How we compare on refugee intake

Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2015

By using the ratio of our refugee population to our wealth, expressed in terms of GDP per capita, Australia ranked 70th out of 140 countries for its contribution to hosting refugees in 2014 – a year when the number of newly displaced hit a record high.
   Ethiopia is ranked first – its ratio of refugees to wealth 572 times higher than Australia's.
   The UN describes ours as "an age of unprecedented mass displacement". Nearly 60 million people are now forcibly displaced people across the globe – more human beings fleeing conflict and persecution than at any time since World War II.

Nadir’s wait continues...

Nadir continues to live a life in limbo. His Bridging Visa expired 6 August and he has just been granted a three month extension. The department continues to assure him he will not be detained or deported until the decision on the International Treaties Obligations Assessment (ITOA) conducted in January has been handed down.
   Apart from being told it is “under active consideration”, there is still no timeframe as to when this will happen.
Sunday 23 August, 11am  Buddies meeting
Friday 28 August, 7pm  Songs of hope and healing
Sunday 30 August, 2pm  
Public meeting: Defying the Border Force Act
Friday 11 September, 6:30pm  
Special community stage event: Prize Fighter
Wednesday 23 September, 6:00-7:30pm
Public lecture: Moving beyond good intentions - the road to refugee rights  Details on the Griffith Law School website
Sunday 27 September, 11am  Buddies meeting
Sunday 25 – Friday 30 October  
Learn English Holiday 5476 8910

This Sunday’s Buddies meeting

11am, Sunday 23 August, 24 King St, Buderim
This month’s meeting will be an open forum whereby members can share and discuss ideas and thoughts. Members Rada and Margaret will share their experiences of visiting the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation centre (BITA).
Chairperson, Val Ross. 5476 8645

Songs of hope and healing, QPAC

Friday 28 August, 7pm, QPAC Concert Hall, Brisbane
To raise funds for Friends of the Home of Expressive Arts and Learning (FHEAL), which provides creative arts therapy to young people of refugee backgrounds and newly arrived refugees. 
Featuring various artists and special guest star Lior.
Tickets $40 each. BOOK NOW or phone 13 62 46.

Public meeting: Defying the Border Force Act

Sunday 30 August, 2pm, 
Kurilpa Hall, 174 Boundary St, West End

Speakers; Dr John-Paul Sanggaran, Christmas Island whistleblower;
Benedict Coyne, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights; Dr Richard Kidd, Doctors for Refugees
The Coalition’s Border Force Act is a clear attempt to silence criticism of the impact of offshore detention on asylum seekers.

Stage play: Prize Fighter

Friday 11 September, 6:30pm, La Boite at the Roundhouse Theatre, 6 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane
MDA and the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC) bring you a special community showing of Prize Fighter, starring Pacharo Mzembe. Written by Brisbane’s own Future D. Fidel, a young African Australian of Congolese heritage

Wanted: Names of community groups

The Lobby Group feels it’s important we engage with the general public to help them become better informed about asylum seeker and refugee matters. If any readers can suggest community groups that could be interested in having a speaker from Buddies, please contact Audrey Raymond 0417 621 159.

Available: Community radio training opportunity

Brisbane radio 4ZZZ is inviting volunteers who speak languages other than English to get involved in ethnic and community broadcasting. Refugees and asylum seekers are especially invited to apply. Further information: Carolina Caliaba  0411 580 094.

Save Nauru rape victim Nazanin’s life, bring her to Australia for urgent treatment

Lena Hattom,, 13 August 2015

Tell Peter Dutton, Minister for Immigration, that Australians want Nazanin to receive the care that she needs, here in Australia. Let’s get her the treatment she needs and spare her family the anguish of another life lost in detention.

Please enable parents to attend son’s inquest

An open inquest into the death of Iranian asylum seeker Hamid Kehazaei is at last getting ready to proceed. A pre-inquest conference will be held at the Brisbane Magistrates Court next Tuesday 25 August. 
   Write to Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath and request that Hamid’s parents be enabled to attend the inquest.
Further information: Al Spierings  0437 672 397.

Tony Abbott denies claims of 'waterboarding' on Nauru

The Guardian, 17 August 2015

A former security guard for Wilson Security made the allegation in a submission to the Senate inquiry into conditions at the detention centre. The anonymous guard said he would give evidence to the committee about torture taking place on Nauru.

Why we aren’t more shocked by Nauru revelations

Eureka Street, 4 August 2015

There remains a disconnect between ‘us’ and asylum seekers. Has Canberra’s willingness to exploit refugees for political gains, undermine their human rights and treat them like criminals, been mirrored in the attitudes of the general public?

HESTA dumps Transfield citing detention abuses

Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 2015

Evidence that human rights violations inside Australia's offshore detention centres are being covered up has led HESTA, one of the country’s biggest superannuation funds to dump contractor Transfield Services.  

Detention centre doctors stare down prosecution

The Saturday Paper, 15 August 2015

These doctors show no signs of being silenced but have used the Border Force Act to once again air their concerns. But some have observed that IHMS is increasingly contracting foreign doctors to visit the offshore centres. 

Choosing between PNG resettlement or ‘new prison’

The Guardian, 14 August 2015

Developments on Manus appear to be moving to a disturbing new phase as authorities devise methods, in violation of international legal obligations, for detainees with refugee status to be returned to their home countries.

Desperate Afghans flock to Kabul passport office

ABC News Online, 18 August 2015

As Afghanistan continues to be plagued by conflict and economic uncertainty, thousands of Afghans have been lining up before sunrise each day to lodge passport applications. Some are queuing overnight, determined to secure a future in another part of the world.

Fears grow for health of Nauru asylum seeker rape victim

Refugee Action Coalition, 18 August 2015

A 23-year-old Iranian asylum seeker on Nauru has been held in isolation since being the victim of a savage sexual assault in May.
   Nazinan has not been eating or drinking for the last few weeks and is often unresponsive even to her family members.
Other stories in the news:
The Guardian: Asylum seeker forcibly returned to Afghanistan after appeals exhausted
Independent Australia: Australia’s Abu Ghraib moment
7:30 Report: Spying and abuse described by Nauru detention centre’s former staff
Refugee Action Coalition Sydney: Immigration tries first forced removal from Manus
The Stringer: You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water
Thank you to Margaret Landbeck and Val Ross for their contributions to this edition.

Please send contributions for the newsletter and/or the website to the editor. 

EDITOR: Bronwyn Bell
Please send photos or articles to Lindel Greggery

The Buddies Refugee Support Group is a Sunshine Coast group which advocates for just and compassionate treatment of refugees, consistent with the human rights standards which Australia has developed and endorsed.
   We support policies towards refugees and asylum seekers that reflect respect, decency and traditional Australian generosity to those in need, while advancing Australia’s international standing and national interests.
   We are an independent community group and meet on the 4th Sunday of each month at 11am, 24 King Street Buderim.

Confidentiality  Your email address is completely confidential. The Bulletin is sent Bcc [Blind carbon copy] and no-one else sees your email address.
To contribute to Buddies   Buddies’ fundraising contributes to refugee and asylum seeker support. You can direct debit to:
Suncorp Bank, BSB 484-799     
Account No: 605927994    
Account name: Buddies Refugee Support Group
Or you can contribute to ‘The Box’ at our meetings and events. Your donations are much appreciated by those we help.