l’égard des réfugiés », analyse Madeline Gleeson, avocate et chercheuse à l’université de Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (10).

    « Avec cet accord, l’Australie espère avoir enfin trouvé la pièce manquante de sa politique d’asile extraterritorial : une solution de long terme », souligne la chercheuse. L’entente est au moins claire sur un point : les réfugiés doivent se porter volontaires. Or les prisonniers de Nauru n’accueillent pas la nouvelle avec enthousiasme. Alors que les ministres de l’intérieur australien et cambodgien sablent le champagne, une nouvelle vague de protestations agite les camps entre fin septembre et début octobre 2014. Quand les premières délégations cambodgiennes s’y rendent, début 2015, aucun volontaire ne se présente. « Dans les mois qui ont suivi, on nous a rapporté des pressions exercées sur les réfugiés, du chantage, de fausses promesses », dit M. Rintoul. En vain : seuls sept d’entre eux acceptent d’être envoyés au Cambodge.

    M. Zalghanah est du nombre. En 2016, il consent à sa relocalisation à Phnom Penh, à condition que l’Australie y rapatrie également sa famille restée au Liban. « Au début, ils disaient que le rapprochement familial était impossible. Mais, après un an, ils ont fini par me dire que ma famille me rejoindrait au bout de trois ou quatre mois », raconte-t-il. Débarquant dans la capitale cambodgienne en novembre 2016, il est pris en charge par l’antenne locale de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations. Celle-ci le guide et l’héberge pendant trois mois, à l’issue desquels il lance un projet de restaurant grâce à une allocation de l’Australie. Mais, plus d’un an après son arrivée, le rapprochement familial est au point mort. M. Zalghanah craint d’être oublié, évacué dans les vieux papiers d’un accord raté. Car l’entente entre le Cambodge et l’Australie prenait officiellement fin à l’automne 2018. Son échec est si cuisant qu’elle ne sera pas reconduite. Sur les sept réfugiés transférés, quatre ont déjà quitté le pays.

    « Depuis le début, cet accord n’était qu’une vaste blague, dénonce M. Rintoul. Le gouvernement désespérait de trouver une issue à sa politique d’asile extraterritorial. En définitive, il a payé plus de 40 millions de dollars pour délocaliser sept personnes. On atteint des sommets d’absurdité. » Des tentatives de négociations similaires avec d’autres pays, dont le Kirghizstan, n’ont jamais abouti.

    Reste une issue possible : l’entente conclue avec les États-Unis lors des derniers mois de la présidence de M. Barack Obama selon laquelle Washington prendrait en charge jusqu’à 1 200 réfugiés des camps extraterritoriaux. Les clauses de l’accord de septembre 2016 n’ont pas été rendues publiques. Mais, le même mois, Canberra annonçait son intention d’accueillir un nombre non défini de demandeurs d’asile sud-américains actuellement dans des camps gérés par les États-Unis. De quoi alimenter les rumeurs d’« échange de réfugiés », malgré les dénégations du gouvernement australien (11). Contre toute attente, M. Donald Trump n’a pas mis un terme à l’arrangement. Si le président américain a jugé l’accord « stupide », il s’est engagé à l’honorer. Depuis l’automne 2016, 445 réfugiés relégués à Nauru et Manus ont obtenu l’asile aux États-Unis. Washington aurait refusé près de 200 autres personnes, parmi lesquelles de nombreux Iraniens. Et aucune nouvelle procédure de transfert n’a été annoncée.
    « Une population au-delà du désespoir »

    Selon un rapport du Parlement d’Australie, entre 2012 et 2017, la politique de détention extraterritoriale des demandeurs d’asile aurait coûté près de 5 milliards de dollars (plus de 3 milliards d’euros) à l’État, sans compter le budget de l’« aide au développement » prévue dans les accords régionaux. Une somme coquette pour la détention de 3 127 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile, au total, depuis 2012. Mille quatre cents d’entre eux seraient toujours bloqués à Manus et Nauru. Si les camps sont désormais ouverts, les îles n’en restent pas moins des prisons pour ces hommes, femmes et enfants qui disposent dans les faits d’une liberté de circulation relative. Expulsée en octobre dernier par les autorités nauruanes après avoir passé onze mois auprès des réfugiés, l’ONG Médecins sans frontières décrit une population « au-delà du désespoir » et recense « un nombre alarmant de tentatives de suicide et de cas d’automutilation » (12). En décembre 2018, 1 200 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile, soutenus par l’association National Justice Project, ont lancé une procédure judiciaire à l’encontre de l’État australien, accusé devant la Haute Cour d’emprisonnement arbitraire, de persécution, de torture et de crimes contre l’humanité.

    M. Zalghanah, lui, se considère comme un rescapé. En janvier dernier, après deux ans d’attente, sa famille est enfin arrivée au Cambodge.

    https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2019/04/BJURSTROM/59709
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Cambodge #Australie #externalisation #réfugiés_syriens

    ping @albertocampiphoto

    v. aussi cette compilation qui parle du deal entre l’Australie et le Cambodge :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/476197

  • Attacks by White Extremists Are Growing. So Are Their Connections. - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/03/world/white-extremist-terrorism-christchurch.html

    In a manifesto posted online before his attack, the gunman who killed 50 last month in a rampage at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, said he drew inspiration from white extremist terrorism attacks in Norway, the United States, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    His references to those attacks placed him in an informal global network of white extremists whose violent attacks are occurring with greater frequency in the West.

    An analysis by The New York Times of recent terrorism attacks found that at least a third of white extremist killers since 2011 were inspired by others who perpetrated similar attacks, professed a reverence for them or showed an interest in their tactics.

    The connections between the killers span continents and highlight how the internet and social media have facilitated the spread of white extremist ideology and violence.

    In one instance, a school shooter in New Mexico corresponded with a gunman who attacked a mall in Munich. Altogether, they killed 11 people.

    #extrême_droite #agression #terrorisme #cartographie #visualisation

  • #Australie : les #aborigènes spoliés pourront être indemnisés

    La Haute Cour d’Australie a jugé mercredi que les aborigènes spoliés de leurs terres devaient être indemnisés en particulier pour la « #perte_culturelle » et la « #souffrance_spirituelle » endurées, une décision qui pourrait déclencher une série de procès dans le pays. La Haute Cour a jugé que les peuples #ngaliwurru et #nungali, du #Territoire_du_Nord, avaient le droit d’être indemnisés après avoir été privés de leurs #terres par le gouvernement régional qui y a bâti, notamment, des infrastructures. Elle a également rejeté un appel du gouvernement contre un précédent jugement, qui avait déterminé que les aborigènes devaient être indemnisés non seulement pour la valeur des terres perdues, mais également pour « la perte culturelle ».

    https://www.ledevoir.com/monde/549792/australie-les-aborigenes-spolies-pourront-etre-indemnises
    #indemnisation #justice #spoliation #peuples_autochtones

  • #métaliste de #campagnes de #dissuasion à l’#émigration

    Une analyse de ces campagnes par #Antoine_Pécoud
    https://seenthis.net/messages/763546

    Un entretien avec des représentants de l’ODM (Suisse, maintenant SEM) et de l’OIM sur le lien entre cinéma et campagnes de dissuasion à la migration :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/763642

    –---------------------
    En #Guinée , l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations contrôle des frontières et les âmes :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/757474
    #OIM #IOM #organisation_internationale_contre_les_migrations

    Toujours l’OIM, mais en #Tunisie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/732291

    Et au #Cameroun , OIM, as usual :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/763640

    Au #Sénégal, avec le soutien de l’ #Espagne (2007) :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/763670

    Campagne #aware_migrants, financée par l’ #Italie :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/520420

    Une campagne de l’ #Australie
    https://seenthis.net/messages/474986
    #Etats-Unis #film
    Il y a aussi la campagne #No_way :
    https://seenthis.net/tag/no_way

    Financée par l’#Allemagne, une campagne en #Afghanistan :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/464281#message588432
    https://seenthis.net/messages/464281#message592615
    https://seenthis.net/messages/432534

    Les campagnes de la #Suisse :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/385940
    notamment dans les #Balkans mais aussi en #Afrique_de_l'Ouest (#Cameroun, #Nigeria)

    Campagne des #Etats-Unis :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/269673#message274426
    https://seenthis.net/messages/269673#message274440
    #USA

    Une campagne du #Danemark :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/385940#message397757

    En #France :
    Traversées de la #Manche par des migrants : les associations “révoltées” par une publicité du gouvernement
    https://seenthis.net/messages/794698

    #campagne #migrations #vidéos

    ping @isskein @_kg_ @reka

  • The Theft And Return Of Australian Indigenous Land 1788 To 2013

    The map above shows that between the establishment of the British penal colony of New South Wales in 1788 and the mid-1960s, Indigenous Australians were deprived and dispossessed of virtually all their land.

    https://brilliantmaps.com/indigenous-australia
    #aborigènes #contre-cartographie #cartographie_radicale #cartographie_critique #peuples_autochtones #cartographie #visualisation #Australie #géographie_du_plein #géographie_du_vide #terres #dépossession
    ping @reka

  • Une carte des massacres d’#aborigènes de l’ère coloniale australienne - Pacha cartographie

    https://www.pacha-cartographe.fr/massacres-aborigenes

    Deux projets cartographiques révèlent la réalité sanglante de l’histoire coloniale australienne.

    Pendant des décennies, les historiens, les politiciens et à peu près tout le monde ayant des opinions bien arrêtées sur la nationalité australienne se disputaient avec acharnement pour déterminer si les massacres des populations aborigènes avaient joué un rôle important dans la genèse de l’Australie moderne.

    A ma gauche les tenant du oui pour qui la conquête européenne de l’Australie a été caractérisée par une violence systémique, de fréquentes effusions de sang et même un génocide. A ma droite les partisans d’une absence d’intention malveillante : supériorité technologique (des colons) et susceptibilité aux maladies (des indigènes) suffisant à expliquer la rapidité et l’ensemble du processus de colonisation…

    En tout état de cause, l’histoire officielle ne laisse que peu de place à la possible acceptation d’un passé sanglant puisqu’il n’existe actuellement qu’une poignée de toponymes faisant référence à cette période sombre. De même, une vingtaine de monuments seulement commémore des massacres d’autochtones dans toute l’Australie. Souvent, les emplacements ne sont marqués que par une plaque ou un simple rocher.

    #colonisation #australie