• Call immigrant detention centers what they really are: concentration camps

    If you were paying close attention last week, you might have spotted a pattern in the news. Peeking out from behind the breathless coverage of the Trump family’s tuxedoed trip to London was a spate of deaths of immigrants in U.S. custody: Johana Medina Léon, a 25-year-old transgender asylum seeker; an unnamed 33-year-old Salvadoran man; and a 40-year-old woman from Honduras.

    Photos from a Border Patrol processing center in El Paso showed people herded so tightly into cells that they had to stand on toilets to breathe. Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees. These followed another report that showed that thousands of detainees are being brutally held in isolation cells just for being transgender or mentally ill.

    Also last week, the Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors — which were likened to “summer camps” by a senior ICE official last year. And there was the revelation that months after being torn from their parents’ arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center outside Port Isabel, Texas. In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in federal custody.

    Preventing mass outrage at a system like this takes work. Certainly it helps that the news media covers these horrors intermittently rather than as snowballing proof of a racist, lawless administration. But most of all, authorities prevail when the places where people are being tortured and left to die stay hidden, misleadingly named and far from prying eyes.

    There’s a name for that kind of system. They’re called concentration camps. You might balk at my use of the term. That’s good — it’s something to be balked at.

    The goal of concentration camps has always been to be ignored. The German-Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt, who was imprisoned by the Gestapo and interned in a French camp, wrote a few years afterward about the different levels of concentration camps. Extermination camps were the most extreme; others were just about getting “undesirable elements … out of the way.” All had one thing in common: “The human masses sealed off in them are treated as if they no longer existed, as if what happened to them were no longer of interest to anybody, as if they were already dead.”

    Euphemisms play a big role in that forgetting. The term “concentration camp” is itself a euphemism. It was invented by a Spanish official to paper over his relocation of millions of rural families into squalid garrison towns where they would starve during Cuba’s 1895 independence war. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered Japanese Americans into prisons during World War II, he initially called them concentration camps. Americans ended up using more benign names, like “Manzanar Relocation Center.”

    Even the Nazis’ camps started out small, housing criminals, Communists and opponents of the regime. It took five years to begin the mass detention of Jews. It took eight, and the outbreak of a world war, for the first extermination camps to open. Even then, the Nazis had to keep lying to distract attention, claiming Jews were merely being resettled to remote work sites. That’s what the famous signs — Arbeit Macht Frei, or “Work Sets You Free” — were about.

    Subterfuge doesn’t always work. A year ago, Americans accidentally became aware that the Trump administration had adopted (and lied about) a policy of ripping families apart at the border. The flurry of attention was thanks to the viral conflation of two separate but related stories: the family-separation order and bureaucrats’ admission that they’d been unable to locate thousands of migrant children who’d been placed with sponsors after crossing the border alone.

    Trump shoved that easily down the memory hole. He dragged his heels a bit, then agreed to a new policy: throwing whole families into camps together. Political reporters posed irrelevant questions, like whether President Obama had been just as bad, and what it meant for the midterms. Then they moved on.

    It is important to note that Trump’s aides have built this system of racist terror on something that has existed for a long time. Several camps opened under Obama, and as president he deported millions of people.

    But Trump’s game is different. It certainly isn’t about negotiating immigration reform with Congress. Trump has made it clear that he wants to stifle all non-white immigration, period. His mass arrests, iceboxes and dog cages are part of an explicitly nationalist project to put the country under the control of the right kind of white people.

    As a Republican National Committee report noted in 2013: “The nation’s demographic changes add to the urgency of recognizing how precarious our position has become.” The Trump administration’s attempt to put a citizenship question on the 2020 census was also just revealed to have been a plot to disadvantage political opponents and boost “Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” all along.

    That’s why this isn’t just a crisis facing immigrants. When a leader puts people in camps to stay in power, history shows that he doesn’t usually stop with the first group he detains.

    There are now at least 48,000 people detained in ICE facilities, which a former official told BuzzFeed News “could swell indefinitely.” Customs and Border Protection officials apprehended more than 144,000 people on the Southwest border last month. (The New York Times dutifully reported this as evidence of a “dramatic surge in border crossings,” rather than what it was: The administration using its own surge of arrests to justify the rest of its policies.)

    If we call them what they are — a growing system of American concentration camps — we will be more likely to give them the attention they deserve. We need to know their names: Port Isabel, Dilley, Adelanto, Hutto and on and on. With constant, unrelenting attention, it is possible we might alleviate the plight of the people inside, and stop the crisis from getting worse. Maybe people won’t be able to disappear so easily into the iceboxes. Maybe it will be harder for authorities to lie about children’s deaths.

    Maybe Trump’s concentration camps will be the first thing we think of when we see him scowling on TV.

    The only other option is to leave it up to those in power to decide what’s next. That’s a calculated risk. As Andrea Pitzer, author of “One Long Night,” one of the most comprehensive books on the history of concentration camps, recently noted: “Every country has said their camps are humane and will be different. Trump is instinctively an authoritarian. He’ll take them as far as he’s allowed to.”
    #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #camps #camps_de_concentration #centres_de_détention #détention_administrative #rétention #USA #Etats-Unis

    • ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

      On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

      At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

      The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

      So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

      On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

      In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

      Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

      If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

      Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

      Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

      Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

      Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

      Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

      As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

      Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

      Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

      These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

      Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

      Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

      Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

      In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

      However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

      It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

      In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

      This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

      I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

      Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

      Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

      What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

      Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades.

      When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

      The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

      President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.

      The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

      Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

      The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

    • #Alexandria_Ocasio-Cortez engage le bras de fer avec la politique migratoire de Donald Trump

      L’élue de New York a qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

  • 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.
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Cambodge #Australie #externalisation #réfugiés_syriens

    ping @albertocampiphoto

    v. aussi cette compilation qui parle du deal entre l’Australie et le Cambodge :

  • When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)

    I first saw the photograph some years ago, online. Later, I tracked it down to its original source: “In Afric’s Forest and Jungle: Or Six Years Among the Yorubans,” a memoir published in 1899 by the Rev. R.H. Stone. It shows a crowd in what is now Nigeria, but what was then Yorubaland under British colonial influence. The caption below the photograph reads: “A king of Ejayboo. Governor of Lagos on right. For years the rulers of this fierce tribe made the profession of Christianity a capital crime.” This description is familiar in tone from anthropological literature of the period, though the photograph is hard to date precisely. “Ejayboo” is what we would nowadays spell as “Ijebu,” a subgroup of Yoruba. That catches my attention: I am Yoruba and also Ijebu. This picture is a time capsule from a world to which I am connected but had not seen before, a world by colonial encounter.

    By the middle of the 19th century, through treaties and threats of force, the British had wrested control of the coastal city Lagos from its king. They then turned their efforts to improving access to the goods and services in the Yoruba hinterland. The Yoruba were already by that time a populous and diverse ethnic group, full of rivalrous kingdoms large and small, some friendly to the British, others less so.

    Stone, a Virginian sent by the Southern Baptist Convention, lived among them — lived among us — for two spells, in 1859-63 and 1867-69, before, during and after the American Civil War. He had this to say about Yoruba people: “They are reasonable, brave and patriotic, and are capable of a very high degree of intellectual culture.” It is praise, but must be understood in the context of a statement he makes earlier in his book about living “among the barbarous people” of that part of the world. In any case, the Ijebu in the mid-19th century were largely wealthy traders and farmers who did not want to give the British right of way to the interior of the country; only through diplomacy, subterfuge and violence were they finally overcome.

    This photograph was made in the aftermath. The white governor of Lagos — based on the plausible dates, it is probably John Hawley Glover — sits under an enormous umbrella. On one side of him is another high-ranking colonial officer. On the other side is the Ijebu king, or oba, probably the Awujale of the Ijebu kingdom, Oba Ademuyewo Fidipote.

    The oba wears a beaded crown, but the beads have been parted and his face is visible. This is unusual, for the oba is like a god and must be concealed when in public. The beads over his face, with their interplay of light and shadow, are meant to give him a divine aspect. Why is his face visible in this photograph? Some contravention of customary practice has taken place. The dozens of men seated on the ground in front of him are visibly alarmed. Many have turned their bodies away from the oba, and several are positioned toward the camera, not in order to look at the camera but in order to avoid looking at the exposed radiance of their king.

    The invention of the daguerreotype was announced in 1839. By the 1840s, photography had spread like wildfire and become a vital aspect of European colonialism. It played a role in administrative, missionary, scientific and commercial activities. As the Zimbabwean novelist Yvonne Vera put it: “The camera has often been a dire instrument. In Africa, as in most parts of the dispossessed, the camera arrives as part of the colonial paraphernalia, together with the gun and the bible. ...”

    Photography in colonialized societies was not only a dire instrument. Subject peoples often adopted photography for their own uses. There were, for instance, a number of studios in Lagos by the 1880s, where elites could go to pose for portraits. But such positive side effects aside, photography during colonial rule imaged the world in order to study, profit from and own it. The colonial gaze might describe as barbarous both the oba’s beaded crown and his regal right to conceal himself. This was one of the repeated interactions between imperial powers and the populations that they sought to control: The dominant power decided that everything had to be seen and cataloged, a task for which photography was perfectly suited. Under the giant umbrella of colonialism, nothing would be allowed to remain hidden from the imperial authorities.

    Imperialism and colonial photographic practices both flourished in the 19th century, and both extended themselves, with cosmetic adaptations, into the 20th. In 1960, during the horrific French war on Algeria, the French military assigned a young soldier, Marc Garanger, to photograph people in an internment camp in the Kabylia region of Northern Algeria. Thousands of people had been confined in the region under armed guard, and the French military commander had decreed that ID cards were mandatory. A picture of each prisoner was required. Many of the women were forced to remove their veils. These were women who did not wish to be seen, made to sit for photographs that were not for them. (Photography played a different military role in the numerous aerial reconnaissance missions by the French, which resulted in thousands of negatives mapping the region.)

    Garanger’s photographs both record an injustice and occasion it. His alternative, not an easy one, would have been to refuse the order and go to prison. His pictures show us what we ought not to see: Young and old women, their hair free flowing or plaited, one face after the other, in the hundreds. They collectively emanate refusal. The women of Kabylia look through the photographer, certainly not considering him an ally. Their gazes rise from the surface of the photograph, palpably furious.

    When we speak of “shooting” with a camera, we are acknowledging the kinship of photography and violence. The anthropological photographs made in the 19th century under the aegis of colonial powers are related to the images created by contemporary photojournalists, including those who embed with military forces. Embedding is sometimes the only way to get a direct record, no matter how limited, of what is happening in an armed conflict. On occasion such an arrangement leads to images whose directness displeases the authorities, but a more common outcome has been that proximity to an army helps bolster the narrative preferred by the army.

    Still, photographic reportage has the power to quicken the conscience and motivate political commitments. Examples abound of photographs acting as catalysts in the public’s understanding of vital issues, from the images of Bergen-Belsen in 1945 to the photograph of the Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi in 2015. And yet, perhaps even more insistently, on a day-by-day, week-by-week basis, photography implicitly serves the powers that be. To insist that contemporary photographic practice — and I mean to include a majority of the international news coverage in newspapers like this one — is generally made (and published) for the greater good is to misconstrue history, because it leaves out the question of “Good for whom?” Such pictures aren’t for their subjects any more than the photograph in Stone’s book was for the Ijebus and their king.

    Certain images underscore an unbridgeable gap and a never-to-be-toppled hierarchy. When a group of people is judged to be “foreign,” it becomes far more likely that news organizations will run, for the consumption of their audiences, explicit, disturbing photographs of members of that group: starving children or bullet-riddled bodies. Meanwhile, the injury and degradation of those with whom readers perceive a kinship — a judgment often based on racial sympathy and class loyalties — is routinely treated in more circumspect fashion. This has hardly changed since Susan Sontag made the same observation in “Regarding the Pain of Others” (2003), and it has hardly changed because the underlying political relationships between dominant and subject societies have hardly changed.

    Without confronting this inequality, this misconstrual of history, photography will continue to describe itself as one thing (a force for liberation) while obdurately remaining another (an obedient appendage of state power). It will continue to be like the organs of the state that “spread democracy” and change regimes. Even when it appears to go against the state, it will only do so selectively, quaintly, beautifully, piteously, in terms that do not question the right of the state to assert power.

    For how long will these radically unequal societal realities endure? Many affecting photographs have been made during the huge waves of international migration of the past few years. These pictures issue, as usual, from the presumed rights of photographers to depict the suffering of people “out there” for the viewing of those “back home.” But in looking at these images — images of war, of starvation, of capsized boats and exhausted caravans — we must go beyond the usual frames of pity and abjection. Every picture of suffering should elicit a question stronger than “Why is this happening?” The question should be “Why have I allowed this to happen?”

    This is what the scholar Ariella Azoulay calls the “citizenship” of photography, its ability, when practiced thoughtfully, to remind us of our mutual responsibilities. When I look at the bewildering photographs of refugee camps in Richard Mosse’s recent book, “The Castle,” I feel indicted. The imperial underpinnings of Mosse’s project are inescapable: Using military-grade thermal cameras, he makes extremely complex panoramic images (stitched together from hundreds of shots) of landscapes in the Middle East and Europe in which refugees have gathered or have been confined. His pictures echo the surveillance to which these bodies are already subjected. But the thermal imaging renders the images very dark, with the humans showing up as white shapes (almost like a negative). The picture conceals what it reveals. We see people, but they remain hidden.

    This technique makes for uncanny images in which distressed people move about like the figures you see in dreams, indistinct but full of ghostly presence. At the Moria camp in Greece, it is snowing. We see a long snaking line of people, waiting. What are they waiting for? For some material handout, probably, for food or blankets or documents. But their waiting represents the deeper waiting of all those who have been confined in the antechamber of humanity. They are waiting to be allowed to be human.

    Mosse’s images, formally striking as they are, are unquestionably part of the language of visual domination. With his political freedom of movement and his expensive technical equipment, he makes meticulous pictures of suffering that end up in exquisite books and in art galleries. He is not the first photographer to aestheticize suffering, nor will he be the last. And yet, by suppressing color, by overwhelming the viewer with detail, by evoking racial horror rather than prettily displaying it and by including in his work philosophical considerations of the scenes he shows — “The Castle” contains essays by Judith Butler, Paul K. Saint-Amour and Mosse himself and a poem by Behrouz Boochani — he does something quite different from most photojournalists. He unsettles the viewer.

    Photography’s future will be much like its past. It will largely continue to illustrate, without condemning, how the powerful dominate the less powerful. It will bring the “news” and continue to support the idea that doing so — collecting the lives of others for the consumption of “us” — is a natural right. But with a project like “The Castle,” I have a little bit of hope that an ethic of self-determination can be restored. I have hope that the refugees of Moria, Athens, Berlin and Belgrade will gain a measure of privacy. The women of Kabylia will cover their faces and return to themselves as they wish to be. The oba’s beaded crown will fall back into place, shadowing his face. Photography writes with light, but not everything wants to be seen. Among the human rights is the right to remain obscure, unseen and dark.

    #photographie #colonialisme #post-colonialisme #impérialisme
    ping @albertocampiphoto @philippe_de_jonckheere

    Reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop avec le commentaire suivant de Emmanuel Blanchard:

    L’auteur fait notamment référence au travail récent de #Richard_Mosse (exposition et ouvrage « The Castle ») dont il fait un compte rendu à la critique et laudatif. Un point de vue qui peut lui-même être critiqué... dans un sens plus critique.
    Pour accéder à quelques images de Richard Mosse :

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #images #image

    The Castle

    Richard Mosse has spent the past few years documenting the ongoing refugee and migration crisis, repurposing military-grade camera technology to confront how governments and societies perceive refugees. His latest book The Castle is a meticulous record of refugee camps located across mass migration routes from the Middle East and Central Asia into the European Union via Turkey. Using a thermal video camera intended for long-range border enforcement, Mosse films the camps from high elevations to draw attention to the ways in which each interrelates with, or is divorced from, adjacent citizen infrastructure. His source footage is then broken down into hundreds of individual frames, which are digitally overlapped in a grid formation to create composite heat maps.

    Truncating time and space, Mosse’s images speak to the lived experience of refugees indefinitely awaiting asylum and trapped in a Byzantine state of limbo. The book is divided into 28 sites, each presenting an annotated sequence of close-up images that fold out into a panoramic heat map. Within this format, Mosse underscores the provisional architecture of the camps and the ways in which each camp is variously marginalised, concealed, regulated, militarized, integrated, and/or dispersed. His images point to the glaring disconnect between the brisk free trade of globalized capitalism and the dehumanizing erosion of international refugee law in European nation-states. Named after Kafka’s 1926 novel, The Castle prompts questions about the ‘visibility’ of refugees and the erosion of their human rights.

    The book comes with a separate book of texts, including a poem by Behrouz Boochani, the journalist, novelist and Iranian refugee currently held by the Australian government in confinement on Manus island, an essay by Paul K. Saint-Amour, associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, an essay by philosopher Judith Butler, and a text by Richard Mosse.


  • #Manus_Island : lives on hold – photo essay

    Australia’s offshore detention centre has been razed to the ground but for the 600 refugees who remain on the island, little has changed. Amid the torment of isolation from family and friends, depression and the trauma of their past, the men try to get on with their lives
    #photographie #réfugiés #asile #migrations #externalisation #Australie

    cc @isskein

  • Drôles de news | Australie : 46 millions d’euros pour mauvais traitements en détention

    Un juge australien a approuvé le 6 septembre le versement de l’équivalent de 46 millions d’euros à 2000 demandeurs d’asile détenus ou ayant été détenus par le gouvernement australien sur l’île de Manus, en Papouasie- Nouvelle-Guinée, entre 2012 et 2016, en guise de compensation pour les mauvais traitements subis. Cette class action, menée par un […]

  • How Australia Got Into the ‘Dead End’ of Refugee Offshore Detention

    As Australia’s deadline to close its offshore camp on Manus passes, Australian refugee policy expert Claire Higgins explains the social and political factors that molded the country’s changing policies toward asylum seekers arriving by boat.

    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Australie #manus_island

  • Refugees on Manus Island face catastrophe at hands of Australian detention regime - World Socialist Web Site

    Refugees on #Manus_Island face catastrophe at hands of Australian detention regime
    By Oscar Grenfell
    1 November 2017

    About 600 refugees still held at the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are facing a humanitarian disaster, and possible police-military violence, after the Australian government moved to shut down the facility yesterday.

    Contractors employed by the Australian government cut pipes, emptied water tanks, cut off electricity supplies and removed generators, before leaving the centre on Tuesday. Asylum seekers have been left without food, only minimal water, and no security. Heavily-armed PNG police and troops are massed outside the complex, warning they will enter it today unless the refugees leave.

    #réfugiés #camps #encampement #australie #papouasie_nouvelle_guinée

  • #Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time

    #Chauka_please_Tell_Us_the_Time is a documentary movie co-directed by #Behrouz_Boochani and #Arash_Kamali_Sarvestani. It was shot by Behrouz Boochani from inside the #Manus_Island detention center in Papua New Guinea.[1] The entire movie was shot over a period of several months on a mobile phone, which was kept secret from the prison authorities. Chauka is the name of a native bird on Manus Island and is also the name of the solitary confinement unit at Manus detention center. The Chauka is a symbol of the island and allows locals to tell the time from the Chauka’s regular singing. The co-director, Arash Kamali Sarvestani lives in the Netherlands. Sarvin Productions company produced the movie.

    Boochani, a journalist who was persecuted for his journalism in Iran, was forced into hiding and fled Iran in 2013. He was intercepted by Australian authorities while attempting a boat crossing from Indonesia to Australia and incarcerated in the Manus Island detention centre. “After a year or two years I found out that the journalism language is not powerful enough to tell the suffering and to tell the history of this prison, and what Australian government is doing in this island,” said Boochani.,_Please_Tell_Us_the_Time
    #film #documentaire #Australie #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    Trailer :

    • Detained journalist on Manus Island secretly shoots feature film entirely on mobile phone

      ’Chauka, please tell us the time’ is a movie co-produced by Behrouz Boochani - a Kurdish journalist, writer and human rights defender, who has spent nearly four years as a detainee at Manus Island Detention Centre.

  • Cost for Australia’s offshore immigration detention near $5 billion

    Ahead of Wednesday’s four-year anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s move to reinstate hardline rules to send any asylum seeker arriving in Australia by boat to offshore detention, Senate committee figures show the total operational and infrastructure costs for Australia’s detention facilities on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island has reached $4.89 billion.
    #coût #business #Australie #externalisation #détention_administrative rétention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Manus_island #Nauru

    via @forumasile

  • #Australie. Île de Manus : plus de 60 millions d’euros versés à des migrants maltraités

    Le gouvernement australien a accepté de dédommager des réfugiés retenus dans le centre de rétention de Manus au titre de sa politique migratoire restrictive. Une manière d’éviter un procès gênant durant lequel les exactions commises auraient été exposées.
    #manus_island #indemnisation #justice #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #dédommagement #île_de_manus
    cc @reka

  • Australia agrees to pay $70 million to Manus Island detainees -

    The Australian government has agreed to pay detainees on Manus Island more than $70 million (US$52.75 million) in the “largest settlement in a human rights class-action” in the country’s history.
    More than 1,900 detainees had alleged they suffered serious physical and psychological injuries during their time in the Australian government’s offshore asylum seeker detention center on the Papua New Guinea island, between 2012 and 2016.

    #Australie #migrants #Manus_Island

  • An island off Manus

    The torturous system of Manus prison sometimes catapults a person into distant and stunning places. Following this country’s High Court decision regarding the illegality of the incarceration of refugees on Manus Island, we have gained some freedom, albeit limited in time and scope. During the past nine months, this partial liberty has become a part of my life, a source of restricted freedom. Whenever the tension intensifies in the prison, I take refuge in the jungle, the sea, and in some of the far-flung villages of Manus Island.

    Curious to know why he helps refugees, he smiles and says: “One day, when I was in Lorengau, I saw a few Iranian refugees wandering aimlessly around town. Something flashed across my mind about them. I realised they have no father, no mother and relatives: they are like aliens here. I felt they were afraid of being in Lorengau. I told them that you are my brothers and introduced my island to them. I invited them over and asked them to come and visit me whenever they liked, and to spend some time with my family.”
    #Mendirlin #solidarité #Manus_island #asile #migrations #réfugiés #australie #externalisation
    cc @isskein @reka

  • #Documentaire. Eva Orner : “L’#Australie est un des pays qui enfreignent le plus les droits de l’homme”

    Son film #Chasing_Asylum jette une lumière crue sur la politique d’immigration australienne. La réalisatrice #Eva_Orner était ces derniers jours à Genève, invitée par le Festival du film et Forum international sur les droits humains, un événement dont Courrier international est partenaire. Nous l’avons interviewée à cette occasion.
    #film #migrations #asile #réfugiés #externalisation #rétention #détention_administrative #manus_island #nauru

    Trailer du film :

  • They Cannot Take the Sky. Stories from detention

    For more than two decades, Australia has locked up people who arrive here fleeing persecution - sometimes briefly, sometimes for years. In They Cannot Take the Sky those people tell their stories, in their own words. Speaking from inside immigration detention on #Manus_Island and #Nauru, or from within the Australian community after their release, the narrators reveal not only their extraordinary journeys and their daily struggles but also their meditations on love, death, hope and injustice. Their candid testimonies are at times shocking and hilarious, surprising and devastating. They are witnesses from the edge of human experience.

    The first-person narratives in They Cannot Take the Sky range from epic life stories to heartbreaking vignettes. The narrators who have shared their stories have done so despite the culture of silence surrounding immigration detention, and the real risks faced by those who speak out. Once you have heard their voices, you will never forget them.
    #livre #Australie #détention_administrative #rétention #témoignages

  • An Iranian Refugee Held At Australia’s Offshore Detention Centre Wins #Cartooning Award

    An Iranian refugee held at an Australian-funded detention center in Papua New Guinea has won a political cartooning award for his work depicting life inside the camp.
    #Eaten_Fish #dessins_de_presse #dessins #Manus_island #externalisation #Australie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps_de_réfugiés #témoignage

  • Australian government unveils brutal refugee deal with the US - World Socialist Web Site

    Australian government unveils brutal refugee deal with the US
    By Max Newman
    14 November 2016

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday announced a one-off “resettlement” deal with the United States that will forcibly remove to the US some of the 2,200 refugees who have rotted since 2013 in Australia’s prison camps on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

    At a media conference in the government’s Maritime Border Command headquarters, Turnbull declared that Australia’s naval “Operation Sovereign Borders,” which organises the interception and turn back of refugee boats, would be boosted to its highest-ever level.

    #australie #états-unis #réfugiés #asile #migrations

  • Asylum seekers face lifetime ban from entering Australia if they arrive by boat | Australia news | The Guardian

    The Turnbull government plans to introduce legislation to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever being allowed into Australia.

    The ban will apply to any adult who has been sent to detention centres on #Nauru or #Manus_Island since 19 July 2013.

    It means adults who have previously tried to enter Australia by boat since July 2013, but who have chosen to return home, will never be allowed to get a visa to Australia – even as a tourist, or a spouse.

    The government plans to backdate its ban to 19 July 2013, because that is when the former prime minister Kevin Rudd said: “As of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.

    The ban will not apply to children.

  • The extraordinary cost of keeping asylum seekers in detention: over $500,000 each

    What if our government really wanted to save money? As well as going after $6.7 billion in its omnibus savings bill, it could go after the billions more it costs to run our immigration detention centres: $9.2 billion in the past three years, $3.9 billion to $5.5 billion in the next four, according to the most complete accounting yet of the costs normally hidden in inaccessible parts of the the budget.
    #détention_administrative #rétention #coût #économie #Australie #externalisation #Manus_island #Nauru

    #Rapport de Save the children & Unicef:

    • Nauru contract standoff causes chaos and confusion as refugee services left in limbo

      A refusal by Nauru to agree to a contract extension until the 11th hour has caused chaos and confusion on the island, after refugees and asylum seekers were told to clear out of the processing centre and warned healthcare may stop.

      Australia and Nauru have been working towards Nauru taking over contracts to provide welfare and garrison service to the 400 or so asylum seekers and refugees on the island, but Nauru has struggled to be ready.

      As a result Australia has repeatedly extended its $432m contract with #Canstruct, which contracts #Wilson to provide security, with the most recent six-month extension due to expire at midnight on Tuesday.

      However as late as Tuesday afternoon there was no decision made on either extending with Canstruct or Nauru signing a new contract, which resulted in fear and confusion among the refugee and asylum seeker group.

      The standoff, which saw Canstruct and Wilson inform other stakeholders they were “demobilising” only ended late on Tuesday afternoon when Nauru agreed to a three-month extension.

      Island’s government extends Canstruct’s contract at 11th hour but not before asylum seekers were told to clear out

  • Jig is up on our outsourced refugee hells in #Nauru, #Manus_Island

    Nauru and Manus Island have served the Coalition well, right up to the election, but there are ominous signs that the music may stop leaving us without a seat. The Australian government may need a new policy. It’s not a matter entirely within its control.
    #Australie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #politique_migratoire

  • Voices from Manus: ’I don’t want to go to Australia ... after what they did’

    But when he was transferred to Australia’s remote detention center on Manus Island in 2013, he realized his trauma had only just begun.
    “They just want us to die. For the last three years we were under heavy, systematic torture (which) aim to force us to go back ... Hundreds of us lost their minds completely,” he said.
    #Australie #asile #migrations #chiffres #statistiques #Manus_island #Nauru #externalisation

  • Disconnected and desperate: How Australia keeps refugees in tech limbo

    Officially known as “illegal maritime arrivals,” these refugees sought asylum in Australia but instead have been detained for years, thousands of miles offshore. Technology could be their lifeline, but they live in radio silence.
    #isolement #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Australie #île #externalisation #limbe #coupure #liens (manque de -) #Nauru #Manus_island #réseaux_sociaux